We don't live in the old times where debts got written off every seven years in Jubilee. How many of the people you know and who live near you are tied into their lifestyles of bad work and bad consumption by the need to repay debts?
I think the traditional Quaker understanding that a person had to be free of debt to be a good disciple is pretty radical. I want all people to have freedom to choose but how free can we be if debts keep people trapped in bad work, bad consumption to feed the work pattern and yet more consumption and alienating recreational pursuits to alleviate the pain of the bad work and bad consumption? Does my neighbourhood needs a credit union more than it needs scripture?
I can't let go of this question: if so many thousands of people are right with God why is the world in such a state? I experience a God who leads the way to life changes, who teaches me how to live to overcome oppression and cut off its roots in this world. The world to come will stay beyond us if we do not listen and obey.
In this generation with climate change effects starting to seriously kick in, it's got so bad we humans are threatening the chance of future generations to even exist in order to have a go at following God. I guess it seems to me time is running out for people to repent. The story of God talking to humanity might actually end pretty soon if we humans don't show some serious collective clue and start living from God's order of the world instead of all this exploitation, war, oppression, collusion and hatred.
Our citizenship in God's world to come is meant to make us ill at ease in this world. If I'm understanding it right that stamp on our spiritual visa is meant to fuel our commitment to meeting the needs of the poorest and most oppressed. We are judged spiritually by our relationship to the oppressive powers and with those who are most in need in this world. We're not meant to relax because the stamp on our visa will get us out of hell. We are going to be right here with the crucified Christ in this suffering world until the hungry Jesus is fed and sheltered.
The people in the developed world, for example in the neighbourhood where I live, are oppressing and collaborating with the oppressive order out of ignorance and I think also out of a sense of helplessness. There is unease because the suffering seed inside is always trying to speak to people, but the real needs of shelter, family, work, are keeping people locked into a cycle of debt and bad work.
Until the cycle is cut how can we/they get off the backs of those suffering most under capitalist exploitation in the rest of the world? My God is the God I can rely on to cut the knot of oppression and collaboration. We have to pray ourselves free together and we have to show how it can be done, as easy and obvious as we know, and before we run out of chances.