Friday, 6 June 2014

Reply to a Comment from a Critic about Fighting the Four Evils

This is a response to critic of this blog. The criticism is in purple text. Anti Mammon Conqueror's response is in black.

While I appreciate that this blog is trying to warn people from love of money and wealth and seeking after things that aren’t the righteousness of God, it seems that it loses focus of what is really the heart of the issue. 

The love of money and wealth itself is unrighteous.

When it comes to ‘mammon’, Jesus never actually mentions a ‘spirit’ of mammon. The word is only ever in one passage, the context being the parable of the dishonest manager (luke 16), and it is quoted from here in Mat 6. The idea that ‘mammon’ was a false god or demon, came about much later than Jesus’ time, and is often thought to be people linking it with a god of Greek mythology called ‘Plutus’. So the idea that there is a ‘spirit of mammon’ or a god with which we do battle is something that people have added to the scripture that does not necessarily come from it. 

Simply because Jesus did not mention something explicitly does not mean that he approves of it. For example, He does use the words ‘fornication’ and ‘abortion’. However, He rebukes adultery strongly of which fornication is involved. Fornication is of the spirit of adultery. Abortion is of the spirit of murder. Jesus clearly rebuked murder by saying that “if you get angry without cause, you have committed murder”. Similarly, idolatry is of the spirit of mammon as mammon is the spirit that tells one to serve oneself first before God.

[The problem that you have in supporting your case from the bible is that it only appears once, and it forms what is called a ‘false dualism’. Dualism is the idea that there are two cosmic entities, one good and one evil, at war with each other and we as created beings are caught in the crossfire. We know this to be inherently false, since God created all things good and his creation rebelled from him. ]

Just because a word appears only once in the Bible does not mean that it is not important or not to be taken seriously. Mammon is a real spirit that comes from the devil. It is not some non-existent thing. I am not suggesting that God and mammon are fighting against each other. No, do not be deceived! Mammon is a spirit that is seeking to control your soul, take it to Hell by seducing you away from God with material things.  That is why the battle for every human is between God and mammon. Each human being ultimately decides who he will serve.

[In the passage in Luke 16, the final statement (in verse 13) is that ‘one cannot serve both God and money (or wealth, mammon). This looks at first like it sets up a dualism: God against money, or God against a demon called ‘money’ or ‘mammon’. It is important to mention that the word ‘mammon’ came from a form of Jewish language and was not inherently evil.]

Do you remember how Jesus said whoever wants to follow me must deny thyself. This means to die to self. To be a true follower of Jesus, one must give up ALL of one’s possessions, rights, freedoms, free will, liberty and everything. Yes, everything. You must give your whole self to Jesus to be a true disciple of Jesus. So, either you serve God or you serve satan. Jesus said that He who is not for me is against me. This is not semantics or “dualism” whatever that is. This is what the Bible says, not what I say. Jesus said that one cannot serve God and mammon very clearly. Since a person can either serve God or mammon, there is no neutrality when it comes to serving God because God deserves our worship. Many equate money to mammon which appears to be causing the confusion about mammon. The semantics about the term ‘mammon’ is not important. What matters is what mammon really is. It is time Christians stop arguing over semantics, that is, how a word is used. Mammon IS worldly security and comes from the false god of a pagan tribe which promised security. This can be health, prosperity, education, achievements, etc.
You accuse me of saying that material things are inherently evil. That is not what I am saying. That you make mammon a matter of semantics shows that you do not understand what mammon is.

[What makes something like this ‘evil’ is in fact the worship that we give to it. So ‘wealth’ is not evil, but worship of it is. This means that we need to focus not on the evil of wealth, but on our evil worship of wealth. The first action demonises wealth (and shifts the blame from our own hearts to something else) where as the second action deals with the real problem: our sin and desire to put anything else in the place of God. When we acknowledge these false idols (like wealth) as having personality and substance (a ‘spirit’ if you will), we create a false god that in fact does not exist. In the context of this passage, Jesus uses personification to show the futility of creating a false god out of mammon or anything for that matter, NOT to set up a dualism between God and wealth. ]

I am not saying material things are evil. What I am saying is that the spirit behind it is evil and many Christians are trying to serve mammon. That you are trying to make mammon a matter of semantics shows that you are trying to run away from Biblical teachings about mammon. It shows that you are probably under the spirit of mammon yourself, and hence your lack of understand of mammon. Check out: If you don’t understand mammon, who are you to say ‘we need to focus not on the evil of wealth, but on our evil worship of wealth?” What I am saying is not me saying it, but what Jesus said – not me. You say I am demonising wealth and shifting blame from “our own hearts to something else”.  You are shifting the blame for yourself being under the spirit of mammon to the person who is telling you that you are under the spirit of mammon. The spirit of mammon tempts people to serve material things, and people choose to serve material things. People create false gods for themselves. Exactly, and these false gods manifested from the flesh come from satan whom those who follow false gods serve. They are children of satan. They serve him and he uses them to accomplish his purpose to keep people away from seeking God and deceiving the church. Satan exists too. If you deny he exists, you are being deceived. A person can serve either God or satan. You can’t be neutral. If you call this “dualism” that is fine, but to say that something is diametrically opposed to God is not to say that it cannot defeat God or that it is equal to God. You seem to be accusing me of that without understanding the spirit of mammon.

[So the good news is that there is no ‘fight’ at all between us and this ‘false god’ or ‘spirit of mammon.’ The fact is that the fight has been won by Jesus; he died to defeat our sin and enable us to live a life pleasing to him through his holy spirit in us. Our ‘false worship’ is the real enemy that has to be defeated, and the Bible says that ‘Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God’ (1 Peter 3:18). All that needs to be done to bring us to God has been done in the death of Jesus and is applied to your life when you repent and believe in him. So our encouragement is not to take up arms against a defeated enemy who is really a product of our own creation as sinful humans, but to ‘look to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith’ (Heb 12:3), and it is by keeping focussed on Jesus that we grow, that those around us see Jesus, and that the gospel is spread. ‘Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.’ (John 15:4) ]

Did you not know that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) It is because many people in the church choose to ignore that mammon exists, to justify their works of serving mammon who they indeed choose to serve that they cannot find Jesus. Exactly! ‘Sinful’ means to embrace and love sin. Those truly born-again of the Spirit are no longer embracing sin because they are now a new creature in Christ. Check out: Therefore, the truly born-again can be called righteous. This does not mean sinless, that is having never sinned, but the use of the term ‘sinful’ by Australian Christians is very unbiblical. Do not accuse me of trying to twist the Bible and the doctrine of sin. I am not. The term ‘sinful’ has been used as a popular blanket term by many modern Australian Christians to imply that because all have fallen, all humans are the same in righteousness, especially in evangelism out of fear of humans. However, the Bible does distinguish between the righteous and unrighteous throughout, in the Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms and the New Testament. It is because of this fear of humans rather than God, and a lack of love for God owing to Australian Christians trying to serve mammon, that the Australian church has failed to be salt and light of the world. It is like the Church of Ephesus in Revelations. Jesus has taken away its lampstand, and allowed it to be trampled upon by the world.

[“By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” also written by John (1 John 2:5-6)

So, all this is to bring us back to KNOWING Jesus, focusing our hearts back into “abiding” in him.]

The FOCUS on Jesus, one must DENY ONESELF. To deny oneself, one must denounce, fight and expose mammon. So, fighting and exposing mammon is needed to focus on the words of Jesus. That is exactly what I am doing. That many Australian Christians fail to understand what I am doing is because they are under the spirit themselves.