Thanks for the letter. We’re a little confused by your calling it your “second letter” to us, as we reckon it’s number four. Still, you’re a busy man. You’ve probably forgot those two letters where you said nice things about us.
But we really wanted to get back to you re your suggestion that we might send some money to the folks in Jerusalem.
Now come on Paul. You seem to be forgetting how economics works.
It strikes us that, as Luke describes it, the Jerusalem church does little more than sit around all day, breaking bread and listening to the apostles’ teaching. Breaking bread which, we suspect, our last contribution to your scheme paid for. In other words, if you want to see the difference between strivers and skivers, it’s pretty clear.
Now it’s pretty clear to us where the rot started. It was in that ill-fated communist experiment in their early days. Luke tells us that everyone sold their land and gave it to the apostles. Awash with cheap capital, the apostles gave the money away to those in need, with no consideration as to how they would pay it back.
Frankly, the whole thing was clearly doomed from the start. But it kept Peter and the rest popular. And now Peter has announced it’s his job to bring peace to the Middle East, it’s not him carrying the can, is it? No. You come to us for a bail-out, while Peter’s going around telling everyone about the new gaff he’s planning in Rome.
Now we’ve been looking into some biblical models of giving. And we’ve come across the way Joseph dealt with a similar economic meltdown. So here’s the deal. We’ll give a reasonable donation But if the Jerusalem people want it, they can come and work for us. We’ve developed some training schemes, and after three or four years dressing vines, washing up or cooking our dinners, they may even have acquired some transferable skills with which to get a non slavery-related post.
Meanwhile we are sending to the Church in Jerusalem our brother Atos. He won’t be bringing any money, but he’s got a great track record in telling lame people they can walk.
All the best,