St. John Chrysostom on Economics

john_chrysostom1“It is not for lack of miracles that the church is stagnant; it is because we have forsaken the angelic life of Pentecost, and fallen back on private property. If we lived as they did, with all things common, we should soon convert the whole world without any need of miracles at all.” – St. John Chrysostom

This may not be an easy task for today’s Church but if we could at least take the general philosophy of this proposal and apply it to our lives we could at least move forward with substantial stride. I think that we can preach and teach our brains out and still not reach people today. It will not be until we change the way that we live that true conversion will take place in our nations.

There is a lot to say about what St. Chrysostom says about sharing property, more than what I am willing to write about in this post. What I really feel passionate about, regarding personal property and the Church, is that there are few if any co-ops available for insurance and other financial institutions. My family and I belong to Samaritan Ministries International, a co-op for Christian health care. I think this is a small but good start towards Christian economics. Another good thing to consider would be various educational co-ops and even medical co-ops.

What St. Chysostom is teaching here is not that we should own nothing and throw it all in to a big pot but that we should be interdependent on one another, sharing our gifts, talents and resources with one another so that Christ may be glorified. All throughout the Scripture we can see that God commands us to give to his people and in turn God will give even more to us. This is in and of itself “economical.” As long as the Church maintains its authority with the resources then the kingdom will continue to grow. It was not until the Church began to lose control to the State that cruel and unusual economics and welfare institutes became the norm.