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DISPATCH: What Would Jesus Think?
Posted on January 31, 2005 by Anita Roddick

Conservatives are given to quoting Bible verses (usually out of context) to justify everything from discriminating against gay people to launching preemptive wars. Meanwhile, these same people are generally all for opening borders to "free trade" and favoring low prices over human rights. So here are a few Bible verses to make those people think: What would Jesus do about "free trade"?

Unfair Trade Rules and Laws

Isaiah 10: 1-3 (NIV)
Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar?

James 5: 4 (NIV)
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.

Unfair Deals

Proverbs 11: 1 (NIV) The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.

Proverbs 20: 10 (NIV) Differing weights and differing measures - the Lord detests them both.

Trade and Greed

Ezekiel 28: 16-18 (NIV)
Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you

James 5: 1- 6(NIV)
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 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. 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. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

Amos 2:6-7 (NIV)
This is what the LORD says:
For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back {my wrath}. They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.

Amos 5:11-15 (NIV)
You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them, Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Jesus and Trade

John 2: 13-17 (The Message Version)
Jesus went straight into the temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of land sharks and dove merchants. He quoted the verse: "My house was designated a house of prayer. You have made it a hang out for thieves."

Topic : Trade Justice
Posted By : Anita Roddick
Posted On : January 31, 2005



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Re : What Would Jesus Think?
By Dreme McLennan on February 15, 2005

You are absolutely right. Gods will throughout scripture is to care for the poor and the downtrodden, the widow and the orphan. "Blessed are the poor, for they will inherit the earth" is merely one example where Christ emphasizes this theme. God created man in His own beautiful image and each one of them is of great worth to Him. It is imperative that every person, no matter how fallen or broken, be seen as an individual of beauty who has been touched with the Grace and Glory of God. Yet I fear it is not so easy to decide how best to live out this principle, for as mortal finite beings it is virtually impossible to see how even our best intentions can in the long run have harmful outcomes. In the case of "free trade" we must look at each option and see how it affects individuals and nations, producers and consumers alike. What options are the most just and most positive? And how can we carry out those ends in a truly just manner?


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