activism; poverty; wealth; Jesus

a little while ago I had a conversation with someone who for the purposes of this post will remain nameless, but the conversation was about mission businesses:

him: “I’m trying to work out what you are, are you an entrepreneur?”

me: “errr, dunno.”

him: “it’s like you’re, maybe an activist… or something.”

me: “hmmmm.”

maybe he had picked up on the occasionally rather marxist nature of my declarations, but  without knowing it, he had hit the nail on the head – aspirationally anyhow.

for me, business, mission, mission business, business as mission, whatever, is all about activism.

my definition of activism: ‘to be engaged in intentional action to bring about change’

for me, this is the gospel, the good news of the kingdom of God.

the poor can be fed, not because manna is falling from the sky (maybe it is in some places, but not here), but because we can feed them.  we can be the change we seek.  by the power of the holy spirit within us, we can see God’s kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven… we can redeem the ground that has fallen away.

at the moment I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the comfort I live in,  and increasingly concerned that God is challenging me about it.

although I’m not very old, I’ve seen quite a few places, and lots of different people, more than enough to know that while it may not feel like it, I’m amongst the most priveliged people in the world.

millions of people live a level of existence which I can’t even comprehend.

I watched that Will Smith film ‘Pursuit of Happyness’ the other day, which I found thouroughly depressing.  not only was the main character’s life through the film a long string of hardship, broken only by a few touching moments of parenting, but his dream was also depressing – he wanted to become a stockbroker.

he had no obvious desire to change the situation of those who suffered alongside him, only a desire to better his lot, to do ‘what it takes’ to become wealthy and comfortable.

what a contrast to another man, a man who had the opportunity of great privelige, and reliquished that opportunity out of love for others, a man who was homeless, a man who was despised and mocked by the very people he loved.  betrayed, abused, denied, beaten… he gave up everything and instead identified himself with the poor and suffering.

that same guy (he was called Jesus) was approached by a rich man who wanted to become his follower, the rich man wasnt able to give up his wealth, so Jesus remarked to his followers about how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

and yet we fat lazy christians continue to seek after wealth and privelige?  we put our money into tax exempt savings accounts, and buy nice cars?

oh dear…

God help me to be the activist I want to be,

not the self righteous inactivist I really am.

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