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Saturday, March 10, 2012

QUIT MONEY DAY: APRIL 18


QUIT MONEY DAY: APRIL 18

"April 17 is Tax Filing Day, when we look back on a year of hours worked, salaries earned, and dollars spent. Never do we feel more entwined in the money system and its tentacle institutions of banks and government. Let's imagine greater independence from that system, and for one entire day, on April 18, neither spend, borrow, nor lend a single cent. Once you JOIN this event, invite all your friends!"      --Mark Sundeen

You can also join Quit Money Day on Facebook and invite your friends.

We plan to celebrate this day with a big event for the book in Mark's home town of Missoula, Montanna (see the events itinerary to also see other places I hope to be in the next months). 

Is Quitting Money for One Day Radical?

Yeah, many people think it's radical quitting money for one single day.  But consider the ancient tradition of our own culture: the Sabbath Day.  The Sabbath was Quit Money Day every single week, 52 weeks a year, plus holidays, which were also Quit Money Days!  Not only that, there were Sabbath years, every seventh year.  
 
Other cultures of the ancient world, some long before Judaism, practiced a Sabbath, as well as periodic times of forgiveness, like Jubilee, where all debts were forgiven.  The famous Rosetta Stone, in fact, is Ptolemy's anouncement of a kind of Jubillee, forgiving debt across Egypt.

But, if you're interested, let's focus on our own cultural tradition. 

I'm Not Here to Proselytize Religion

I'm not here to proselytize, to get non-religious people to follow any religion.  I'd say, in fact, that most non-religious people I know are better at practicing the ethics of religion than most the religious ones!  The non-religious world is, in fact, getting quite sick of bickering, self-righteousness, and violence among the three Abrahamic religions, the Abrahamic pot calling the Abrahamic kettle black!

But I'm also not on a secular agenda to bash people's faith, to convert religious to non-religious.  The point is to find and cultivate what is already good in every culture, every religion, every person.  This is not dreamy, wishful thinking.  In fact, we are deluded in wishful thinking when we deny the good we see in everybody, for the sake of promoting our own agendas!  It's not that we can't see good in every human, it's that we refuse to see good in every human.

Thus I dig for splendid diamonds in the rough in Abrahamic religions, in every religion, and I love digging for them.  Yeah, it gives me pleasure. 

Bottom line, all I care about is what motivates people to act in truth and love, whether religious or not religious. 

In short, because I grew up in Judeo-Christian culture, my mission is to encourage Christians and Jews to practice the principles of truth in our own religion, not just talk about them.  We must bring to light the gems already present, yet buried, right here in our own culture! 

So if you're interested in religion, read on.  If not, I'd be happy if you stopped here.


The Sabbath:
Center Candlestick,
Eternal Present,
Creation Now
Amidst 6 Days of Duality
The Sabbath is Quit Money Day, Every Week!

The Sabbath Day, according to the Torah, is Quit Money Day, every seventh day, 52 weeks a year.  The Sabbath is not necessarily about giving up work, but giving up work for money, giving up business, with zero money exchange [the Hebrew word for work in the 10 commandments is מְלָאכָה (mĕla'kah) meaning "business" as well as "possessions").  It is the day when domestic animals and agricultural land must rest.  And one of its very purposes is to let land rest to allow animals and poor people to take take freely of its produce!  (Exodus 23:10-12). 

This is an idea lost on Christians today, as it was lost on Pharisees in Jesus' time.  Religious people turned the Sabbath into a meaningless regulation, either that or ignore it.  When Jesus' disciples, who had no money or possessions, were gleaning food from fields, the Pharisees condemned them for "working" on the Sabbath, when the very purpose of the Sabbath was to let animals and poor people (who didn't recognize laws and sabbaths) to take freely!  "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath," Jesus replied to his accusers. 

The message Jesus and the apostles were proclaiming  was was not necessarily to do away with the Sabbath, but to make every day Sabbath, forgiving all debts, giving up possessions, freely giving and freely receiving!  And if you couldn't do this, then at least do it one day a week!  The traditional six days of work represented law and money, and the seventh day was Grace.  The one-day-per week Sabbath was a taste of Grace for those who weren't yet ready to give up money and possessions!

"If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the week as a sabbath you will not see the Father." (--Jesus, The Gospel of Thomas 27)

This is a concept also found in the Old Testament Psalms and the New Testament book of Hebrews, that the Sabbath is the Eternal Today we must enter into Now.  The very theme of the Apocalypse in the New Testament is, in fact, entering into this Rest with Jubilee trumpets, this Eternal Today, which is the End of Time, the Place of Truth where there is no money, no possession, and complete Forgiveness.  The very word apocalyse literally means uncovering what already is here and now!  It's not a future day in prophecy (which makes us shirk responsibility), it is Now! "Now is the accepted Time, Now is the Day of Salvation."

Not keeping the Sabbath was a grave transgression, according to the Jewish prophets, not because it was breaking an arbitrary rule of a volatile sky god in with irrational anger issues, but because of common sense: not letting living things rest from commerce was damaging both to the land and to the poor (Nehemiah 10:31 and 13:15-22, Amos 8:4-8, Isaiah 56:2-6 and 58:13, Jeremiah 17:27) .


Blowing the Shofar,
heralding in Jubilee
There were also Sabbath years, every seven and 49 years, called Jubilee, for letting the land rest, for the sake of plants, animals and the poor, and for forgiving all debts.

The Sabbath was instituted for people who had to live under money (under law) to at least set aside one day per week, and one year every seven years, to get a taste of Grace, to get a glimpse of what life is like before the fall from Grace (Gratis), what life is like before money.  Notice I say what life is like, not what life was like.  We must get out of the delusion that a better life was in the past (past Eden) or a better life will be in the future (future rapture).

21 comments:

  1. This post hits the nail on the head. Most people are unaware that in addition to there being a sabbath once weekly there was a sabbath year too. Thanks for bringing this to your reader's attention. Most Jews and Christians have forgotten all about this or at the very least; make very light of it. It's sad too. If they still adhered to this practice this world would be a much better place to live in.

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    1. Quite a concept, that one. Imagine no more than 6 year mortgages, because the seventh would entail forgiveness of the remainder of the debt.

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  2. Excellent post. I'm always amazed at how many Christians have never read or studied, much less practice, the Sermon on the Mount. To me, this is the very core of Christianity, yet a monk was telling me recently that it is not taught in church, as it is considered too radical!

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  3. My Whitopia Bible Study can't handle the Sermon on the Mount. It hurts their commitment to their god given real estate and financial investments

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    1. When I became a buddhist nun, my brother emphatically told me that he firmly believed in Jesus Christ as his savior. Yet even after taking a beating financially at the hands of his fellow capitalists, he blames government regulations for causing the crash...not capitalistic greed. What WOULD Jesus say...

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    2. His brother's thoughts on the matter are pretty clear:
      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%205:1-6&version=NIV

      As far as Jesus'... Matthew 6:19-21 and 25-34 are pretty clear.

      Peace.

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  4. It's not that people "refuse" to see good in others, most people really do WANT to love and be loved--the problem is that we don't see good in ourselves, which then blinds us to the goodness of others.

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    1. There's something to be said about this.

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    2. Before I was able to forgive others (accept them for what they are) I first had to forgive myself (accept myself as I am)

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  5. I love you, Suelo. Please take care of yourself. You're fighting so hard, brother.

    Love,
    Brotha G

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  6. Suelo- I finished "The Man Who Quit Money" last night. It was a great read and it offered some valuable insights into something I think much of society lacks, which is morality and discipline to live what they beleive more faithfully. Thanks for letting Mr. Sundeen into your life and allowing him to share with us some of your experiences.

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  7. Hey, what an awesome post! I've been waiting a long time to read something on Jubilee. I had heard of it before, but it seems to fit right in perfectly with the concept of renouncing wealth. Didn't Jesus say something about him being the lord of the Sabbath? I take that to mean that everyday is Jubilee now. Sell what you have and give to the poor, think not about tomorrow. That's Jubilee everyday now.

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  8. Hey Daniel,
    Just wanted to touch base---it's been awhile---& let you know we were thinking about you. We recently went to Bowls For Humanity (soup)here & were reflecting on the last time we went with you & Eme. Keeping you in our prayers. Peace & love, J & K

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  9. Great post!. It's true that the idea of the Sabbath was to help people get a chance to rest, but instead it turned into a heavy burden for everyone who practiced the law. Jesus DID say he was lord of the Sabbath, so I too take that to mean that we should be treating everyday as a day to go without working for money, loving, and sharing with one another.

    Imagine if everyone did that!

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  10. Hi Daniel,

    Hope you're doing well! I hope to come back up to Moab this summer, especially since I have yet to see Moab in the summertime.

    -Yolanda

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  11. your idea is a kind creative, but not realistic at all, I wanna fell safe at home, I'm not gonna fight through caves again....I'd say instead of quitting what is our right, may be we boycott all the Big industries, they are our enemies,,,,

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  12. hi, I am JEfri from Indonesia. I am christian that want to do all the bible principle. your life inspire me to do this... I want to learn from you more..
    tq GBU

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  13. It is so refreshing to 'finally' read that there 'are' others who believe in the Sabbath NOT just as a form of Religion, ie: to BE done.. but the reasoning and concept of WHY it is so important, to us as beings who HE created.
    Thank you so much for this post. I was raised Catholic,accepted Christ as my Savor in 75, started practicing the Sabbath in 99.

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  14. It is incorrect to use the term Judeo-Christian. Those that call themselves Jews have rejected the Christ.

    A moneyless life appeals to me too but will one day be impossible as the Jewish money changers do not believe in the Year of Jubilee.

    Not only that but they are destroying the earth AND passing laws making it illegal to collect rain water, burn wood and many other things.

    We need to stop the money changers from destroying us all.

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  15. If our culture kept the Sabbath, keeping all debts short term (six years), and forgiving all debts every seventh year, regardless of what is owed, without regret or remorse (Deut. 15.9), as well as in the 50th year (the Jubilee), then our nation would not be in the financial state it is in.

    You are right, the sabbath of debts is every seven years...

    "At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission (grant a release) of debts. And this is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the Lord's remission has been proclaimed." (Deut. 15.1-2, cf. Deut. 31.10, NASB).

    "Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard." (Lev. 25.3-4, NASB).

    "You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years." (Lev. 25.8, NASB)

    So, the sabbaths of debts (release from debt) and of the land are every 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 35th, 42d, and 49th year.

    BUT...

    "You shall thus consecrate the FIFTIETH year and proclaim a release (or liberty) through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. You shall have the FIFTIETH year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property." (Lev. 25.10-13, NASB)

    Therefore, the year of Jubilee was every FIFTIETH year, not every 49th. Thus, at the end of every 50 years, there are TWO full years of release (sabbath), in the 49th year and in the 50th. The passages referring to ancient Hebrews "return[ing] to [their] own property" has to do with land sales. If, sometime during that 50-year span, an ancient Hebrew had to sell his land for whatever reason, then in the 50th year his land returned to him and his family. The passage referring to ancient Hebrews "return[ing] to [their] family" has to do with slavery. If an ancient Hebrew had been sold into slavery during the 50 year span, then in the 50th year, the slave was released/freed, because the Jubilee is a year of liberty.

    If we followed the sabbaths and the Jubilee, as well as the teachings against usury found in Scripture (high interest rates; think credit card interest — see Ex. 22.25 & Lev. 25.36), that, too, would have helped to prevent the financial mess our country is mired in. Our country once had laws against usury, and then they were abrogated. Consequently, we are now reaping what we have sown... probably the whirlwind... seeing that we have forgotten the sabbaths...

    "For they sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind." (Hosea 8.7, NASB)

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  16. Awesome post. I just read an article about you and came to your blog. This is so refreshing to exist and prove in this capitalistic society that we can indeed live without money. Especially on the Sabbath, it should be a must. But with Christianity enundated with so much materialistic religious teaching, people in Christendom are lost and lead astray which further pushes us in bondage to the system instead of freedom in Christ. Thank you

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