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Money, wealth, accumulation, greed, and charity.

Can you be a millionaire/billionaire and still be a Christia

Postby Mozzarella » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:50 am

Can you be a millionaire/billionaire and still be a Christian?

Christianity and capitalism seem to be linked in today’s society at least by the people who hold these beliefs. And when reading the words of Jesus who tells us to “give everything away and follow me” among other condemnations of wealth accumulation.

Now I don’t think that wealthy people are inherently bad, I just think that when compared to the teachings of Jesus, most everyone falls short. Any thoughts?
Mozzarella
 

Re: Can you be a millionaire/billionaire and still be a Chri

Postby jimwalton » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:59 am

> Christianity and capitalism seem to be linked in today’s society at least by the people who hold these beliefs.

Christianity and capitalism are not linked. In the Bible God does not dictate the shape of society. He doesn't seek to form a "perfect" society, because no society is perfect (since it is a society of fallen humans). He rather speaks into the shape of society as it exists in those times and encourages his people to live holy lives in that society. He does not dictate an ideal kind of government (monarchy vs. democracy); he does not dictate a system of marriage (arranged vs. love, or even polygamy vs. monogamy); he does not dictate a certain sort of economy (market economy vs. barter). Every social structure is flawed.

> Now I don’t think that wealthy people are inherently bad

God doesn't object to wealth, but He does object to materialism (1 Tim. 6.10). There are people in the Bible that God made into very wealthy people (Abraham, Joseph, and Daniel). The Bible teaches us that (1) material things can be a sign of God's blessing, though they are not necessarily so, (2) We are accountable stewards of the wealth God gives us, and (3) We are responsible for others.

The Bible asks three questions about money:

    - How did you get it? (legally and justly or exploitatively?)
    - What are you doing with it? (indulging in luxuries or helping the needy?)
    - What is it doing to you?

Just like alcohol, money isn't bad in and of itself. It's the abuse of it where the danger lies. Money itself is neither here nor there. First, it says that money can really mess a person up, so beware its intrinsic dangers. Secondly, if you have it it doesn't mean that "God is blessing you," or if you don't have it, that "God is cursing you." If you have it, fine, as long you didn't do something corrupt to get it. But if you have it, use it for good, and share it generously, and help others with it, as well as provide for your family obligations. If you don't have it, don't be anxious about acquiring it, because money doesn't buy happiness, godliness, or long life. Learn to be content with what you have, and be responsible with it.
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