Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Am hungry; You Don't Care

If you have enough faith you will be financially well off

The idea that Christians are to be wealthy, or at least, be well off, is another one of those doctrines that many in the modern church teach because it makes the members feel comfortable in their selfishness.  To prove their stance, they quote verses from the Bible, such as the words of Christ, I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10.  Surely, it is agreed, by any spiritually mature person, that, in this case, Christ was not speaking of material wealth, but rather of spiritual fulfilment.

Note also that Christ said that he who received much, of him much would be required.  If Christians, or local congregations, are fortunate enough to have ample financial blessings their duty is to supply the needs of the hungry and the destitute.  Their responsibility is certainly not to build superstructures that contain rotating choir stages or a few twenty-five foot waterfalls or other selfish, self-touting, superfluous physical adornments.  

To be sure, on the judgment day, those Christians who endorsed such selfishness will be reminded of the parable Christ told about the master who gave five talents to one, two talents to another and one to the next.  Each was to use what they received and thereby increase the master’s bottom line.  The one who received only one talent buried that talent in the ground and made no profit.  This is a picture of those who have enough money to feed the hungry but rather than doing that they build fancy, ornate buildings where they, supposedly, go to worship; they also go to see what other people are wearing, or what kind of cars they are driving.  Christ said, I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, ...and these will go away into everlasting punishment. Mat. 25: 42+46

Those who believe that Christians will be rich if they have enough faith should perhaps take a closer look at the saints throughout history. 

Do we associate the apostle Paul with faith?  Yet, he said that he knew what it was like to go hungry.  Was Saint John not a man of faith?  He did not live in a plush house with servants.  He was a prisoner, probably suffering beatings at the hands of Roman guards.  His faith did not make him financially well off.  The Book of Hebrews, in chapter 11, writes of the heroes of faith, and when he sums up the list, he writes, others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise. Heb. 11:35-39.

It goes beyond understanding how anyone, who has studied the Bible, can honestly maintain that God expects that all Christians, with enough faith, will live an affluent life.  The whole idea that Christians should be rich, is based on the selfishness of those who prefer being self-centered, to Christ, but they cannot quite let go of the idea that they are Christians.

In the book of The Revelation, the city of Babylon represents the materialistic selfishness of our modern society.  In The Revelation, Babylon is called a woman.

Immediately, after John saw the wanton pleasures of sinful Babylon, he heard a voice from heaven say, Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. Rev. 18:4.  As God called Lot out of Sodom, Abram out of Ur and Israel's sons out of Egypt, so our God, in mercy, before it is too late, is calling to us, Come out of her.  He is saying to us, Come out from among them and be separate…Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters. 2 Cor. 6:17-18.  Is our love for pleasures and comfort so great that we willingly ignore our Lord, our Redeemer? 

It was in Babylon that man first built a tower to reach into heaven, now, at the end of time; our materialistic, selfish, Godless society has finished that tower. It is a tower of sin, for Babylon’s sins have reached into heaven. 18:5.  The cup of iniquity is full, the tower of sin is finished and God "has had it" with the corrupt lifestyle of the people of the twenty-first century.  It is deplorable that we, the church at large, have become so hopelessly entangled in the same selfish web in which non-Christians find themselves.  Note the mansions, the toys and vehicles of many Christians.  Note, how Christians “do” Christmas, all the while forgetting that there are starving children all around the world, including Canada.

She, in her pride, says I sit a queen over all the kings of the earth, 17:18, I will see no sorrow, 18:7.  In these words, it is easy to see the pope of the Roman Church foreshadowing the state of the final carnal church?  The fact that Babylon is the Mother of Harlots, indicates that she has offspring, her children are the harlots.  Some see in this picture the Roman Church as the Mother and her offspring as the carnal Protestant churches, which grew out of the Roman Catholic Church.  All of them together, the mother and the children, are so involved with pleasures that they cannot, or will not look into the future to see their doom.  Babylon is the mother of harlots, 17:5, selfishness is the ruler of kings. 17:8

The Bible lists, and condemns, our attitude towards these pleasures.  The merchants of the earth will weep because Babylon (the selfish lifestyle) is destroyed and is no more buying merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. Rev. 18:12-13

In this regard, as in many other major doctrines, the church has closed her eyes to the truth, she refuses to believe that God will judge, in righteousness, and the church’s selfish lifestyle demands condemnation.