Views from the Pews: Keep your honesty and avoid greed

Pastor Dr Alex Appiah
Pastor Dr Alex Appiah

Are all men really equal? Are we all judged by the same rule and standards in society?

Are we all given the same opportunities and treatment in life? Or is it that some lives are more important than others?

We live in a world of contrasts: good versus evil, right versus wrong, love versus hatred, hard work versus slothfulness, life versus death, the rich versus the poor, the strong versus the weak etc.

In the British society today, there is a continual and widening disparity between the rich and powerful versus the poor and powerless on the other side.

An old report in 1996 by the Independent newspaper said Britain was then the most unequal country in the Western world. I am not sure if the situation has changed any significantly for the better.

This week many of us were appalled by the admissions of two HSBC’s bosses who appeared before a parliamentary select committee of the questionable practices that allowed the rich deposit large sums of cash in their Swiss branch to evade paying taxes in the country.

Again, many of us were shocked about the revelation regarding how two senior politicians and respected former foreign secretaries, Jack Straw (Labour) and Sir Malcolm Rifkin (Conservative) were filmed allegedly agreeing to take large sums of money from a Chinese company in exchange for access and influence. The statements by these two men shocked me and made me lose all the high respect I had for them. These stories demonstrate the unequal, insatiable greed and disproportionate use of power and privilege.

The poor and hardworking majority continues to be squeezed by taxation and low wages, while the rich and powerful continues to abuse their privileged positions.

It was also disheartening to hear that the HMRC have watched many rich people evade paying taxes for so many years, while they go after the little man and struggling families who sometimes by no fault of theirs are overpaid small amounts of benefits or tax credit are heavily leaned on or pursued by the taxman to exact every ounce of money they have been overpaid.

The continual disparity, widening gap and different treatment of the rich and powerful versus the poor and powerless in the British society in spite of its strong welfare state foundations where “all men are considered equal” reminds me of the satirical classic book ‘Animal Farm’ written by George Orwell – where the pigs after revolting against humans, their leaders began to enjoy the privileges that the human masters used to enjoy and therefore changed the communal slogan from “all animals are equal” to “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.

Today, the rich, the powerful and elite politicians live by one rule while the rest of society is judged by another.

However, we must not forget that the Bible says “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

If you would like to know more, discuss God’s plan for humanity and social justice or join a friendly church, we will love to welcome you.

Do pay a visit to our Church Service at The Life Centre in Market Weighton YO43 3AH on Sundays at 10.30am.

Keep your honesty no matter the pressures and lure of money!

Thanks for reading.

Dr Alex Appiah