quote for today

Long time, no quote. I saw this today and though, hey, why not? ____________ "Jesus entered the temple with a whip not to strike people, but to show his contempt for money: his father’s house belonged to God, not to mammon. In the Gospel of Matthew, he exhorted the otherwise blameless rich youth to confirm his love by selling everything: 'Give all you have to the poor, and come follow me.' And when he was shown the coin of the emperor, he answered, 'Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.' This attack on the order of mammon resulted in his death. Yet life had the final victory. The men and women who had gathered around him in life waited for something new after his death. They waited for the Spirit. They knew that the spirit of love, order, and freedom was the spirit of God’s kingdom. And this Spirit came upon them, bringing about a church: a fellowship of work and goods in which everything belonged to all, in which all were active to the full extent of their powers and gifts. This church succumbed to the process that destroys life. Just as individuals die, so this church also died. But in the course of the centuries a new church rose. Time and again small communities were formed in which men and women declared war on mammon and took upon themselves the poverty of generosity. In choosing this poverty, they chose the richest way. Simple communism existed among primitive people. And throughout history the revolutionary struggle, the fight against materialism, has continued. We who see the appalling results of capitalism today stand at the point where the uprising against capitalism begins. The words of Jesus - 'He who is not with me is against me' - hold true also for us. We are on the same side as all revolutionaries who fight against mammon." The rest of the article is here.


Blogger John McCollum said...

Remember, Paul said, "The LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil." Not money itself.

Similarly, it's not 'wine' that's the problem -- it's drunkenness. That having been said, it's really difficult to drink moderately at a bacchanalia.

So, the struggle is to accept both money and wine (and sex, and sport and work) as a good gift from God, but not give ourselves over to the idolatry or debauchery.

It'd be easier to accept broad, legalistic disapprobations of wealth or personal possession than to live with financial integrity, free of greed in a world that is on one hand gorging itself and on the other starving to death.

But God gives us resources not only as a test to determine whether we have enough faith to take a vow of poverty or join a commune; he gives us resources to exercise our God-likeness by investing in and creating opportunities for material growth, which he expects us to use for the ultimate glory of his kingdom.

As Paul said to Annanias and Sapphira (my paraphrase), "Before you sold the land, it belonged to you. After you sold the land, the money belonged to you. Your sin was not keeping for your personal use the proceeds of a real estate transaction -- your sin was lying to the Holy Spirit."

In the case of these two unfortunate souls, they were killed because they wanted people to believe that they were giving all of their lives, their resources to the kingdom.

8/26/2004 7:49 AM  

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