Trevor Gundry at Religious News Service
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Too much religion can harm a society’s economy by undermining the drive for financial success, according to a new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
The study of almost 190,000 people from 11 religiously diverse cultures is raising eyebrows among some of England’s religious leaders for suggesting Judaism and Christianity have anti-wealth norms.
Written by academics at University of Southampton in England and the Humboldt University of Berlin, the study found that religious people in religious cultures reported better psychological adjustment when their income was low.
The study cites the Bible to show how Judaism and Christianity turn upside down the belief that the highest possible income leads to the highest possible happiness and psychological adjustment.
Well, yes, the Bible is very clear that wealth and stuff do not lead to happiness; but what the Bible is concerned about is not wealth per se, but that all the wealth is only in the hands of a few. Wealth is not to be hoarded, but to be used for God's glory in the service to others.
Reasonable Christians can disagree as to exactly how to use such wealth, but that wealth is not an end in and of itself should not be open for debate in Christian circles.
Unfortunately, there are Christians who do debate it. Exegesis, exegesis, exegesis.