Christianity Incorporated

Luke 18:18-25, rewritten according to the precepts contained in Centesimus Annus:

An official asked Jesus this question, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God. You know natural law and the commandments that follow from right reason.” And he replied, “All of these I have observed from my youth.” When Jesus heard this he said to him, “There is still one thing left for you: take all you have and invest it morally in order to aid the economic development of the poor, being sure that you receive sufficient profit to maintain your needs in a moderated lifestyle. Then come follow me.” But when he heard this he became quite sad at the amount he would have to pay in transaction fees to his broker.

Jesus looked at the [now sad] official and said, “How hard it is for those who have no load mutual funds to enter the kingdom of God! For it is harder for a thread to pass through the eye of a needle than for a corporate executive with stock options to enter the kingdom of God.”

[Excerpted from chapter 4, “John Locke in Ecclesial Drag? The Problem with Centesimus Annus,” in Michael Budde and Robert Brimlow, Christianity Incorporated: How Big Business is Buying the Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2002), p. 109]

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