What if we cared?
If liberal Christianity was tempted in the last century to become the civil religion of socialism that reverences state ownership, then certainly conservative Christianity has since become the happy mistress of capitalism that enshrines private ownership. No wonder then that private ownership and private enterprise are defended by many conservative Christians as vigorously as the doctrine of the Trinity or salvation by grace.
For increasing numbers of us who consider ourselves post-liberal and post-conservative, words like private (meaning personal and individual), ownership (meaning autonomous personal and individual control), and enterprise (meaning autonomous, personal, individual control over projects that use God’s world for our purposes) seem to fly in the face of kingdom values. Values such as community (meaning seeing beyond the individual to the communal), fellowship (which means sharing, holding in common with the community, not grasping as ‘mine!’), and mission (meaning our participation in God’s projects in God’s world for God’s purposes).
Can there be some alternative to the extremes that either deny or enshrine private ownership? Could a biblical stewardship that celebrates God’s ultimate ownership someday fuel a new grace-based economy – just as private ownership currently fuels our greed-based consumerist economy (or as government ownership fuels a control-based socialist economy)?”
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I was sharing with my buddy Keith tonight that for me Easter is more of a “new years” than January 1st because it is on Easter morning that I am reminded of an Empty Tomb kind of faith as opposed to a Bloody Cross kind of faith. Now, don’t get me wrong… I absolutely believe that the cross was important; but that moment has come and gone. The repercussions are still reverberating throughout eternity; but it is the Empty Tomb three days later that has the most impact on my daily life.
Today, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! And I want to live a living faith instead of a dead religion. I don’t know what that means for me yet. I know it means living a more connected, communal, fellowship, missional life. I know it means more conversations with friends. And I think it’s time to write.