By Pastor Andre Keeley
The times in which we live can only be described as troubled. I donít know if these are the times that Jesus and scripture speaks of in Matthew 24:3-14, but one thing is certain, the prophets Amos and Micah did prophesy about similar times and conditions. The issues arising from the existing concentration of wealth and its effect on civilized society begs the question of theological context in a 21st century world.
In these challenging economic/social/theological and cultural times, the one scripture that all true followers of the Christian faith must remember is Matthew 25:31-40. The simple works we do in advancing the Christian mission on this earth and in the world is Godís work. The politics of our times tries to convince us that social Christian ministry is not fundamental to our Christian mission and understanding, simply not what Christians are called to do. In life the basic human needs of every society is food, shelter and clothing. But there are those who would deny these basis needs for economic and political gain while many individuals and families struggle simply to maintain these basic needs with dignity. Is that Godís desire and intention for His creation? Scripture says, ďyou cannot serve God and mammon i.e., riches, money, material possessions. The dignity of human existence is far greater than any amounts of riches.
The existing economic/social paradigm that marks present day society is that of rich vs. poor and haves vs. have-nots. Life at either extreme presents many moral challenges to civilized society and is a good summary of Amosí and Micahí prophesy to their people. It is a message that we do well to heed.Theology and Politics will always have its diverging points. But when those differences elevate mammon over humanity the faithful must speak out. Leadership, both theological and political, is crucial to advancing the collective well being and social cohesiveness of a healthy and productive society. Distinct and marked political differences do exist to achieving a productive future for our nation. It is our responsibility, as Christians in a 21st century world, to make the differences clear and to help discern and facilitate Godís will as our nation struggles in the divide.