James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 3:1-18

classism image 3We’re doing a commentary through James’ Epistle with an emphasis on justice and the kind of Christianity that treats everyone the same––a “Classless Christianity.” I put the highlights here in the blog and then unpack it in my podcast. I encourage you to listen to it in order to connect the dots.

James was intolerant of any Christianity that treats or speaks of others as nonpersons… Whether on the basis of socioeconomics, ethnicity, gender, or social privilege (or lack thereof) James confronts any Christian prejudiced against anyone not in their class…

Especially in these days of rancor and anger in our national conversation, Christians could stand to take James’ advice to tone down the rhetoric and the combative pitch… The name-calling and hateful talk doesn’t befit the Christian…

There are a lot of mistaken preachers today who inadvertently teach a class-filled faith in the way they speak of “success and prosperity” as the result of strong faith and spirituality…

Cursing human beings made in God’s likeness is blasphemous in the same way that cursing God is blasphemous…

Speaking down to people “below” us or about those “over” us in socioeconomic terms is absolutely unacceptable to God…

Timothy Keller’s description of “shalom” ­–– “If you throw thousands of pieces of thread onto a table, no fabric results. The threads must be rightly and intimately related to one another in literally a million ways. Each thread must go over, under, around, and through the others at thousands of points. Only then do you get a fabric that is beautiful and strong, that covers, fits, holds, shelters, and delights. God created all things to be in a beautiful, harmonious, interdependent, knitted, webbed relationship to one another. Just as rightly related physical elements form a cosmos or a tapestry, so rightly related human beings form a community. This interwovenness is what the Bible calls shalom, or harmonious peace. The only way to reweave and strengthen the fabric is by weaving yourself into it. Human beings are like those threads thrown together onto a table. If we keep our money, time, and power to ourselves, for ourselves, instead of sending them out into our neighbors’ lives, then we may be literally on top of one another, but we are not interwoven socially, relationally, financially, and emotionally. Reweaving shalom means to sacrificially thread, lace, and press your time, goods, power, and resources into the lives and needs of others.”

Shalom is either giving away our position for the sake of the community or giving out of our privileged position for the community’s sake…

How much of our “spirituality” is just “soulish” that is, it doesn’t come from the deepest part of us (int, emo, will vs our spirit)? …

Satan inspires all sorts of toxic beliefs and behaviors, a spirit of arrogant superiority is among them… He’s been doing it since Adam and Eve…

No one has more “envy and selfish ambition” than the devil and he’s happy to share it with anyone willing to log in and download it…

“Sincere” people don’t glad-hand you and then talk trash about you behind your back. They have no pretense, they’re genuine…

It’s one thing to be a “peace-lover” and another being a “peacemaker”…

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” Matthew 5:9 (The Message Bible)

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