IS IT A SIN TO BE RICH?

February 13, 2019

 

 

With greater frequency, leftist rhetoric is inclined toward socialist ideas.  Mr. Webster defines socialism as “a political and economic theory of social organization based on collective or governmental ownership and democratic management of the essential means for the production and distribution of goods.”  This may sound attractive to the uneducated, for there will always be those who prefer to do less, allowing government to do more.  Barack Obama knew the re-distribution of wealth was an enticing carrot to the horse who is satisfied with living in a government barn.  That critter has no appetite for plow work that may produce a profit.  “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand:  but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” (Proverbs 10:4)  Individual initiative is stolen when “Big Brother” produces a climate where the hand is encouraged to grow slack.  This is the climate change that should engender the most concern!

Free food, education and health care are clearly not free, for someone has to foot the bill, and who would that be?  The top ten percent of the wealthy pay 53.3% of federal taxes and 68% of income taxes, but in the eyes of socialists these same bankrollers should be demonized.  The rich are painted with an evil brush, unless they are donors and propagators of the socialist doctrine.  George Soros and Michael Bloomberg are great examples of acceptable exceptions.  Money is mobile, and excessive taxation causes it to move.  Make no mistake, Soros and his cronies know how to move theirs as well as any conservative.  A classic example of this movement is found in New York State where the wealthy are fleeing to more tax friendly states.

The Scriptures indicate that great wealth is accompanied by great temptations which include:  pride (Ezekiel 28:5), forgetting God (Deuteronomy 8:13-14), denying God (Proverbs 30:8-9), self-sufficiency (Proverbs 28:11), an over-bearing spirit (Proverbs 18:23), anxiety (Ecclesiastes 5:12), violence (Micah 6:12), oppression (James 2:6), fraud (James 5:4), and sensual indulgences (James 5:5).  The difficulties of wealth is well summarized by Paul:  “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” (I Timothy 6:10).  It should be noted that the apostle did not say money was evil, but only the love of it; he further indicated that “some,” not all, coveted after it.

“But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God:  for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth…” (Deuteronomy 8:18). To condemn riches is to condemn the One Who gave the power to acquire them.  This ability of wealth gathering was granted to several saints of heroic faith…Abram, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Boaz, Barzillai, the great woman of Shunem, David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Job, Joseph of Arimathea, Zaccheus, and Dorcas are a few examples.

“And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” (Genesis 13:2)  Abram’s prosperity enabled him to employ a significant number of people which turned to the advantage of others.  A confederation of renegade kings attacked Sodom and Gomorrah, capturing Abram’s nephew Lot and his family.  “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.”  (Genesis 14:14)  The victory was won, Lot and his family were rescued, and much spoil was taken with portions of it distributed to Abram’s employees.  None of this would have been possible if Abram had not been blessed with material wealth.

Several years ago, the government implemented a socialist move by leveling a luxury tax on certain high end items.  A small costal community in Washington State suffered greatly because of a decision that was made without due consideration.  The largest employer in town was a company that built luxurious yachts that only the rich could afford.  The tax was so egregious that it caused prospective buyers to look at overseas builders for the same product.  The boat builders closed their doors; dozens were then unemployed, thereby hurting the entire area.  Socialists love to hate the rich, but they, too, buy lottery tickets.

Excessive money is often problematic, illustrated well in the Hollywood crowd.  Booze, drugs, divorces, therapist, and rehabs all highlight the dead end avenue of unhappiness without God.  If honestly gained wealth is to be enjoyed to the fullest, it must be accompanied by a willingness to ascribe its accumulation to God:  “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:  for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is

 

thine…Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all.” (I Chronicles 29:11-12).

Great wealth is neither moral nor immoral.  The difference maker is the attitude toward its accumulation.  “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;” (I Timothy 6:17). The best advice came from Jesus Christ when He said, “But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matthew 6:20).

 

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