Today is the Feast of St. Judas & St. Simon. One of the readings is thus:
If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “Servants are not greater than their master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
What would make a Christian hated?
Consider this example:
Yesterday I had a conversation with a young Mohametan woman. We discussed micro-loans in African nations – good or bad. Both Muhammad and The Law for Christians condemns Usury. What pray tell is Usury?
Usury is charging money at interest.
The Law forbids anyone lending money at interest to one’s brothers and sisters, but allows for it to foreigners. Christians are called to treat all as brethren, thus Usury was universally banned.
Enter John Calvin and his allowance of usury, a protestant work ethic is born from the Puritans, secularized America rejects the protestant God but keeps the work ethic, that work ethic becomes a good in itself – idolatry, the “Founding Fathers” of the U.S. are upset that Britain has control over the Usury and they want it so we break off, and then Max Weber: famed economist, sociologist, and politician helps create an Economy of “goods” since there is no single, common Good (ie no God), and thus Usury become allowable, encouraged, and conceived of as necessary in a modern market world.
And since there is no common good, Axiom 1 of modern economics, political science, sociology, etc. is this — Everyone is out for their own good; selfishness. If one were to “prove” this it would be circular reasoning, for it is an axiom, a foundation, a first principle. Faith in this proposition allows social sciences to reason.
Whereas for the Christian, and Mohametan, Usury is (at least classically/faithfully?) forbidden. This is because one could say Christian Axioms are: Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and mind and soul and strength & Love thy neighbor as thyself, where loving thyself is to be modeled after how Christ loved us. The corollary to our axioms is that one can be trained to love properly.
Such training in love is shown to us through martyrs who serve as reductio ad absurdums, as hole pokers, in the axiom that all people act selfishly.
It might be that the hard wood of the cross is too much for soft sciences.
If we begin with modern social science, Christ’s Cross stands as a blatant counter-point. As do all the Saints who serve as such demonstrations. Thus we must begin anew, this time with Christ, the Cross, with the martyrs. It might be not being usurious then is still possible. If so that would produce an alternative politic, The Church. Such a society would make us who have vested interests in The Liturgy at odds with those who have vested interests in interest.
Heavenly Father, we give thee thanks for thy servants St. Simon & St. Judas, who reveal to us that martyrdom is a witness to an alternative way of life, an alternative politic, an alternative economy, an alternative psychology, and to a calling to not belong to the World but to be sacramental presences in The World. We pray The LORD give us courage to take on this good yoke, and to live faithfully, even when that means we may be hated for it, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.