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The second great commandment ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’

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Presentation on theme: "The second great commandment ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’"— Presentation transcript:

1 The second great commandment ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’

2 Prophetic call #1: To right worship #2: To right relations At heart: poverty

3 “2000 verses” Not a marginal part of Scripture… OT is saturated with concern 1 in 10 verses in synoptic gospels –1 in 7 in Luke Impossible to be Xn and not be concerned Not a political point About priorities and scale of values

4 "Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open handed toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land." (Deut 15.10,11)

5 How much poverty?



8 Oil The issue that we face Be aware of the impact of our choices At $50/barrel – swathes of Africa are excluded From the trivial to the deadly serious The imbalance is absurd… …and profoundly unjust In BIBLICAL terms

9 Dives and Lazarus

10 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God"

11 Social justice Not anti-wealth; Nor anti- absolute poverty About social inclusion – no division between neighbour and self Not leaving a member of the community to rot Economist article on French mining

12 Three tools Idolatry Wrath Apocalypse

13 The idol of growth Long lead time Reinforced by shock of the 1930s Policies driven by fear


15 God and Mammon You cannot serve both What is “growth”? –More and more stuff –‘the spoil of the poor is in your houses’ –Definition of cancer When you hear ‘growth’ add in ‘of our cancer’…

16 Mammon’s soldiers Bad companies –Eg Exxon and global warming Structured around growth –Partly a cultural thing (cf Japan) Business logic is a different thing to Xn logic

17 Wrath Idols always fail in the end [Physical] Growth will cease –Specifically: oil We will see the truth God will destroy injustice

18 Wrath 2 Consequences Human suffering, esp in ‘4 th world’ Human movement –Watch Mexico Radical governments?

19 Eschatological imagination Where are we going? How can we live like it now

20 Voluntary simplicity Or: most of 20 th C culture isn’t worth it Fundamental change in values Marching for less

21 I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4.11b-13)

22 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6.6-9)

23 Stop buying stuff Purchase for the long term Purchase wisely and frugally Prefer the second hand to the new 3 Rs – reduce comes first Concentrate on being human –Difference between tools and possessions Share –Eg DVD libraries

24 "If you wish to be complete, go and sell all you have and give to the poor"

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