Make Wealth History was voted number 5 in the Jubilee Centre’s top Christian blogs this week. That’s nice to hear, although I don’t really consider this to be a ‘Christian blog’ per se. That would imply that either it’s about Christianity or that it’s written for Christians, when it’s clearly much broader than that.
Nevertheless, I am a Christian and the I believe the issues I write about are Christian issues. Pursuing justice, caring for the poor, and preserving the earth should be much higher priorities for the church.
I’m with Archbishop Rowan Williams on this one, who was asked in an interview this week how churches should respond to recession:
The Churches can do two things, I think. One is of course what they always do in the circumstances and try to rally around in practical ways to assist those who are most vulnerable. And that may be through working in community regeneration, maybe through education, it may be through microfinance, which is a great interest of mine… The second way in which the Church has to act, I would say, is in keeping before the people the question what is wealth for, what is the nature of real prosperity? And does prosperity demand an endless spiral of material economic growth?
Lots of churches are involved in community building and practical action on poverty, both global and local. We’re less good at the broader economic questions, but I was pleased to see that Chelmsford Cathedral is hosting a series of lectures on the economy, including an evening on ‘prosperity without growth’.
I was also sent the draft text of a new convention last week. The Lausanne Congresses have been attempts to hammer out some common theology for the worldwide church. The latest one took place this month and its impact remains to be seen (Krish Kandiah sums it up here), but the draft commitment adds some useful words on consumerism and the environment:
Love for God’s creation demands that we repent of our part in the destruction, waste and pollution of the earth’s resources and our collusion in the toxic idolatry of consumerism. Instead, we commit ourselves to urgent and prophetic ecological responsibility. We support Christians whose particular missional calling is to environmental advocacy and action and those committed to godly fulfilment of the mandate to provide for human needs from the abundance of God’s creation.
Strong words, but I hope it survives the drafting process. And if we can agree to stand against consumerism, commit to prophetic ecological action, and ‘keep before the people’ the question of what wealth is for, then I guess this is a Christian blog after all.