Friday, October 16, 2009

Power and faith

Thanks to Chris for pointing out that interesting article “End world hunger? Sell the Vatican” from the Associated Press which was apparently published just hours before (or after) my previous post. I think it is a really good idea. Why does a church need so much wealth anyway?

Sarah Silverman’s proposal was about wealth while my post was on power. The two are so intertwined they can not really be separated. Hence it is not surprising at all that Jesus’ teachings on them are the same: don’t seek them!

He told a rich young man who was otherwise perfect to sell all his belongings, to give to the poor. I am sure Jesus would have said the same thing to wealthy churches nowadays. He told James and John, who sought to sit at His right and left in heaven, that they should not. Instead, Jesus told them to be prepared to suffer like Him.

Jesus himself rejected the power to dazzle the world with the miracle of turning rocks into bread. He rejected the power to rule the world. He rejected the protection from harm. Wealth, power and miracles are surely useful. But Jesus achieved much more - indeed, the impossible task of saving the world - by His sacrifices.

The world’s usual methods of power and wealth are useful, but ultimately cannot really solve the world’s problems. Which have more to do with selfishness, vengefulness, jealousy, covetousness, ..., all moral issues. It is time we try God’s method.


The Cat said...

There is a story that my pastor told about St. Thomas Aquinas' visit to one of the great cathedrals of his day. He was shown all the treasures and wealth stored in the coffers of the church. The prelate said, "Well, Master Thomas, no longer can the church say, 'Silver or gold I do not have'".

To which, Thomas Aquinas answered, "Alas, neither can the church say, 'In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk'."

StephenC said...

Yeah. We claim to be Christians - followers of Christ. But we don't always do what Christ asks of us.