Came across this interesting article....Can one be seeking to be rich and yet be a faithful follower of Jesus?....In the US with the mega-church phenomenon can one really hope to strike it rich while being in a church environment...Typically a promoter of the so-called prosperity gospel seldom, perhaps never, quote a word from Jesus where He spoke about being His followers and discipleship; about taking up one's cross, denying oneself, losing one's life.
SO, YOU WANT TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?
By Paul Proctor
September 6, 2007
A WorldNetDaily.com reader named "Mike" recently wrote in to WND columnist and Christian financial expert, Dave Ramsey, asking the following question:
Dear Dave, I'm the pastor of a Midwest church. Do you think it's morally OK for someone in my position to want to become a millionaire as long as the desire isn't motivated by greed?
Mike Ramsey, author of the book, "Financial Peace" and host of a syndicated radio program called, "The Dave Ramsey Show," formerly known as "The Money Game," presents on the About Us page of his website, his company's mission statement, which reads as follows:
The Lampo Group, Inc. is providing Biblically based, common sense education and empowerment which gives HOPE to everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed.
Now, I don't know if Mr. Ramsey misunderstood the pastor's question; but I was nevertheless troubled by his reply, especially in light of the enormous popularity of today's prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen. This is not to suggest that Dave endorses such errant clergymen or their teachings; but because of his scripturally inconsistent answer, and the fact that he is so widely read and respected within Christian circles, I considered it imperative that a more biblical perspective be offered in response.
Here's what Dave wrote and posted as part of his column dated September 4th, 2007:
Sure it's OK, but under one condition. A pastor, or any other Christian, should understand that they don't really own anything. When it comes right down to it, we're just asset managers for God. And if you understand this deep down in your soul, it will change how you view money and how you handle it.
If you look back in the Bible you'll see that many of the patriarchs, like Abraham, Solomon and David, were extremely wealthy - even by today's standards. Some people argue that Jesus didn't walk around with lots of possessions, but he was God in human form so he owned it all anyway!
People who say you can't be wealthy and be consistent with Christian beliefs just don't understand the Bible. If you can manage God's money with wisdom and grace rather than greed - whether it's $100 or $1,000,000 - I think you're OK.
Is it really OK for a Christian and/or pastor to "want to become a millionaire?"
Certainly there were many wealthy men of faith throughout the scriptures; but, as I told Dave in an email, "wanting to become a millionaire denotes a materialistic discontentment with one's own provision from the Lord, and worse yet, a love of money, regardless of whom we might declare the money in question actually belongs to. The one coveting possession or even oversight of more than they have is, in reality, lusting after something they have not been given.
"Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom." - Proverbs 23:4
It's interesting that Dave names Solomon as an example in his reply to the pastor. In fact, scripture tells us that God asked Solomon early on what he wanted. Both Dave and the pastor would do well to review the following passages and consider Solomon's answer and what the Lord thought of it:
"In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead. Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like." - 2nd Chronicles 1:7-12
Yes, it is OK for a Christian to be wealthy if wealth is indeed what God has blessed them with. One's abundance does not automatically disqualify them from discipleship, though riches can often present an obvious challenge to those professing faith in Christ. But, one cannot "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" while seeking riches. That is two entirely different agendas.
It is also important to note that one of Jesus' own disciples betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver. I don 't believe it was a mere coincidence that Judas Iscariot was the bearer of "the purse" - money that he was clearly in possession of but did not own. (John 12:4-6)
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - Matthew 6:21, Luke 12:34
The bottom line is this: You may call yourself a "Christian," but if your heart is set on becoming a millionaire, it is probably not on following Jesus Christ.
"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." - 1st Timothy 6:9-10