13Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14But [Jesus] said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:13-21
There is a gospel that is proclaimed loudly everyday from the rooftops of this country, a gospel that is antithetical to the Gospel of Christianity. For years this competing gospel has been spoken as one in the same with the message of Christianity, particularly by many conservative Christians. Yet Jesus’s parable above makes it abundantly clear this is not the same message. The American Dream (or what could rightly be called the Gospel of Human Autonomy) is now touted as a fundamental human right from most within this country, conservative and liberal alike, and even from many of those within the evangelical movement. In fact, legislation has been instituted by many of our legislators to help those who have not yet fulfilled this dream (gospel) attain it by granting them government support and tax-payer funded benefits to get them on their way to this ultimate end. At the heart of our culture, we believe we are fundamentally entitled to this dream, as if it is the ultimate goal of human existence. But nothing can be farther from the truth.