Clement of Alexandria on money

In Henry Chadwick’s history The Early Church and there are some absolute gems which you’d do well to read for your reflection, edification and application.

Clement of Alexandria wrote a ‘special discourse on to help Christians puzzled about the right use of their money and troubled by the absolute command of the Lord to the rich young ruler, ‘if you would be perfect, sell all you have…’. Here’s what Chadwick says about this,

On a rapid reading it might seem as if Clement were merely a compromiser trying to wriggle out of the plain meaning of a commandment. But a fairer reading of his tract shows that he did not see the gospel ethic as imposing legalistic obligations but rather as a statement of God’s highest purpose for those who follow him to the utmost. What really matters is the use rather than the accident of possession. Accordingly Clement laid down a guide for the wealthy converts of the Alexandrian church, which imposed a most strenuous standard of frugality and self-discipline. Clement passionately opposed any luxury or ostentation, and much that protested to be lawful he regarded as highly inexpedient. (p98)

Emphasis mine. What would our teaching and instruction be to the wealthy in the church?

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