Wednesday, March 30, 2011

# 306: The Attributes of Wealth

The attributes of wealth mentioned in this post are mostly silent and tightly held secrets. Wealth, riches and prosperity (the three are basically one and the same) are the most highly valued possessions in all of America, and even the world. Yet, do Christians know that material wealth/prosperity could be detestable in the sight of God? Luke 16:15. “What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” Is it really?

If this is so, why is affluence something most humans would dearly love to acquire, and at the same time, Scripture claims is detestable in God’s sight? Let us examine New Testament Scripture in detail and in a comprehensive way, in an attempt to understand if wealth is contrary to many Christian principles and commands, and one of God’s most imposing adversaries.

Riches can shelter from trouble and detrimental worldly circumstance. But what do the New Testament Scriptures teach? John 16:33. “In this world you [genuine Christians] will have trouble.” However, in the midst of those troubles, we will have divine peace and joy. There are another half a dozen verses or so that virtually teach us the same principle, that trouble will/may be our destiny if we don't go along with the happy-go-lucky flow of the world.

One of the sneaky tricks about wealth is that it is deceitful; it can give what a person desires, but it cannot give what a person may unknowing need: It cannot bear much fruit of righteousness. Mark 4:19: “but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things, making it unfruitful.”

Wealth makes a person feel superior. A person that feels superior destroys all chances of producing true Bible-based humility. There are at least a dozen verses that praise genuine, Godly humility. Here is one: Ephesians 4:2. “Be completely humble and gentle . . .”

Wealth makes a person egotistical. John 12:25. “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” In other words, Philippians 2:3-4. “. . . but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Also, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Wealth’s most favorite goodies are all sorts of greed, even though wealthy people will deny that accusation. Of course, it is not called greed anymore in America; it has hijacked a positive euphemism: “being successful/prosperous.” Can anyone believe that there are 23 verses in the New Testament alone that condemn greed? Colossians 3:5. “. . . and greed, which is idolatry.” Some may ask this question: “Why is being greedy such a bad thing to God?” It certainly is not a bad thing for the majority of people. But for those who claim to be Christians, greed earns a reserved ticket to hell. Why? Because the whole Christian religion is based on a holy love for God and our needy neighbors. Christians cannot have more than they need and not be generous (love is not love until one gives it away) to those without. Christianity is not genuine Christianity without active love.

Wealth is never satisfied: It always wants just a little more.

Wealth allows a person to create his/her personal, secure heaven right here on earth, while silently saving God’s promise of heaven on the back burner for a needy day that may never arrive. Therefore, with their opulent lifestyles, they have no immediate need or desire for God’s heaven and all of its eternal wonders.

Rich people, which including Christians, spend more on all types of commodities and are the most wasteful of all categories of people. John 6:12. “Gather the pieces [of bread and fish] that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

Wealthy people need to be admired by those who are not rich, because rich people are without valuable possessions of intrinsic value, although they may deny that accusation. That is another reason why they need wealth: to make up for the spiritual void in their lives.

Wealthy people believe they have the right to be arrogant. Money speaks louder than almost anything.

But there is one quality in rich people who claim to be Christians which is most prevalent: being proud of their accomplishments. James 4:6 and 1st Peter 5:5. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Of course, as previously mentioned, most often pride is silent. Can a person actually destroy pride? I doubt it.

Here is one Godly attitude that most rich people are void of: James 4:17. “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do [and could do] and doesn’t do it, sins.” This command goes mostly for those who are rich and have plenty of everything. Could anyone imagine the great Godly role models they would become for the remainder of rich Christians? There are so many needs in the world that are not attended to. Most wealthy Christians believe it is not their responsibility/duty to tend to these needs. If they did, they would not be rich for long.

Another attribute of rich Christians (and even those who are not so rich) is to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord (absolute boss) and Savior, and then believe they can do no more of anything to build on their holy standing in Christ. They also do not need to be assured of their Salvation. As important as it is to make Christ their Lord, it is no more than the first baby step in living the Christian life. It must be followed by a life of love for God and for the needy. That divine love is the best evidence, if not the only, of belief and obedience to God’s Word in Scripture. Although obedience can save no one, it is a vital component in God’s plan of Salvation. This is where the vast majority of the wealthy are in trouble. They cannot obey all the teachings in the New Testament, because there are too many verses teaching that wealth is the forbidden fruit for all who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord. They cannot circumvent these verses, and still believe they have accepted Christ as their heavenly Savior. This is something many denominations turn a blind eye to. As previously mentioned, it would not be in church leaders’ financial interest.

The book of Luke was written to a man called “most excellent Theophilus”—most likely a wealthy nobleman, etc. Therefore, this letter (the book of Luke) is aimed, to some degree, at the rich. The following are several verses that rich people have not had a difficult time worming their way out of. Of course, with the help of the clergy, they are looked on as shining stars.

Luke 10:25-28. “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’. . . He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’; and, ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.’” [emphasis added]. I now ask in all honesty, how many rich people are living as these commands require? The only way God will know that they love Him as He requires is if they obey all His Holy teachings, and love their needy neighbors, which the New Testament repeats over and over again; this blog does the exact same thing. This implies that most, if not all, wealthy people will not pass the tests required to enter eternal life. Luke 18:24. “Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Wealth, with the help of many preachers, does a great job of disguising the deadly harm that riches do in the Christian life, because the rich make money into an invisible idol—without their knowledge—of a Satanic god that can give just about anything in this physical world that the empty/wanton human heart desires.

Can any genuine Christians accept what the Baptist church teaches—that once they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, that sacred position is good for life? They call it “Once saved, always saved,” regardless of what they do or don’t do; rich or poor, they cannot lose their Salvation. (Bill Graham was prolific in furthering this belief). There are dozens upon dozens of verses teaching that Salvation is conditional by how one believes, lives, loves and obeys. It is hard to believe how many intelligent, Bible-believing, hell-bound people claim to know what the New Testament contains, and yet believe such an ungodly/unbiblical teaching. This is an extremely serious flaw; if not corrected, millions of good and sincere (but Biblically ignorant) people will end up in hell.

The wealthy silently believe they are privileged characters, even though they may not openly show it, and therefore do everything in their power not to associate with (or display love or friendship to) the lower class (just ordinary people). This is a serious strike against them.

It is the solemn duty of all genuine Christians to somehow elevate and make the lives of others better in whatever way they can. I repeat… Philippians 2:3. “but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

All the above attitudes are contrary to the teachings in the New Testament. And that is the reason why there are over a dozen verses that bad-mouth wealth/riches throughout the New Testament, and not one verse that speaks harshly of the downtrodden poor.

The wealthy are the only class of people who can lavish themselves with the aesthetics of life, which is egotistic and ungodly.

The only positive command which mentions the rich is found in 1st Timothy 6:17-18. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain . . . Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” Repeating, this verse implies that genuine Christians who are rich will/should not be rich for very long if they keep being generous. It is a shame that today’s wealthy “Christians” don’t follow this command. Repeating, what an impact this would make in the lives of millions of poor people.

The only sticky thing is this: Wealthy Christians must keep giving/loving continually, to the point that all these negative attitudes mentioned in this post will no longer be a part of their lives. Personally, I don’t know if this is possible in this modern, money-driven world, but all things are possible with God.

One thing every person in the world emits is vibration. There are only two basic types of vibes: positive vibes and negative vibes, though there are countless numbers of different kinds of vibes in each category. Vibrations are also given off in different strengths, and received most loudly by those who are sensitive to the vibes of others. And there are those who are dull, and therefore do not have the ability to receive vibes loud and clear. One thing about vibrations is that they cannot/do not lie. Animals, especially dogs, are extra-sensitive to the vibes of humans and other dogs. Years ago, their lives depended on receiving the vibes of other dogs, and to a degree still do. Mob violence is a perfect example of how contagious vibes can be. I am not certain at what distance vibes can be received, but the closer, the clearer. (I published a post, #289 on October 29, 2009, that gives a dramatic example of how powerful vibes can be). As Scripture mentioned, Jesus Christ was an expert at receiving people’s vibes and even their thoughts—although the word “vibes” is not used in the Bible.

Vibes are something that the wealthy cannot hide. And guess what type of vibes their hearts give off loud and clear? Negative ones: me, me, and me. They may be smiling and saying all types of nice things, and be prim and proper in all their ways, but anyone who is sensitive to vibes will know what is in the hearts of the wealthy. Vibrations are a by-product of the heart. Some believe that “thought-sharing” is a kissing cousin to vibes.

A person who is filled with God-type love, which is given by the Holy Spirit, will never desire wealth, but will seek humility and the lowest position in the Christian life, while wealth makes a person conceited. Now, no one will have to wonder anymore why God via the New Testament speaks harshly just about every time the wealthy are mentioned.

Our modern Christianity in America, as a whole, has been an insult to God and Christ. Being a genuine Christian means we will/must be living supernatural lives, because we will have the supernatural Spirit of God living within us. Our active divine love for God, inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, is the most needed, valuable, precious, and important commodity in the Christian life. Without God’s Spirit, we are nothing. And again, we won’t have love until we give it away to the needy, which will display our love for God. Also, we will know we have His Spirit if we love God; proof of our love for God is obedience to Holy Scripture. In John, chapter 14, it teaches that obedience to Christ’s commands is proof of our love for God and Christ; it is repeated four times in chapter 14. Read it for yourself. No ifs, ands, or buts. Don’t let any rich, slick-mouthed religious leaders tell you otherwise.

What is the “American dream”? Answer! “The good life” that is lined with prosperity, which is the forbidden fruit for all genuine Christians. That dream of prosperity is the desire that is in the forefront of most American lives. I don’t know where the belief came from that America is a Christian country. Even though we have 300 thousand pulpits (and growing), we are a pagan country that is beautifully dressed in “holy garb.” That is not to say that there are no genuine Christians living here; there are, but they are few and far between.

I’ll borrow a line from Debbie Boone’s 1977 hit song, “You Light Up My Life” to describe in a more vivid way wealth’s attributes: “How can it [wealth] be wrong when it feels so right?” Our natural feelings, most often, are not in accordance with New Testament Scripture.

I want to make this question absolutely clear: How could such a Holy Biblical tenant so openly displayed as sacrilegious and sinful (being materially prosperous), which has now been openly accepted, be the standard in most traditional Christian churches in America? I personally blame the clergy for not exposing it. Why should they? Since their bottom line is of great importance to them, they would just be cutting their own financial throats, as it were, because rich people put much more in the basket than average people. It is no wonder why mega-churches cater to the wealthy, giving/telling them with holy words, all that their spoiled and ungodly hearts desire.

In conclusion, you see, I truly consider myself a nobody, a nothing, and I will stay that way. I have no reputation to guard or display, and no collections to make, because I don’t want anyone’s money. That is the reason I can tell it like the New Testament commands, with no fear of any human retribution, etc. That is why this blog is one of the most despised by wealthy and not-so-wealthy religious people on the Internet. The truth hurts, and if one desires, it can also heal. Amen and Amen.

If this post is even partially true, and it is much more than that, it is no wonder that God via the New Testament has a legitimate and deadly grudge against the wealthy, and even those who have an active desire to become wealthy. Repeating, the desire for wealth that is secretly inspired by (Ephesians 6:12) “. . . the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” is by all means God’s and Christ’s most formidable competitor. Guess who is winning the most recruits?


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Anonymous said...

Nice you pointed out the wrong believe of “Once saved, always saved”. The danger or 'trap' is better said, for many Christians is that they believe regardless of what they do or don’t do; rich or poor, that they cannot lose their Salvation, but the Bible is very clear how difficult it is to enter the small gate and to stay 'alive'. Being 'born again' is not a free way or entrance into the world of do-as-you-like. We have to keep up to the Word of God and live according His Will.

Marcus Ampe said...

Some people would think we do have to be living supernatural lives other-while we would not be able to become genuine Christian, but it would not be so difficult if we trust ourselves in the hands of our Creator. By giving enough time to His Words, we shall be able to learn enough to make it easier for ourselves to become a real child of God. If we are willing to give us up sincerely we surely shall gain life. The obedience to Christ’s commands is proof of our love for God and Christ and by following that what Christ Jesus, the Messiah taught us, we shall be able to stand straight in this world more easily.