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Gamaliel's Desk
Friday, September 06, 2002
 
The Lure of Lucre
The carnality of the modern Christian seems to know no bounds. This is seen today in their evil pursuit of money. This has caused modern Christians to shun the godly virtue of poverty. Too few people today fail to see the intrinsic holiness and spirituality of poverty.

One of the signs of the compromising trend with the world is the rise of so-called Christian stewardship ministries. These supposed ministries attempt to spiritualize the ungodly use of money under the guise of wisely using the resources God has entrusted to our care. These purveyors of platitudes even go so far as to give investment advice to Christians and urge them to manage their wealth in a morally responsible manner.

They miss the essential point that any Christian who has accumulated enough wealth to worry about where he should invest it is clearly in possession of more money than is spiritually justifiable. As a Spiritual Christian, any interest in money matters should be soundly condemned and so-called stewardship ministries castigated on every occasion.

Poverty is a virtuous sign of holiness because it renounces our affiliation with the world. Those who are godly and spiritual are not people of means but people who are of mean stature. Even Paul says that not many mighty, not many noble, not many of high reputation are called. One of the defining characteristics of a truly spiritual Christianity is a devotion to purity of motives that is uncomplicated by financial concerns.

Wealth is a sign of worldly success. One cannot be successful in this world unless there has been a fundamental compromise with the world. Christians are not called to be successful; they are called to be faithful. Any Christian who is successful in worldly pursuits is without question one who has compromised principle for a paycheck, Christianity for cash, Godliness for gain.

Some ask, “How much wealth is too much?” This is a fairly easy question to answer since anybody who has more money that I do is a carnal Christian and anyone who has less than I do is a spiritual Christian. Some would imply that my lifestyle is indicative of a high level of wealth compared to Christians living in a third world county. Well, we’re not in a third world country, are we? So we should not measure our spirituality by the standards of others and any attempt to make me feel guilty because of my lifestyle by comparing me to poor Christians overseas are certainly not appreciated.

The spiritual Christian is in pursuit of a heavenly reward, not an earthly one. We need to focus our attention on the world to come, not the world we are in. Anything else is a failure to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.

Gamaliel/RJP

For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Luke 16:8, 9 (NIV)

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