Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Linkage: Our Besetting Sin

As a scholar I appreciate what Dr. Ben Witherington has to say.  His commentary on Galatians, Grace in Galatia, proved to be a real guide to me as I preached through that Pauline Epistle.  His political commentary I find very frustrating since he writes it from a more left wing perspective.  With that being said I think this post, Our Besetting Sin, which deals with the Occupy Wall Street and the issues surrounding that movement is worth reading.  This thought, which is found towards the end, is the essential point that we need to remember: "The only cure for narcissism is a real conversion. Not just a change of direction, or a change of a few ideas, a real conversion which allows one to give up the self-centeredness and actually love God and neighbor."  Ultimately this isn't about a change in politics, it is a transformation of the heart, and that can only happen when we surrender our lives to Jesus and learn to love God and those around us.
I was watching the television interviews of some of the Occupy Wall Street young people. In this particular segment they seemed to only be able to find 22 year olds. That is, those just out of college who have not been able to find a job. The latter is understandable since the unemployment rate of 18-22 year olds is somewhere in the neighbor- hood of 25% or worse. They are angry. They feel they have been sold a bill of goods. They have been told, ‘get a good education and you will find your job and place in life’. Only that isn’t so much happening these days. There are a lot of unemployed college graduates, and the number of unemployed high school graduates who did not go on to college is astronomical. Your odds at least are better if you have a college degree. Looking around for someone to blame for this mess, the Occupy Wall Street crowd has fixed on Wall Street, on the Bernie Madoffs in our world (as in made off with our cash). And of course there is some truth to the rumor that greedy people on Wall Street caused the crash of 2008. But it is not the root of the problem. Nor is the root of the problem laziness. Nor is the root of the problem a lack of hard work. Americans still by and large are very hard workers, compared for example to the Greeks. No, none of this gets at the root of the problem.

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