Call to a simple life.

All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism. (Jn 9:4; Mt9:35-38; Rom 9:1-3; 1 Cor 9:19-23; Mk 16:15; Is 58:6,7; Jas 1:27; 2:1-9; Mt 25:31-46; Acts 2:44, 45; 4:34, 35).

-LAUSANNE COVENANT, 1974, Part of clause 9

[this quote was taken from One Faith by J. I. Packer & Thomas C. Oden]

6 Responses to Call to a simple life.

  1. Clint says:

    Are we really committed to this…or are we too attached to the material things of the American lifestyle?

  2. Nancy says:

    Clint, thanks for posting this. Simplicity is certainly the popular buzz word in and outside of Christian circles. But honestly, though we may espouse simplicity and though we may cut a few extra curriculars out of our schedules, I don’t think we really recognize and have a vision of what a radical simple life-style looks like. This issue definity haunts me… as it should!

  3. Clint says:

    I honestly think that we have formed so much by our culture that our call to live a simple life has been replaced by the “biblical” american dream. And remember, simple is not the same as poor. But here is a question for you:

    What about those individuals, say fundraisers or presidents of christian institutions, that court rich individuals to golf resorts and fine restaurants to raise money for their respected establishments? Perhaps this even requires them to live a lavish lifestyle, with an extravagant home and car. Is this justified?

  4. Nancy says:

    Whew Clint – you are asking the tough questions that need to be answered. And yes, simple is not the same as poor. Here are a couple of thoughts:

    1. On the “biblical” american dream. I often find very little differentiation between the dreams and aspirations of christian and non-christian suburban women. The first item on everyone’s list is to acquire a gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops. I rarely hear Christian women discuss where they want to give their money once they acquire it. Yes, among Christians there can be tremendous generosity and many give in large ways that we never see nor should we. But I wonder about the day-to-day discourse. Should it be the same or should there be something that is different. This is really more of a question, not a statement.

    2. One can indulge in some lavish activities for the purpose of wooing rich donors without making it a permanent lifestyle change. And certainly in Christian circles the potential donor should respect the decision of the president or fundraiser to live a modest life. I’m not familiar with the whole fundraising process, but it seems that it should not demand that the fundraise/president live the same lifestyle as his potential donors. BTW what ever happened to a productive Starbucks meeting?

  5. Clint says:

    Nancy,

    “What do you mean by “day-to-day discourse?”

    I think that you make some good distinctions. How do we define “lavish?” Is it simply living beyond what we need, or does it go beyond that?

    Clint

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