It was interesting to meet a couple of young men from the Occupy Edinburgh camp yesterday.
Pete Nicholson and Eric Nelson came along to the Church of Scotland offices in Edinburgh to give evidence to the Church of Scotland Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity.
Although they’re located at opposite ends of Edinburgh’s George St, and their approaches quite different, it was gratifying to see just how much common ground there was between the two groups.
When we set up the Commission to look at the ethics underpinning the way we do economics, as part of the church’s response to the “credit crunch” of 2008/9, we took a lot of flack from people saying that, by the time it reported to the General Assembly in 2012, the whole thing would have blown over and we would be back to “business as usual”.
In many ways, that was the whole point: that we can’t just go back to business as usual, and the need to take a proper look at what we’re doing with economics has become more rather than less relevant.
Of course, Jesus reminds us that you can’t serve both God and money, and Paul identified the love of money as being at the root of all kinds of evil; these are themes which are echoed in what the Occupy Edinburgh protestors are saying.
We have to recognise again that economics and wealth are far too important for the church to ignore – and that they are about much more than simply money.
You can read about the Occupy Edinburgh visit to the Economics Commission at the Scotsman or watch a short news clip about it on STV News.