Yesterday I shared the parable post with my former CTS colleague David Weasley, and he sent me this excerpt from a contemporary reimagining of Jesus’s preaching by our mutual friend and former colleague Nate Dannison. I have no doubt that if Nate rewrote the entire Bible along these lines, it would quickly replace the original version in the world’s affection.
National Gospel of Liberty,
A Warning Against the Poor
12. 1 Meanwhile, when the wealthy men had gathered into the temple, so that they required many disciples to gather their tithes, he began to speak first to his soldiers, “Beware of the yeast of the poor, that is, their laziness. 2 Nothing is hidden from you that you cannot see with your own eyes. 3 Therefore what a man has done in the dark will be shown by his appearance, and if he has sinned his condition will be made known to all.
Exhortation to Fearless Egoism
4 “I tell you, my followers, do not fear the philosopher and the mathematician, for they cannot change the minds of the faithful. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the sinner amongst you, lest he infect you with his curse. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not the fields filled with thieves and outcasts? They are so for they have sinned, and must eat only grass and sparrows. 7 So I tell you, your sins are known by your Father in Heaven, who counts them, and uses them to determine the wealth of your storehouses. 8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges the poor and the outcast will be acknowledged as an outcast; 9 but whoever denies the poor and the outcast will live in peace, because they are odorous and live in fields. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the poor will be forgiven, for this is right; but whoever speaks out for the poor and the oppressed will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the magistrate, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for you are wealthy and the wealthy need have no fear of the courts.”
Parable of the Wealthy Fool
13 One of the wealthy men who had gathered said to him, “Sir, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Foolish coward! Can you not work for yourself? 15 Do you not see those around you, who have prayed steadfastly and have built up great stores?” 16 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of laziness, for one’s life consists of the abundance of his possessions.” 17 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no more room to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods and my wives. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, for God has blessed you with riches.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will be blessed with additional riches. And the barns you have prepared, they are not large enough.’ 21 So it is with those who do not build enough barns to store all the treasures that God has blessed them with.”
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