CRI Resource: Money and Salvation: An Invitation to the Good Way and On Wealth and Poverty by St. John Chrysostom. Foreword by Hank Hanegraaff

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Money and Salvation: An Invitation to the Good Way and On Wealth

“Today many Orthodox Christians, including bishops and priests, feel acutely uncomfortable discussing financial issues in church for a variety of valid historical and pastoral reasons,” writes Money & Salvation author Dr. Andrew Geleris.

Too often, we as hierarchs, clergy, and lay leaders speak to our people about giving to meet the needs of the Church or the needs of the poor, and we forget to teach that the true need for each and every one of us is simply to give. God did not recommend that we give only when there is some perceived need or a capital campaign for a project. God commands that we give for our salvation. This short but profound book explores the deeper spiritual meaning—and necessity—of financial giving. This book is an effort to describe why restoring a soul-centric scriptural and patristic phronema to the Church is important and what it might look like.

Each chapter includes a series of discussion questions designed for book clubs, family reading, and church small groups.

On Wealth and Poverty
by St. John Chrysostom

From the Foreword — by Hank Hanegraaff
“In this literary pearl, St. John Chrysostom takes Christ’s famed parable of the rich man and Lazarus and attempts to plumb its immeasurable riches — knowing all the while that ‘no one will be able to empty all its wealth. Such is the nature of this abundance: the deeper you dig, the more divine thoughts will gush forth, for it is a never-failing spring.’”

From Chrysostom’s six sermons on Lazarus and the rich man

“So you must think about the life to come. As one dream is to a hundred years, so the present life is to the future life; or rather the difference is much greater. As a little drop is to the boundless sea, so much a thousand years are to that future glory and enjoyment.”

On mercy and generosity

“It is not the same thing to see a poor man once or twice and pass him by, as to look at him every day and not be
aroused by the persistent sight to mercy and generosity. Again, it is not the same thing for one who is troubled in
his heart by misfortune and distress not to help his neighbor, as for one who enjoys such happiness and continuous
good fortune to neglect others who are wasting away with hunger, to lock up his heart, and not to be made more
generous by his own joy.”

Then and now

“You saw Lazarus then at the gate of the rich man; see him today in the bosom of Abraham. You saw him licked by
dogs; see him carried in triumph by the angels. You saw him in poverty then; see him in luxury now. You saw him
striving in contest; see him crowned with victory. You saw his sufferings; see his recompense, both you who are
rich and you who are poor: the rich, to keep you from thinking that wealth is worth anything without virtue; the
poor, to keep you from thinking that poverty is any evil.”

What could be poorer than this poverty?

“Often indeed one of those who are rich in this life turns out to be the poorest of all in the other life, even like this
rich man. For when the evening took him, that is to say death, and he departed from the theater of the present
life, and put aside his mask, he was received as the poorest of all in that other world; so poor indeed that he was
not master even of a drop of water, but had to beg for this and did not even obtain it from begging. What could be
poorer than this poverty?”

Remember this without fail

“If you cannot remember everything, instead of everything, I beg you, remember this without fail, that not to share
your own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our
own wealth, but theirs.”

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