I should be grateful to Christianity Today for its email, with the above title this morning, so disinterestedly pointing me towards the possibility of making higher profit than in the shaky stock market, by investing in gold. But I was shocked, - and angry all day. It was a Books & Culture email, so I imagined it was a clever trail for a book that would be critical of the quest for riches and financial security without questioning the ethics of our investments... so I read on... and on... and even clicked on the link to see the Christian punch line. It never came. Or rather, the punch line seemed to be: the stock market is fragile, so get out (never mind that you are contributing to its decline), and invest - not in communities of faith who can cushion the blow for those at the bottom, but in gold bullion.
Actually, though I'm angry, I am grateful. Because I still have two coats, and even spare shoes... Grateful. For the reminder of the god of material gain, which shapes and guides our lives, and for whom we make so many great sacrifices of time and freedom. "5000 years of history says Gold is a protector of wealth. This makes Gold Eagles an excellent investment for profit, privacy and times of economic and market uncertainty." Christianity Today says so, so there.
Let's forget that economically unprofitable Teacher then, who said something like Don't invest in your financial security; invest in the kingdom of God. When he said (see Luke 12.33) "Sell what you have and give it to the poor," Jesus clearly didn't realise that true worth is not in the people made in God's image. Now we know the truth: even the stock market is faulty, because it too is a human community of faith. Ditch it. Don't trust it. True Wealth is protected by cold gold.
That old teacher got one thing right, though. Moths and rust can't eat it.
So that's all right then.