Wednesday, May 10, 2017
This has been copied from www.matstunehag.com.
The Bible talks about wealth in three ways; one is bad and two are good. Hoarding of wealth is condemned. Sharing of wealth is encouraged. Wealth creation is both a godly gift and command, and there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created. But all too often the issue of wealth creation is misunderstood, neglected, or even rejected. The same thing applies to wealth creators.
The Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation aimed at addressing that. During the Consultation process 2016 – 2017 we discussed various aspects of wealth creation, including justice, poverty, Biblical foundation, wealth creators, stewardship of creation and the role of the church. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video.
The Manifesto enclosed below conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation. (Click here for pdf file Wealth Creation Manifesto)
To see the original posting and a short introduction to three other global consultations that also have dealt with issues related to wealth creation, click here. There are excerpts from their respective Manifesto, Declaration and Statement, as well as links.
Wealth Creation Manifesto
The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation.
- Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
- We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.
- Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
- Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
- Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
- There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.
- The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
- Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.
- Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
- Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
- Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.
We present these affirmations to the Church worldwide, and especially to leaders in business, church, government, and academia.
- We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.
- We call for fresh, ongoing efforts to equip and launch wealth creators to that very end.
- We call wealth creators to perseverance, diligently using their God-given gifts to serve God and people.
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – For the greater glory of God
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Four Realms of Brokenness
The Bible begins with God creating the world, giving life to Adam and Eve, assigning them tasks, and walking with them in the Garden of Eden. However, in the biblical account of events, this situation does not last very long. Deceived by the serpent, Eve eats the fruit of the forbidden tree and Adam, knowing better, follows her lead. The result is what is historically called the Fall of humankind. There were several curses that came about due to the Fall. These curses demonstrate areas of brokenness in our world. The four realms of brokenness are:
Abundance: God gave Adam and Eve access to abundant resources (Genesis 1:28–29) for their well-being. With the Fall, these resources became scarce (Genesis 3:17).
Relationships: God created Eve since it was not good for Adam to be alone. We were created for fruitful relationships. With the Fall, these relationships became contentious (Genesis 3:16).
Creation: God created a world that was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). With the Fall, humankind’s relationship with the rest of creation became antagonistic (Genesis 3:17–19).
Spiritual: Adam and Eve were created to be in relationship with God. With the Fall, this relationship was fractured (Genesis 3:23–24).
These four areas of brokenness refer to, in more contemporary language, four spheres of life: economic (the provision of goods and services to humankind), social (relationship and community with one another), environmental (creation and our relationship to it), and spiritual (our unique relationship with the triune God). All of these areas are broken.
God is on a mission to reconcile all four realms of brokenness. God’s mission of reconciliation has come to us through Jesus Christ: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], and through [Christ] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19–20).
Christ humbly came to earth and called us into God’s mission for the reconciliation of all things, to bring forth the kingdom of God, and to ensure that God’s will is “done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is a big mission and followers of Christ should be humbled that we have the privilege of participating in it.
Generally, when we talk about God’s mission, there is a focus on the aforementioned spiritual aspect of the world’s brokenness, namely our fractured relationship with God Himself. Churches everywhere rightly emphasize that only Christ can restore this relationship. May we never dismiss or underemphasize this foundational truth for life and eternity.
However, in many places, there is no direct talk about healing the other three areas of brokenness or any acknowledgement that this necessary healing is also part of the mission to which God has called us. And even when there is that recognition, there is often an absence of any tangible, real-life solution or response.
Thankfully, there is change in the air and much of it is good. Christians everywhere are waking up to the tremendous oppression that comes through poverty, hunger, lack of clean water, preventable diseases, absence of education, environmental degradation, and other social problems that are simply reflections of these aforementioned areas of brokenness.
If you are interested in reading the full text, please look for the book: The Missional Entrepreneur by Mark Russell.