Monday, December 20, 2010

I pray that your shopping's been in budget...

...and the Ugley Vicar has been blogging for some time about the harm done to you by excessive interest - "usury" - and how the church has let us all down by giving this truly Biblical sin a pass.

Here's a bit of his work from last year, which suddenly put me in touch with the irony of how we slave for the gods of this world while supposedly preparing to welcome the Savior:

"The Western church, at least, seems to have nothing to say, just when a ‘prophetic’ voice might actually come in handy. We could, for example, be denouncing First and Second world debt, or warning about the credit-card culture, but we are not. Instead, we are paralysed by the headlights.

But the Church also seems unready for the spiritual challenges this implies and entails, for (as history again shows) economic hard times bring with them spiritual risk. This may not be the time before the End Times, but it certainly provides the opportunity for spiritual forces which have been at work throughout history to manifest themselves in ways which will be simultaneously both deeply attractive to the mass of humanity and deeply inimical to God’s people.

I am constantly reminded of the verses from Revelation 13 which express, I believe, not so much a prediction as a recurring theme of history: “He [that is the second beast who is the ‘false prophet’, 19:20] also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.”

Who, in 2009, could imagine the free countries of the West succumbing to a system of economic dictatorship? Yet who in 1950s England could imagine a London bus ticket costing over a pound? And who, in early Weimar Germany, would have imagined Christians would be unsure how to respond to a man who offered them economic security and a glorious future at the price of complete obedience?"


Steve Hickey said...

Father Tim - Last week I got my copy of "Credit Card Usury and the Christian Failure to Stop It" and was delighted to see you got a mention and a footnote! Way to go! This is a matter for which I have great zeal. Thanks for referring the book.

TLF+ said...

Thanks, Steve. I pray that some progress might be made in Pierre!