Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Biblical Economic Principle: Ruled by Generosity

Here's a great piece from Rob Bell's new book Jesus Wants to Save Christians as we think about our own economic status, economic policies, and the economic future of our world and our church...

We see the economic dimensions of the new exodus again and again in the early church. On the heels of the story of the languages and the three thousand being added to their number, we're told that they "were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need" (Acts 2:44-45).

Instead of building towers and forcing others to make storehouses out of bricks so that some are stockpiling while others are slaves, this new movement is ruled by generosity. And compassion. And sharing. The gospel for these first Christians is an economic reality. It's holistic and affects all areas of their lives. It's an alternative to the greed and coercion of empire. It's a whole new order of things. And what does Paul do everywhere he goes? He takes an offering for the poor (Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:19; Galatians 2:10). He never stops reminding people of their responsibility to use their wealth and power purely and properly, for the benefit of those who need it the most.

4 comments:

John said...

So are you saying this is the way the federal government of the United States of America should be run? Or just the church/Christians?

Should we vote Obama and spread the wealth BIBLICALLY? It's kind of a tease to throw this excerpt out and not say what it is applicable to. Without a context this excerpt is not useful.

Chip Huber said...

I would respond that the church is designed to be the engine of generosity in the world...and yet it clearly appears that it has not lived out the ACTS 2+4 model...and so I think the govt has seen the need still there unmet and tried often to be generous to meet those clear needs...I would argue that we can support both because of the theological model that must become more prevelant in the church's philosophy and priorities, while being a nation that cares for the needs of others (perhaps the .7% of budget proposed at G8 conferences) while still serving those it is taxing and responsible to first is a worthwhile way to operate in our current local and global realities...

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