Another of Jesus’ nonnegotiables is the work of justice and generosity toward the poor and the outsider. That’s quite clear, quite absolute—page after page of the Gospels. Yet Christian history, even at the highest levels of church, has thought nothing of amassing fortunes and living grandly (while others starved), and rather totally identifying with power, war, and money (they tend to go together).
At this point in history, when most people can read Jesus’ (and the Bible’s) clear and consistent bias toward the poor, the foreigner, and the marginalized, it can only be ignored with a culpable blindness and ignorance. Most Christians have indeed been “cafeteria Christians” when it comes to this. Usually they will markedly emphasize something else (often a sexual issue) to divert attention from what Jesus did not divert attention from. As Jesus himself put it, “you strain out gnats and you swallow camels!” (Matthew 23:24). The issues never change in any age, as long as the same old ego is in charge.
– Richard Rohr, ofm
(photo: Portland, ME – February 2019)