The Moment Our Church Breaks Our Heart – Growing Up and Social Justice

There is a cost to following Christ. It is not something you typically hear in the usual evangelical advertisements. I am not talking about “being a Christian” per-se. I am talking about when a Christian gets to that point in their life where they see a need in the world, and they want to do something about it. It is a call of conviction where you want to go to battle to make the world a better place. The point when a Christian wants to change the status-quo, instead of live within it, they often find themselves suddenly alone. The False Promise of Institutional Idealism The great lie often told by mostly well-intentioned motivational speakers is that if you serve Christ you will be blessed. While this is true in many way, but the problem is that it creates the illusion that serving Christ or “doing the right thing” is met with immediate worldly reward. “Here comes an honorable man! Roll out the red carpet!” It sounds almost silly, but the truth is that many “do gooders” start out with an expectation that their good intentions will be greeted with warm reception. When we are children, we receive praise for doing “good” in our communities. Many churches use AWANA, a literal merit badge system for memorizing scripture and doing...

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How Apathy Creates Systems of Persecution

There is a disconnect, you could say a deep valley, between how the rich view their behavior and how the poor perceive their treatment. Those in poverty often feel like “the man” is working against them. The rich, on the other hand, feel they have nothing “against” the poor and there is nothing stopping them from working their way up the ladder. What’s going on? Often, this gap is explained by saying the poor are just making excuses, but the truth is that society really has made systems to persecute those in poverty. These systems seem so spiteful to those at their mercy, but really they are just systems which formed by those in power not paying attention. In order to repair them, we have to wake-up and act with purpose. The Cliff Effect The Cliff Effect is a phenomenon that occurs in varying degrees from state-to-state, but basically it is a system of persecution which punishes those in poverty for trying to work to improve their lives. See the video below for an explanation: Those We Don’t Help On Purpose, We Harm On Accident This is just one example of how we create systems of persecution when we aren’t paying attention. Our ideological, political, and religious dialog is so polarized and fantastic that we never see problems as...

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The Most Misunderstood Difficulty with Being in Poverty

“If someone can’t live on what they make, they should get a better job. If they can’t get a better job, they should go back to school.” These kind of naive and careless expressions are heard often by those of us trying to promote social justice and combat poverty. So many people fail to grasp the greatest reality of being in poverty: That you have less time than you have money. I have been broke, but I have never been poor. So what’s the difference? The difference is that I always had time to improve my circumstances. When you are a young adult, going through college, you may have little to no money, but you are not poor. Your family, community, and social systems are conspiring together to give you time to improve your standing. Those in poverty seldom have anyone but themselves to rely on. We may have 24hrs in-a-day, but none of us have 24 hrs of “brain time.” Let’s be honest, even the most professional among us can only really focus on an intense mental activity for at most six hours without sleep. Even as a writer, I need to be completely undistracted for at least four hours a day to be productive. Those in poverty aren’t just always distracted, they are consumed with worry and...

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Outsourcing Slavery: How Our “Free Market” Ideology has Come Back to Bite Us

[Guest post by Yaholo:  practical mystic, a passionate writer, a paltry poet, and an old-school Jesus freak. ] The economy has been slow all across the First World. In the USA, our middle-class is smaller than it has been in half a century. Few economists seem to truly understand the root issues of this problem. Robert Reich,  who just released the documentary “Inequality for All,” grazed the core issue but did not go in depth. The greatest reason for our stagnant wages is from what I am calling “Outsourced Slavery.” The truth is that our blind love for “free market” ideology has led us to be deceived by political propaganda and social prejudice into digging our own economic valley. You Can’t Compete With Slavery What the South knew during the Civil War, and what global corporations know now is that slave labor is cheap. When slavery was abolished in the US, we moved to child labor. When that was outlawed we moved to the kind of poor working conditions which led to the formation of unions. Once unions were formed, corporations finally realized that to get that oh-so-cheap labor they relied on, they would have to outsource it. The truth is that we never abolished slavery, we just moved to where it was invisible. You see, business thrives on competition,...

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