My interest in the topic of money and possessions was sparked in the last three or so months by discussions with a new found friend with whom I work. The man has some serious concerns about the effects of some of the teachings and practices surrounding money that he has heard, seen, and experienced within some of the churches in New Zealand (where we live) and at seminars he has attended. I have been shocked and dismayed by some of the things that are being taught, the weakness of the supposed “biblical basis” of many of them, and the way the they conflict with what I thought were the clear teachings on money and possessions in the New Testament. These issues concern me so much because I believe they are holding people back from aspects of the transformation GOD intends to bring about in us, and because of the perception of the Church and hence the gospel that they leave those outside the faith with. So here I am to engage these concerns, please join me.
We will be exploring some of the following big questions:
- Is it GOD’s intention for us to possess and enjoy financial wealth and/or material abundance in this life?
- Does what we do with our money hold back or release GOD’s blessing in our lives?
- Does GOD instruct us to “tithe” to a church?
- Are those experiencing extreme poverty throughout the world our concern?
Each of these immediately raises many more questions as we examine the terms used, what the questions presuppose, and what the typical answers necessarily require us to do. We will explore these things in coming posts.