James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 1:9-11

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I’m doing a commentary through James’ Epistle with an emphasis on justice and the kind of Christianity that sees everyone the same––a classless Christianity. I put the highlights here in the blog and then unpack it in my podcast.

James 1:9-11 is the key passage for this episode/post:

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. (NIV)

“Any of God’s people who are poor should be glad that he thinks so highly of them. But any of the rich should be glad when he makes them humble.” (CEV)

James learned Classless Christianity from his ½ Brother, Jesus, the King of the upside down kingdom, and Master of the counterintuitive…

God is partial to the poor in the same way that firefighters are “partial” to houses on fire…

In the world, some are disdained and others acclaimed for their socioeconomic station, but for us those distinctions are irrelevant. Christ annihilates classism…

He doesn’t do it by giving everyone the same net worth but by giving us the same eternal worth. This means that those with less never feel like they are less and those with more never feel like they are more…

It’s not so much what’s in the bank, but what’s in your mind that matters. The kingdom is about equal dignity not equal bank balances…

Since the least, last, and lost matter in God’s eyes it’s his eyes through which we must train ourselves to look…

“In the Church the social distinctions of the world are obliterated and none matters more than any other.” Tim Keller

God’s prescription for a caste-like classism is to reinforce the fundamental dignity of humans in spite of their socioeconomic status…

Riches are fleeting and flattering! They come and go and they give a false impression about one’s real self. They say, “You’re important if you’re rich and powerful, and unimportant and pathetic if you’re poor!” The Kingdom changes all that!

Christianity and Classism clash!


Check out the podcast episode that unpacks this passage in greater detail. It’s only about 40 minutes long. You might consider starting with the Introductions Part 1 and 2.

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