love of money and being the cheerful giver

(This was written by my friend Nick who lives across the pond)
Someone once said, "throughout the bible it is said that we should not get attached to material objects of this world."

Actually, I see a different picture. Throughout the old testament, the promises and blessings of God are associated with wealth and position. This is one reason "name it/claim it" philosophy seems to have Biblical ground.

Consider Abraham, Jacob, Job, Daniel, David and Solomon--rich men, all of them.

In the Old Testament, poverty is considered a curse. Anyone now living who faces real poverty will agree with this. Imagine having to walk 5 miles to get water, but you only bring back a small bottle full, because you can't afford to buy a larger vessel.

In the New Testament, however, Jesus teaches "blessed are the poor". Most people stick with Matthew's version, and hang their hopes on "poor in spirit", but in Luke's version, Jesus spells it out very plainly-contrasting the blessings due to the poor with, "woe to you rich, for you have already had your comfort". This may seem to be a rather sudden change of the rules between the two testaments?

Most preachers resort to Paul's statements, "I know how to be abased and how to abound". "If we have food and raiment, with that we will be content." "Let the rich not trust in their riches, but be ready to give generously, for God gives all good things for us to enjoy." (Which might be James...not sure)

With these "moderation in all things" type statements we are more comfortable. However, what may be behind the question, and is worthy of meditation, is this thought. "A wife gives herself for love, but a prostitute gives herself for money".

That seems to add a great deal of mileage to the visions in Revelation, where the Great Harlot, is compared with the Bride. It appears to me that a profit-motivated world system is a prostituted system. Hence, the love of money...and one reason the church is called out (ecclesia) from the world, and to have a different view than the world view and values.

It particularly upsets me when churches resort to "marketing" , "branding", and "merchandising", since this looks to me to be indistinguishable from the traders in the temple. However, there are others who will take a completely different view, and I do not wish to get embroiled in a fight.

Many people talk of getting "value for money", even in the Kingdom of God. Though it is a wise and worthy idea, I would rather believe in the economics of love. "You receive what you didn't pay for, and you buy things to benefit others." Because "God loves a cheeerful giver."
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