A cage is a cage, after all

Capitalism is a satanic structure that’s built on the idea of building a meritocracy in the midst of democracy. In this system, we are told if we work hard and put one foot in front of the other, we too can be at the top of the food chain. Jesus said it’s easier for a camel to go through the head of a needle than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God. Our quest to be at the top of the food chain is the antithesis of the Jesus message. Capitalism is built on profits at the expense of the needs of others and often is the cause of the suffering of others. Generational wealth, historical inequities, and privilege all demand that if we are to tackle white supremacy, we have to also look at predatory economic policies. A whole chapter of Acts is dedicated to a radical redistribution of wealth, Jesus and the early church knew the power of earthly greed. Slavery, America’s first sin, was powered by the need for cheap, expendable labor. This need birthed whole ideologies that devalued black life and made it akin to livestock – alive but nowhere near as valuable as white life. The wealth of the early colonies was so dependent on slavery that the American dream never would have happened without it. That system is still in place today. Corporate greed, the need for more, and racism are so intrinsically tied together, it’s hard to tell one from the other.

At the same time, capitalistic structures are oppressing our white siblings. The concentration of wealth at the very top makes resources scarce for all of us. The prioritization of profit over human flourishing makes all of our lives less abundant. The forces that keep small rural churches from thriving can be directly tied back to capitalism, and capitalism and racism will always be linked.

Therefore, by participating in the work of freeing black peoples in this church, you will, in turn, start dismantling some of the same systems that use and abuse our rural ministries. Taking apart the cage that black people find themselves in also starts to dismantle the gilded cage our white siblings find themselves in. A cage is a cage after all, and God longs for all of us to be free. 

From “Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S.” by Lenny Duncan – Fortress Press

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