Church of England draws link between Christianity and proper money management
Link – BBC
Proverbs 22:7 (KJV) The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
I spotted this as I was going to bed last night on my Twitter feed, I read the article but waited until this morning to make some comments on the below news release from the CofE. I do this as an Ex-Episcopal (Scottish Anglican) congregant with no particular axe to grind and generally a favourable opinion of the denomination as a whole.
I think it is awesome that the CofE are addressing social issues such as poverty and attempting to help people help themselves. It is an introduction to the church in a friendlier tone than many I am sure are used to. (Being seen as a bunch of “rulemakers” and the Bible being a book that kills any fun that you would have)
The idea of encouraging good sound biblical handling of money run by institutions that will encourage the patrons that debt is not the only answer. (In many cases it is the root problem in cases of poverty, when people are desperate they turn to folks like finance companies or loan sharks and pay 35-400% interest)
They also learn life skills such as accountability, wealth building, financial awareness and basic skills to be able to manage money effectively. Money is such an emotive issue in the Christian walk and there are many heresies attached to how we deal with money.
What about “The rich young ruler?
Matthew 19:20. (KJV) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21. Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
People use this text a lot to talk about how evil money is and how having too much is “not holy”, I dispute that as I have read about people who walk a strong Christian walk, have much money in the bank and give generously.
In my opinion the lesson here is about Lordship and not about the money. The rich young ruler had in his heart his wealth before serving the LORD, yes he kept the commandments, he followed the rules, he ticked the holy boxes but when he was asked to do something directly for the LORD, he declined and went away heavy in heart.
What about “you shall not serve God and money?”
True, Matthews gospel chapter 6 verse 24 has these words, but note the word “SERVE” (Capitalized for effect) If money (or anything else for that matter) is your God, then you are going to have issues walking a fulfilled Christian life.
In the 10 commandments is states Serve ___ and ___ _____. (Serve me and me alone) the command is not a funky interpretation on what God has said; it is stated quite clearly in both texts. (Both in Exodus 20 and Matthew 6)
What is too much?
When it becomes your God, plain and simple. I have seen people who are regarded on the Governments poverty line covet money as much as the “evil rich man” and in many cases the man (or woman) who has abundance is also the generous one. Many folks judge “too much” as just a little more than they have. (Ridiculous huh?)
For me I don’t judge the guy who has a nicer car than me, the guy who has a nice pool, the guy who has nice furniture, nice large house. He may have his priorities correct, he may not but that is not my call. I am not his Holy Spirit. If I am moved by God to talk to him in a Matthew 18 way about something in his life privately then so be it, but I don’t use his wealth or the fruits of his hard work as a stick to beat him with.
Usually the ones who do this also have a judgmental attitude to those who are struggling financially, who plug away in a low paying job, (or more than one low paying job) trying to provide for their families, some are at different levels of education and some are still paying off prior mistakes, they get beaten with the “why don’t you give/tithe more” stick.
Show them how to give
Giving is a vital part of the Christian walk, Jesus exalted the widow with two mites because even although her donation was small in the grand scheme of monetary contributions for the Jerusalem synagogue, the gift was all that she had in the world and she quite literally gave it all to God.
Taking Governments out of the equation
In my view as people we have become too dependent on the Government to solve our problems. Yes, people need assistance from time to time, but we as Christians are supposed to be charitable. In the book of James we are told to “look after the widows and orphans” (basically to look after those who do not have the means to look after themselves) we should be doing all we can for those on hard times.
Show them Jesus
This is all well and good showing them how to look after earthly wealth that is going to decay and essentially “all going to burn”. Jesus tells us to “not store treasures on earth, but store treasures in heaven”. I think that this is a great social scheme, but there has to be evangelism as well.
It is all well and good showing them love by getting them out of material poverty, but we should be showing them love also to get them out of spiritual poverty. We have to love them enough to show them eternal life and gift them a gift far more profitable than a savings account.
I do conceded that this opens the door to a relationship with the communities, so I pray that the church uses the open doors that God has provided to spark revival in “England’s green and pleasant land” (To quote from the hymn “Jerusalem”)
God bless and I pray this was a blessing, please feel free to comment, like or share below. Also please check out our other articles.