Friday, January 29, 2010

Guest Spencer DelCano Asks An Important Question!

Are Christians Suppose to be Poor Servants of God/Christ?

Most my life I have heard people speak in various terms about wealth, money and otherwise, as not being the will of God. It has always made me wonder how they could figure this gracious God could possibly want his servants to be paupers in the world. When it is an accepted fact that believers are charged with spreading the Word, are they expected to walk around to talk about their great Lord? Are they expected to nearly starve because it is the way of their Lord? Are they supposed to live in shacks because they are supposed to be poor?

I think not. I can’t and never have been able to wrap my mind around that sort of mentality. No one can make me believe this omnipotent God I serve wants me to be the dirge of society especially when he is charging me with spreading his Word. Haven’t enough people thought for themselves that no real God would want his message spread which tells others he is a God of poor outcomes and his people must be slaves to as little of the world as can be.

I actually believe this misunderstanding comes from those who claim to be Christians not studying the Bible, but either listening to misguided preachers and others or simply having a false grasp of their own understanding of the Word and have missed plenty of details in the Bible which counteract this theory of Christians needing to be poor if they are going to serve their God. I find just the opposite to be true from my study.

If we look at Joshua 1: 7 & 8 we see God speaking to his people about being courageous and strong where ever they go and following the commandments spoken by Moses as received from God they will be prosperous. Furthermore He speaks of the book of the law (commandments) which they should meditate on day and night that they should do accordingly and become prosperous.

In Deuteronomy 7: 12-16 God is telling his people if they follow his commandments He will enrich them, love them, bless them greatly and increase their riches. Is this something too many miss in their reading (not studying) of the bible? Some will say it’s just the Old Testament and means nothing in the teachings of Christ.

Am I to believe that God wasted his time laying out the laws and commandments which would be manifest in the New Testament with the coming of The Christ? I think not. If we look at sections of Mark with the idea in mind that Jesus was known to be a homeless wanderer by many (even today) we see hints of information which is contrary to those beliefs. When he was asleep in the boat while this great storm arose and frightened his disciples I am sure many miss a little tidbit. The scriptures say very clearly (Mark 4:38) he was asleep in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a “pillow” and they awake him, and say Master, carest thou not that we perish?

I have heard ministers preaching on this topic but all of them skipped right over the fact that there was a pillow mentioned in the bible yet no one addressed. My mind asked if this Jesus was a homeless person where did the pillow come from. Why was it mentioned in the bible? Why might it be important? Poor, homeless people normally do not have pillows.

As we read more in the Book of St Mark we see plenty of examples where Jesus is moving from place to place which has a few obvious results. It lets his disciples know he is not just yet in the process of building a kingdom. At least not building the sort of kingdom which most would consider. That the three years of his visit on earth was strictly for a limited mission. Not one to acquire earthly possessions but to spread the Word of God and to help the poor by giving and healing.
Look at John 13 during the Last Supper when Jesus told His disciples one of them would betray Him. In verse 27 Jesus said to Judas Iscariot, “that thou doest, do it quickly”. The others at the table had no idea what the purpose was for Jesus saying what he did. Because Judas had the bag (money bag) some of them thought maybe Jesus wanted Judas to go buy supplies or to give to the poor. I feel verses like this also help to dismiss the mistaken belief that followers are to be poor. What was the significance of the money bag? Obviously Jesus was not traveling as a poor man nor was his disciples.

There has been no mention that any of them worked or was operating businesses while they followed Jesus. With the twelve disciples plus Jesus that is thirteen totally who traveled, ate, had shelter, sandals, clothing and all they needed to do their duty. What poor persons could travel extensively and feed their group plus donate to the poor? By all accounts of the Bible, though, in verses many miss along the way none of those who followed Jesus initially were poor but business people with the means to have servants and operate thriving businesses. If not why would there be a money bag, in another verse a comptroller was mentioned and how could poor people give to the poor?

I feel God wants His followers to prosper and have all the wealth available so as to do his work.

NO, Christians are not suppose to be poor servants of God.

Spencer DelCano