May 21, 2016

The False, Religious Buga Boo About The Sin Of Wealth

If all money is just "filthy lucre", why do churches, pastors, evangelists and missionaries keep "collecting" it in God's house, in every worship service, and asking for more? Why do they have budgets, treasurers, salaries and financial reports all dealing with money? Even the first church, of the Apostles, had a treasurer.... Judas, who carried a "bag" of money.

Common Sense Commentary: Abraham had wealth, Job had wealth, The Apostles had a treasury bag of money. Paul accepted it from the churches. Even Jesus used it to purchase necessities and pay taxes. Every church collects it, in the worship services. The terms "sell" and "buy" are used over a hundred times in the Bible. "Pay" is used about fifty times. Money is not evil. It is a tool to be used for good but can be misused for evil like a hammer, gun or fire.

Paul told young Timothy that "...The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1 Tim.6:10.  Paul's admonition to Timothy was not against money; Paul, himself needed money to live, eat and for ministry travel. He worked for money, accepted money from the churches he ministered to and thanked them for that money.  So money was a blessing to him not an evil. It is not money but the "love of money" , the "coveting" of money that is "the root of all evil". Money properly viewed and properly used and spent is a blessing. It is the love of it, the coveting of it, that motivates the thief, the prostitute, the drug addict, the greedy miser and the Judas traitor. So the poor who covet the rich man's money are more in violation than the generous rich man who is not covetous or in love with his money. I have met both types.

"Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot ... which would betray him,  Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein." John 12:4-6. Judas weaseled his way into the job of Apostolic Treasurer because he "loved and coveted" money. There was nothing wrong with the Lord's and Apostle's money. It was a necessity and used for good and holy purposes, it was even, itself, holy, sacrificed by the Christian people, from their labor, to the Lord's service.

Money earned is a fractional, mutually interchangeable, simplifying means of exchange representing the time, energy and talent you invested to gain it. Thus, earned money represents that part of your LIFE you traded to earn it. Giving your earned money is giving some of yourself. Spending it is spending part of yourself. It is no more evil than your labor which gained it. But the covetous love of it is where the evil is.

Saving your money will, in later years, save you time and energy when your time and energy are diminished and become more precious than the money you worked for and saved when your time and energy were plentiful but when money was in short supply. 

Money, time and energy are worth more or less depending on each person's level of possession of the three. To a young person, with an excess of time and energy, but with a desperate need of money for college, clothing, food or a car, money becomes more precious than his unused excess of time and energy. But to an old person who has spent his/her youthful time, energy and talent earning and saving money for retirement, what little time and energy they have left becomes more precious than the money they labored for and saved, when younger. That excess of money saved when young, later in old age, is used to preserve an elder's short supply of time and energy by hiring help, doctors, convenience, comfort, medication and health products. These things they did not need very much in youth, but desperately need in old age.

How each person values money, time and energy depends on age, intelligence, self image, habits and desires. Here are two stories which illustrate my point.

When a Pastor, I was driving from the south side of Tallahassee, Fla. to the north side. Still south of town I saw a slovenly looking young man with his thumb out. I stopped, he got in and I asked him how far he was going. He said that he was going to a gas station about seven miles on the other side of town. I asked if he worked there and he said, "No, I buy by beer there". "Why go that far when you could buy it right here on the south side", I asked. He answered, "Its 22 cents a six pack cheaper." "What about your time and energy spent" I asked. "I got lots of time and I hitch-hike both ways, so it ain't like I'm walkin 15 miles", he said.

On another occasion, on my way out of Florida to a conference in Georgia, I stopped for gas and saw two goats in the back seat of a car. This guy was filling his tank at the next pump so I asked him if he had just bought the goats or they just enjoyed riding in the car. "I'm taking them to an auction in Augusta." he said. "That's 300 miles and will take you all day into the night to get back. Why not sell them here in Tallahassee?" I asked. "I'll get a few dollars more for them in Augusta", he said.  "But what about the time and expense involved in the trip", I asked. "What's time to a goat", he answered.

If you are willing to exchange your time, energy, talents and experience (your life) on a job for a salary, paycheck, income, or profit.... all of which is MONEY, it has to mean you value that MONEY more than what you gave to get it. You could have spent that time with your family but you didn't because you had to feed, house, educate and secure them ..... with that MONEY. So don't pass yourself off as Mother Teresa with a vow of poverty. Even she had a source of income which God did not drop straight out of heaven into her purse. Somebody, somewhere worked for that money ... and so did she. Even she had to eat and have a bed and other necessities which took money. So get a job and pay your way... with money. Support your family with "earned" money ... Help those who are too young or too invalid to hold a job... with money. Don't expect God to drop money straight out of heaven into your pocket. That isn't his plan. This is His plan ...."In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground...." Gen.3:19.

"For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.2 Thess.3:11-12. This is God's plan. The Lord is not only holy, powerful and diety, He is also so practical and reasonable. 

I do not defend the rich but I defend the Biblical and Constitutional right to physical, spiritual, mental and economic freedom, the right to own the product of your labor, your talents, your ideas, your planning, your investments, frugality and time. I defend your right to use or misuse your life. RB "But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. " Ecc.11:9.

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