I mention the dangers of money and materialism quite frequently in my sermons, Bible studies, and on my blog. I do this for two main reasons
- It’s all over the place in the Bible
- This is a problem that I and many others struggle with
The Bible is very clear on the issue and very repetitive. While pointing out the clear, oft-repeated message, I have gotten accustomed to the responses. They generally go like this:
- The Bible’s teaching on money is unrealistic. You can’t go through life literally applying what the Bible says. It makes no sense.
- What? Are you saying I can’t have a house? You have a house, so who are you to tell me?
- It’s OK to be rich as long as you do good things sometimes.
- I’m not rich, I have problems paying off my cell phone, cable bill, credit cards, and Starbucks drinks every month.
Few respond with, “Oh, wow, I should seriously examine this issue and take steps to resolve my errors.”
The Bible says bad things about rich people.
You should realize that. James is probably the worst of them all. He sounds like a Bernie Sanders supporter, in all honesty.
you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
That’s from James 2.
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
That’s from James 5.
James basically says the rich only get rich by doing sinful stuff. That’s James, which is in the Bible. He equates being rich with being sinful.
We tend to view riches as God’s blessings. We must be doing things right if we have so much stuff. James decidedly disagrees.
Again, I know the justifications–Jame’s is speaking generally, not all rich do this, Abraham, David, and Solomon were all rich and God liked them, etc.
The issue will be brought up on Judgment Day. Thought you’d like to know.