“Once when I was in Victoria, I saw a very large home. They told me it was a “bank,” and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by they got it back, with interest. We are Indians, and we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people, and by and by they return them, and our hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our bank.” – Maquinna, Nootka chief, early 19th century.
I love that phrase, “by and by.” The rocks cry out, and while the theology as a whole might be lacking — is the theology of those who claim to have it all together leading them to walk by faith when it comes to money, or anything that even resembles what it was like pre-fall when there was none? Let the tongues speak and shame all professors into confessors, and a better way of living that is a light in the darkness. Is it vain to pray, “May Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” while refusing to walk a heavenly lifestyle here on earth? Do we pray something we don’t believe we can do anything about?
It reminds me of what Ghandi said concerning the gospel of Christ. “It’s a wonderful idea. Somebody should try it sometime.”
In the economy of God, there is no exchange of money, for money has its beginning in mistrust. We are asked instead to, “Owe no man anything but to love one another.” Love is the currency of exchange in the Kingdom of God, and is based on a faith in God – not in people – and is backed by the blood of Christ, which is priceless compared to silver and gold. He takes care of those who put their trust in Him.
It struck me just today, perhaps for the first time. Jesus allowed his friend Judas to manage the money bag, all the while (I believe) knowing he was stealing from it. There’s no indication Jesus did anything about it, or confronted him directly. Judas later killed himself.
Now my heart tells me that I am not of this world. But my lifestyle is generally dependent on the monetary system for food, healing, communication, transportation, and sometimes even justice. I usually go after what is owed, and try not to let others take advantage of me. I don’t have all the answers. But there is a door of freedom open, and a way of living free. Just walking away from our responsibilities and abandoning everything is not necessarily the answer, for we may not be equipped to function without all the “stuff” yet. Plus – we may be fighting a battle before it’s time, or even the wrong battle.
Rather, an “exchange” must go on. The things of this world must be exchanged for the things that are eternal. Our hearts must be brave, and our lives must follow. Kingdom living is a risky business. Actually more accurately, it is a non-business, and it is practical for an earthly way of life, too.
I don’t have a full grasp of what the buying and selling is all about in the book of Revelation that happens among those who are “marked.” I do know that there is no need for buying and selling in the Kingdom of God! We freely give of our abundance, and we freely ask for and receive what we need, both without attaching value, or asking for renumeration.
Perhaps soon, this will be more than a fanciful idea for a future “heaven,” but a real practical lifestyle to live out now. It may happen because things get so rough here that we HAVE to take care of each other this way to survive, or it may happen due to an awakening of our hearts now.
“In time for the world to know.”