Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wealthy Christians - is that contradictory to being a Christian?

So I say I am a Christian. What does that mean to me? It's one of those things that mean different things to different people. Some call themselves a Christian because their parents are Christians. Some believe they are Christians by virtue that they go to church. Others call themselves Christians because they had a spiritual awakening of some sort to the salvation offered through Jesus Christ and attend church to meet other Christians who share this encounter.

I am a Christian because I have had one of those spiritual awakening experience. Still, the notion of what does being a Christian mean differ amongst those that have made that spiritual response to commit their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ and there are vast differences in what we believe. I am specifically talking about the issue of wealth creation here.

Some believe that Christians should be as poor as a church mouse as they live a non-materialistic life wanting of nothing but the basic needs to live and to share the gospel. Others believe they should be wealthy and in positions of influence so that they can make a difference, help the poor and further the gospel with their wealth and influence. The first category believe they live by faith and wait for God to provide - however that may be. The second category believe that they live by faith believing that God will provide for the poor and under-priviledge through them.

So, is it presumptuos to believe that God would want to use us to provide for the poor and under-priviledge? Does not the birds and the flowers in the field that Jesus described not an analogy for all Christians that we should not worry about what we should wear and what tomorrow will bring? So why should we worry about the providing for the poor and under-priviledge? How will God provide for these people if not for other people providing for them? If Christians don't provide for them, will non-Christians?

Much as I believe in God as a miracle maker, I have always seen him at work through people and the existing things around me. I have never seen things falling of the sky like the Isrealites did with their manna. I have never seen things appear from thin air. I have never experienced a miracle of that sort. But I have experienced miracles in many ways. Things happening that would have been more than mere coincidences. Things that in my mind would have been impossible, became possible. Things that I cannot explain except know that God holds all things in His hands.

So will God need me to bring about His miracles. He probably doesn't. But, would He use me to bring about His miracles if it was available to be used. I would think so. God wastes nothing. Would the lack of available resources mean God will be resourceless and His works and plans impeded? I don't think so, because He is the best steward there is in the entire universe. Let's not forget, He's also all-knowing unlike us. So with perfect knowledge, He could do what no one else can ever do, make the perfect plan, yet use us, and all our available resources. So should we worry about being wealthy - no. But should we desire to be wealthy - why not? Should we lose sleep over our wealth - no coz we were told not to worry about things but to trust the Lord in all circumstances. But should we dream and think about wealth - why not?


Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about this alot lately, and i totaly agree with you, christians dont NEED to be wealthy, but why cant we, why cant we desire and obtain wealth and materialistic luxuries as long as it doesnt let us stray away from God.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Christian too. And I have meditated and prayed on this topic as well.

I've come to realize that God is the very essence of Abundance. That abundance is all around us. Now, that could be abundance of wealth, OR abundance of poverty. Still, He is Prosperity.

So I'd be Blessed to be used as an instrument of God to be able to Glorify Him by helping others.

In fact, in my own personal journey toward wealth creation, I've found that many of the principles taught in the Bible are also essential for creating wealth. Principles like Integrity, Leadership, Vision, and Compassion.

I'm finding more and more that in many ways, Creating Wealth is very much in alignment with the His will.

- M.D.

Anonymous said...

God is a God of more than enough. Why should we lack as Christians when HIs word teaches us that above everything else that we should prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers.

It makes no sense that it is socially acceptable for basketball stars to make what they make, doctors, lawyers, politicians, and our top executives to command the wealth that they do, unless they are Christians.

While the thinking of some it that the ordinary working Christian, in an effort to be "humble" should live off of just enough.

When we actually serve a God of more than enough.

I believe that as Christians we should be distributions centers of God's wealth for the Kingdom of God, and for that purpose. said...

YES - Christians need to be wealthy and/successful not for their own sakes alone, but to be an example that we are magnificent creations of a magnificent God.

The very fact that this question even arises in the first place, has to do with the idea that somehow, there is something wrong with money. Or that money separates a person from God. Brethren, there was never anything wrong with money and any separation from God is the fault of the person NOT THE RICHES.

God is in money, He is in the banks and in business. He is the back of every dollar, every coin and every piece of wealth that you see on earth. It's all God's, for God's children to enjoy. But He will not just hand it out like a Communist, there are laws that must be obeyed. And because many heathen understand and put into practice these universal laws of wealth, they enjoy the wealth sometimes more than His own people.

Poverty is often slothfulness in "humility's clothing", unless you have taken the vow of poverty, as a Christian, you have no business being broke and in debt to the world.

Christians should drive Porsche's, Maserati's and Ferrari's', they should live in villa's and go on expensive trips. God himself inspired the creation of these wonderful instruments of wealth, for it is He that wishes to enjoy all of these pleasures through us.

"For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and do of His good pleasure"

"Unto him that hath shall be given more, and unto him that hath not, shall be taken away that which he hath."

"For He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine"


Anonymous said...

I would like to encourage all of my brothers and sisters in Christ that are taking part in this blog to remember our purpose. If we mirror Christ, than we begin to excel in service. The aboundance of wealth (and anything else) is given unto us to be of service and lead others to Christ. No matter the financial status WE HAVE TO pursue service rather than luxury!

Matt B. said...

You have some interesting points. I question wether these rich individuals still place their faith in God to provide for their needs as the Bible commands. When one is wealthy, it is easy to need God less and rely more on money to solve problems, provide security, etc. This is definately not what God intended. Please also consider the points brought up in the following article:

Simon said...

Yes we can question if a rich person still places their faith in God. Equally we can question if a poor person places their faith in God. You could argue that a very poor person who has lived like that for a long time is doing worse on the faith issue than the rich person.
For sure, a rich person places themselves in a position where they may not need to trust God for material things, but history and the Bible is full of examples where God finds a way to speak to them and keep them close to him ie. Job.
We all have trouble at times placing our faith in God. Being rich or poor, sick or healthy, happy or downcast, young or old are all just seasons of life we find ourselves in, but all still require us to keep trusting in God in some way.

Simon Davies