Daily Reading for October 10 • Vida Dutton Scudder, Educator and Witness for Peace, 1954
[The doctrine of stewardship is the] belief that the Christian holds all his worldly possessions in trust for God and for his brothers. . . . The doctrine of stewardship is unsatisfactory on two counts. First . . . it implies no responsibility toward the source of wealth but only toward the use of it. . . . [Christians must] consider the connotation of their incomes in human values at the source. . . .
Stewardship taken by itself has nothing to say to us about property as an instrument of power. But . . . the concentration of power is the chief evil which progress toward social justice has to dread. . . . The main reason why possessions are valued is less the luxury they offer than the power they confer. . . . It behooves us to search our hearts, whether we escape the horrid dangers involved in [the] ability to give money away.
From The Christian Attitude Toward Private Property (1934) by Vida Dutton Scudder, quoted in Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality by Richard H. Schmidt (Eerdmans, 2002).