Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger
I am going to start this seminar with the summary from God & Money seminar. This will set the stage. If you want the full foundation for this seminar you may get the tape of that session or read the expanded version of the session on this web site BigelowHomes.com/Urbana.
Here is the summary:
1. In Israel, God's economic system, including Jubilee, provided every family with the equal opportunity to own and pass on to the next generation modest wealth, but it eliminated the opportunity to become exceedingly wealthy.
2. God condemned those who became exceedingly wealthy and denounced their attempt to worship Him with their wealth as an abomination.
3. Jesus presents us with a decision: If I serve, love and am devoted to God, I will hate and despise Money.
4. When I serve, love, and am devoted to God, I will not store up treasure for myself on earth, and I don't need to worry about life.
5. Jesus never in any way encouraged wealth accumulation for oneself on earth.
6. If I do store up treasure on earth, it is for the sole purpose of giving it away. It must not be for myself.
7. As an alien on earth my great opportunity is to store up treasure in heaven where it cannot corrode or be stolen. I am reminded of the famous saying of the martyred missionary, Jim Elliot: He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
8. Money is a root of all evils. People who want to get rich fall into a trap that will (not may) plunge them into ruin and destruction.
9. Money has no place and will have no place in the Kingdom of God, which is characterized by abundance.
10. However, Money can be converted into heavenly treasure by giving to the poor and similarly by investing in Kingdom building activities.
11. Ellul says that the only way to neutralize the power of Money over our life in this world is to give it away. Over and over again, Jesus tells people to sell their possessions and give their money away, or He commends people for doing it.
12. The good work that God prepares for many to do involves owning a business. The output of a business can bring glory to God. Providing a workplace based on biblical relational principles brings glory to God. Providing a workplace requires the accumulation and ownership of capital in the form of Money. This can be a particularly dangerous temptation and trap for a Christian businessman.
13. There are two great traps. One involves treating workers with less dignity than God has given them as His image bearer; or paying unjust wages. The second is crossing the fine line that separates retaining the capital required to operate a business and distrusting God by storing up treasure for themselves. This is why I do not have a savings account and why I do not own any investments outside of the business.
14. The warning against wealth accumulation and the diatribes against the misuse of wealth should cause all serious Christians to be zealous to give away everything they can as fast as they can.
15. It is undeniable that God wants there to be an equality of economic sufficiency amongst the aliens in this world who are citizens of God's Kingdom.
16. The opportunity to give is itself a gift of God. It is not a burden; it is a gift from God.
17. The greatest expression of giving as a gift of God is to give so riskingly and with such confidence and trust in God that at some future time other's plenty will be required in order to supply the original giver's need.
18. When a Christian gives generously God receives thanks and glory.
Continued on next page
More by Perry Bigelow
- A Developer's Perspective on Healthy Communities
- The Builder-Developer as a Steward of God's Resources
- Builder of the Year Acceptance Speech
- Building and Development Philosophy: Cultural and Environmental Sustainability
- 13th Annual Affordable Comfort Conference
- 1st Annual National Green Building Conference
- Bibliography - Neighborhood Planning, Community & Ecology
- The Spirituality of Sustainability
- Stewardship of Creation
- God and Money
- Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger
- Excerpts from "Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community"
- Devotional - Listening to God Daily
- Bibliography for "God and Money" and "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger"