To Whom Would Jesus Lend?

I didn’t sign up for any of the formal “call everyone’s attention to the Millennium Development Goals” events — not because I don’t appreciate the goals, but because I take the MDGs to be a side effect of good theology. That is, if the church is doing its job well, it’ll be reaching out and teaching and preaching in ways that advance the cause of eradicating global poverty.
That doesn’t mean that it escapes my notice, though, when the Congress and the world’s financial systems can within a week decide to allot more than a half a trillion dollars toward shoring up already-wealthy people and institutions. Under the circumstances, one can hardly avoid the conclusion that political leaders don’t think of malnutrition and starvation, disease, and the lack of educational resources and economic opportunity as that big a crisis.
Perhaps now is the time to remind our most vocally Christian political leaders (especially ones who profess to take the Bible seriously) that Jesus said, “If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again…. [L]end, expecting nothing in return.”

4 thoughts on “To Whom Would Jesus Lend?

  1. Nobody asked me, and I haven’t got your credentials, but:

    Good point in the first paragraph: no social gospel as idolatry, or orthopraxis flows from orthodoxy. The churches oughtn’t preach the MDGs as gospel any more than put Ron Paul’s four broad principles on the reredos where the Commandments used to be in Anglican churches.

    As for the second the answer is neither soft socialism (nationalise the banks/bail out the wealthy) nor hard (just have the government openly own everything and hand out money to everybody). The government, not the market, ‘creating’ money from nothing caused this whole mess.

    Answer: think Austrian economics. Freedom, including to fail both individually and corporately, inseparable from responsibility for one’s actions.

    Part of the churches’ problem, from McCain-voting Baptists to mainline Protestants to social-teaching RCs, is many/most well-meaning Christians don’t seem to understand economics, not that I claim to be an expert). There’s no such thing as ‘Jesus economics’, just the science of economics, just as there is no Mohammedan physics.

    Your third point of course is balanced out with ‘thou shalt not steal’ and ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be’ (don’t buy houses you can’t really afford and don’t sell them to bad risks, another thing the government was pushing).

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