Upsetting the Economic Status Quo

It’s been awhile since I’ve written on this blog, which probably means that people have stopped reading it. Blog reading is a strange phenomenon – if you’re used to checking on people’s blogs on a daily basis, and they don’t write for several days, you stop checking it as regularly. That’s why people feel this need to post to their blog every single day. Well, I’m not a slave to my blog, so if you’re interested in what I have to say, your best bet is to get it in your email inbox (see sidebar) – that way, you won’t have to worry about checking the site, and if I ever get around to posting you’ll be able to read it. One reason I haven’t posted in awhile is that the last couple of posts took a bit longer to write, and I have gotten out of the habit of just writing a few thoughts/lines for you to feed upon. This is a different sort of medium of communication, to be sure. But I’m back, and I’ll try to post more regularly in the days to come.

This past Sunday evening I was preaching on Jesus’ healing of the demoniac from Mark 5, and I was struck by how Jesus came into the lives of the Gerasenes and upset their economic status quo, to the point that they desired Him to leave them. We see the same sort of dynamic in Acts 16:16ff. and Acts 19:23ff. In the former passage, Paul casts a demon out of a slave-girl, and her owners “saw that their hope of profit was gone.” In the latter, Demetrius the silversmith, “who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, ‘Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all…’” (See also Acts 19:19, where the magicians burn 50,000 pieces of silver worth of magic books.)

Whenever the gospel moves into a culture, it should transform and upset the economic status quo. The selfish become generous; those who labored solely for profits for themselves, now labor for profits in order that they might give to others [NB they don’t stop trying to make a profit, else they would have nothing with which to share!]; and illicit profit, unlawful gain, is abandoned. What trades and vocations might fall by the wayside if a revival of true gospel religion occurred? What practices would change? I daresay that more Christian businesses would start following the example of Chick-Fil-A and close on the Lord’s Day; the NFL would find another day to play. Casinos would call summits to fight against the religious revivals. The Tennessee Lottery scholarship would dry up, and students would march on Nashville to get the politicians to give them money some other way. May the Lord come and do these things and more, as His gospel of grace and freedom has sway with men.

SDG,
Ezra

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