Religion: Can a person serve God and money?

Past-E-Mail: Various Topics: Politics and Religion, Ketchup or Gravy: Religion: Can a person serve God and money?
Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Sunday, May 25, 2008 - 11:55 am:

The gospel for today (May 25, 2008) at the Evangelcal Lutheran Church I attend included a passage from Matthew 6:24-34 where Jesus tells his disciples,"You cannot serve two masters: God and money. For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around."

What do you think? Or, is this too controversial of a subject to discuss?

By Peter Osmar (Pcosmar) on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 08:30 am:

There is another related verse.
"For 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."

It is not the "use" of money that is a problem. It is the love for wealth. If your whole goal is the acquirement of Money then it is your master. It should be kept in it's place a servant.
It is not that money is evil of itself, but that serving God should be our first priority.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 03:02 pm:

1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows." (The Living Bible.)

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 04:41 pm:

Why do you suppose Paul (the early Christian apologist) found it necessary to explain in his letter to Timothy what he thought Jesus meant in Matthew 6:24? Paul took a lot of what Jesus said (as cited in the Gospels) and added his interpretation (in his letters), just like present-day apologist-theologian-authors, etc., do. For hundreds of years many of the published apologist-theologian-authors appear to have ignored to whom the books of the Bible were written, and they continue to do so today. They complicate what Jesus taught (according to the Gospels) very likely for self-serving purposes.

By Peter Osmar (Pcosmar) on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 09:08 pm:

Matt Karhu (Matt_k)
I am not really sure what you are fishing for, or what "interpretation" you see.

It seems pretty clear to me.
The First of the 10 Commandments said,
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Jesus said that you can not serve two Masters, either you serve God or you chose to serve something else. Whether wealth, power, or self, you can not serve two masters.
Paul was simple warning that some had turned away due to their choice. I would site Judas as an example, but there are others.
There are also Prophets for profits. I believe that Paul was warning Timothy not to fall into that trap.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 08:27 am:

Peter, thank you for providing what I was hoping that someone would, i.e., the reference to the 10 commandments. I also was hoping that someone would present their "interpretation" of the subject scriptures in a manner that would relate to a "greed driven" economy. I use three versions of the Bible when researching the subject of Christianity.

By Peter Osmar (Pcosmar) on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 05:06 pm:

Finding Balance is a constant struggle in life. Between the spiritual and the physical worlds.
Between work and leisure.
Between desires and responsibilities.
This is a personal struggle for each of us.
The Bible gives us guides and examples, but no direct personal road map.

You would have to explain what you mean by a
"Greed Driven" economy. Though Greed is a reality in the world, economies are driven by supply and demand. And throughout the Bible there are examples of commerce, and of Gods blessing in the form of wealth. There is nothing wrong with wealth. It is only a sin when the acquisition of wealth is the driving motivation. Serving God is to be our first goal.
I would recommend that you look at the life of R. G. LeTourneau as an example, but there are many others.
He was a wealthy man who gained wealth by hard work and Gods blessing. He was also very generous with his wealth.
It would be hard to be generous if you have nothing to give.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Thursday, May 29, 2008 - 05:21 pm:

I'm familiar with LeTourneau and others who do good with their wealth. Perhaps a little research or familiarity with commentaries published in the U.S and the European Union on the subject will help you understand what a "greed driven" economy is. The present day recession is partly caused by "supply side" economics (whereby more goods is produced than is demanded-resulting in periodic lay-offs, etc.), inflated home prices, sub-prime loans, etc. Does this have anything to do with the "love of money" and what it can buy? Very likely so.

By Peter Osmar (Pcosmar) on Friday, May 30, 2008 - 08:40 am:

Well now you are mixing several different tracks.
First,You can't legislate morality. It does not work,and only creates a more repressive and intrusive government.
Greed is a part of human nature and a personal struggle.
There is no doubt that "greed" plays some role in the economic processes, but there is a larger problem.
I am in favor of Free Market economy.
We DO NOT HAVE that today.
I am in favor of Sound Money.
We DO NOT HAVE that today.
We have the Federal Reserve (Private Banking Interests) that control the money. We have a Fiat Money system.
We have Corporate Interests (Wall Street) and Government manipulating the market. NAFTA,CAFTA, WTO, WMF, etc.
We have a socialist Government redistributing wealth.
These are all a recipe for disaster.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 11:59 am:

Peter, your points are well-made (albeit a reiteration of those regularly made by others). Life in general is a mixture of "tracks", some congruent and some not. If the U.S. has a socialistic government that redistributes wealth and it is not what the majority of the citizens of the U.S. want, who is to blame?

Because of the failure of charitable organizations to meet the needs of many people who are truly indigent and unemployable through no fault of their own, I favor sharing my wealth with them through an appropriate "single-payer" organization.

Does this have anything to do with "the love of money". I think it does when people who are financially able to help those in need love money and what it can buy more than they "love their neighbors as they love themselves".

By Peter Osmar (Pcosmar) on Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 02:13 pm:

Well thank you for clearing that up.
You are in favor of theft. Good to know.

The redistributing of wealth through force is theft, no matter how you try to dress it up.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Monday, June 2, 2008 - 05:15 pm:

OK, Peter, again your point is well-made but I'm not in favor of theft. I don't approve of how all of my taxes are used, but I am a loyal citizen of the U.S. and I have yet to find a country that I would like better than the U.S. When sincere conservative candidates run for public office, I try as much as I can to help them get elected.

Does paying taxes have anything to do with serving God or money? In Matthew 22:15-21, Jesus gives his opinion about taxes that in a manner touches on the subject. Apparently he approved of taxes and he didn't regard it as theft. Or did he? The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus was a socialist, if not a oommunist, and that seems to not be an issue that many people care to talk about.

By Peter Osmar (Pcosmar) on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 12:48 am:

First, The comment about theft was to promote thought and not as an insult or attack.
I love the Country I was taught about as a child long ago.
I volunteered to serve as a young man, though I was unsure of why we were in the conflict. I have learned since that it was based on lies. Much as the present one.
I am not opposed to all tax. I am opposed to the income tax. This country did well without it for over a hundred years. The Income Tax was created at the same time(and by the same people) as the Federal Reserve and Fiat Money System that we have today.
I am in favor of sound money and a free market.
I am opposed to the Welfare System that has caused more harm that any benefit.
It is not Charity, it is theft by coercion, and I believe that Government interference has harmed the charities by taking their place in the minds of many.
Government handouts have created an Entitlement Mentality. people think they are owed something for nothing.
I am disgusted by a government that ignores the stated will of the people. One that has continued in actions that they were elected to stop.
I am opposed to the direction we are going.
I am opposed to the New World Order.

As to the politics of Jesus, He was and is a Theist. He will rule this planet.
But until he returns and rules, I would like to see this Constitutional Republic restored.
I will continue to work towards that end.

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 02:47 pm:

Jesus was a theist for sure, but he also was politically a socialist (at least) just as today's theists can be identified politically as liberals, conservatives, libertarians, independents, socialists, communists, etc.

This has been an enjoyable exchange of comments. I hope viewers have enjoyed it as much as I have.

By Sandy G (Artessss) on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 11:59 pm:

Perhaps for varied reasons charity and people with wealth turned their backs on those in need and the government saw this. Maybe they and those who voted them into office thought someone needs to help the poor since the rest of our country doesn't.

There will always be people who misuse government programs to their own needs/wants- the wealthy do too. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

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