Practicing Radical Ideas

 

In Deuteronomy 15 we read of radical economics.  “In regard to the poor who live in the land which the Lord has given you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand.  They are your relatives.  And if the debt isn’t repaid in seven years, forgive it. And don’t do it grudgingly.” Nothing is ever said about whether the poor deserve help.  The early church tried to put such radical economics into practice, and it worked.  No one had more or less than they needed; until a married couple said that they had given everything they owned but hadn’t done so.  Greed got in the way.  Then there was division between the Greek speaking believers and Hebrew speaking over food for widows.

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in Life Together, if we look for an ideal church which is perfect, then we are in trouble because we have taken our eyes off Christ.  There is no ideal group, save in the perfection of Jesus Christ.  Whatever good we may try to practice each day, at the end of the day we do well to say, “I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong.”

 

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