Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Wealth and Poverty; Stewardship and Service
"From within this kingdom perspective on human worth and well-being emerges a solution to the major social problems of wealth and poverty. That solution consists in a new type of human being, people who have assimilated the character of Christ into all areas of life and society. These people clearly see that giving [charitable contributions, tithes, offerings, etc.] is only a part and by no means the largest part of stewardship before our Lord. These people understand it is part of their responsibility to control the world's possessions in a way that ministers to all. The poor are much more to be benefited by the godly controlling the goods of this world than by their performing a pious handwashing that only abandons those goods to the servants of 'mammon.' We are not speaking of political power as normally understood, but of personal vocation fulfilled in the power of God. Possession and direction of the forces of wealth are as legitimate expression of the redemptive rule of God in human life as is Bible teaching or a prayer meeting. For example, it is as great and as difficult a spiritual calling to turn factories and the mines, the banks and the department stores, the schools and government agencies for the Kingdom of God as it is to pastor a church or serve as an evangelist.
There truly is no division between sacred and secular except what we have created. And that is why the division of the legitimate roles and functions of human life into sacred and the secular does incalculable damage to our individual lives and to the cause of Christ. Holy people must stop getting into 'church work' as their natural course of action and take up holy orders in farming, industry, law, education, banking, and journalism with the same zeal previously given to evangelism or to pastoral and missionary work."
From The Spirit of the Disciplines