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Al Sharpton and True Equality: The Least in The Kingdom
grey_whiskers ^ | 5-08-2010 | grey_whiskers

Posted on 05/08/2010 3:28:47 PM PDT by grey_whiskers

A couple of days ago, Al Sharpton -- err, excuse me, the *REVEREND* Al Sharpton -- made a speech in which he declaimed:

We won't have true social justice until everyone is equal in everybody's house.

A first this sounded to me like standard lefty boilerplate pablum -- after all preaching class warfare is the stock-in-trade of the left, and the very raison d'être of socialism and communism.

But then it struck me.

You know, this guy is a preacher. And at least on the surface, he claims his moral authority from the Bible. Or at least, you know, even if you don't want to be fundamentalist, the teachings of Jesus.

So what did Jesus say about wealth?

A couple of verses come to mind.

First, as to not kowtowing to the rich, and not trusting in wealth, Sharpton has that correct. See Matthew 5:19-21 and Matthew 5:24:

19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

But does this mean God views money itself as bad -- should we have an absolutely egalitarian society? Let's look at the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30:

"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest."
'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Notice, by the way, two things:

1) Jesus didn't (unlike the current Messiah-in-ChiefTM in the White House), trash bankers.

2) There is no talk here of making everyone equal for the sake of 'social justice'. More on this later.

But once you *do* have wealth, as the ten-talent servant acquired, it is important not to let it dominate your life. See Luke 12:16-21:

And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

All very well and good.

And what is Jesus's prescription for the wealthy? Let's look at Luke 18:18-23:

A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good -- except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"
"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

So, everything so far seems to agree with Rev. Sharpton.

But there is one thing he's missing.

In those verses, Jesus was speaking TO the wealthy.

What did Jesus have to say about the poor, or to the poor themselves?

Well, about the poor, he didn't seem too optimistic about poverty being eradicated anytime soon. See Mark 14:7:

"The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me."

And to the working class (for example, soldiers) he had advice as well (Luke 3:14) :

Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely--be content with your pay."

And for "the poorest among us" -- elderly widows (remember, they didn't have either Social Security or Death Panels back then) -- why, he enjoined that even they should engage in charitable giving (Mark 12:41 - ):

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on."

So where does this leave things? Recall that one of the other favorite themes of the left is "greedy hypocritical preachers" who bilk the gullible out of their money. Again, this is in keeping with the words of Jesus (from a few verses before the last passage, Luke 20:46-47):

"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."

Oh, and just one more thing.

As an ordained minister, surely Rev. Sharpton is aware of the Ten Commandments.

Especially the Tenth Commandment. Something about "Thou Shalt Not Covet."

And recall what Jesus said about the Commandments (Matthew 5:18-19):

"I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Well, it's not my place to judge. Let us continue to pray for him, and each other.

And I guess, even at that, it's a step up from Bill Clinton's interpretation of the Tenth Commandment:

"Thou shalt covet thy intern's ass. And it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Conspiracy; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: christianity; hypocrisy; racebaiter; sharpton; whiskersvanity
1 posted on 05/08/2010 3:28:48 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
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To: SunkenCiv; neverdem; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; don-o; Mrs. Don-o; G8 Diplomat; ...

*PING* to Fresh birdcage liner!

2 posted on 05/08/2010 3:31:50 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
A couple of days ago, Al Sharpton -- err, excuse me, the *REVVVVVVVEREND* Al Sharpton --
3 posted on 05/08/2010 3:37:27 PM PDT by jessduntno ("My only apology is that it should have been larger." - David Obey, on his "stimulous package.")
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To: grey_whiskers

Jesus also said the poor would be with us always. I think that is because he knew you could give many of the folks rev. Al was talking about a million dollars and in a year or two they would be back on welfare again.

4 posted on 05/08/2010 5:31:29 PM PDT by antidemoncrat
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To: grey_whiskers

Tell your black friends that Al Sharpton is a “sell out” and watch their heads explode. Then explain he is selling them and all of us out to illegal immigration. It hurts wages, job availability and in the case of blacks, it puts them into the 3rd class race group... if they think that way.

5 posted on 05/08/2010 5:41:58 PM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Hey, Barack "Hubris" Obama, $10 is all it would take, why spend millions to cover it up?)
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To: grey_whiskers

Will read tomorrow. I’ve been listening to the Jesse Lee Peterson radio show on the streaming audio, and he has many colorful things to say about Sharpton.

6 posted on 05/08/2010 6:15:42 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Amateurish," agreed Janet Napolitano, the White House amateurishness czar.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Thanks for the ping!

7 posted on 05/08/2010 7:43:09 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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