Monday, 20 April 2015

Why the world hates the poor (1): Living for the lust of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and pride of life

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (1 John 2:15-17).

The world hates the poor. It is happy to accept the 'rights' of any so-called "category" of people, except for the poor. When have you heard of the term 'pauper rights' or 'poor persons' rights'? When have you heard it from the world that the rights of the poor, or the rights of the homeless must be respected? Never.

The world may pretend to care about the poor, and may do works to support the poor - but only in a very worldly, fleshly, earthly way. It may speak out about a 'justice gap', which arises as a result of justice being obtained by money. However, the world, does not truly care about the poor receiving (earthly) access to justice. Rather, it uses the poor as a tool to advance one's careers, reputation or political agenda.  How many non-government organisations refuse to ask for donations and ask for more funding? How many of those people truly live by the Word of God alone, and not by bread alone as the Bible commands in Matthew 4:4 and Deuteronomy 8:33? You may say "at least they speak out against injustices against the poor". It is all too easy to speak against injustice but not do anything. Even the wicked can speak out against violence, sexual exploitation and fraud. It is natural for humans to seek justice - only when one is at the receiving end or feels that one could become at the receiving end.

 If one truly did care about others and have genuine regard for them, one would not just speak out against injustices - one would sacrifice one's interests, freedoms, will, visions, dreams and aspirations to lay down one's life for others.  It is all too easy to speak out against something but not even lift a finger to help those who are actually doing something to help others out of selfless agape love.

1 John 3:17-18 makes his clear: "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."

Similarly, James 2:15-17 says: " Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

It is not that the world does not care about injustice. It does. However, it only care about justice conditionally and when it serves one self in some way or another. Regarding the poor, it is only "the righteous [who] considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it" (Proverbs 29:7). This is a contrast between the righteous, that is the true Christians alone, and the wicked in the eyes of God which refers to all unbelievers.
Where the world does care about a particular injustice (or least claims to care), it indicates that there is something that the world can exploit out of that injustice to advance one's self-interest.  Such is worldly wisdom. James 3:14-15 described worldly wisdom as wisdom that is of "bitter envying" and "strife". 

The world thinks it is wise to care about injustices to enable one to advance one's career or reputation. In fact, the whole secular non-government sector has become an industry , one full of paid workers in such organisations which are recognised as 'good' by the worldly employers of companies. 

It thinks it is wise by causing bitter envying and strife for it thinks there is no other way to deal with such injustices. Do not for any moment think this is legitimate. By no means! Fighting against injustice, no matter what injustice, based on strife and bitter envying is evil itself. It is to claim by actions that it is legitimate to strive against others and envy, on the grounds that one as faced an injustice. This is a doctrine of demons for it perverts the goodness of fighting injustices with the evil of envy and strife.  There is no excuse whatsoever for strife and envying, no matter how much one had suffered injustices.  None! 
Using suffering from injustices an excuse to envy and strife is perverse to the core.  This is precisely what the world does, and it calls it good. It celebrates those who envy and strive, using their suffering from past injustices as an excuse. It calls them "brave", "strong" or "courageous". What is so brave about a person who envies and strives against others to create deceptions and lies?  It calls a woman who deliberately murders her (allegedly) abusive husband "brave" and "strong". It calls a person of oppressed ethnic groups who kills police a "hero" and "champion" of "rights". 

The world cannot truly care for the poor because it is dominated by its desire to satisfy the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. It can only care for the poor in a selfish, striving and warring manner.  The world lives to envy and feeds on it. James 4:1-5 explains that the lusting for the things of the world to envy leads to wars and fighting, and is that which the world does:

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

As long as one is not fully prepared to sacrifice one's own interests, one cannot truly care and love for others. The world obviously cannot sacrifice its own interests because it feeds on the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. 

Even many Christians find it hard to truly sacrifice one's own aspirations and visions, including spiritual ones, to love others. This is because many in the modern church are under the spirit of mammon. Not being able to truly sacrifice oneself for others out of selfless agape love, is exactly what is means to be under the spirit of mammon.