Jack Mahoney

Both historically and in the present a variety of Christian attitudes can be identified towards wealth, influenced to a significant extent either by explicit teaching about it in the Bible or by reflecting on wealth in the light of various basic Christian beliefs. Thus, the powerful words of Jesus on the spiritual dangers of money and wealth (Mark 10:23-7) have imprinted themselves so deeply on the Christian community through the centuries that those who are well off, or even comfortably off, often feel uneasy and troubled in conscience. Moreover, the whole subsequent Christian tradition of suspicion towards wealth, with its stress on the evils of materialism, consumerism and worldliness, has provided scant comfort, far less encouragement, to those whose job in life is to create wealth and make money, whether for themselves and their dependants, or for others, or for the society in which they live. Added to that, the plight of the increasing millions of poor people living often in otherwise affluent countries as well as in the less developed areas of the globe raises very serious ethical and theological misgivings about the economic structures of modern society which can result in such striking disparities of wealth among human beings.

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