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It's time for Christians to 'occupy'
Posted By Ted Baehr On 10/30/2011 @ 5:00 pm In Commentary | Comments Disabled
From New York to Atlanta, London and Hobart, Australia (near where I am now lecturing), Marxists are engaged in a coordinated “Occupy” movement. They’re seeking the support of the liberal media in promoting class warfare. Their mantra is that the cause of the current economic crisis is the rich oppressing the poor.
Many Christians watch these protests on the nightly news with either disgust or amusement. They should see them as a call to action.
In the Gospel of Luke Jesus tells a parable, “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But, his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’”
We who are His servants are called to occupy in His name until he returns. We are to proclaim the gospel and win the lost in preparation for his return. We are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are to take a stand more boldly than any Marxist. We will be held accountable when He returns for how well we “occupy.”
I was not brought up in a Christian home. My father and mother were movie stars. My father would frequently work on Broadway. I was deep into Marxist thinking myself. A friend of my father gave me a Bible and challenged me to read it. I began to read it expecting to be able to give my father’s friend my brilliant reasons for rejecting it.
I didn’t reject it. It changed my life. Not just a little – radically.
For me, repentance included turning away from producing vile movies and helping get “The Chronicles of Narnia” on television. It included going to a seminary. It included starting the Christian Film & Television Commission to bring Christian advocacy back to Hollywood.
The people camping out in cities passionately calling for a war on the wealthy need the gospel. They need what I was given. Not everyone given a Bible or everyone with whom you share the gospel will be transformed. But some will.
Those who are “occupying” cities around the world are not timid in the profession of their beliefs. They want to change the world. They want a revolution.
I want to change the world. I want a revolution. Here in Australia, I’m visiting my grandchildren. I want to leave them a more civil, more Christian culture. I want to see more children grow up with a father and mother who love God, love them and each other. I want there to be less vulgarity and more courtesy. I want to see people experience more of God’s peace, joy and love and less of Satan’s lust, greed, pride, selfishness, anger and sexual immorality.
I’m passionate. I’m not camped in a tent looking for news cameras so I can act out, but I do travel the world sharing what I’ve learned about raising healthy children in a world flooded by ungodly messages in the media.
Will the world listen to the Marxists and surrender their liberty in exchange for “enlightened” bureaucrats making all their choices for them? Will they establish new gulags in which to punish the rich and those who decide, too late, that they shouldn’t have sided with the Marxists. Hopefully not.
Will the world listen to those Jesus told to “occupy” until He returns? Will those Jesus called to “occupy” be as bold and as passionate as those zealous about their Marxism?
The world’s great economic crisis is not the result of the rich oppressing the poor. A much better case can be made that it’s the result of the world turning its back on God. The cure for the world’s woes is not government handouts, bailouts and entitlements. It should be obvious the world’s governments are too bankrupt to expand or even continue this destructive behavior. You cannot collect enough wealth from the rich to provide middle-class luxuries to everyone on earth – especially when the media is encouraging greater and greater immorality.
The path to sanity and prosperity is paved with righteousness. It’s paved with workers and employers who put God first and have a servant’s heart. It’s paved by giving up the “modern family” and reestablishing the family as God intended it to be. It’s paved with real compassion and generosity – not forced redistribution of wealth. It’s paved with redemption of the media. When more people around the world see “Courageous” than “Hangover,” we’re moving in the right direction.
I don’t work alone. I have a passionate staff and passionate supporters. Together we are “occupying.” There are many other Christians “occupying” as well, but there are many content to be spectators.
Now is not the time to be a spectator. The economic crisis could go much deeper. Europe is teetering on the economic abyss, and America in not far behind. The case presented by the Marxists could look very enticing if governments are forced to reduce entitlements even as more and more people demand them. We’re at the point where more people look to the government for economic salvation than look to Jesus Christ. If you’re content to just watch as see who wins, you may find that you lose everything. The poor in America would are considered rich in many parts of the world. If you incite the world to punish all “rich” Americans, the carnage will not stop with multi-millionaires.
The engine of world prosperity is capitalism, and that engine can provide the entire world with prosperity if it is fueled by the love of God.
Capitalism can be as cruel and ugly as communism if it is fueled by greed, envy and selfishness. If it’s fueled by God, the rich have a servant’s heart and the poor have a golden opportunity to rise from poverty. The economic pie grows exponentially. Class warfare stops the growth of the pie. Unelected bureaucrats try to divide it as they think wise. They tend to divide the pie in whatever way will keep them in authority. They traditionally begin by exterminating pie eaters who they deem unworthy or rebellious.
Don’t be content to simply watch history repeat itself. History has both tremendous and frightening stories. Choose the story you want for yourself, your children and grandchildren and “occupy.” The Bible has stories of Israel being carted off into slavery. It also has stories of leaders calling Israel to repentance. Israel, as well as its property, was reestablished. Spectators willing to watch moral decay are among those carted off to slavery.
If you want something better for yourself, your children and your grandchildren occupy in the name of Jesus Christ with His love and sacrifice to live out the kingdom of peace throughout the world.
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