A 2012 University of Chicago study reveals that the U.S is among the five most religious nations. How does that play out?
Listen to sermons throughout religious America and you are likely to hear variations on the lofty principle featured in both the Old and New Testaments: "Love your neighbor as yourself." But as we well know talk can be cheap. Perhaps that's why the Epistle of James calls for action: "Faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:14). And Judaism mandates "mitzvahs" (good deeds).
Let's take a look at how our neighbors across America are doing and how we are treating them in 2013.
• "U.S. Wealth Is Now the Most Concentrated at the Top Since 1916."
• Eighty percent of Americans share only seven percent of all the money in America
• 16.1 million (21.9 percent) of children under the age of 18 live in poverty.
• The poverty rate for U.S. children is the highest in the Western world.
• About 62,000 or 13 percent of all homeless persons are veterans.
See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.
This article largely blames Republicans for the state of our country's money woes, but this isn't being posted as a political statement, or in favor of one party or another. In a different time in our history, you could have substituted "Democrat" for "Republican." No, the article grabbed my attention because it is dealing with the issue of wealth distribution. It is an issue that has come to our attention in the news quite a bit lately. I cherry-picked a few of the statistics, but there are many more.
I think there is little argument that we are living in times that are becoming more and more extreme, notably in the contrast between rich and poor. Sometimes, we like to ask "what would Jesus do?," and then we speculate. It is hard to imagine that Jesus would approve of a society that produces such statistics. But what did Jesus really think about money? Before he was in public ministry, Jesus lived in the world and he made his way in the world by working. He was not a naive idealist.
The Urantia Book authors chose to reveal a great deal about Jesus' attitudes towards money and wealth. At one time, Jesus counseled a rich man during his travels in Rome with the Indian father and son, and the discourse is presented HERE. Anyone who has money, or who wishes they did, will find something in this doscourse to interest them.
From that section, Jesus says
132:5.20 “...it will ever be impossible for men to establish rules and regulations applicable equally to all these problems of the equitable distribution of wealth. You must first recognize man as your brother, and if you honestly desire to do by him as you would have him do by you, the commonplace dictates of justice, honesty, and fairness will guide you in the just and impartial settlement of every recurring problem of economic rewards and social justice.
Here we see Jesus identifying the types of wealth, and counseling those who have wealth to use it wisely, and in all business decisions, to use what Jesus called the "Rule of Living," also known as the Golden Rule.
Have you ever sen people act one way in social life and another way when it comes to money? We live in such a money-mad world. It is going to take a sweeping movement of spiritual awareness to permeate the monetary system-and our own personal attitudes towards money-with brotherhood, and it may not happen any time soon, but one hopes that a day will come when everyone has enough.
In small way or large ways, in personal finance and in big business, if one has more than they need, giving something to one who does not have enough can be a living testimony to brotherhood, employing the best of the Golden Rule.