What we see in Acts and the writings of Paul is that our material possessions are a barometer of our hearts:
“What we do or do not do with our material possessions is an indicator of the Spirit’s presence of absence”.
There is not a confiscation of private property. There is also not a command on how much everyone should give to the poor (there’s no commands to give 10% in the New Testament). But there is an understanding that those who have more will give more, and that “with a mindset of unity we will view our economic resources as available to meet others’ needs”.
Private possessions are not a problem. The problem is possessiveness.
In part one, I gave a picture of how stuff is distributed in our world. I wanted to do that because after reading this book, the biggest take away is as people who follow Jesus we should be very concerned about economic inequality. In the book (aptly titled Neither Poverty Nor Riches, by Craig Blomberg ) the author is attempting to create a textbook that is a Biblical theology of possessions. Biblical Theology is a big word, but what it basically means is he’s going through the whole Bible, taking every mention of possessions, money, wealth, etc. and figuring out what those passages are saying. Basically he’s trying to answer the question: What is the Biblical view of stuff? Continue reading
I’m going to be sharing what I’ve learned about God’s view of stuff from this book I’ve been reading, but first I want to lay some ground work so we’re all talking about the same thing. Before we start talking about God’s view of stuff, it is helpful to get some facts about all the stuff in the world. So, here it goes:
The stuff in the world is not shared equally, in fact, it is shared WAY less equally than we think it is: