In this diatribe against Purposeful Rick Warren, a female pastor totally misses the point of objections to government-enforced obedience to biblical commandments.

ABC News asked Warren about this statement from Barack Obama:

OBAMA: And I believe in God’s command to love thy neighbor as thyself. And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills, to shoulder the burden alone.”

Warren says this:

R. WARREN: Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There’s over 2,000 verses in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there’s a fundamental question on the meaning of “fairness.” Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.

Susan Russell, pastor of All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, challenges Warren by citing Matthew 20 and 25.
Matthew 20 concerns the parable of the workers, but, Russell’s misuse of it has to be considered in the context of whether the Bible is even used in Episcopal seminaries anymore. She may just not be familiar with proper exigesis. The parable of the workers is meant to relay a message about the Kingdom of Heaven, not about wage structures in a capitalistic society.
I will give her a high three for her citation of Matthew 25, the sheeps and the goats teaching, because that is one that is routinely ignored. However, I reserve two fingers because the implication is that government should force people to do those things for the poor. I doubt that there will be any reward or blessing if we do something out of threat of imprisonment, and I don’t think that’s what Yeshua was getting at.
This conversation is another example of what has happened in our nation in the past 100 years: The government has replaced the Kingdom of God in the eyes of many, including our president and some Episcopal pastors.

 

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