Monday, 15 September 2014

Only Two types of Wealth

Many Christians think that attacking capitalism is to be anti-wealth. In a sense, this is true, but it is not entirely true. They argue that wealth can be God-given.

Wealth can indeed be God-given wealth. Such wealth is that which is given by God according to His timing, His conditions and His willing alone. It is not deserved because everything that humans have is from God, whether they acknowledge it or not. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3). Each breath we take is only by the grace of God. None of us humans deserve life, let alone anything else including our basic meals, or riches. God's providence, whether in wealth or poverty is by grace alone - it is undeserved and given entirely on His terms alone.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1). However, this does not in any way mean that we humans have any "right" to choose what we want. Rather, it means that for everything that happens under Heaven, God is in control because He is the Sovereign God. It is not a license of humans to achieve by their means those things listed from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 including war and death. 

Whenever humans take into their own hands to pursue their own ends in their own timing and strength, they are denying God's Sovereignty because God has His own timing for everything. To deny this is to steal from God's Glory. To steal from God's Glory is to serve the devil because he seeks to "steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10). The devil is described as a thief in John 10:10, in complete opposition to Jesus who came that we might have life. Jesus said: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

Wealth that is from God is obtained wisely. It is the one that follows the advise of the wise woman in Proverbs 9 who says: "Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight" (Proverbs 9:5-6). The wise woman of Proverbs 9 is one who walks in righteousness, seeks corrections, and gives corrections to make the simple wise. 

She is righteous, and hates "pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech" (Proverbs 8:13). She fears God as the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). She hates evil because to hate evil is to fear God (Proverbs 8:13). Everything that she obtains is by righteousness alone because it is done in fear of God. She submits to God, that is, to obey God alone on His terms and waits patiently for God. She does not seek to pursue her own ends, but seeks God. 

The wise woman of Proverbs 9 is diametrically opposed to the foolish woman of Proverbs 9. She is brash and rebellious, sexually immoral and seeking to steal, kill and destroy (Proverbs 7:10-27). First she flatters by appealing to the flesh, she then seduces by the visual eyes, kills by tempting the simply into adultery, and then traps them in her house with her false promises of pleasure. 

She is the same woman who yells to the simple, "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!" (Proverbs 9:17). She looks like wisdom to the foolish because of what she offers. She is independent of God, and does not seek God. She steals from God's Glory, and is a thief who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. She does so by offering the wealth this world can offer, to trap people into serving earthly things, and earthly wealth. Such wealth is demonic wealth, not given by God, but from satan. 

Wealth that is given by God is obtained only by righteous living, given by grace alone. Wealth that is from satan obtained by works of the flesh, pursuing one's own ends on one's own terms, waiting not for God, but seeking to satisfy oneself. Such is the philosophy of capitalism which is of mammon.