Paul Kingsnorth shares his take on what's needed to set right the wrongs of the modern world
As much as I enjoy Paul Kingsnorth, I was irritated by one comment he made, an assertion which I've heard from others and is just wrong. Yes, in the Synoptic gospels, Jesus tells the rich young man that if he wanted to be perfect, he should go, sell his possessions, give the money to the poor, and he will have treasure in heaven. Then he was told to follow Jesus. This is the only person Jesus tells to sell everything in order to follow him! No other person is ever told to 'sell everything' to follow Jesus, and people from several social classes chose to follow him. The women who provided for Jesus and disciples were not impoverished; they served the Lord out of their resources. Yes, the early church did pool their resources and live as a community dedicated to following the way of Jesus. When this model failed and the church gradually gained wealth and power, did the way of the cross get lost entirely? Paul's embrace of an itinerant ministry meant accepting poverty, but James did not choose this model of leadership. Christians must look at the vexed issue of money and possessions from several different perspectives.