Does Christian Teaching Keep People Poor?

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes”

(Morpheus: The Matrix 1999)

More and more I’m understanding and experiencing the link between mindset and the abundance and gratitude that results from it.

Today my mind was ready to consciously question the talk we were given about the dangers of serving other gods, rather than the one true God.  Ironically our preacher opened his talk explaining how maybe people sometimes get their priorities wrong, but by going on to suggest that focussing on making money and setting certain goals were not good things to do, I believe he was supporting the very mindset that keeps many Christians from developing their God given potential and subsequently leaves them lacking financially.  Thank God I took the red pill.

Now I would be the first to agree that if your motivation for doing what you’re doing is purely to ‘make money’, then your priorities are all wrong.  But is  God saying He wants all His followers to be poor?  I don’t think so.

It was pointed out that the first Christians didn’t keep their possessions; they gave them all away and focussed on going out to preach the Gospel.

The preacher went on to talk about how they had seen God provide for them in amazing ways, having been given 3 cars and a deposit for a house in times of great need. That is an amazing testimony, but let’s consider who God would have used to fulfil those great acts of generosity – people with money.

Yes there are people, like our preacher, who are called to be examples of how God can provide for everyone according to their needs; but in order for that to happen, there need to be people who are in a financial position to meet those needs.

I remember going to a talk at Spring Harvest several years ago, when one of the speakers mentioned that he had gone for a meal and got talking with one of the restaurant owners.  The man said “I always know when Spring Harvest is on, because most of the people we get in ask for tap water and don’t leave a tip.”

Is this really the kind of message God wants us to convey to the very people He is asking us to help save?  That Christians generally are poor and / or ungenerous?

God is the supreme creator and and we were made in His image, i.e. we also have the capacity to create things, including wealth.  I believe we are all given gifts we can use to benefit others; and that when we set goals to develop and use those gifts, and we look to God for guidance every step of the way, He will bless our endeavours and the money will automatically follow.  This is not worshipping other gods; it is doing the very thing that Jesus commanded us to do – to multiply our talents and not to bury them.

How can we better serve our community?  By being a church of people who are choosing a life of poverty because we believe the scriptures are telling us that making money and setting goals are a bad thing to do; or by being a church of go-givers*, creating wealth by serving others, then using that wealth to bless those in need?

*The Go Giver is a fantastic (non-biblical) parable which explains how giving is the secret to success.

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