||2018-08-07 22:08:01, 조회 : 49, 추천 : 6
| Abraham Yim|
August 7th, 2018 - Tuesday
O. S. Guinness - Doing Well and Doing Good
Chapter One - Part One - Money-Medium of Exchange or Mammon?
Hello everyone, I hope we are all well on this Wednesday evening. As we sit here today, we are going to go into our first lesson in O. S. Guinness’s book, Doing Well and Doing Good. Although this is our first book together, we have already been doing this for quite some time. Every week, at 6:00 PM we have convened here to partake in constructive discussions about topics important to our livelihood. We learned more about Christianity, Islam, Secularism, and more. In our book, we will be discussing the meaning and importance of money, philanthropy, and caring for one another. Today, we are going to explore general point of money-property.
Even before we can get into the chapter, we have to establish the meaning of philanthropy: the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes. We should all be aware of philanthropy. We have done several philanthropic things during Christmas time for the past few years. In general, Americans are very philanthropic: we boast some of the largest charities in the world, and we provide more aid to other countries than then next few nations combined. In 2017, we have raised $410.2 billion dollars in donations. Unfortunately, people try to grasp the meaning of giving without understanding the meaning of money. Money is a huge factor in our lives. We base most of our decisions around money. We must ask two questions, when it comes to money: Whose is it? And what is the problem? Money is a very complex thing. It is not only an economic issue, but also a spiritual issue. We need to take money more seriously and try to understand it.
There are three takes on money - Judeo-Christian, Greek, and Roman. The Romans believed in a system very similar to what many people view private property. Individuals had absolute power over their money and their property. For Romans, owning something meant they had the right to use and abuse it. A farmer could burn down their farm. A father - often seen as the owner of the family - could kill his own family and even himself. Many people view ownership like this. They mistreat their property and do not show care for anything they own. They justify this attitude by saying they own it.
The Judeo-Christian ideology is that we have the right over money and property. God has ultimate ownership over everything in the world, but he has given us the right to be stewards over all of his wealth. O. S. Guinness says, “The resources of the earth are held in trust for a divine purpose. Thus our relationship to money and property may by custom or law be defined as ownership but is really a conditional form of trusteeship.” We can understand this ideology more when we understand what it means to be a steward. Stewards were known as the manager of the house. Although stewards did not own the house, it was their responsibility to manage it and make sure it was kept well. The world is God’s, but it is our responsibility to keep it in good condition as so our own wealth.
The Greek view is often mistaken for Marxism because, in the Greek view, ownership is shared because the property is common. The Greeks believed in the earlier age of community when everything was shared amongst a tribe or village. It would be very hard to enforce this without a proper leader; therefore, Plato suggested a Guardian or a Philosopher-Politician, who can properly take on the responsibilities of a leader. Although the redistribution of wealth and land was prevalent amongst the Cretans and Spartans, most of Greece did not share this ideology.
1. What is your view on private property? Do you align yourself with the Judeo-Christian, Greek, or Roman point of view? Why?
2. How big of a role does money play in your life? Do you find yourself constantly worrying about your financial situation?
3. Why do you think we are called upon as stewards of God’s wealth? Do you implement stewardship ideals into your own life?