“You cannot be the servant of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” - Matthew 6:24 (CEV, adapted)
As I write this, we’re a week into our self-quarantine, and the conversation has turned to making tough choices. We have to choose, we’re told, between people staying safe and people getting back to work.
Between our friends who are sick and our friends who have been laid off.
Between flattening the curve and boosting the economy.
Between ventilators and eviction notices.
Between grandparents and grandkids.
We have to choose.
But the truth is, the real choice has already been made:
To be guided by the excitability of the market.
To continue with business as usual.
To bail out giant corporations.
To refuse rent relief.
To serve money.
That’s the real choice. And it’s an either/or. There’s no in-between. Try to find some middle ground, Jesus says, and your true preference will always show. Claim to be a centrist? Your loyalties will be revealed. You have to make the tough choice.
So, what will it be? Your money or your God? Your money or your love? Your money or your life? Their life? All of their lives?
There is enough wealth in this country to care for the sick and the poor, the hospital and the small business, the grandparent and the grandchild. But not in this economy. Not if we continue with business as usual. Not if we divide ourselves between tough, false choices, and ignore the real choice.
What will it be?
My One True Choice, deliver me from specious arguments and false dichotomies. Bring an end to business as usual.
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.