Posts tagged ‘recession’

January 11, 2010

[843 Acres] Mortgage Morality

by Mattie

In this week’s New York Times Magazine, Roger Lowenstein seems to encourage homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth to default on their loans and abandon their properties (Walk Away From Your Mortgage!). Mr. Lowenstein, a director at the Sequoia Fund, argues that mortgage default is a “calculated” decision of economic self-interest void of moral implications.

Jesus seems to hold Christians to a higher standard, where decisions (financial and otherwise) are based not primarily on self-serving desires, but on responsible stewardship of what has been given. In Christ’s “Parable of the Talents,” the master (arguably God) applauds the servant who invests his money wisely and returns to the master more than he was given. The master says, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, NIV).

Could the one who defaults on his mortgage be like this faithful servant? If she owes more than her house is worth, shouldn’t she walk away and find a better way to invest her money? Or is the one who relinquishes his financial responsibilities more like the “wicked and lazy” servant in the parable who is rebuked and rejected by the master for burying the money?

January 7, 2010

[843 Acres] Distributing our Daily Bread

by Mattie

The New York Times reports this week that approximately six million Americans survive exclusively on the support provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps (Living on Nothing but Food Stamps). While scripture reminds us to “not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27, NIV), the records of the early church show that the apostles believed giving food assistance to those in need was a core component of the Christian life.  Soon after Christ’s ascension, he apostles realized that they had been so busy distributing food to widows and children that they were neglecting the spiritual side of their ministry.  Rather than ending their charitable work, they asked the group to  “choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:3-4, NIV).  The legacy of these seven, known as the first deacons, persists in many Christian churches. May we remember that providing food to those in need is an essential witness of Christ’s presence in the world that is particularly needed today.

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