Christians and the Economic Crunch. Part 2
2 Corinthians Chapter 8 is a magnificent passage to consider and a good relay station for reflection on how the local and wider Christian Church should respond. Written on the background of the economic downturn and famine in Jerusalem and Paul's efforts to raise money to help them, the chapter is laden with what I would consider relevant economic phrases and terms such as
1. "most severe trial" (verse 2)
2. "their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity" (verse 2)
3. "they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own," (verse. 3)
4. "see that you also excel in this grace of giving" (verse 7) - and Paul is not talking about giving to Tele-evangelist ministries or the latest building project, but to the Jerusalem poor struck by famine!
5. "though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor" (vs. 9)
6. "the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have" (vs. 12)
7. "Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality" (vs. 13) etc, etc, etc
The whole chapter is full of what Christians should do during times of economic hardship, not just their own hardship but that of others too.
I saw one Tele-evangelist "blessing" of his new airplane on BBC news the other day, and I found it sad that a bundle of believers had gathered at a runway praying and rejoicing because they had contributed to the largesse and opulence of another brother. I sometimes think that is one the reasons it is difficult for some European believers to call themselves Evangelicals, seeing that the term has being hijacked by such. Forgive my ranting. A major repentance in our attitude to money, the poor and hungry of this world is called for, my brothers. - Annang