Thursday, 22 July 2010

Over the past while I've been writing about the Another Chance street church in our community, and along the way have been thinking about whether, as believers, we ought to leave care of the poor to government agencies, or find ways to reach out to the poor and work with them to try to bring them into wealth (or at least middle class comfort?), or whether we should follow the New Testament church example, and share with and/or sell our stuff, in order to provide for the poor.

Here's part of a really interesting quote from a 1st century believer, that I came across in a blog I read today.

"That we should be considered poor is no disgrace to us, but an honor. A life of luxury weakens the spirit. Frugality makes it strong. And yet, how can anyone be considered poor who does not feel any want, who does not covet what belongs to others, who is rich in God's eyes? Much more should he be considered poor who always craves for more while he already has much...."
(Minicius Felix, 1st century believer)

Why not go to the subversive1 blog, read the rest of Felix' words and story - and share what you think!


Mark said...

First I would say that it is our responsibility to care for the poor among us, within the body. The poor outside the body, in my opinion, would be as the Lord leads.

Regarding what level of wealth we should or should not live in, I believe that we are called to not live extravagantly. Certainly the western mindset is accustomed to "things". As we progress in our pursuit of Him I think we will desire to live more and more simply, as the Spirit renews our minds more and more. I don't think we can look at the NT example of selling everything and, as a body, expect the same. The Spirit must increase Christ in us, the way He did in the NT, and as we mature as a body we will see that more and more.

Dan Allen said...

Thanks for the link! Great quote!

Norma Hill - aka penandpapermama said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Mark. I think you are right about not just "copying the NT example." We do need to be led by Father, otherwise it just becomes yet another example of doing things in our own power and our own ways ... and we are trapped right back into man's ideas ("simple living" is a big thing, a popular trend, for a lot of people out there in the world, too...) and into the danger of just building new traditions.

Yes, we must be led by Christ's Spirit in us!

I'm glad you liked the link, Dan.