Summary: based around an Tony Campolo article, used to talk about good use of money
TWO DOLLAR GOD Story.
When it comes to money we live in a world of contrasts on the one hand we are totally extravagant, spending money on labels, with inflated prices.
While on the other one of the fastest growing shopping chains is the $2:00 shop.
It would seem were happy to spend money on some things and not others,
as to what causes this tight fisted nature and the open pocket it’s quite likely to be consumer pressure.
The question is how does this pressure to consumes to be consumers influence our relationship with God,
or can we serve both God and Money and if we can‘t would Jesus drive a BMW??
In the Bible there is the story of a young guy who comes to Jesus, with a fist full of cash and a head full of questions.
So this young guy goes strolling up to Jesus wanting to know the secrets to life to eternal life
Chances are we know the story, he was rich and his riches got in the way.
but there is a lot more to it than that.
RICHES EQUALED POWER.
He wasn’t just rich because despite all arguments to the contrary it was his riches that got in the way, but what he did with them.
Being rich in first century society was different, because riches incorporated power.
Society was built on a basis that entailed if you had more then someone was going without.
He didn’t need the amount of riches he had,
I mean what was he going to do with them.
There was only so much he could buy,
money was not the power to purchase as much as power over others.
Take that into our society and the young guy was like a person who has so much money that they do not know what to do with it, what usually happens is that when people get like this they go of and buy the best,
They fit out their bathrooms with Gold taps and heated floor tiles not because they need it but because it makes them feel good.
And when it come to a car they don’t just but a car they buy something that reflects the power they have .
A BMW, why a BMW- well simply it’s because a BMW is not just a car it’s a status symbol.
It’s designed to be driven at 200 MPH on German autobahns, that’s somewhere in the region of 320 KM an hour.
Three times the national speed limit, even the craziest hoon on the road would struggle with speeds like that.
Now that’s not a car it’s a symbol of power- a status symbol
NEVER REALLY GRADUATED FROM SUNDAY SCHOOL.
Getting back to the rich guy how could he come to such conclusions that it was OK to live with his riches, when Jesus thinks it isn’t??
After all this guy was a religious guy, morally upright, not the sort of guy who swindled his riches, just a guy who had more than he needed.
Like many of you he probably grew up in the Jewish equivalent of Sunday School.
Knew all the stuff about does and don’t - the thou shalt and the shalt nots.
He probably graduated from Sunday school with an honours pass,
He worked hard got the grades and in his mind he had made the grade- done everything he could think of to have a right relationship with God.
But as far as Jesus was concerned there was something missing - or rather there was something in the way.
His wallet, his BMW if you like.
So What’s the problem, if it is OK to make money then where did he go wrong.
It is simply this for the young guy money got in the way of his relationship with God.
While he lived by a set of rules that he learnt in Sunday School it was OK for him to be rich,
you see like many of you guys he had learnt that if your a good person,
that if you don’t lie and obey the ten commandments then you will be sweet.
Whatever else you have on top of that is a bonus.
For this guy the bonus was a fat wallet,
he didn’t have to work hard to justify keeping it,
because it seemed as though there was nothing wrong with it.
In fact the system around at the day would seem to show that money,
riches were a sign of being blessed.
Anything contrary to that would be hard to swallow.
So why is money so difficult, well it gets in the way.
I’ve already said in this society it’s a symbol of power- particularly power over others.