Thursday, 14 August 2014

You either put your faith in God or mammon: There is no middle groud

Many people in our increasingly secular world assume that faith relates only to religion. Many sincerely believe that religion equates to faith, and that the lack of 'religious adherence' amounts to no faith. As such, many in the secular world think about faith in terms of the dichotomy between those who are "religious" and those who are not. Nothing can be further from the truth. As long as one has trust in something, whether it be human achievements, one's own perceived goodness, or a philosophy, one has faith. To have faith in something is to trust something. So, the question is where does one put one's faith, not, whether one has faith. 

The Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:1-20 tells of the 4 types of grounds on which the farmer throws some seeds. The seed represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News, and the grounds represents the condition of the heart in hearing the Gospel. One of the 4 types of grounds is the thorny ground: Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19). 

Many people are very reluctant to put their faith in Jesus because of the lure of riches and the deceitfulness of wealth. They are seduced by the spirit of mammon to seek to gain the whole world and care about their soul later, if at all, or, to forfeit one's soul. This is contrary to what Jesus warned, regarding the need to deny oneself and crucify one's flesh to follow Him: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36). 

Many Christians are trying to serve God and mammon at the same time by placing some of their trust in earthly things.This is evidenced by their lack of action in fighting evils, their casual dismissal of evils being a mere part of a fallen world,  insinuating that they do not need to do anything about it, failure to try to understand the evil, and their inability to see the spirit of mammon. Whenever they are confronted with rebuke about how they are trying to serve God, they respond by saying they serve God actively by serving the church, or engaging in community work. That may be true, however, this does not in anyway mean that they cannot nor do not fall into putting their faith in mammon.

1 John 2:15 commands the true Christians: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Faith is trust, and where one loves something, one trusts it. Therefore, where one loves the world and the things in the world, one has faith in such things, "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:34)". 'Treasure' is translated from 'th├ęsauros' which is store-house for precious things; things that one values and loves. So, where one puts something in a store-house, one has faith in the storehouse. 'Heart' is translated from 'kardia' which refers to the mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center.  Therefore, it one even feels comfortable with the world or the things of the world, one places one's faith in it because one sees it as a treasure.  What one places one's faith in is what one will devote one's heart to. That is why Jesus strongly warned: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). The New International Version uses the word 'devoted to' instead of 'love' as per the King James version. 

To love God means to be devoted to Him, that is, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37). Anyone who does not love God with all one's heart, soul and mind hates God because he that is not with Jesus is against Him; and he that gathereth not with Jesus scattereth abroad (Matthew 12:30).  Therefore, if a person does not love God, he does not trust Him, but instead, loves and places his faith in mammon. As long as one does not place his faith in God, he serves mammon, and places his faith in mammon. Placing one's faith in mammon can be manifested in varied forms, but no matter what form it is, it is hatred of God, and a love of mammon. 

Many people are not only comfortable with the world or the things in the world, but love the things of the world. Many Christians are indeed comfortable with the things of this world because they think that being comfortable with earthly things is not placing faith in such things. Nothing can be further from the truth. Being comfortable with earthly things is to trust in such things, and allow mammon is seduce oneself into trusting and serving it. To to trust in earthly things is to love earthly things. To love earthly things, that is, the world and the things in the world is to hate God. 

Christians have been commanded by Jesus to be salt and light of the Earth. He rebukes His Church for losing it saltiness, that it good only to be trampled underfoot and losing its light so that the unsaved cannot see its good deeds and glorify God (Matthew 5:13-16). The modern Church has been compromising with the world's systems, doctrines, philosophy and thinking, and being so smug in its wealth.

No wonder modern Christendom has failed to be salt and light of the Earth. It has failed to devote itself to God, and sucuumbed to the world, making itself bland for the world. It is the modern Church itself that has made itself trampled underfoot, and hidden under a bowl.

Indeed, the modern Church has made itself useless and good-for-nothing because of its own failure to hate the world (not the people of the world) and things of the world which are of mammon, and love God and place faith in God alone. The unsaved cannot be blamed for the plight of the Church in this world, because they do not understand anything that is spiritual and are used by satan without even knowing it.