Friday, June 15, 2018

The Lure of Money

 It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Independent, what I am about to say applies equally to all the members of your affiliated party. Most of them are going to bust hell wide open.

I don't say that because of what policies one or the other party has tried or is trying to enforce, or what platform they have or what legislative agenda they have tried to enact. The fact is, while I don't know any of them personally, the Bible says that "There is none righteous, no not one. There is none who seek after God." Rom. 3:10

Most of the legislators in both houses of congress are there to get paid. If not while in office, then after.

It is little wonder that ordinary American's have little say in what happens in the world. There is no lobby for Ordinary Folk. There are no Senator's who are going to go to work to push for legislation that benefits Average Jane and Joe.

But there comes a price for having wealth. The more you have, the more you want. Back in the 60's, reporter asked him how much money is enough. John D. replied, "Just a little bit more."

A New York survey of those making over $200,000 per year showed that while they were much better off than most American's, they felt more aware of their relative lack of wealth as compared to those earning more than they. In other words, they had more anxiety due to not earning millions per year than those who earned under $100,000 per year.

We think that if we have more money, everything will be alright. If only I could make an extra $5,000, $10,000 per year, we'd be ok. We believe, just like John D. Rockefeller that if we just had a little more, everything would be alright.

This is why Solomon says, "There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: A man to whom God Has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him the power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction."

The pursuit of wealth has been the hallmark of the American experiment. Time and time again, those who were willing to risk much have been able to reward themselves and their families with a higher standard of living and the betterment of society.

But the Protestant Work Ethic that was instilled by our Puritan forebears that allowed America to become the envy of the world in wealth and prosperity has been corrupted and misplaced.

Rather than placing emphasis on an honest day's wage for an honest day's work, and the reality that each person's vocation, no matter how trivial or mundane, had worth in and of itself, we find that those who lead a corporation by elimination of the workforce are the most highly compensated, rather than those whose effort allows the product to be brought to market.

The Puritans felt that all work, no matter what it involved, had worth as long as the individual realized that he was doing it as "unto the Lord". Beginning in the Garden of Eden, humans have the need to DO, to cultivate, to work.

Now, those who do the least will decide to lower expenses by laying off those who assemble, distribute and sell the items that cause them to be able to be compensated.
What has happened? How did the system become corrupt?

Simply stated, it was because while most people were not Christian during the time of the Puritans, but they at least held to what was a nominally Christian worldview that viewed God as in control and that all things were under his providence.

The Puritans understood that God created everything in the world, everything in the universe and that we are all going the way of all flesh. In other words, no matter how much wealth is accumulated in this life, if you don't have Jesus Christ as savior, there is no amount of money that will get you into heaven, there is not enough money in the world to keep you from going to hell, and that everything in this world is eventually going to pass away.

The Rich man in Luke 16:19-31 would have foregone all of his wealth if he could only have a drop of water to be put upon his tongue to quench the torment he felt. But instead of the ease he had in this life, he could only wish that he could send warning to his family of the reality of hell.

Now, we are in Post-Christian America, where even churchgoing Christians are likely not to understand the basic principles of Orthodox Christianity, that the saying, "God helps those who help themselves" is not in the Bible, but was a quote from Benjamin Franklin. That wealth is not a symbol of God's blessing, but more often a sign of personal spiritual apathy and a declaration of independence FROM God.

In study after study it has been shown that there is an inverse relationship between income and interest in God. In other words, generally speaking the more money you make, the less likely you are to go to church regularly, to pray regularly and to be concerned about God in general.

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