Much has been said lately regarding the the economy, the evils of extreme capitalism, and the failures of politicians. In the midst of all of this, the Church would do well to remember that we are the body and bride of Christ in a broken world. We submit to those over us (including our bosses) because we have been changed by the blood of Christ (Col. 3.22-25). Jesus has ransomed us so we don’t have to rebel against authority and slander the government and our employers. Instead, we can rejoice in the fact that we have been raised with Christ and are able to seek the things that are above (Col. 3.1-4ff).
Rejoicing in failure
In light of this and last month’s announcement regarding Lowe’s closing many stores across the nation, the Church must look at herself.
Let me explain.
Upon hearing of the above predicament many competitors rejoiced. To them, this meant that more people in the area would shop there instead of Lowe’s and continue to increase the profits and make for bigger bonuses, higher stocks, and greater wealth across the nation. Meanwhile: 1,950 Lowe’s employees were out of jobs. Is there something wrong here? Yes. As much as I appreciate free enterprise and the capitalist system, I hate this outcome. This result, which is really more about greed than capitalism, is prevalent in the hearts of many.
You may even call it sin.
As great as it is to increase profits, I don’t want to rejoice at the failings of others.
For those Christians who work at the competition, take this chance to proclaim the gospel of Jesus that is infinitely better than creating shareholder value. Instead of rejoicing that the competition is slowing while your business is booming, mourn with those who are out of work.
And for the Church: I pray that people will be unable to compare us to greedy retailers. In the least-churched region of the United States, we see plenty of Churches “going out of business” all around us. Sure, we disagree on minor issues with some of them, but in the end, these are Churches that exist within the greater world-wide body of Christ. Our hearts must be lifting our brothers and sisters up in prayer instead of hoping for their demise to our “benefit” (well, if that church closes, more people will come here!).
Yes, we must be careful with this; there are heretical churches out there that we want to see changed or stopped, but that is not the norm. God hate’s greed. He wants His people to not only look out for those who are down and out financially, but also lift up the Church elsewhere (or even next door) for His sake and His Kingdom (cf. 2 Cor.8.1-15)