In Which I Slowly Become Rev. Toller

We look to the Bible for answers on how to live in our day. Which makes sense, it’s a document that’s been passed down for all of human history, telling the story of God. Its words have inspired and led billions of people. Yet when we interact with the text, trying to apply the Bible’s wisdom and God’s will to our modern life it becomes absurd. The concerns that I have for my life are of the utmost importance to an all-loving God, but rendered instantly absurd when light is shed upon the state of our world. There are 65 million people who are displaced and somewhere over a billion living in some form of poverty around the world. The world is steeped in a global economic system that highly benefits one half, while leaving the other to live suffering lives. This is not to discount the lives of those living in poverty, there is much beauty to be found in any life, but any sermon about honoring God with money feels ridiculous in light of this. How are we to honor God with our money when most of our purchases are– at worst –causing the direct harm of others (sweatshops, etc…) and — at best — a part of a corrupt and unfair system that benefits the few at the expense of the many. God surely is not pleased by this. But there’s almost nothing an individual Christian can do, we are cogs of a grander machine where God does not seem very present. Except for when God is. Like when God blessed us with that parking spot or helped us to pay our bills. Bummer that God didn’t use that providence to save one of the 9 million people who die every year because they do not have enough food. Thy will be done, though. “Vanity, vanity, it’s all vanity.” This may be the truest verse of them all.

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