Last Updated on September 27, 2011 by pastor.rocklyn
I first saw it on Facebook: a link to “The Elizabeth Warren Quote Every American Needs To See” on MoveOn.org. A Google search revealed that this quote from the newly announced Massachusetts senate candidate was rapidly spreading across the internet. I eventually traced it to a video and transcription on the rumproast blog. Eventually Talking Points Memo picked up the story.
â€œI hear all this, you know, â€˜Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,â€™â€ Warren said. â€œNo. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own â€”Â nobody.
â€œYou built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roadsÂ the rest of usÂ paid for. You hired workersÂ the rest of usÂ paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces thatÂ the rest of usÂ paid for. You didnâ€™t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory â€” and hire someone to protect against this â€” because of the workÂ the rest of usÂ did.
â€œNow look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless â€” keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward forÂ the next kidÂ who comes along.â€ – Elizabeth Warren on or before 9/18/2011
What The Bible Says
This was a very concise and straightforward presentation of a truth that should be obvious to any follower of Jesus Christ. It brings to mind some very striking Bible passages:
The Earth Is The Lord’sÂ
The earth is the LORDâ€™s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;Â for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Â
Psalm 24:1-2 – NIV
Â Jesus And The Rich Young Ruler
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. â€œGood teacher,â€ he asked, â€œwhat must I do to inherit eternal life?â€Â
â€œWhy do you call me good?â€ Jesus answered. â€œNo one is good â€” except God alone.Â You know the commandments: â€˜Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.â€™â€Â
â€œTeacher,â€ he declared, â€œall these I have kept since I was a boy.â€Â
Jesus looked at him and loved him. â€œOne thing you lack,â€ he said. â€œGo, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.â€Â
At this the manâ€™s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.Â
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, â€œHow hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!â€Â
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, â€œChildren, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!Â It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.â€Â
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, â€œWho then can be saved?â€Â
Jesus looked at them and said, â€œWith man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.â€Â
Peter said to him, â€œWe have left everything to follow you!â€Â
â€œI tell you the truth,â€ Jesus replied, â€œno one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields â€” and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.Â But many who are first will be last, and the last first.â€ Â
Mark 10:17-31 – NIV
Â The Rich Fool
Someone in the crowd said to him, â€œTeacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.â€Â
Jesus replied, â€œMan, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?â€Â Then he said to them, â€œWatch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a manâ€™s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.â€Â
And he told them this parable: â€œThe ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.Â He thought to himself, â€˜What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.â€™Â
â€œThen he said, â€˜This is what Iâ€™ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.Â And Iâ€™ll say to myself, â€œYou have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.â€â€™Â
â€œBut God said to him, â€˜You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?â€™Â
â€œThis is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.â€Â
Then Jesus said to his disciples: â€œTherefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.Â Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.Â Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!Â Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?Â Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?Â
â€œConsider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.Â If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!Â And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.Â For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.Â But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.Â
â€œDo not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.Â Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.Â For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:13-34 – NIV
Â The Rich Man And Lazarus
â€œThere was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.Â At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich manâ€™s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.Â
â€œThe time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abrahamâ€™s side. The rich man also died and was buried.Â In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.Â So he called to him, â€˜Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.â€™Â
â€œBut Abraham replied, â€˜Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.Â And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.â€™Â
â€œHe answered, â€˜Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my fatherâ€™s house,Â for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.â€™Â
â€œAbraham replied, â€˜They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.â€™Â
â€œâ€˜No, father Abraham,â€™ he said, â€˜but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.â€™Â
â€œHe said to him, â€˜If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.â€™â€Â
Luke 16:19-31 – NIV
Â Command those who are rich . . .
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.Â Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.Â In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 – NIV
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, donâ€™t show favoritism.Â Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in.Â If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, â€œHereâ€™s a good seat for you,â€ but say to the poor man, â€œYou stand thereâ€ or â€œSit on the floor by my feet,â€Â have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?Â
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?Â But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?Â Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?Â
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, â€œLove your neighbor as yourself,â€ you are doing right.Â But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. Â
James 2:1-9 – NIV
Warning To The Rich
Now listen, you who say, â€œToday or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.â€Â Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.Â Instead, you ought to say, â€œIf it is the Lordâ€™s will, we will live and do this or that.â€Â As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.Â Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesnâ€™t do it, sins.Â
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.Â Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.Â Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.Â Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.Â You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.Â You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. Â
James 4:13 – 5:6 – NIV
I’m very excited by Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy for senate and I plan to both vote for her and contribute to her campaign!