Since when did Jesus say “amass all the money that you can so that you can do good in my name”?
I’ve been thinking lately that many Christians have been fooled by the ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. Having been involved extensively in the world of business over the past year, I have had more than an earful of business philosophy to go along with it.
Because my faith is such a big part of who I am, it automatically effects every area of my life – including both my business and life philosophies. Over the last while I have really been struck by the many ways that we as Christians go about justifying our thwarted world view, many times based on philosophies that have nothing to do with the Biblical focus of our faith. How is it that we have become so disconnected?
Many have been quick to point out to me: “You know, money is not evil…even the Bible doesn’t actually say that.” And true enough, it says “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). People try to convince me that pursuing more income will only help me help more people, and isn’t that at the focus of what we all want? Don’t we just want to serve/help more people??
Let me just say this…If God has blessed you with opportunity and circumstances that allow you to give away more money and/or financially support those in need, I think that is fantastic! But you know what? Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “go out and pursue money so that you can do great things for my Kingdom”. And yet I hear multiple well-known Christian figures “preaching” that exact message.
I think it’s time someone challenges that thinking. We need to check our motives and re-read the instructions that were laid out for us. Matt. 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22 They all tell of Jesus’ addressing the crowds, explaining that to have treasure in heaven one must give up the pursuits of earth (sell all that you have and follow me). Then again in another passage we hear the following:
Mark 12:43-44 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (This story is also found in all three of the synoptic gospels).
It seems to me that Jesus is making a point – that less is more.
To close out the passage I quoted to begin with, Jesus stated the following: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Quoted in Matt 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25)
So, I ask you…out of all of these teachings…where do we get the idea that we are asked to pursue wealth because then we can do more good? How did doing good things become synonymous with having more? I know Mother Theresa didn’t think that way.
Something to think about…