Materialism, money still ‘a serious matter’

More and more, I hear Christians being accused of being materialistic.

More and more, I hear Christians being accused of being materialistic. It’s probably true. I remember reading about Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) in dialogue with a religious leader of his day. The churchman said, “We can no longer say as Peter did in Acts 3:6, ‘Silver or gold I do not have.’ ” Aquinas replied (insinuating that a rich, powerful church is also likely to be a weak one), “Nor can we say, ‘But what I do have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ ”

It’s a pretty tricky deal. Somehow we have to exist within the country and culture we find ourselves in, which in our case happens to be quite an affluent one … yet not be taken with and or controlled by material possessions and money.

I spoke with a missionary, who’d recently returned from a teaching foray in the Republic of Cameroon in West Central Africa. In a conversation with a group of African pastors, he happened to mention that he had a savings account in Canada. They were not very impressed with him at that point. They asked him how he could possibly set money aside when there are so many people who are in need. Yet, as Canadians, we understand that if we don’t set something aside for the proverbial “rainy day” or retirement, we will become dependent upon others, or the system.

Just to make it more interesting, there is the “prosperity gospel” crowd who believe that it’s God’s will for true, faithful Christians to be prosperous. I happen not to be of this persuasion, though I do believe that the application of biblical principles relative to finance and stewardship might very well result in our financial status improving. (Incidentally, I define prosperity as having all that we need to sustain us in order that we may serve the Lord better).

Materialism is obviously a serious matter. Jesus warned His followers, saying, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

The apostle Paul wrote later in 1 Corinthians 6:10 that the covetous will not be inheritors of the Kingdom of God!

Paul presents a clear, concise comparison  in 1 Timothy 6:5,6. He states that those “… who have been robbed of the truth … think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” In the sixth verse, he presents the proper alternative, explaining that, “… godliness with contentment is great gain.” His focus is clearly on contentment, not collateral.

“I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” — Martin Luther

Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.

— Faith & Reflection

Just Posted

MLA: You don’t vote for the tail

Bureaucracy overtakes elected representatives

Our Town Stettler: Convalescent Hospital opened in 1954 first of its kind

Gave Stettler forward-thinking reputation for helping an ageing population

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Witness refuses to testify against John Savage

Preliminary hearing on Stettler man for second-degree murder halted, plea bargain made

John Savage pleads guilty to manslaughter

Sentenced to 7 years for Stettler murder

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Innisfail RCMP arrest two men attempting to sell stolen property

A large amount of music equipment and instruments had been stolen

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Pro-immigration rally planned for Red Deer on Saturday

Rally taking place outside Red Deer City Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Bower Place expansion plans underway

Red Deerians can expect Sunterra Market and Marshall’s

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan, crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Most Read