Monday, January 10, 2011

False Doctrine

Matthew 4:23:Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”

John 14:12:  “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

History proves that Jesus was not saying in John 14:12 that each believer would perform greater miracles than He did. Rather, the gathered disciples, the church, in the power of the Holy Spirit would do “greater” works than Jesus in both number and geographic territory. So if Jesus both preached the Gospel and healed the sick, then it follows that those who call themselves his disciples should be doing likewise.

I find it quite ironic then that the Christian Right who are so self-assured in their belief that they are the “true” followers of Christ today, are determined to deny adequate health care to those who cannot afford it.  In the guise of “protecting” them from the so-called inadequacies of “socialized medicine” Tea Party and conservative Republican Christians want to deny to the unemployed, under-employed, and low wage workers any access at all to the healthcare they and their families need. Thus the working poor and the unemployed are left without the opportunity for the healing Jesus provided for free to those who needed it by the very people who claim to be His followers.

Too many of those who have been called by Christ to do what “I have been doing” for the poor and disfranchised among us are instead putting most of their time and energy into protecting their tax shelters; leaving the least of Christ’s brothers (Matt. 25:40) to fend for themselves. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

St. Jerome

"All riches come from iniquity, and unless one has lost, another cannot gain. Hence that common opinion seems to be very true, 'the rich man is unjust, or the heir to an unjust one.' Opulence is always the result of theft, if not committed by the actual possessor, then by his predecessor." -- St. Jerome

St. Jerome is recognized as a saint in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions. I am neither, but being an orthodox Christian (small “o”) and a pro-labor, pro-civil rights, pro-immigrant Democrat, his teaching certainly resonates with me. I can’t help but wonder how right-wing Republican and Tea Party activists in the Catholic and Orthodox faiths reconcile their beliefs with the words of this early church father.