Wealth and Christianity


Hey guys,

I was just wondering what y’all thought about all the wealth stored up in our cathedrals and church buildings (Catholic and Protestant)? Does that seem like too much luxury and decadence for us Christians to be storing in buildings, when we could help so many poor people out with the money? I was just wondering your thoughts?



I have no problem with big expensive Cathedrals, because the church still helps the poor. Inside, the nave is generally humble, it is the sanctuary that is usually ornate. We are to have a feeling of heaven when we enter though and I would have a harder time doing that if we had plain walls, no art, etc. for the sake of giving money to the poor.

We also have to look at the big picture on money. We are to give everything up for the sake of the gospel. The Church has done that. The first Christians literally sold everything they had and lived together. By obeying that early on, God has obviously blessed the Church with wealth and all those Cathedrals. It isn’t that the Church has built up wealth and used it to build them, it is by applying what they were supposed to do all along, feed and clothe the poor, etc, that God has made the church financially able to do both.


We and our ancestor have given back to God what good he has given us. That is why the Cathedrals are beautiful. God is the God of beauty. Are the forest to rich or the oceans to beautiful. Why shouldn’t we give back. The Church own nothing it is all given back to God by us the faithful.


Many of the cathedrals are hundreds of years old, and the people who built them, bought and paid for the materials, furnished them, are long dead. So. . .just who actually OWNS them, for example? The people of the town, whether they’ve lived there 6 days or 6 hundred years? Just who will profit by a bishop putting chalices on the auction block? Who puts a price on a saint’s relic which has been venerated hundreds of years? Who owns the Sistine Chapel? Who is going to BUY it?

“Wealth” is a very subjective term. I don’t go into my church thinking, “why can’t we sell everything in here that isn’t nailed down and give it to the poor”. . .because is it MINE to sell? Were mine the hands that made the objects? Was I the one who bought them?

Rather, do we look at the faith and love of those who willingly made, and bought, beautiful objects for God, remember them as part of the communion of saints and our brothers and sisters, and strive to give God beautiful objects in making our SOULS beautiful by deeds of prayer, worship, and almsgiving, to name just a few?

Let’s not turn into Judas and murmur about “why was not this sold and the money given to the poor”. . .but rather turn to Jesus with our hearts, minds, and souls, give to Him honor and glory, and treat our neighbor as ourselves. . .

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