Here are some sound-bytes from my audio podcast on these verses quoted here to entice you to listen the brief teaching in the series I’m doing on Classless Christianity.
The “classless” kind of Christianity is the kind where rich and poor can look each other in the eye as brothers. It’s the kind where the haves and have nots coexist in mutuality, where each has something to share with the other…
Classless Christianity is not a one way street where the wealthy paternalistically give to the poor and the poor have nothing to offer the rich.
We’re told that “as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another”… it’s not like one “class” of people do all the sharpening of all the other classes, who exist just to be sharpened…
The pollutants that we inhale everyday from the world’s atmosphere include the toxins of pride, power, greed, graft, and self-indulgence…
A lot of Christians are pretty much only about sin-management. They work hard at not being worldly. They might not “smoke or chew or kiss girls who do” but make very little difference in the world and have very little chance of leaving it a better place than the way they found it…
“Real religion” is not only watching your mouth but also watching out for people who need special help, i.e. the least, the last, and the lost…
Most all of the prophets’ warnings could be boiled down to two main issues: idolatry and injustice. Put positively, they told us to worship the right God rightly and treat vulnerable people rightly!
It doesn’t speak well of us if we can’t even treat people who aren’t like us with dignity for one hour on Sunday mornings! You’d think it would go without saying to check our prejudices at the church door for at least an hour of worship, but apparently not!
Could there be any more obvious expression of classism in the Church where the ushers give preferential treatment to the pretty people?
Segregation in the Church of Jesus Christ!
When I try to hide my prejudices rather than repent of them they usually seep out my pores and eventually from my mouth and through my hands and feet.
If you’re a bigot of one sort or another, even if you suppress it and pretend like you’re not, it’ll eventually show, at least to others. The only thing that works is to identify these devilish opinions and yank them out like weeds.
James has no beef with the guy with gold, but with the ushers who want some of that gold…
“There are no gradations in the image of God. Every man from a treble white to a bass black is significant on God’s keyboard, precisely because every man is made in the image of God.” Martin Luther King
What kind of seat would your church ushers give homeless Jesus?
James gives two very good reasons to avoid classism; it “dishonors” the poor man and “blasphemes” God!
If Christianity is classless then there’s no such thing as a “2nd class”!
“May God bless us all with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor! Amen”
I hope you’ll give a listen to the rest of my observations on this passage on my podcast.
I also want to put a plug in for my book called, The Other End of the Dark. The profits from it all go to Freedom House, an amazing aftercare home for women recovering from having been trafficked.