In regards to scale, the civil war in Syria is a tragedy that’s reminiscent of the earth-moving conflicts of the early 20th Century. So far, a quarter of a million people have been killed, with millions of others displaced.
After the turbulence of two world wars Europe has managed to create a zone were no battles are fought with weapons, but with words. But it might well be that we are on the bring of a turning point were radical groups of Christians and Muslims may like to throw spanner in the works.
National socialists, neo-nazis, but also several people who call themselves ‘Christian‘ want the rest of the population in their country to believe the refugees are a danger for their economic striving society and for their democratic and their ‘religious’ life.
It is also not bad to look at different writings of people who called themselves Christian and see how they think we should cope with others around us, but also with our wealth we can enjoy. Because when you hear many talking today lots of people are more concerned with the financial consequences of those entering their community and with the minor radical lunatics who want to frighten our society and seem to succeed in their task, because so many give in to that unjustified fear.
In an age when Christianity is comfortably entwined with consumer capitalism, the early Christians’ passion for social and economic justice can come as a shock.
- From 1st days of Christianity > duty to care for poor and marginalized = at center of gospel
- Jesus preached way of life free of possessions
- 1st church in Jerusalem abolished private property + early apostles > warned of privilege and wealth.
- 3 centuries later Christendom becoming official religion of Roman Empire > economics remained communitarian
- Church fathers such as Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, + Augustine of Hippo preached
- give your wealth free passage everywhere
- let your wealth run through many conduits to the homes of the poor
- Money kept standing idle = worthless > moving + changing hands = benefitting community => brings increase…
- money in your vaults belongs to the destitute
- injustice to every man whom you could help but do not.
- God grants you gifts.
- alms, prayers, protection of the injured and the like = genuine work
- what we possess is not personal property; it belongs to all.
- God generously gives all things that are much more necessary than money > air, water, fire, sun … All these things to be distributed equally to all.
- “Mine” and “thine” = chilling words > introduce innumerable wars into the world => should be eliminated from the church
- All things = in common.
- When you possess superfluity = you possess what belongs to others
- God gives the world to the poor as well as to the rich.
- abstain from the possessions of private property – or from the love of it, if we cannot abstain from possession – and let us make room for the Lord.
Read also and watch the video: Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
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What Did the Early Church Say About Economic Justice?
(Thanks to Plough publishing for sharing this).
St. Augustine, John Chrysostom, and Basil the Great
In an age when Christianity is comfortably entwined with consumer capitalism, the early Christians’ passion for social and economic justice can come as a shock. From the first days of Christianity, the duty to care for the poor and marginalized was at the center of the gospel. Jesus preached a way of life free of possessions, the first church in Jerusalem abolished private property, and the early apostles warned of privilege and wealth.
Remarkably, three centuries later – when Christianity was well on its way to becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire – the church’s version of economics remained as communitarian as ever. Church fathers such as Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Augustine of Hippo preached in a way that…
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