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Faith & Economy

As far as the Bible is concerned, there is no such thing as a 'spirituality' that is disconnected from our material lives. Loving God and loving our neighbour go together, and this means we need to pay attention to the impact of our economic lives.

Believe it or not, the Bible actually has a lot to say about economics. (See Economics in the Bible for articles giving more in-depth discussion.)

From the foundational stories about Hebrew liberation from slavery (Exodus), to the detailed system of economic ethics laid down for the Promised Land (Exodus to Deuteronomy), to the powerful prophetic denunciations of systemic economic injustice (eg. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Micah), to the threatening teachings and stories of Jesus about money and its impact on us (Matthew, Mark and Luke), to the examples of economic community within the early Church (Acts, 2 Corinthians), to the final frightening unveiling of the true nature of a corrupt and exploitative world system (Revelation), a concern for our economic conduct has always been central to God's message to humanity.

Although expressed in many different ways, the economic themes of the Bible are consistent from beginning to end:

  1. We have been abundantly provided for and there is enough for all, however we have a responsibility to wisely steward the resources of creation.
  2. All of our economic conduct (consumption, production, investment) should be subordinated to the 'golden rule' of 'love thy neighbour'. (Jesus extends the concept of neighbourliness even to those considered enemies.)
  3. There is a special concern that the poor, the marginal and the vulnerable can live with dignity – that there is enough for all.
  4. That our economic behaviour is actually a true indication of what we worship, and that the economics of self-interest is actually a form of idolatry.
  5. That the economic systems we find in the world generally plunder creation, create scarcity and poverty, systematically exploit people, and ultimately draw people away from God and away from each other.
  6. The 'people of God' (Israel in the Old Testament, the Church in the New Testament) are called to be a people whose life of economic community and care is meant to stand as a witness to the alternative economics of the Kingdom of God. This should be good news for the world.

Manna Gum's mission is to promote a re-engagement with the inspiring economic vision of the Bible, to facilitate greater understanding about the nature and impact of the economy in which we live, and to encourage Christians to individually and communally begin to explore alternative and responsible ways of living.

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