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Posts Tagged ‘exploitation’


Corporate greed is the new boogey man being blames for all society’s ills.  We have people occupying financial districts to protest corporate greed. Based on some of their own demands, they can’t see their own corporate greed.  Isn’t that what motivates people to demand free education, the forgiving in of all debts etc.?

We live in a world with very little self-awareness. One contributing factor is that we’ve tuned out the Scriptures, and therefore God.  The Bible has quite a bit to say about who we are, and if we are honest it is accurate.

6Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7for we brought nothing into the world, andwe cannot take anything out of the world. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. 1 Timothy 6

Including those enslaved by greed

Each of us enters this life with nothing.  Our parents may have something, but we’ve got nothing.  We also can’t take anything with us.  At those 2 moments everyone is in the same boat.  What differs is all that comes in between.  This the part of life we are concerned with now.  It is the desire to be rich that  plunges us into a world of danger.  We are tempted to do any number of things.  This love of money is the root, as Paul says, of all kinds of evil (or every kind of evil).

“He that loves money is influence in his practices by that love, and kept by it in the continual pursuit of wealth.” Jonathan Edwards

So what ways do people continually seek wealth?

One is the idolatry of work.  Work is not part of the curse.  God works, and work is noble and good.  Christians serve God in their work, even as they provide legitimate goods and services to other people.  Illegitimate goods and services (prostitution, producing or distributing heroin, being a hit man…) are a corruption of work). That work is difficult and does not always produce the intended or desired results is related to the curse.  Due to our sinful nature, we make an idol of work.  We refuse to be content and work too much to enrich ourselves beyond our need. Many a rich person has made an idol of work.  But you don’t need to be rich to do this.  You don’t even have to do it for money, it could be significance.  But we are focused on money and wealth here.

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In chapter 4 of The Radical Disciple, John Stott moves into our responsibility beyond ourselves.  I think he does well to address the issue of creation care.  I just think he didn’t address it well.

The creation mandate reveals our relationship to creation as God’s stewards of creation.  We were meant to subdue it, make it productive and habitable.  Man was meant to imitate God in his creative wisdom.  As his image, were to represent his rule to the rest of creation.

Adam’s disobedience changed a few things.  Our task was made more difficult.  The creation was subject to frustration.  It produces weeds and thistles, and we have to work very hard to produce fruit, veggies and grain.

But something else happened.  We moved in two extremes.  First, some began to worship created things and/or creation (Romans 1).  Abram, before his conversion, was most likely a worshiper of Sin, the Mesopotamian sun god.  The Egyptians, whom the original audience of Genesis was well aware, worshiped many gods of created things.  The Lord proved his superiority (and the vanity of their idolatry) in the plagues.  He whooped up on their gods!

Second, some exploit creation.  They utilize the resources in a destructive way, like strip mining.  We see both of these sinful tendencies in Avatar.  The Navi had a pantheistic world in which all was part of god.  The humans exploited Pandora, just as they had exploited the earth.  Sadly, there are no real heroes in that story.

That’s the basic biblical framework in which Christians should ponder creation care as we follow Jesus who created and sustains all that is (John 1, Colossians 1) and will renew creation at the consummation (Romans 8, Revelation 21-22).  Salvation has cosmic, not just individual, aspects.  We must realize that, but without going to either of the 2 extremes.

“But we can surely say that just as our understanding of the final destiny of our resurrection bodies should affect how we think of and treat our bodies we have at present, so our knowledge of the new heaven and earth should affect and increase the respect with which we treat it now.”

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CavWife and I have been wanting to see Slumdog Millionaire for quite some time.  Saturday we finally had an opportunity.  Let’s just say it was not what I expected.  I’m not precisely sure what I expected, but this was not it.

The movie is filled with time shifts, which initially is slightly confusing.  But once you realize what is going on, it all makes sense.  Much of the movie takes place while the young contestant for the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” is being interrogated after being accused of cheating.

As an aside, we Americans really don’t grasp how unusual our legal system is.  This is obviously a story, and may be quite unrealistic (I don’t know, I’ve never been accused of a crime in India).  We are so concerned with our civil rights, yet never think of how this sounds to people in other countries were you are presumed to be guilty until proven innocent, or how dangerous it can be to fall into the hands of police.

Okay, the movie.  The movie keeps flashing back to explain why he knew the answers to the various questions.  It tells the story of 2 Muslim brothers who are orphaned and the orphan girl who joins them as they try to survive in a brutal world.  Much of what they experienced is so far beyond the experience of Americans.  It has a Dickens-like industrial revolution feel to it.  Add to that the caste system and religious persecution, these boys had a difficult, confusing, existence.

The movie evolves into a love story.  The only reason he is a contestant on the show is to find the girl, the missing love of his life.  She is being held by a gangster as an unwilling mistress or wife (we really aren’t sure).  She refuses to live on love, so he’s also trying to get them money necessary to run away.

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A few weekends ago, CavWife and I watched District 9.  It was certainly different, part pseudo-documentary and part sci-fi action adventure.  It was dark and portrayed an ugly world filled with prejudice.  CT puts it well in calling the look “gritty and gruesome.”

Last night a friend and I saw Avatar in 3-D.  It portrayed a beautiful world that was being marred by humanity.  It looks lavish and slick.  But in many ways, it was the same movie (though it also has elements of Dances with Wolves, The Mission, Alien Resurrection and a nod to Apocalypse Now as well).

Both movies are about the conflict between humans and aliens.  District 9 takes place in this world (supposedly from 1982-2002).  Avatar takes place on Pandora.  The former has ugly aliens that look like, and are derisively called Prawns.

In Avatar the Na’vi are beautiful, sensual “aboriganies that live in trees.”  The technology is amazing, as Sigorney Weaver’s avatar looks like a huge, blue, hot version of her with a tail.  The facial structure is similar enough that you can recognize her.

Prawn- definitely not sensual

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