Thursday, October 27, 2011

We are not the 99

Couple of weeks ago my wife Jen, my daughter, Maya and I were walking around downtown Indy when we saw a mob of picketers circling the block of major businesses shouting “we are the 99. We are the 99. We are the 99.” Perhaps you have seen these trending protestors starting in New York and hitting every major city in the U.S. Their slogan is “Occupy Wall Street.”

This group has recognized that the 99% of Americans seem to be decreasing in salary and financial stability, while the 1% of Americans is getting rich at historic rates. The protestors hope to draw attention to the greed of the 1% that has so greatly affected the 99%. Their goal is not to overthrow capitalism, but to create change that draws attention to the selfish hoarding of the rich at the expense of everyone else.

I have not participated in these protests, (nor do I plan to) but I find myself agreeing with their cause. Throughout the Bible, God warns us through his prophets that obtaining wealth at the expense of others is a great crime of injustice. In fact, we are told if we have two coats we ought to share with those who have none. Scripture recognize that greed, or the love of money, is the root of all evil. So in many ways I agree with the movement.

However, I tend to think that these protestors have too small of a view. These protestors claim they are the 99% and are due their share. But if we broaden our scope and begin thinking globally we discover a horrifying reality. We are not the 99% in the world, we are the 1%. If you have a car, a computer, spare food in the fridge, and spare change lying around anywhere, if you have a television, and more clothes than what you are wearing you are among the 1% in the world.

We have so easily spotted the greed of others and have been blind to our own. If the 1% in the U.S. get rich off the working 99%, how much more true have we the U.S. gotten rich off the rest of the world. Just as King David so easily spotted the sin in Nathan’s parable of the poor shepherd being robbed of his one and beloved sheep from the rich land owner, but blind to see the sin of his adultery(2 Samuel 12), we too have neglected to look at our own greed and selfishness and repent.

We are the guilty 1%. We have obtained mass amounts of food at the expense of poor laborers, we have the latest trends at the expense of factory workers, and we have the coolest shoes at the expense of child slaves. We are guilty, and we deserve even more judgment than what we have casted upon others. It is time that we repent, that we reward the workers, that we lift up the poor, that we surrender our impossible standard of living, and turn to God or else God will encircle us, he will protest us, and who will be able to stand against him?

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