Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Wealth means less evangelism?

Some Barna data:

People that make more than 60,000 a year are the least likely to agree strongly they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others. 27% believe so compared with 38% of those that make between 35,000-60,000 and 38% of those who make less than 35,000. (2004)

The poorer you are (at least to a point), the more likely you are to share the faith. Why? Scripture thunders against hoarded wealth, and one suspects it is because 1) money deadens our spiritual sensitivities, 2) makes us lazy, 3) give us permission to pay someone else to do what we know we should, and 4) takes our mind of the things of Christ and slowly converts us to the worldly theological construct of Mammonism.

Wesley, for his part, discussed the "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth..." passage with the following recognizing, of course, what the poor but upwardly mobile Methodists would face if not careful:

For high eating and drinking, fine clothes and fine houses, state and equipage, gay pleasures and diversions, do all of them naturally hurt and disorder our heart. They are the food and nourishment of all the folly and weakness of our nature....They are contrary to that sobriety and piety of heart, which relishes divine things.

Every man ought to provide the plain necessaries of life, both for his own wife and children....not delicacies; not superfluities . . . whosoever, I say, being already in these circumstances, seeks a still larger portion on earth; he lives in an open, habitual denial of the Lord that bought him. "He hath" practically "denied the faith, and is worse than" an..."infidel."

When will ye be persuaded to choose the better part; that which cannot be taken away from you?....You have murdered your own soul! You have extinguished the last spark of spiritual life therein! Now indeed, in the midst of life, you are in death! You are a living man, but a dead Christian! Your affections are set, not on things above, but on things of the earth; on poor husks, that may poison, but cannot satisfy an everlasting spirit made for God....You have thrown away the treasure in heaven. God and Christ are lost! You have gained riches, - and hell-fire!


At 3:52 PM, Blogger Josh Cougle said...

I asked a good friend of mine yesterday why God had him at his job. He was reluctant to answer... but finally offered that it was because God wanted him to have money to provide for his family. Maybe in the end, that's one of the reasons, but it would just seem that God would put us where He does for more than just having us take care of ourselves.


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