Douglas Wilson’s Letter From America

A Zombie Apocalypse Would be Worse

Money, Love, Desire – Wealth and the Christian
Written by Douglas Wilson
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some sins, Paul tells us, run out in front of a man, while others bring up the rear. Some are screamingly obvious, while others are more subtle (1 Tim. 5:24). This means that in Bible-believing churches, cavorting with prostitutes, shooting out street lights, and knocking off convenience stories is generally frowned upon. But other sins, especially of the self-righteous variety, like envy, like going to church. They fit right in, and often they even get to sing in the choir.

When envy reigns, it is not long before we are being urged to steal from people in the name of Jesus. We are even urged in this direction from the pulpit because “we” have to learn “compassion” and “we” have to learn how to be “generous” with other people’s money. We learned this, along with other subtleties, by reading Augustine on freedom, with a paper bag over our head.

Now I grant that in terms of the public weal, there could be worse things than to have the politics of envy getting established for good in the midst of the church. A zombie apocalypse, for instance. That would be worse.

The tax structure we have for personal income in the United States is most certainly unfair and unjust, but it is not unfair the way the sob sisters of the left would have it. But before offering the argument, let me just say that when envy reigns, compelling arguments are never good enough. Envy just brushes them away, like an elephant dealing with mayflies.

This is because envy is heavier than wet sand, and very few indeed are able to stand up to it.

“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones” (Prov. 14:30).

“A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?” (Prov. 27:3-4).

So here is the litmus test. Next time you hear someone on the television decrying “tax breaks for the wealthy,” and you even hear Christians going along with this, pose yourself some pointed questions based on this data. The top 1% of income earners in the United States pay about 40% of all the taxes. The top 5% pay about 60% of them. The bottom 50% pay virtually nothing at all. If, confronted with this kind of information, you feel anything but outrage over all the envy-ridden thieveries, then you need to go back to the Jesus Way Kindergarten.

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