Summary: We always think just a little more money or time or friends would make things better. Very few of us long for a little more God to help us to live better.
Today we are adding one additional view to the series that is inspired by:
Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says:
"These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men.
My reaction to the scripture was to think that the people described would be considered open minded atheist. They honor God by what they say but their hearts don’t know God.
Moving this ancient statement to today…People, people that would call themselves Christians…basically claim belief in God but, live their lives in ways that deny that God exist or makes any difference in their day to day lives.
So far we have looked at Christians that would say that they believe in God but don’t have a fear or respect for God. And Christians that again say that they believe in God but don’t want to be crazy about it and end up being lukewarm and according to scripture make God sick.
Today we are adding to this views of specialized atheism by looking at Christians that say that they have faith in God but, have faith or trust in money even more.
Don’t start squirming in your seats yet, The only hope I have for all of us is that we will be open to the message. That we will not shut down our minds and hearts in a kind of self-defense.
-- Let’s start with two ways that we trust money:
The first is that in our culture everyone puts trust in money for happiness.
A Bible Scholar and head of the religion department at UGA said, “Money will buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail”
Henry Ward Beecher, a preacher from the 1800’s, is quoted saying, “Riches are not an end of life, but an instrument of life.”
In 1989 Donald Trump said, “Whoever says money can't buy happiness doesn't know where to shop.” From my research this may not be original; Bo Derrick is also given credit for that statement along with someone named “anonymous”.
== How many would agree that money does not buy happiness?
== How many would agree that just a little more money would help you?
If we are honest…then probably most of us wonder if just a little more might help us to obtain happiness or at least rent happiness for a while.
So we claim to believe that money does not buy happiness but a little more would help….hierocracy.
We will when we claim to be Christians we are saying that we trust Christ/God for our future and acknowledge his constant provision for us. Unfortunately, we say one thing as if we believe it but we actually believe more of something else could something else would be better.
On the news all around us people are drowning in financial debt. Maybe we or some of our family is caught up in financial problems.
Foreclosures on homes are filling the newspaper announcements. Unemployment is hurting people that want to work. There a large numbers of families that are living paycheck to pay check. All too often, they are stressed because they believe that this (10/20 bill) will make them happy.
They have gone into debt looking for that happiness that they believe money will buy.
Let me pause for a moment to say that there are plenty of situations where the debt comes from medical bills or lost jobs or a divorce that leaves normally a woman working at a minimum pay job struggling to get along. That is not the situation I am pointing to.
I am talking about are the people that buy the house or car that they could not afford. People that have to have the clothes for the family that the other soccer moms have. The vacations and Christmas gifts that had to go on a credit card to make sure the family is happy.
People in our culture automatically believe that to be happy we need stuff and entertainment.
This is not an unusual concept for Christians or non-believers alike. Basically, for most Christians we say we believe in God as our provider but in reality we trust in the power of the dollar to give us happiness.
-- The second way we trust money is to provide us security. As Christians we claim to believe in God but if we have a need to have lots of sound financial resources to feel secure in our lives…. If that is the case, we are living as open minded atheist.
Our scripture identified that there are people that believe righteousness qualifies a person for God’s blessings which is translated to wealth.
If we can only feel secure when there is a growing bank account, then money’s place in our lives functions as our savior.