Introduction: The Bishop of Selby

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Solutions for a Broken World (#fabworld)

He thinks the churches have been very silent
We’re in dangerous waters because money is very difficult but the easy strapline what would Jesus do is too simplistic.
In fact noone could predict Jesus himself and he got annoyed when he heard about people wrong.
Jesus usually replies when someone asks him about that issue over there, the woman in adultery, he asks for us to look at ourselves.

Three issues:
TRUST
There’s been a real loss of trust in society, our relationships and everything else but the whole of our lives and society is built on trust. In Christianity our faith is absolutely the same thing as trust.

If trust disappears in business confidence goes and everything wobbles. Without trust employees no longer trust their boss, directors don’t trust the workforce, shareholders don’t trust the agm, investors don’t trust the company and suppliers can’t trust.

On our money it says I promise… We trust that of we put our money somewhere we will get it back. But we know that globally there is way more cash in circulation than we could demand from a bank.

The lack of trust means people now look for bad practice, lies, greed.

WORK
There’s been a lot of work to try and justify huge sums in order to keep the best people. People are filled with ambition throughout the world – there are always people ready to fill empty shoes.

Bonuses are not required to reward good work. They encourage short termism – driven by the bonus not the ultimate goal.

Pay increases satisfy for a short term but then people get tetchy soon. Just to give more many doesn’t motivate for ever. We seem to have lost the notion of working for a purpose and as Christians to work for a society that reflects the Kingdom of God.

Pay recognises good value – not sure again. What are we doing with professional footballer and the relative pay between them or for example a quiet person who gets on with fostering throughout their lives.

TRANSPARENCY
If you want to lose friends at a dinner party you only need to ask two questions and asks ‘how much do you earn?’ and ‘how much have you saved?’

As Christians there’s a lot of work for us to reflect Jesus’ teaching on money. If there’s hidden information that breeds suspicion and gossip and everything else.

What would Jesus do?
With the clergy at St Paul’s. He’d walk in, look around and weep to a them what on earth does this have to do with me walking on a beach IN Galilee?

What about the campers? He’d say stop moralising but use pithy stories that share your truth. Don’t be direct but be slightly oblique to get people thinking and talking.

What about the bankers? Well when he saw Zacchaeus he said, let’s go to your house and have a little chat about how much you earn, how you got there and how much you give away. In the church we talk a lot about giving but what about if we spoke to each other about the other 90% of our money.

It’s not just about what would Jesus do out there but also about what he would do within the church ourselves.

Look in the mirror before you pull on the telescope.

About Benjamin Welby

Hi, I'm Benjamin Welby. I'm a displaced northerner currently living in Croydon, I church with a group of Christians who meet in a Soho nightclub on Wednesdays and I support Bradford City. I've an academic background in History, Politics and International Development. I work for the Government Digital Service but I left my heart in local government. This blog is infrequently updated and may feature any, all or none of these things...