01 March 2011

Trash or Treasure?

What is true wealth? How is it defined?
Gold?
Bonds?
Currencies?
Possessions?
Real estate? If you’ve been alive in the past four years, you have some idea of how difficult it is to hold on to what is defined as wealth. Since economic uncertainty hit the world in 2008, gold has been looking more precious to a great many people. And, as a result, its “value” has increased.
But, what is the real value of gold? It's only that which has been assigned to it--which begs the question, by whom or by what: there has to be an assigner--an agent who has the authority and ability to make that decison. 
In this case I am speakng of worldly (and necessary) exchanges; but that does not address spiritual and eternal exchanges. What is important there?
When we inventory that particular issue, we eventually realize we need to consider what value we assign to Christ. And, there are “real and objective” ways to do that, which we will do in another post. At the outset we need to address what obscures or clouds our thoughts regarding Christ. What does this are the norms: the social, the subjective ideas regarding the value of Christ to a society, to the world.
GK Chesterton puts it this way:
 “…the Church from its beginnings, and perhaps especially in its beginnings, was not so much a principality as a revolution against the prince of the world…
[At the time] Olympus still occupied the sky like a motionless cloud molded into many forms; philosophy still sat in the high places and even on the thrones of the kings,
when Christ was born in the cave and Christianity in the catacombs.
In both cases, [there is] the same paradox of revolution; …. of something despised; of something feared.
The cave in one aspect is only a hole or corner into which the outcasts are swept like rubbish; yet in the other aspect it is a hiding-place of something valuable which the tyrants are seeking like treasure."

  • GK Chesterton (I recommend reading: “The Man Who Was Thursday” with this idea in mind)