The Pope came out with an new “encyclical” lately. From what I understand, it is about 1,000 pages long, so please forgive me for not having read it. Rather, I am reacting to what has been reported about it.
Supposedly, he addressed a number of issues, including the global economy and the environment. Supposedly, he stated that we need to have a God-centered view of these things. There is only one problem: I cannot find a single quote that actually says that. There are a lot of quotes about the environment being “God’s gift”, and supposedly he also said we need to develop the viewpoint that God intended, but I haven’t seen one quote that says our view of the economy should be God-centered.
No, instead, CBS News reported in “Pope Proposes New Financial Order Guided By Ethics” the Pope saying:
"The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly _ not any ethics, but an ethics which is people centered," he wrote.
That is not the same thing!
People are fallible. People are fickle. People are sinners. Putting fallible human beings into the center of a system ensures fallibility in the system.
Why did God instruct Israel to redeem all of the firstborn? Why did God instruct Israel to tithe? Why did God instruct Israel to have all of those sacrifices? Think about it. They had sacrifices on Holy Days. They had sacrifices when they sinned. They had sacrifices for “fellowship offerings”, that is, when someone wanted to develop a closer relationship with YHWH. They had a morning and evening sacrifice every day.
When you really think about it, God would have to bless Israel abundantly to make all of those sacrifices possible. Israel would have to have faith in God to provide. The sacrificial system pointed to Christ, no doubt about it. However, it also pointed to God as the Provider of all good things.
If they had been righteous, Israel’s economy would have been God-centered.
I’ll take that over people-centered any day.