Saturday, March 27, 2010

Does The Bible Teach Redistribution of Wealth?

"As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack." 2 Corinthians 8:15

I heard a preacher say this week that socialism is scripture and according to the gospel. I shouldn't be surprised as I met a man in Haiti one time who claimed he was a Christian communist. I deal with this in another blog entitled, "Does The Bible Teach Socialism." Please read that as well as we deal with many of the scriptures that prove that it DOES NOT teach socialism or the redistribution of wealth. However, after I heard him say that the redistribution of wealth or socialism is from the gospels, I was reminded of the above versees so let's deal with those.

First, Paul is talking about those who are willing to give. We see that in verse 12. "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not." He wanted the people in Corinth to be willing to give. He also said earlier in 2 Corinthians 9:7, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." That is not the case with socialism. It is not voluntary but mandatory! Also, this was within the church and did not have anything to do with the Roman government. When we continue to read this passage, we'll find that the idea here is not to make everyone poorer, but to help those who are in need so that they may one day help others. This does not breed laziness nor does it put a small group of people in charge of the rest as socialism does.

The fact that preachers feel that socialism and redistribution of wealth is Biblical causes them to miss the whole spirit of the gospel and Christianity. Christ does not force himself on anyone but it is always by invitation. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 It does not set a few men over many but there is one Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. The rest are servants and even the greatest among us should be the least. "And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." Luke 22:25-26 This type of teaching and action has never, nor will never, be a part of the government socialism that is supposed to make all happy and supply to all.

So in conclusion, yes, giving and maybe even a voluntary distribution of wealth is mentioned in the Bible, but not in the world, only in the church. It is voluntary, blessed, and done with love. This is not socialism or the world's redistribution!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What Lack Ye Yet?

" For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; 10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?" 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10


Paul was writing to the church in Thessalonica after having to leave it quickly because of persecution. He was not able to spend as much time with them as he liked and felt that there were still some things that were lacking in their faith. We may ask ourselves, are we lacking in our faith? We know that God wants perfection as we find in Colossians 4:12, " Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." "No one is perfect," you say. Well, it depends on what you mean by "perfect." When we see a new born baby that is without disease or blemish, we say it is perfect even though it can only lay there and coo and cry. When we see a five year old child who is still learning his alphabet and cannot yet write full words after only being in school a month, we say he/she is doing well and is making perfect grades if he/she performs the learning tasks assigned without fail or error. But, if that child turns fifteen and still cannot write full words or spell, we would not call that perfect but know there is a problem. So is a Christian. There is a growth and God judges us, not compared to someone else, but where we are in the Christian life.


One of the areas we must grow in is in Sanctification or separation from this world and more of godliness. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, " And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." We must grow in spirit, the seat of our worship toward God, our soul, the seat of our appetites, and our body, our dedication and modesty toward God.


Another area of growth is in Love. This is one of the hardest. " And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;" Philippians 1:9 We are told in Luke 10:27, " And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." In this we must grow.


One more area that we must grow as Christians is in Knowledge. " But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18 We should know more about God's word now then we did a year ago and we should gain more knowledge about his ways through experiences each day. While we must examine our hearts and lives from time to time in the mirror of his Word and check our progress with him. If we are truthful with ourselves, that is those of us who have been in Christ for several years, we will no doubt find areas in our walk that we are not growing in and maybe even have transgressed. So, at the end of this all, I ask myself as well as you, What lack ye yet?


Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Passing Days of Man

"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth." Psalm 103:15


Our days are few on this earth. They flee away as the dew in the morning and when we look at our life span compared to time, it is nothing. That's why Moses said in Psalm 90:10, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." Now compare eighty years to 6,000 and you have nothing. That's why Moses wrote before this in Psalm 90:9, "For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told." So then Moses gives further advise in Psalm 90:12 saying, " So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." So, we are advised to apply our hearts unto wisdom. Yes, we need to go about our daily tasks and academics, but the chief concern in this short life is to apply our hearts unto wisdom. What is wisdom? We find the answer in Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." Learning and having the fear of God is the most important thing we can do in this life because that will continue forever if it is done with Christ as the center of our life and soul.


Also in Psalm 103:15 we read, "As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth." So what is the flower of man? We find in Isaiah 40:6 that it is man's goodness: "The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field." So all the glory that we seem to get on this earth in this life is only a fleeing experience that will be cut off quickly. We read more in Isaiah 40: 7-8 about the flower of man: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." So man's glory will pass but there is one thing that will never pass, and that's the Word of God for we read, "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." Psalm 119:89 That's why we must read, study, learn, and memorize his Word: It will teach us the fear of God as well as live forever. It is so easy for us to get our priorities turned around as the "god of this world" (2Cor. 4:4) and deceiver of the nations (Rev. 12:9) works overtime to convince us that the world and all of it's splendor should be our love, even if we are a Christian. Remember what Jesus did when confronted by the glamour of the world. We read this in Matthew 4:8-10: "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." The same is for us, Christ is our only object of worship and affection so let's leave the world alone and use it as we need but make our priority as following Christ and spreading the gospel!!