I must confess that my knowledge related to the #OccupyWallStreet movement is limited to protests against big business. The exact politics behind it I am unaware of and my ability to research it is currently limited by both free-time availability and my desire to spend that free time researching a movement that hasn’t yet broken through the crusty outer layer of my heart (yes, that is a confession of my apathy).
Despite that lack of knowledge and understanding a short section of C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters” caught my attention last night. Lewis writes as an elder demon named ‘Screwtape’ to his nephew concerning the best way to tempt humans…
If we promoted justice and charity among men, we should be playing directly into the Enemy’s (God’s) hands; but if we guide them to the opposite behavior, this sooner or later produces (for He permits it to produce) a war or a revolution, and the undisguisable issue of cowardice or courage awakes thousands of men from moral stupor.
Martin Luther King Jr. was quoted as saying, “there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.” I think that the #OccupyWallStreet protests are the first-fruits of that position being taken. We can all agree that the protesters are not physically safe, they are politically segregated, and popular only among the most committed followers.
However, I HOPE that my Christian readers will be willing to admit that the protesters’ position is right! The consolidation of wealth among a few individuals is something God has been warning against and reprimanding since Sodom and Gomorrah (yes, their sin was economic, NOT SEXUAL! Check Ezekiel 16:49). Jesus himself came, “to proclaim good news to the poor,” (that’s in quotes cause he said it himself)! Christianity is not a religion of mere salvation, but also of redemption.
Heaven is not a world of marshmallow clouds and pearly gates, Heaven isn’t a bright light, Heaven isn’t a misty spiritual realm. Heaven is here, Heaven is now, and Heaven is more real than what we are currently living. Heaven is a place with no sickness, sadness, or fear; so how can economic disadvantage exist in Heaven? Answer… it can’t.
Now, as image bearers and spirit carriers of Christ, it is OUR responsibility to work towards what Heaven is and will be (confusing, I know, but Jesus himself talked about Heaven both as existing now and coming in the future). Like Rob Bell writes about in his controversial book Love Wins, Heaven and Hell can both be experienced now as well as in the afterlife.
Coming full circle in this post I would like to tie this back in to the opening statements and title. As humans we have a specific duty to work alongside God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in bringing Heaven to Earth. That duty requires us to take a stand for what is right regardless of risk to ourselves. Sometimes, we are forced into action by either our cowardice or courage, and while the #OccupyWallStreet movement is my current example of this taking place, there is no reason we cannot do this for any number of wrongs in our world.
So I would encourage you all to take a page from those courageous risk-takers (regardless of political ideology) and take a stand against something you know to be wrong, but will cost you great personal injury. You may find yourself a new addiction in #OccupyingOurWorld
P.S. If you need ideas I would be happy to help you or point you in the direction to which you could help yourself 🙂