Money in Christian History (II): From the Publisher
This is our second issue of Christian History devoted to money. In “Money I” (Issue 14), we asked for your responses so that we could incorporate your ideas into this issue. This is the result. Reader input is reflected in the reader response section beginning on page 4; also, our feature articles deal with areas you requested. It’s our intention to give more space in all future issues to your responses, so send in your letters; though we can’t print or answer every one, we will at least read them all and consider your suggestions. We like to hear from you.
Korean Presbyterian leader Kyung Chik Han has observed that “Jesus spoke more about money than he did any other subject.” Whether you agree with this observation or not, that Jesus should devote so much attention to worldly goods and money may at first seem surprising when we consider how unattracted he was by their lure. However, it’s not surprising when we reflect that after the two millennia of its existence, the Church still struggles to find its way through the money maze.
We are sure of some things: the Bible makes it clear that we should love God above everything (Mark 12:30); we should not love money nor desire to be rich (Matt 6:24, 1 Tim 6:9); we should be responsible providers (1 Tim 5:8); we should be generous givers (2 Cor 9:6, 7); we should sacrifice for the Kingdom of God (Luke 18:29, 30).
But … how do we sacrifice? Over the centuries Christians have been persuaded in the name of Christ to sacrificially finance massive construction projects (e.g., St. Peters Cathedral), armed military invasions (the Crusades), enormous ecclesiastical bureaucracies (the Medieval Church), and all manner of missionary outreaches. The appeals can vary: A great cause. A great personality. ...