WEALTH CREATION: A FAITH-BASED MANIFESTO

In thinking about BAM, we ask how the Bible views business and more fundamentally, wealth creation. Mats Tunehag of BAM Global noted: “The Bible talks about wealth in three ways; one is bad and two are good. Hoarding of wealth is condemned. Sharing of wealth is encouraged. Wealth creation is both a godly gift and command, but there is no wealth to be shared
unless it has been created.”

Proverbs 31 describes the wealth generating activities of a godly businesswoman, who assesses the market, invests, profits and reinvests. She manufactures and retails. She understands supply chain and financial management, provides employment, and gives to charity. She models service to God and for the common good through business that transforms individuals and community for God’s glory.

When wealth creation is misunderstood, business people in the church are less valued than those in ministry or in helping professions because they are “just making money”.

The 2017 Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation was held in Thailand. Representing 20 countries, participants from the business sector, church and academia addressed these misplaced notions that affect the Gospel’s influence in the world. They explored biblical issues in wealth creation such as justice, poverty, stewardship, and the role of the church. The following manifesto summarizes their discussions.

1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world of abundance and diversity.

2. We are created in God’s image to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.

3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift commended in the Bible.

4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.

5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth
to be shared unless it has been created.

6. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity
is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.

7. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.

8. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to
create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual,
physical and spiritual wealth.

9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.

10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should . be sensitive to each unique cultural context.

11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environ-
mental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.