Friday, 24 October 2014

Mammon's Best Kept Secret: What the Modern Church does not Know about Mammon

Many people in the modern church do not understand what mammon is. They think they do, but they really do not. They often think it is a 'minor' issue and that by virtue of exposing mammon, one is setting up a "test" (in one's own human "wisdom") to determine who is under the spirit of mammon. I indeed have had someone say this to me. He said that by "my" test, I am suggesting that the disciples in the New Testament would fail it because they do not warn about 'mammon'. Indeed, he is like many Christians who do not understand what mammon is for what it really is. 

The Bible has many verses about money and earthliness. Any Christian who doubts this needs to read his or her Bible. The spirit of mammon literally works through all earthly things, and everyone who is unsaved is under the spirit of mammon. I will present a Biblical case for this as below:

You are either For Jesus or Against Jesus

Jesus said that, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Matthew 12:30). There are only two types of people in the world: those who are for Christ, and those who are against Christ. There is no middle ground. A person either hates Christ, or loves Christ. A person cannot be neutral about God or Jesus. Anyone who does not confess to love Jesus hates Him. Anyone who denies His Word hates Him. Anyone who twists His Word hates Him.  There is no grey area regarding following Jesus.

You either Love God OR Mammon

Jesus also said, "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).  Since a person can either love Jesus or hate Jesus, a person either loves mammon or hates mammon. This is because Jesus said that a person who loves God will hate mammon, and a person who does not love God will love mammon. There is no middle ground. Some people may say that a person need not be a Christian to be unearthly. This is absolutely false and a doctrine of demons! There is no such thing as a person who loves neither God nor mammon. This is because whoever does not love God is an enemy of God who does not nor can submit to God's Law (Romans 8:7). Such a person is enslaved by the desire to serve his flesh. Mammon feeds on the flesh (Matthew 6:24). Thus, as a person is serving his flesh, he IS serving mammon.

Many in the modern church does not take this for what it really means because they are mammonised, that is, yielding to the temptation of mammon. Many of them would get extremely offended when I say this, but it only shows their lack of understanding as to what mammon really is.

Mammon is not money

Many in the modern church would try to argue that as long as a person is not greedy for more money, he is not under the spirit of mammon. They assume that they could not possibly be under the spirit of mammon because they do much church work, social work or give away much money to the church. They assume that it is legitimate to desire earthly wealth "because God gives them earthly wealth". 

Jesus said about the rich people who gave the Temple more money than the poor woman that "all they did cast in of their abundance" in contrast to the poor woman who "cast in all that she had, even all her living" (Mark 12:44). If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). It is not about how much one gives to others, or even whether one gives what one has to others that determines whether one's heart is right with God. Even secular people who are Hell-bound are happy to give off some of their wealth. They often boast about it, thinking how generous they are! Rather, it is loving God which leads to works that are truly good in God's sight. 

The unsaved cannot love for they do not know God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (1 John 4:8). It is not of the nature of the unsaved to love. Any love they show is out of self-love and pride, believing in their own "goodness". 

Mammon not behind money per se

1 Timothy 6:10 makes it clear that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil". Why did Jesus have to tell His Followers to not worry about their earthly needs (Matthew 6:25-34)? It is because it is too easy to worry about one's earthly needs. Significantly, Jesus was not only referring to money per se. He was referring to earthly things like food, clothing and drink. He says in Matthew 6:28-31:

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faithTherefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

One may then ask, how is money related then? Money is the ultimate means to obtain all the things of this world, from basic material needs, to prestige, social status, and power. Mammon is the spirit behind the pursuit, craving, desire, pressure, worry and anxiety to obtain these things or "enough" of these things. Therefore, the love of earthliness is the root of all kinds of evil.  It is self-love.

What Jesus meant by no one being able to love both God and mammon is to be taken and literally practiced. It means to love God, and hate mammon. To hate mammon is to refuse to pursue, crave, desire, worry or be anxious for anything earthly for mammon feeds of the flesh. To hate mammon would mean to hate one's flesh and kill it.