Occupy Faith

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hate evil and love good, then work it out in the public square: so sez Amos. #Blogaction14, #Inequality, #Oct16, #Ballarat

Some years ago, Eugene H Peterson produced The Message. There are many versions of The Bible - and some of these are in modern English. The Message, like it or not, is rather different.  It is written in what is referred to as "idiomatic" English.  One thing is quite clear - it packs a punch!  

I love the Eighth Century Prophets of whom Amos is one.  I regard them as some of my best friends in life.  I am writing to-day for Blog Action Day 2014.  The theme this year is "Inequality".  Amos, while his words have reverberated over almost three millenia, speaks to the people of the early 21st century.  As you can read, Amos has no need for all the self-indulgence of official religion. Like Jesus, he expects actions ... anyway, read it for yourself and think of the world to-day.  What is our role in redressing what is happening?  Are we prepared to give time, energy, thought and organisation to making humans truly human and the world truly the place the Creator meant it to be.

People hate this kind of talk.
    Raw truth is never popular.
But here it is, bluntly spoken:
    Because you run roughshod over the poor
    and take the bread right out of their mouths,
You’re never going to move into
    the luxury homes you have built.

You’re never going to drink wine
    from the expensive vineyards you’ve planted.
I know precisely the extent of your violations,
    the enormity of your sins. Appalling!

You bully right-living people,
    taking bribes right and left and kicking the poor when they’re down.
13 Justice is a lost cause. Evil is epidemic.
    Decent people throw up their hands.
Protest and rebuke are useless,
    a waste of breath.
14 Seek good and not evil—
    and live!
You talk about God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    being your best friend.
Well, live like it,
    and maybe it will happen.

15 Hate evil and love good,
    then work it out in the public square.
Maybe God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    will notice your remnant and be gracious.

16-17 Now again, my Master’s Message, God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
“Go out into the streets and lament loudly!
    Fill the malls and shops with cries of doom!
Weep loudly, ‘Not me! Not us, Not now!’
    Empty offices, stores, factories, workplaces.
Enlist everyone in the general lament.
    I want to hear it loud and clear when I make my visit.”
        God’s Decree.


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