The Gamestop story is all anyone can talk about today. That much is clear. It’s rare for the whole cultural zeitgeist to be drawn to a wonky finance story with complicated details that go well over the heads of even seasoned stock traders. But the long and short of it is that an army of Redditors blew Gamestop’s stock value sky high, forcing several hedge funds into a financial tailspin.
The drama continued throughout Tuesday, as trading company Robinhood came under fire for restricting moves on Gamestop, AMC and other heavily shorted stocks. Users have filed a class action lawsuit against the company for allowing hedge funds to trade freely even as the users themselves were blocked from making moves. It’s a fast-moving situation that calls into question not just what we mean when we think about money, but the sorts of obstacles society puts up between the rich and the poor.
That’s where Justin Speak comes in. The 27-year-old California pastor was among the Redditors who made out with a modest sum, according to the New York Times. Speak went on MSNBC to talk about the experience and came ready with a whole sermon, biblical illustration and all. According to him, Wall Street is experiencing a similar situation to the rich fool in Jesus’ parable who builds bigger barns to hoard his harvest instead of giving to those in need.
— Alex Monastra (@AlexMonastra) January 28, 2021
Jesus’ words about the rich are some of the least comfortable in the Gospels, since he doesn’t exactly mince words. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort,” he says in Luke 6:24. Or, of course, Mark 10, where Jesus sends a would-be follower away because the rich young man refuses to sell everything he owns and give it to the poor. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God,” Jesus remarks.
The line from those words to today’s ups and downs on Wall Street may not be perfectly straight, but lots of Christians are thinking about wealth inequality in the U.S.