Friday, 23 January 2015

Beware of falling into the trap of trying to serve God and mammon

One of the most defining characteristics of false teachers is that they all seek only after their physical earthly needs, not to say, wealth. This is literally that indicates hostility against God. Indeed, false teachers may be religious, spiritual, humanitarian or even moral. How can they be a false teacher, you may ask. 

The Bible does not say no one seeks after religion, spirituality or even a deity to worship. It says that no one seeks after God (Romans 3:11). Jesus said that humans by nature love darkness, that is, evil:  Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed (John 3:19-20). Just as Adam and Eve ran away from God and wanted to hide from Him after they sinned, all their descendants, which includes you and me, have turned away from God (Genesis 3:8).

Beware of teachers within the church, and indeed, Christians who are trying in their own flesh to serve God and mammon, having being saved by grace, but struggling with the sin of earthliness, which places them under the spirit of mammon. Indeed, contrary to what most Christians think, a Christian can be under an evil spirit. In Matthew 16:23, Jesus said to Peter 'get behind me satan' because of what Peter said to Jesus, which was earthly, trusting in one's own understanding rather than God's.  1 Timothy 4:1 also implies the role of evil spirits seeking to blind and attack Christians: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

No wonder Apostle Paul warned about false mammon-serving, mammon-loving teachers:

 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:17-18).
It is easy for a Christian, even the one with the most carefree attitudes towards earthly things to say "I am not trying to serve both God and mammon". However, it is when one becomes proud of oneself that one falls. When you reach your peak, watch out. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). 
Satan is out there to attack. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Blinding Christians into thinking a Christian cannot be under the spirit of mammon because they have the Holy Spirit in them is his first plan of attack - attack by stealth. 
Ultimately, when a person seeks to serve both God and mammon, his or her actions are one's own. This cannot be denied. However, the evil demonic spirit of mammon seeks to gain a stronghold over the person seeking to serve both God and mammon, blinding him or her to think they serving God and mammon can be done. 
You may still say, this is not a big deal as many Christians have been indirectly telling me, with snide remarks. Well, one third of Jesus' teachings were on wealth and possessions. If mammon were not a danger to the soul, why did Jesus have to say, 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)? 
Why did he have to say that then if mammon were not a danger to the Christian? Why did he have to constantly tell his followers to give up all they have (Luke 12:33), forsake one's life (Luke 14:26), and that what would it profit a man if he gain the whole world but forfeits his soul (Mark 8:36)? 
Do not even tell me that mammon is a "minor" issue like what a modern evangelical once told me, as a snide remark. It is not. The evidence is clear.