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No "Class Struggles" In Christianity
by Wayne Blank
There Is No "Class Struggle" In Christianity
"Liberation theology" or the "social gospel" are terms used to refer to a movement that uses the Bible as a justification to support the struggle of the world's poor and/or "working people" against their "oppressors." While the Bible does indeed support social justice for all, it does not take sides in matters of economics, as the verses below prove. After all, Christianity is about religion, not local or national politics.
It has been suggested that "the Bible can be made to say almost anything" if one decides to do so, and that is surely very true. It's very easy to do deliberately, and probably just as easy to do without even realizing it. To illustrate that the Bible does not support any economic "class struggle," here's an example based on three hypothetical people, one rich, one poor and one middle class, each claiming to be "righteous" in God's sight because of their personal economic situation in life:
Person 1: "I'm the righteous one in God's sight because I'm poor. Here's my proof:"
"Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!" (Luke 6:20-22 RSV)
Person 2: "I'm the righteous one in God's sight because I'm middle class. Here's my proof:"
"give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, "Who is The Lord?" or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God." (Proverbs 30:8-9 RSV)
Person 3: "I'm the righteous one in God's sight because I'm wealthy. Here's my proof:"
"Blessed is the man who fears The Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house; and his righteousness endures for ever." (Psalm 112:1-3 RSV)
Although these examples may lead some to believe that the Bible contradicts itself, it really doesn't because each example is based foremost on behavior (i.e. the italicized words in the Scripture examples), not the economic situation of the individual. There are righteous and wicked among the poor, there are righteous and wicked among the middle class, and there are righteous and wicked among the rich.
An example of that is the parable of "Lazarus and the rich man" (Luke 16:19-31) in which the poor beggar Lazarus watched the cruel and unrighteous rich man burn, while Lazarus was in the bosom of kind and righteous Abraham - and yet during his lifetime, Abraham was himself very wealthy, having tons of gold and hundreds of servants (Genesis 13:2, 14:14). It's the behavior that matters in God's sight, "for The Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but The Lord looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7 RSV)
Fact Finder: What was the apostle Paul's warning to those who taught other "gospels"?