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Money - root of all evil?

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by TruelightUK, Jun 2, 2002.

  1. Material prosperity is a blessing from God - a covenant right for all Christians

  2. As Christians, we should give all that we have to the poor and live in holy poverty

  3. Material possessions are held in trust from the Lord, to be used as He directs

  4. If you are poor and a Christian, you must be either sinning or lacking in faith

  5. As Christians, we should own nothing, but have all things in common

  6. Wealth is a snare from the devil

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    But you are acting like there is nothing inbetween poverty and conspicous wealth. It is not condemning to suggest that God doesn't give us riches merely to spend on ourselves.

    Did you realize that only about 8% of Americans making $50,000 and above give 10% or more to charity, but 45% of those making less that $15,000 do? And that people in the upper income brackets say they wouldn't give at all if it weren't deductible? What does that really say? It says the more you make, the less you share with others. Riches are a snare that convince you that pleasure is what life is all about. They blind you to the needs of others. They comfort you in ways that tell you that you are wonderful and that God especially loves you.

    Money is not evil. Stinginess of the heart that is associated with richness is evil.
     
  2. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    And, when I see a guy dressed to the nines, driving an expensive car try to get me to invest with him, I toss him out as fast as he can go. I know the money to buy all that stuff came from folks like me, not from outerspace. Investment brokers make money from the people who invest with them, money that comes out of my pocket into his.

    My broker is a middle-class guy, well-dressed, but not dressed to kill, because I know that he isn't out cheating his clients to make the big bucks. My investments are doing very well, even during the bad downturn we just had, my portfolio rose in value more than 25%, because my middle-class broker didn't invest me in high-risk stuff just to turn a buck for himself. He also listened to my need to make socially-conscious investments, not in flimsy dotcoms or condom manufacturers, even though I could have made more money.

    Gold rings and Porshes are a sign of danger on a broker, as far as I'm concerned.

    I want one who lives out his faith through responsible investing and a charitible life.
     
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    quote:"I don't have a problem with working and saving money and using my money to help others (especially missionaries).
    But I do not see in the scriptures where we are suppose to be striving to build a mansion or business empire or see how many "toys" we can have before we die.
    It is "enough" to have a home, a car and "some" comforts - but there are people out there that are of the mind that God must give them a $30,000 car when an older, "standard" vehicle will do (and is often what He has in mind). "/quote

    Why are you drawing the boundaries and determining for the Christian world what is acceptable riches (like in your case) and what is not?

    Does God say that you can have a 2 litre Ford and nothing more? In my country that's a big luxury! Do you think he's bothered?!

    What's wrong with living in a mansion? Aren't you gonna live in one when you get to heaven? Or are you gonna ask God to downgrade you to a wooden shed? And you pray "thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven!"

    If your reasoning is correct, then you shld ask God why Abraham needed all those cattle, gold, silver and servants. He cld have lived with a lot less "excess" cldnt he?

    Don't limit how far God's people can go. Did not Solomon build the most expensive temple for God, and it still is. Did not Joseph (the closest type of Jesus) excel to the top and was extremely rich? --- excellence in everything, the crux of prosperity.

    Who put the diamonds, rubies and gold in the earth? Surely not Satan. So did God create them for Satan's croanies of for his own children?

    And stop lumping worldly men after riches with rich Godly men after Jesus. IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT IF YOU ARE EXTREMELY RICH, YOU CAN'T LOVE GOD.
     
  4. LilyLamb

    LilyLamb The Lord is My Shepherd

    588
    +1
    "thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven"

    There are no cars in heaven ... the riches of this world cannot be compared to the riches or "treasures" of heaven ...
     
  5. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    Tell those who have the riches of this world not to be arrogant and not to place their confidence in anything as uncertain as riches. Instead, they should place their confidence in God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. Tell them to do good, to do a lot of good things, to be generous, and to share. By doing this they store up a treasure for themselves which is a good foundation for the future. In this way they take hold of what life really is.

    I Timothy 6:17-19

    No one is saying that Christians can't be rich. But spending it all on yourself is selfish, and selfishness is wrong. Plus, since you can't take it with you, you might as well send it on ahead! So invest in the eternal things, not the things of this world.

    So let's pursue those things which bring peace and which are good for each other.
    Romans 14:19

    Pursue peace, not wealth! It couldn't be any clearer.

    We should all be concerned about our neighbor and the good things that will build his faith.
    Ro 15:2

    Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things.
    Col 3:2

    Enough said.
     
  6. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
    +1
    It always amazes me the number of 'reasons' some Christians can come up with justifying why it's okay for them to be rich, drive a fancy car, live in a big house, wear designer clothes and dine on fancy cuisine every day!
    It just makes me wonder if they'd quote the same verses and rationalisations if Jesus were to say to them personalyy "Sell all that you have and give to the poor"!

    Not that I beleive we are all called to do that exactly - but I do beleive that what worldly comforts we have should have so little hold on us that we could quite easily give them all away and still be rejoicing in our blessedness. And I do believe it is contrary to the Gospel to be so conspicously wealthy that it highlights the gap between us and the poor: to revel in our own good fortune - hard-earned or God-given - while others are starving is clearly contrary to the basic command to love our neighbour as ourselves; freely we have received, let us also freely give that we may be true children of our heavelny Father!

    Anthony
     
  7. LilyLamb

    LilyLamb The Lord is My Shepherd

    588
    +1
    AMEN!!!
     
  8. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
    +1
    BTW I'd be interested to hear from the 3 folk who voted that Christians should give all they have to the poor and live in holy poverty whether they are actually doing this? Or are they actually non-Christians saying how they think we should be living?

    Anthony
     
  9. LilyLamb

    LilyLamb The Lord is My Shepherd

    588
    +1
    I didn't vote - but I would like to say that we are living well beneath our means so that we can better afford to give generously ... by that I mean that even though we can afford a more expensive house and a more expensive car we don't see the need to have them ... we would rather have the extra in the bank to support missions and those in need. We buy our clothes from thrift stores (i.e. Goodwill, Rescue Mission) and on clearance ... we don't eat out except for special occassions ... we tithe 10% or more of our income and we tithe our time/talents.

    Three of my children have spent their entire summers (as have I) serving the Lord on the mission field - giving up luxuries (anything electrical - i.e. Playstation, TV, radio, CD player, hair dryers etc etc), living in a tent, washing clothes by hand, and doing whatever the Lord would have them do - helping orphans in Hungary and El Salvador, building a school for the deaf in Jamaica, renovating a building for an orphanage in Hungary, building a floating church to reach villages in Brazil with the Good News. These were volunteer positions from June-August ... these were hard-working positions, long days, long hours ... meaning no summer vacation, no luxuries, no sitting around the pool getting a tan and no salaries. And yet, these were our most rewarding summers ever spent. :)

    I didn't vote - because my answer isn't up there - I believe that we should work hard (cause the Bible says if a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat) and give generously ... regardless of whether we have little (as the Macedonians did) or much ... either way God gives us ALL we NEED and it's always enough so that we need not steal and so that we do not forget Him (Proverbs).
     
  10. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    But Abraham said to the rich man, "You had your fancy things on earth, Lazarus had nothing. He is now being comforted and you are being tormented."

    Luke 16:25.

    It doesn't seem like God is impressed with riches, the pursuit of riches, or people who have riches but don't share them with those who have nothing! Interestingly, it doesn't say that Abraham said, "You were not saved, and Lazarus was, so now he is comforted while you are tormented." Jesus was saying that a person whose heart is hardened against those who are poor is showing that he is not saved.

    Where your treasure is, your heart is also. If you treasure your wealth, your heart is in your bank, not your Lord. Christ, time after time, called us to sacrificial living, servanthood and submission to each other. The Christian life is supposed to be distinctive. If we lived half of what Jesus taught, the lost would beat a path to our churches!
     
  11. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    quote:"It always amazes me the number of 'reasons' some Christians can come up with justifying why it's okay for them to be rich........ "

    Why shld it amaze you if that is what Jesus died to give us? By believing in prosperity as part of redemption, they are actually honouring the work of Christ. Do you know anything about divine exchanges?

    2 Cor 8:9 -- For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor [at teh cross], that ye through his poverty might be rich.

    Jesus saves, heals, protects and prospers!
     
  12. Mandy

    Mandy Well-Known Member

    +7
    Jesus didn't die to give us earthly riches, He dies to reconcile us to God and save us from our sins.

    Prosperity is not part of the gospel that the Bible teaches. While there is nothing wrong with being rich, when it comes before God and is used for personal gain, it is sin.

    2 Corinthians 8:9 is not about how Jesus became poor so that we could be rich, materially. Here Paul is dealing with giving sacrificially. This verse in particular is referring to Jesus laying down His glory by becoming a man to die for us to give us eternal life.
     
  13. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    If the people who are humble are honored in heaven, then I would rather live humbly here, and get my riches from God there! All the stuff we amass here is going to be destroyed, only the rewards we receive from God will be with us forever.

    The saddest thing for me is that it seems like some people aren't understanding that all of what we have here is going to be burned up to ashes, and even our works and actions are going to be burned in a sort of spiritual fire, and only those things that build on the foundation of Christ will survive that fire. Porsches will be destroyed, having forewent an expensive car so that poor children could be cared for in a Christian hospital will be one of those things that survives.
     
  14. StogusMaximus

    StogusMaximus Well-Known Member

    +7
    Protestant
    I often wonder why people who believe that God is the source of all things is not the souce of wealth and prosperty.

    I am not a "Name it and Claim it" believer, but I do believe that if I get a great job and a new car, it is because God is blessing me. I also believe that if I am homeless and lonely it is because God is teaching and strengthening me for His purpose.
     
  15. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    No question, stogus. It's how you get your wealth and what you do with it that matters.

    If you pursue wealth so you can spoil yourself while neglecting others, then you probably don't have God first in your life. If everything you do turns prosperous, enjoy it, while keeping in mind that God has given you that wealth, not only for your own comfort, but to comfort others who have less.

    Wealth is a test, not a destination.
     
  16. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    quote: "Prosperity is not part of the gospel that the Bible teaches."

    OH YES IT IS. Read the scripture carefully:
    2 Corinthians 8:9 IS in the context of material provisions.

    plus: 3 Jo 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. there's your "health and wealth" gospel in a nutshell.

    Believe and receive, doubt and go without!
     
  17. Droobie

    Droobie Rebmem Raluger

    +64
    Pentecostal
    Married
    AU-Liberals
    Hmmm... what about material gain to further the kingdom of God?
     
  18. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    "And the King shall answer them, 'Honestly I tell you, Whenever you have done this to one of the lowliest of My siblings, you have really done it for Me."

    There are 800 million proxy Jesuses out there today who won't have enough to eat. 100 million of those won't have a roof to sleep under tonight. Half of both categories are children. No one could be lowlier than these.

    While we drive our expensive cars, 800 million proxy Jesuses go hungry. While we watch our sattelite TV, 100 million proxy Jesuses are homeless. While sleep in our palatial homes, Jesus is naked, in pain, and fearing for his life, through these people.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with wealth, it is what you do with your excess that shows what your are made of.
     
  19. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    441
    +1
    Amen, Lambslove!

    And I might also add, 'how you came by that wealth' also!

    Surely the overwhelming message of the Bible on this one is that, while material wealth in and of itself is not intrinsically evil (and can be a manifestation of God's favour), it does bring with it many potential pitfalls. To have money is not a sin - but to allow money to 'have' you is! To put our desire for money before our desire to love God and our neighbour is. To be motivated by financial considerations rather than pleasing God (irrespective of any potential 'reward') is. To hold on to money, and see it as the guarantee of our security is. To withhold money from those in need is. To parade our wealth in the faces of the less fortunate is, as is looking down on those who don't share our proserity. To use and abuse others in order to promote our own material wellbeing is.

    To seek God's Kingdom and the Kingdom values of righteousness, justice and love is to be our prime concern; and if God 'rewards' this with financial blessings, then we are to rejoice and be grateful - and see that as an opportunity to bless others. (Otherwise we run the risk of finding that, like Dives in the parable, we have had all our 'rewards' in this life, and face only torment in the next!). Money should be to us, primarily, a tool we can use to serve God more effectively - not a licence to indulge our own lusts and comforts!

    Anthony
     
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