The Field of the Poor

“The field of the poor may yield much food,but it is swept away through injustice” (Proverbs 13:23 NRSV).

When I was in Brazil I started keeping a “web log” on my personal website. Reviewing the old files (the site is no longer online) I’ve been reminded of how concerned I was with the political situation in Brazil. Maybe you think it’s inappropriate for a missionary to get involved in politics in a foreign nation, but I don’t. God is concerned solely with whether you will “get to heaven,” though He does want all of us back in communion with Him. Justice is a major concern that comes through clearly to anyone reading the Scriptures.

Cleber worked all his life to get to a point where he could open a small bakery in his neighborhood in Campinas, Brazil. He was a hard worker who got his first unofficial job at age 12 shining shoes at the bus station. Several years, many jobs, a marriage and a lot of economizing later he managed to get enough to remodel his house and build a small apartment in back. The former house would be the bakery and the apartment would have to do for his family for the time being. Business was good, as the nearest other bakery was several blocks away in the relatively new neighborhood. Problems arose with the first inspectors and tax collectors. The interest on a small loan he took out at the bank ate away at his profit, and he began to have problems finding affordable ingredients as inflation took its toll. To make a long and painful story short, he closed up shop, sold the house to pay his debts and moved his family in with his widowed mother. He works at a multinational factory on the production line making just slightly more than minimum wage.

The above story could be told thousands of times over with some variation in Brazil. The huge central government keeps promising jobs and prosperity with every round of elections, and the Brazilian people know that they never get it because of corruption. What they fail to understand is that the corruption comes from too much power in the hands of two few. Intellectuals and the vast lower class think that socialism or even communism provide the solution, but this would be only more insanity. Already plagued by chronic centralism, collectivism and positivism, Brazil’s solution can only be decentralized (federalist) government, a near complete removal of taxes and regulations on a nationwide scale, and an abandonment of the philosophy which suggests that a handful of technocrats can engineer human society.

I’m not holding my breath.

The proclamation of the Gospel, the truth that Christ is Lord, must be made against all authorities and powers. The Kingdom of God needs be advanced against the kingdoms of this world. Yes, these matters will only be fully resolved in the time of God at the resurrection, but Christians as heralds of the Kingdom must faithfully testify against the wickedness of fallen humanity until His predetermined time comes.
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