Chesterton on Wealth

From Orthodoxy:
"Only the Christian Church can offer any rational objection to a complete confidence in the rich. For she has maintained from the beginning that the danger was in not in man’s environment, but in man. Further, she has maintained that if we come to talk of a dangerous environment, the most dangerous of all is the commodious environment. I know that most modern manufacture has been really occupied in trying to produce an abnormally large needle. I know that the most recent biologists have been chiefly anxious to discover a very small camel. But if we diminish the camel to his smallest, or open the eye of the needle to its largest - if, in short, we assume the words of Christ to have meant the very least that they could mean, His words must at the very least mean this - that rich men are not likely to be morally trustworthy. Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags."
(Hat tip to JCP.)


Anonymous said...

What a load of rot!

If that is so then how to you explain what is pointed to and described in these two references.



Which is to say that the church became an integral player in the Western drive to total power and control, the very moment it was coopted by the Roman state--a "holy" empire being the ultimate oxymoron.

Onward christian soldiers always marching into war with their blood soaked swords and MAXIM guns.

Speaker for the Dead said...

I think you're misunderstanding Chesterton's point here. The point is not that Christians always act morally - that is obviously not the case. The point is that real Christianity, as presented in the Bible, offers insight into morality that nothing else can offer.

Sure, Christians throughout history have behaved extremely violently and un-Christianly. But Jesus and the earliest Christians were, for all intents and purposes, pacifists who often refused to serve in the Roman military and died rather than retaliating. You are doing yourself a disservice if you're going to base your judgment of an entire faith on the misguided actions of some Christians and on shrill websites that distort the historical significance of those actions.