Monday, March 1, 2010

mammon's empire

Jesus, friends, was not a capitalist.

Jesus was opposed to lending money at interest and raged against the moneylenders in the temple. He  was arrested within 24 hours, if that tells you anything about the influence bankers have on cops.

Jesus preached against capitalism and was killed by those capitalists who foresaw that his success would destroy their elite status at the top of the pyramid.

Point of fact is, Jesus tells us to give up our things. This is not advice that America's consumer society wants to hear, and its certainly not the message that America's Christian hypocrites popularize. Jesus specifically denounced consumer capitalism. In order to work, capitalism requires us to constantly acquire more things. And Jesus told us to stop acquiring more things - Jesus told us to give them up entirely.

When Jesus said that man cannot serve two masters, that man cannot serve both God and mammon, Jesus was pointing out that we cannot serve God which is love while at the same time serving consumer capitalism, which is greed. The two are irreconcilable.

It is the aspect of consumerism that runs in contradiction with the teachings of Jesus - think of the Amish, who don't run around handing out pamphlets on socialism or anything. They make good furniture, and sell it for profit, which sounds like good business to me, and probably Jesus, too. Point is, they're not consumer capitalists. They don't bow down to mammon. We don't have to, either, although if we stop living as consumer capitalists consumer capitalism will fall apart, and the people who own the media and the corporations and the politicians certainly don't want that to happen. So they keep us from learning the truth, even the truth of why Jesus died, and who was responsible.

We can be consumer capitalists, or we can be Christians, but we cannot be both. Jesus condemned consumer capitalism and was consequently murdered by the prominent bankers and politicians who saw that his success would lead to their demise.

Capitalism requires a return on an investment. Love requires nothing in return. If we invest ourselves in order to get something in return, we may be good capitalists but we are not ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Specifically, when asked how to pray, Jesus said, pray like this: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive those who debt against us. That doesn't sound like capitalism to me, does it? In fact, if Christians mean what they say when they pray, we are praying for the demise of Capitalism every time we utter the Lord's prayer. Debt forgiveness cannot coexist with home mortgage foreclosures, people. And guess which side God is on?

Christians have a moral responsibility to forgive all debts, sign on to the debtors union, abandon the capitalist propaganda of consumerism and invest in ecological rehabilitation. Sounds like somebody has a hard sell, doesn't it? The good news is, Christians, being Christians, will eventually align themselves with the truth, and are destined to mean what they say when they pray for debt forgiveness. This is actually prophesied to take place, and Christian ecological investment is the impetus behind the birth of Heaven on Earth.

The Kingdom of Heaven isn't communist, and its not capitalist, either. The Kingdom of Heaven is love, and love expects nothing in return. The Kingdom of Heaven loves the way the sun shines on the earth. Not once has the sun ever said to the earth, 'what have you done for me?' The sun simply shines, as love gives without needing to receive.

We have become a society of intelligent investors, proud of our rational self-interest. which is another way of saying that we have forgotten how to love. In order to love, in order to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven, we must change our ways, and we must begin by changing our minds. We must choose between capitalism and the Kingdom of Heaven. We must choose between God and mammon.

The Kingdom of Heaven requires sacrifice. We cannot get a good return on our investment and still love. We must give up all returns, and we must invest without getting a return, in order to be loving. We must sacrifice our rational self-interest. In our corrupt world, which has placed rational self-interest on an altar and now worships this false god called capitalism, we must face persecution as we denounce the greed and the selfishness and the egotism that are natural consequences of rational self-interest. We must abandon rational self-interest, and must embrace irrational, self-sacrificing love if we are to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven. And if Christians are unified in the praying of the Lord's Prayer as taught to us by Jesus Christ then we must forgive debts, give up entirely the acquisition of things, and learn how to love.

For many of us, indeed for most of us, we must learn how to love for the first time. Native english speaking Americans have been raised on capitalism, which DOES NOT FORGIVE DEBTS. we have been conditioned since birth and before to be unloving. Consequently, we live in a society filled with highly sophisticated investors and broken families and a dying, corrupt and bloated empire. And we do not understand why all of our intelligent investing has left us with unhappiness and a pain in our hearts which we cover up with stimulants, anti-depressants, technology, distractions, business, shallowness, and violence. We, the American investing public, must learn how to love from the very cultures and races that we have violently oppressed, who have never forgotten how to love and thus consequently never been that great at capitalism.

The damage that has been done is so great that there would be no forgiveness available to us if Jesus Christ had not already established the universal precedent of unconditional forgiveness through his willing sacrifice of self on the cross. When the King forgave his people, the Jews, the master race, the chosen people of God, the bankers and the investors who heartlessly enslaved an entire planet to a financial system that refuses to forgive debts, Jesus established a precedent that all citizens of the world are now able follow as we see through the illusion of capitalism to the truth of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The salvation of the world does not lay with capitalism. The salvation of the world lies in the abandonment of capitalism. Jesus Christ preached this 2000 years ago and capitalists murdered him. He knew he was before his time, he knew he would not be understood until now. He was merely establishing a precedent that would, over the next millenia, become globally appreciated and revered. Not merely though ultimate sacrifice but through ultimate unconditional forgiveness and ultimate unconditional love.

Christians cannot be consumer capitalists, and consumer capitalists cannot be Christians. If we are to follow the teachings of Jesus we must forgive all debts, and this leads inevitably to the downfall of capitalism, which opens the way for the abandonment of rational self-interest in favor of unconditional love. As a capitalist society, we have no concept of what it is like to live with open and loving hearts - we have been conditioned to be rationally self-interested. As humans made in God's image, of course we know what it's like to love, and we are sick at heart because we have built a society that thwarts our deepest need. As long as the economic premise of rational self-interest remains unchallenged, we resign ourselves to a life of suffering in mammon's empire.

We must overcome our selfish conditioning, and we must forgive ourselves, and we must allow those cultures and peoples who are not inherently conditioned capitalists to show us how to love. We must empower those we have enslaved to step forward and lead the way. This is merely the beginning of a lifetime of atonement, this renouncing of capitalism. To be fully Christian, we must empower the last to become first and the first to become last...