Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

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}SoC{SB Leader
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Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by }SoC{SB Leader » December 1st, 2017, 12:56 pm

A question came up last night at church:

Is it wrong to be a Christian and rich? James 5 says:
"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you."

Are Christians consigned to poverty?
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by shadowsbane » December 1st, 2017, 2:29 pm

Matthew 19:16-30 wrote:And behold, a man came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Then Peter said in reply, "See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Acts 4:32-37 wrote:Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Hebrews 13:5‭-‬6 wrote:Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"
1 Timothy 6:6‭-‬19 wrote:But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of Lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by Globalkoas » December 1st, 2017, 3:03 pm

Shadow are you saying you saying you can't be a wealthy Christian and be a good Christian??
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by shadowsbane » December 1st, 2017, 3:19 pm

I didn't say anything. That was all Jesus, Paul, Luke, and whoever wrote Hebrews.
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by Globalkoas » December 1st, 2017, 3:27 pm

I know what they wrote.. I'm asking you??
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by DynamiteTiger » December 1st, 2017, 3:31 pm

Matthew 19:16-30 wrote:And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
1 Timothy 6:6‭-‬19 wrote:As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
I think these two passages sum up the answer. So long as our focus is on God and the advancement of His kingdom, our hearts are in the right place. As difficult as it may be for a rich person to live a righteous life, all things are possible with God. If He is the focus, everything else will fall into place.
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by Clarence » December 1st, 2017, 3:41 pm

The whole story
James 5New International Version (NIV)

Warning to Rich Oppressors

5
1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by Sabalanor » December 4th, 2017, 5:40 pm

So, the only person who has given much of their own input here is DT. I agree with his sentiment. I disagree with just putting the bible versus up there without interpretation attached, because I believe God gave humans a brain for a reason.

To say that no rich person can be good or holy with God is wrong. Rich people can "hold on to their wealth" while also doing immensely wonderful things over a longer-term with it than if they just gave it all away at once. One of the best examples of this would be Bill Gates. His foundation for decades has been working to eradicate Polio from the world. If he had just given his money to an organization trying to do that but failed, then he wouldn't be where he is now. Polio in the developed world has almost been eradicated now. He has sense moved on to targetting Alzheimer's with his foundation/wealth.

Now as the counter-point, there are plenty of billionaires that hoard their money and keep growing it without doing anything with it. That is likely what I believe the bible is talking about. Doing nothing good with your money but continuing to accumulate it.

Now the harder question to me is "what defines wealthy or rich?" Does saving for retirement count as hoarding? What about leaving an inheritance for your kids (be it $5, $5,000, $500,000, or any other number)? This is where I think DT's answer is important. If you are building it just to build it, then that is a problem. If your goal is to try to do something with it to help the world or people, then as long as there is follow-through then I believe it can be aligned with God's purpose/view.
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by Gidget » December 4th, 2017, 6:19 pm

"Good" people go to hell every day.
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The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
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Re: Is it wrong to be rich as a Christian?

Post by Grizz Gallant » December 5th, 2017, 9:37 am

Not trying to troll here but "bad" people go to Heaven everyday too. None of us rich or poor deserve to be there. If it is a sin to be rich we are all in trouble. You are reading this on the computer, or a phone are you not? Do you own a pair of shoes and is there food in your house? I grew up below the poverty line here in the US but by other standards my family was rich. It is not wrong to be rich, and God is not cursing you if you're poor. Don’t focus on your money situation focus on the Lord. Follow whatever it is He is asking of you because He loves you. He knows what is best for you and for His kingdom.
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