By Keyla Sweeney
For this blogger focused on writing about Ethics, it was a huge gift to find in her bookshelf the book ”Ethics and the Christian: Right and Wrong in Today’s Word” by R.C. Sproul. I don’t even remember how I got this one. I have this funny believe that books find/meet their reader at the right moment. I find this book outstanding (as everything I have read from Mr. Sproul) this will be my first post of a series on several aspects of Ethics based on this material.
Here we go:
- The sanctity of labor is first of all instituted by the labor of God Himself in creation. Labor, in Creation is a duty and a blessing, not a curse. The curse that is attached to labor after the fall has to do with the quality of work and the difficulty of our labor by which we bring forth fruit. The thorns and the sweat, not the work itself, are the curse.
- Even after the fall, we have no indication that private property (the fruit of one’s labor) is condemned or prohibited by God.
- In terms of the relationship between labor and property, we gain an important insight by examining the Sabbath commandment. One of the things that is often overlooked is that not only does the commandment concern itself with the seventh day, but also with the first six. “Six days shalt thou labor…”The day of rest makes no sense apart from the six days of labor which precede it.
- The sanctity of labor is the ground-basis for private property.
- Prosperity and wealth are seen as an aspect of God’s providence. This is one of the reasons why covetousness is such a weighty matter. When I covet, I am protesting against God’s distribution of wealth.
- What about the Christians’s responsibility to the poor? This, of course, touches the heart of the matter of materialism. Obviously, the provision for the needs of the poor is a Christian responsibility.
- In the New Testament we encounter wealthy men who are praiseworthy. Note the care of the body of Christ, after the Crucifixion, by Joseph of Arimathea, obviously a man of means.
What are your thoughts? Will love to hear it.