Economy of God

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Description

"This CONSPIRE! is packed with creative and courageous responses to how to reshape your economic life to reflect the bounty of God. Here are creative experiments, hope-filled practice, and exciting possibilities as people share how they are trying to heed Jesus’s stark challenge to serve God, not Mammon. Some are taming the tools of capitalism. Others share how they make life with a common purse work. There are reflections on living abundantly with economic limits. From well-known voices like Tom Sine, Ched Myers, Joyce Hollyday, and Shane Claiborne to the sharings of unnamed laborers in Indian slums, each contributor offers thoughtful commentary on living well with money, one of the strongest challenges of our materialistic age. For an economic toolkit to help individuals and groups bring together their money and values."


Examples

Tom Shine:

"Take the Temescal Community, a Christian co-housing community in Oakland started almost fifteen years ago. Designed from the ground up, it is based on strong creation-care values as well as witnessing to God’s shalom in the neighborhood. It has nine units and a common building on a quarter acre. They have solar on their rooftops and collect enough solar energy to sell it back to the utility company.

I encourage Christian colleges to construct intergenerational co-housing communities on their campuses which provide students an opportunity to experience a more cooperative, sustainable way of life. Our young people need to see the viable options beyond living into the script of current lifestyles.

We must create many and diverse approaches to local and regional economies. Furthermore, as Christians, we must find ways to reduce our vulnerability in order to free up time to become God’s compassion to neighbors near and far in what promises to be turbulent times. These are how we will begin to glimpse that new creation and God’s quiet conspiracy that is destined to make all things new." (http://www.conspiremagazine.com/article/gods-quiet-conspiracy-in-a-post-oil-future/)


Discussion

Economy of Love

by Shane Claiborne:

"God forms a new people out of the broken worlds from which they come, a new society in the shell of the old. The Exodus is the story of God rescuing a people who were slaves, making bricks for the storehouses of Pharaoh’s economy. There was economic surplus, but they had no access to it.

When God leads the Israelites out, one of the first commands that they’re given is “Do not take more than you need for each day.” God was establishing an economy where the Israelites were to trust God to provide their daily bread. Many things were put in place to form them as God’s holy counterculture in the world, and to show the world what a society of love really looks like—laws like gleaning; special treatment of immigrants and aliens; and the beautiful celebration of the Jubilee, designed to systematically dismantle inequality-—to make sure that land was redistributed, slaves were set free, and debts were forgiven. All these were ways to say, “If you don’t become different people, then you are going to end up like the empire again.”

In the early church, there was a real sense that one’s rebirth affected one’s personal economics and how one cared for one’s neighbor. John the Baptist says, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand,” but he also adds, “And if you’ve got two tunics, you need to give one away.” He recognized that we don’t have a right to hold more than we need for ourselves while others have less than they need. The early Christians took it even further saying, “If you have two coats…. You’ve stolen one.”

Loving our neighbor as ourselves means taking care of one another. Rebirth demands redistribution. It’s not a system; neither socialism or communism. It’s an economy rooted in relational love for our neighbor. It means that as we really catch a vision for loving our neighbors, it affects our economics—and nothing is ever the same. Redistribution is not something we do out of guilt, but out of joy. It’s not that material things are evil or bad, but that the gifts of God are so good that we don’t want to keep them to ourselves." (http://www.conspiremagazine.com/article/economy-of-love/)


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