A topic I’ve wanted to explore at this blog for sometime is the idea of living simply. I expected I would do that next month. Plans change. This weekend I got into a discussion at Jesus Creed about wealth and poverty that went straight to these issues. It is the first time I’ve tried to articulate some thinking I’ve been giving to the subject and since my mind is already with this topic I think I will just stumble my way through it here. To begin the discussion:
Two moral stances regarding wealth:
A) I’m responsible for no one else. What I earn is mine and no one else has any claim on my wealth.
B) I’m entitled only to the minimal amount resources that sustain my existence. As long as there is one person elsewhere on the face of the planet without minimal resources my use beyond the minimal makes me a murderer.
I presume as Christians we do not embrace A. What is the justification for not embracing B? Why should we own and use anything beyond our basic subsistence needs, much less live at even the lifestyle levels of the poor in the United States?