President Obama’s talks often begin with “Let me be clear.” Then he adds, “My salvation depends on collective salvation.” Instantly, different conclusions are drawn. Black liberation theologians see the distribution and equalization of wealth. The Glen Beck program with some Christian clergy denied collective salvation in favor of personal salvation. Their distinction on personal and collective salvation made me go back to the Bible for clarity. Well, the Bible does endorse their views as partial and not as the whole truth. In fact, they are interdependent and we cannot have one without the other.
The key to clarity is Jesus Himself. He declared that unless we get along with our brother and care for our neighbor, even if he is a stranger, we have no chance of entering His collective kingdom (Matthew 6:14-15; Luke 10:25-37). Jesus’ Kingdom is a collection of people that made a voluntary and personal choice to belong to His body or the Church (Romans 2:4-5; I Corinthians 12:12-31). We are told to keep our door unlocked to the needy at all hours (Luke 11:5-8). We are required to bear each other’s burdens just to fulfill His law (Galatians 6:2). It is the golden rule to do onto others what we would want done to us when we are in their shoes (Matthew 7:12). In the Old Testament, there was even a stricter dependence on each other. There was corporate responsibility and guilt. For instance, when a parent sinned, the children were held accountable to the third and fourth generation (Numbers 14:18). It is when we come to Jeremiah that personal guilt is assigned and so was personal salvation (Jereremiah 31:30). Even the New Testament dealt with households and not with individuals alone (Acts 10; 16:31).
Just how realistic is the Bible? We were refugees and after we had lost everything, we still shared the little we had. To our amazement, while on the road looking for a place we could find shelter, we did find closed and open doors. There were enough helping hands to feed and provide shelter. Yes, there were people that obeyed the Commission of Christ. Unfortunately, there were people that were afraid of us what we might do to them. They saw us as scavengers wanting something that was theirs. We had a lady whom the Nazis robbed of their holdings encourage my father to take over a Nazi’s farm. My father assured the man that he had nothing to fear from us and he was the first in town to offer us shelter. That area became our home until we ended up in Canada. In spite of our political differences, we needed each other and God rewarded us for it.
In the U.S.A. we have no refugees or displaced people, but greedy individuals that want compensation from a collective society. They hold the entire nation accountable for their ancestor’s past enslavement and impoverishment. In order to get what they want, they pile guilt on all of us. I do not know what the greedy shall accomplish. The world we left had some greedy people replace Nazis. Then the Nazis got back what they lost. The same things happened in Russia and other places in the world. In America we had to work hard and now struggle to survive a socialist endeavor. To take from the sweat of our brow and give it to those that do not apply themselves to earn a living is a crime against humanity and finds no support in the Bible (Thessalonians 3:10). Let us hope our President can make that clear, among other things, before he is re-elected?