The New Economy

Today’s posting is non-scientific.  Today’s posting does not have a lot editorial flashes attached.  Today’s posting is just my ramblings about the Church, something almost as near and dear to my heart as God (mind you that the Church is not God nor does it even come close to God – but I love as much as anyone).

At this time in the Church’s history we stand on the brink of a shift that, based upon history, is due to happen.  Every 500 or so years our church moves forward with reformation.  Creeds have caused shifting.  Luther’s 95 theses tipped the world’s hat to the last major one.  But in 2010, we are due for one. 

While at 2010 Georgia Pastor’s School this week, I heard a lot of discussion about the imago dei and about pastoral self-care (very important shop-talk).  In all of the discussions I heard one sentence from Steve Harper of Asbury Seminary that put all of the puzzle pieces together for me – “The Church is in the beginning moments of a new reformation and what it looks like nobody is yet quite certain.”  So what is this new reformation and what will it look like? Here are my thoughts…

…The new reformation will be drawn on ECONOMIC and FINANCIAL lines.

Many other believers have said many things about the new reformation being something doctrinal.  I disagree.  I believe that doctrines, though they have been changed by many (Read 1,2,3 Jn; Col), are not and will not be the determinants of this reformation.  The Doctrines of Christ (the essentials of the Faith) will remain.  I am confindent of this.  The essentials of the faith then are still the essentials and shall remain that way.

When I returned to Atlanta yesterday from Saint Simons Island, I saw a billboard on GA Hwy 16 that read “Jesus is not a Socialist.”  This may be true on some level but I would also like to have seen a billboard reading “Jesus is not a Capitalist EITHER!”  Christ is neither socialist nor is Christ a capitalist.  Christ is something distinctly OTHER! 

We people look at Christ and we very often seek attributes that we recognize.  Very often the attributes we see are those that we SEE IN OURSELVES.  But, that does not connote that Christ is exclusively like US! 

I am convinced now more than ever that the next reformation will be ECONOMIC/FINANCIAL.  The next movement of the Church will be an overarching sea change in the economy of churches.  If I’m right, there will be many, many implications of which I don’t know where to begin. 

Send me your thoughts!  What do y’all think?

Published by

David A. Wofford

Serving Christ, proclaiming Resurrection, renouncing Evil.

4 thoughts on “The New Economy”

  1. To be a little more specific, I feel very strongly that the economic course of the future of the west will be played out in large part in the midst of our Christianity. A good friend has pointed out to me that we have not seen reformation in the Church (historically) without significant blood-shed. May we never see that happen (though perhaps we already have in places like China and S.E. Asia).

    I’m hoping for lots of commentary from y’all!

    1. David,

      Hey bro, interesting thoughts here, but I have a few questions. What part of the world are you speaking of, as there has been much reformation, and revival for that matter, in the Southern hemisphere for the past twenty or so years, especially in regards to global indigenous communities. Moreover, can you expound on what you mean by economical/financial and how will the Church, through Scripture, contribute to that? One struggle that I constantly have is that the Church, especially in my most beloved space…LOL…social justice, constantly critiques things like sweat shops but offers no alternatives. What will this economic/financial reformation look like for local churches? More sacrifice from the West in order to support the “third world” as the more financially impoverished parts of the world share their spiritual wealth with the West? I think we can look to James 1 for input into that need.

      And, why a financial/economic reformation? I’m curious as to the specificities of this, as reformation in the past has been rather over arching.

      Looking forward to your thoughts.

      1. I can’t really articulate this out very well and I’m sure my thoughts are undeveloped but it seems to me that the larger tension in the church lies across economic lines. The Church has been dealing with this tension for a long time.

        I’m just realizing how intrinsic financial tensions undergird how we view doctrine. I’m not sure how far to carry this. It seems that dividing lines have been drawn on economic ideologies rather than on Doctrine (or rather maybe Christologies have been created with a economic foundation in mind).

        My words are thoughts in progress, FYI (thus request for thoughts).

  2. Woff,

    I think I hear you to a certain extent. The financial/economic situation in North America seems to point to this in some ways. For the Church, in my mind, the question will be begged to what degree people are willing to sacrifice their finances for what is happening regarding God’s kingdom in North America.

    However, in regard to reformation and financial/economic ideals, I wonder if this isn’t a little limited, in that financial/economic is only a piece of what reformation will look like. I can get on board entirely that it may not be a doctrinal reformation because doctrine can be both life giving and life suffocating; life giving if we don’t allow doctrine to be the primary thing but life suffocating if we attempt to shape a reformation based on those lines, disallowing the Holy Spirit to do what he wants to do.

    For me, as you know, reformation will have an holistic impact. It may begin with finances and the economy, but as I said earlier, I think it will only be a part of it. One thought does come to mind rather sharply and that is the question of whether or not the Church ought to kneel in repentance for the ways that we have worshiped Mammon rather than Jesus. In the past, how has repentance led to reformation? I think we often see in the Old Testament examples of Israel’s repentance leading to revival. Should we be courageous enough to listen to, and obey, Christ’s demand to take up our cross and follow him, then we won’t have enough room in our hands to carry idols such as Mammon because we will be carrying the cross – carrying it or dying on it or both.

    Those are my initial thoughts without questions this time…LOL…I look forward to watching your thoughts develop.

    Peace bro.

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