Reading a book this morning called, Congregations, Neighborhoods, Places by Mark T. Mulder and he hits me with John Chrysostom quote . . . so I go look up the full quote from the source, which turns out, interestingly enough from his 21st homily on 1 Corinthians (which, by the way, offers a far better reading of the table issue in 1 Corinthians 10-11 than how we back into it from our boxed-church, contemporary church-leadership, and church-service practices of today, but I digress). What Mulder quotes is pretty powerful all by itself, but after reading the whole Chrysostom thought, I am, again, left undone . . . how do we escape the foolishness and public madness of our overabundance?
The whole Chrysostom quote:
My rendering of the last line from the Chrysostom quote, yet, with a contemporary application: “And do you not think of how you must give an account of your use of your overabundance of God's gracious gifts [to you]?”
As the golden mouth preacher (the meaning of his name, bytheway) put it, but with my spin: It is foolishness and a public madness to fill our cupboards with clothing, garages with cars, bank accounts with money, our lives with toys, and allow men who were created in God’s image and likeness to stand naked and trembling with the cold so that they can hardly hold themselves up right.
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.