Hermas: on possessions
It’s an interesting idea (although wrong) that things on earth are under an alien power for the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, but right in that not everything has kingdom values and almost nothing is neutral….
“You who are God’s servants are living in a foreign country, for your own city-state is far away from this city-state. Knowing which is yours, why do you acquire fields, costly furnishings, buildings, and frail dwellings here? Anyone who acquires things for himself in this city cannot expect to find the way home to his own City. Do you not realise that all these things here do not belong to you, that they are under a power alien to your nature? The ruler will say you do not obey my laws, either observe my laws or get out of my country. Take care lest it prove fatal to you to repudiate your own laws. Acquire no more than what is absolutely necessary. Instead of fields, buy for yourselves people in distress in accordance with your means.”
Hermas – 140 AD
Quoted in Shane Claiborne’s new book Jesus for President p146