Mail criticises Archbishop Justin for preaching like Jesus
Actually, not if the Archbishop were concerned about following the example of Jesus.
The 'musts', 'oughts' and 'expectations' of New Testament ethics bear passionate witness to the economic imperatives of Christian discipleship. In fact, Jesus spoke more about money and possessions than he did the kingdom of heaven, so to criticise the Archbishop of Canterbury for focusing on the euro instead of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is to misunderstand God's pervasive concern for the just use of money and for sharing with the poor and needy.
But this is the Mail, so one ought not to have too high an expectation of even a cursory survey of the New Testament on ethical matters.
In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus teaches that the relinquishing of anxiety about economic security must follow the seeking of God's justice (Mt 6:25-34). We are taught to pray only for our daily euros and to forgive those who owe is debts (6:11f cf 18:23-35). It is noteworthy that the sheep and the goats are divided on the basis of their treatment of those who are hungry, naked, sick and in prison.
Mark tells us that Jesus challenged a rich man to give all his euros to the poor before he could inherit eternal life (Mk 10:17-22). The message is clear: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a banker stuffed with bonuses to enter the kingdom of God (10:23-27). The poor widow, however, is praised for donating her last two euros to the God's treasury (10:41-44).
Luke is unequivocal in his message that the resurrection leads to the creation of a new community of believers who share all their possessions in common so that there are no poor among them. There is a concrete economic cost to discipleship (Lk 14:25-35), and those who store up their euros are fools (12:16-21). Zacchaeus exemplifies the authentic response to the resurrection of Christ by giving half of his possessions to the poor (19:1-10).
The Johannine literature also exhorts the community of faith to practise economic sharing: the command to love one another necessarily entails the sharing of our euros with those who have none (1Jn 3:17f). The theme is pursued by St Paul throughout the New Testament: the manna in the wilderness could not be horded and stored up for the future (2Cor 8:13-15 cf Exod 16:18), so neither should Mammon. Those who horde their euros in off-shore banks and launder their fortunes for selfish gain have fallen into the trap of self-destructive greed. 'The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains' (1Tim 6:9f).
So, when Archbishop Justin 'spends so much time talking about Cyprus and the euro', his message is just the same as that of Jesus and St Paul, whose language was reminiscent of Amos and Isaiah. Those politicians and bankers who oppress the poor will not escape God's judgment: 'You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter' (James 5:1-6). Gold, silver and euros will rust (cf Mt 6:19-21). We can only be rich in faith and good works, for economic power and prosperity have a corrupting influence.
Perhaps the Mail might care to read the words of Jesus before criticising the Archbishop for having a 'wrong concern' at Easter. There is simply no point in preaching Christ and Him crucified when people's minds are on the accumulation of wealth. Jesus was not concerned merely with how individuals might seek eternal life; rather, He was concerned with how the Church as a whole might embody the economics of the kingdom of God. One begins with where the community is at: the cross and resurrection living are a subsequent challenge.