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Friday, October 28, 2011

Serving God and Money

Recently I read where a politician said he hopes all Americans want to get wealthy, as if it were some civic or moral virtue.  This sort of statement is not particularly new in this country, and fits neatly with a Weberian (as in Max Weber who wrote about the Protestant work ethic, Calvinism, and the drive to be wealthy among church goers) of American Protestant views regarding work and wealth.  But still, I was startled by the statement.  It seemed remarkably ignorant of the teachings of Jesus and the prophets regarding money.

I find nothing wrong with wealth.  Globally, we are the one percent, after all.  But it is the pursuit of wealth to the exclusion of other pursuits that is problematic in the Christian life. Indeed as a life priority wealth is down the list for healthy Christians.  When acquisitiveness and possessiveness move past God, community, honesty, integrity, family, justice, and peace, our souls become corrupted.

The scripture remind us, "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof."  "The land is mine, and you are but tenants on it," says the Lord.  We must all remember that wealth is a resource, weather it comes from land or intellectual property, that has been put in our care to use for God's purposes.  It is not our permanent possession.