The newspapers’ scandal of the week here in the UK is that many of our MPs have been caught out claiming inappropriate expenses. These are mostly sums which they technically have the right to spend, and claim back, but which the people of this country, or at least the newspapers, consider excessive. On this matter Bishop Alan has had sensible words to say.
In this context Matthew Malcolm, an Aussie studying here in the UK, has posted an interesting but painful retelling of part of 1 Corinthians 8-10, with the principles outlined there reapplied to the acquisition of wealth. He calls this, in comparison to the commoner application to alcohol, “a far more attentive application of these chapters for Christians today”. Here is an extract from Malcolm’s piece:
But watch out that this “right to spend” of yours does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone should see you with your knowledge, making a down payment on a Range Rover, won’t their conscience, being weak, be built up to indulge in a hunger for wealth? So the weak is destroyed by your knowledge – this brother or sister, for whom Christ died. And thus, sinning against brothers and sisters and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
As Matthew himself responds, “Youch”.