Micael Grenholm on God and wealth…


silver_denarius_augustusSwedish blogger Micael Grenholm, who blogs at Holy Spirit activism about stuff like humanitarian issues, christian pacifism, the gifts of the Spirit  and signs and miracles. (Seems like a rare combination, but I say it shouldn’t be, biblically it’s a very logical combination if we look at the gospels) is kicking against some holy cows again with a must-read series on God an wealth.

(introduction)

Part 1: It’s Wrong to Be Rich

Part 2: Equality

Part 3: Sharing Everything

Part 4: The Church Fathers

Part 5: three heresies

I’m not sure what exactly I believe on this issue, but I do kinda think we as Christians are called to be both generous and to live simple. I always bump into the question ‘does God hate the rich’ when I read the sermon on the plain (blessed are the poor, woe to the rich…) or the ‘easier it is for a camel…’ saying that is found in all 3 synoptic gospels.

But it is also followed by the ‘What’s impossible for humans is possible for God’ line’ (I’m paraphrasing from memory and translating here) so it is more complicated. If we cling to our possessions, like most modern Westerners probably do, there might be a dimension of the Kingdom of God that we miss.

I personally think that the Story of Zaccheaus, who gave away most of his money when he repented, might be a good paradigm for the salvation of the rich (if he was still rich afterwards that is…)

What do you people think?

shalom

Bram

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2 responses to “Micael Grenholm on God and wealth…

  1. I like what he has to say. His tone isn’t self righteous. It’s a wee bit Sola-Scriptura, a bit preachy too, but at least it’s core Jesus stuff. I am a fundi survivor so I’m a little sensitive to that. Humble is the way to go. So brother Grenholm, be true and continue to share your gifts well, as you have here in these posts, but also kneel down and pour wine on the wounds.

  2. Re: Zacchaeus, keep in mind that publicans were public contractors that collected the imperial tax for the Romans. But unlike today’s civil service employee, these guys purchased a territory much as a franchise functions in our day. In other words, they paid the tax in advance to Rome, then by whatever means at their disposal – force, confiscation of property, or physical enslavement, they reimbursed themselves and then some. By all standards, they were wealthy from the start. How else could a “chief tax collector” like Zacchaeus not only give half of his wealth to the poor but also “pay back four times” what he defrauded. More than your typical rogue or collaborator, publicans were absolute traitors and despised more than the Romans themselves. Keep in mind when you hear the phrase “publicans and sinners”, the publicans formed their own category of bad.

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