Thursday, April 12, 2007

Oh, the logical consistency of Jesus

One of the assignments I gave my business law students last term was to read every passage in the NT that had some logical bearing on how to handle money or business issues, quote in full the passages that struck them, and give a brief comment on those passages as well as any themes that emerged. I highly encourage anyone to do this, that is, if you're a person who wants to be loyal to Jesus and also have to use money. Of course, I then had to grade these collections, which meant I got to read a lot of these scriptures several times, along with my students' reflections. I really never believed my own teachers when they talked about how much they had learned from teaching a class. Now I do. I can't really go into everything I got out of that experience in one post, but one important aspect is the logical connections between so many of Jesus' teachings.

Jesus says to love our enemies, even to love them by giving to them. He says to respond to takers with even more giving.*

He says in another place that to be his disciple, we have to be willing to give up all that we have, even our own life. If we don't we can't be his disciple.

He says in another place, we can't serve, pursue, God's interests and Money's. We're going to have to choose whose instrument we're going to be, which master we're going to trust and obey.

He says in yet another place that the message of God's governing of earth, the good news, can be heard but rendered fruitless--producing nothing in a person--by the worries, cares, and desires of this life.

He says people who don't really know God are constantly concerned with things to wear, eat, and use, but that we should be concerned with letting God lead again, and all that stuff will be taken care of by God's undeserved kindness.

There are more, but do you see the connections?

*Incidentally, it is this feature of Christ's teaching that hasn't exactly caught fire among his "followers." It also happens to be God's plan for overcoming evil. So I guess loyalty to money = no fruitful loyalty to God = evil keeps on truckin'.