So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Cost of Indifference: Ephesians, Jeremiah, 2 Peter and Micah have something to say.

Your actions or inactions are either part of the solution or part of the problem.

How often does a senior colleague or supervisor attempt to mitigate the severity of employment inequities by essentially dismissing concerns and complaints by surrendering to and blaming a "systemic problem"? Who are the members of the system except for its members? Who is responsible for a business, a community, a school, a hospital or a democratically elected government except for the employees, the citizens, the administrators, the staff, the politicians? Should we tolerate a system that permits shortsighted or inept managers who lack initiative and imagination to rule and ruin other people's lives? One might answer, "What choice do we have?"
Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.—Ephesians 5:5
The casualty count among workers who can no longer depend on a lifetime career with a business or institution because greedy men and women who use other human beings like warlords who acquire territory at the cost of infantry pawns have reinforced the system to elevate and protect the greedy few at the expense of the many.

Can you blame skilled, dedicated and conscientious employees, employees who are severely underpaid and who are routinely denied opportunity for advancement, for their frustration, anger and despair because their (tenured) colleagues leech their ideas and benefit from the investment of those they exploit, i.e., those exploited for their investment of time, enthusiasm and ingenuity and who are subsequently denied recognition and just remuneration for their contributions to the success and well being of an institution or business?

Stop right there!—this IS NOT a rant to justify the imposition of a socialist dictatorship to "liberate" the worker from a "capitalist oppressor". Socialism is as dead as the system that uses people as grease in a machine which grinds up employees who, merely desiring opportunity for advancement, cannot do so because other members of a community—tenured faculty in an academic community, for example—are complacent and preserve their grossly inflated wages while others do most of the heavy lifting.

I'm not responsible. It's the system's fault.

That excuse, tried and denied, is the last ditch effort of someone who fears a loss of control, or a loss of position or loss of power. No one wants to admit that their participation by acquiescence amounts to tacit approval of an abusive status quo.

I feel your pain.

Lip Service. It's easy. It requires so very little of the speaker, yet it makes one feel so good about himself. It's a cheap mercy. How often do we pay God lip service? The fact is, those accustomed to paying lip service to their family, friends and business associates are just as likely to offer God a cheap sacrifice of praise.
For from the least to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, every one deals falsely.—Jeremiah 6:13
Let's face it, people protect themselves, their investments, their comforts, at the expense of fairness (economic justice, for starters!) toward others. Equal pay for equal work is a farcical sentiment when affluence in our "progressive" societies depends on someone profiting while others who do the work for them suffer for starvation wages.
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep.—2 Peter 2:3
Complacency and greed—these are the twin pillars of contemporary society that enable people to play lip service to economic injustice while preserving their cozy little lives. Ordinary hard working folk—i.e., the two and three job seven-days-a-week folk, not the smarmy upper middle class two-vacations-a-year me-first crowd—are, if common conversations are any indication, fed up with a system comprised of a morally bankrupt elite and their minions who make Scrooge look like Mother Teresa.
Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil upon their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand. They covet fields, and seize them; and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore thus says the Lord: Behold, against this family I am devising evil, from which you cannot remove your necks; and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time.—Micah 2:1-3
"I'm sorry that I don't fit your tidy definition of the perfect human being."

That excuse is the verbal evasion of a person of pretence whose dismissive tone and sarcastic manner is merely a façade, a plastic mask stretched across the true face of an obstinate sinner, a greedy man. Those whose cups are filled to the rim with arrogance have no room in their hearts for humility. It takes the force of a crisis of some kind to shake loose the grip of sin on such a cup in order for it to be tipped over and for the pride to spill out. Unless that chalice is so stained with self love (self righteousness, indifference, condescension, etc.) so as to prevent it from being cleaned even by God Who respects a man's freely chosen orientation to sin, the Lord will right that cup, that heart and mind, that precious soul, and fill it with new wine.

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