So much of Christianity seems to center around benefits that can be discovered from Biblical exploration. The boundary between the spiritual and carnal has basically disappeared. Materialism has become a part of the Gospel. Many Christian leaders have made bold statements that Jesus spoke more about money than any other subject. If that is in fact true, His emphasis was not on receiving, but on giving. He did not emphasize supporting the local Synagogue or keeping the Temple and its rulers in a position of financial grandeur, but in fulfilling the needs of individuals. The taxing system was a combination of Roman and Religious taxation. The money collected by the Roman Government went to sustaining their occupying army, while the “religious” tax went to keeping the Temple a place of opulence as well as filling the money pouches of the “spiritual” leaders.
The thread of ascetic ambiance and leadership prosperity has continued throughout the centuries. Instead of taxation, the Old Testament concept of tithing has become the source of financial stability. Much of the tithing today is going to the local church to sustain the building complex as well as paying for the pastor and his supporting staff.
Since the beginning of Scriptural knowledge man has attempted to interpret the Bible’s content according to the “progressive” changes of the church. One of the biggest obstacles to spiritual growth, both spiritually and physically is failing to understand Biblical Truth. Almost every generation has taken liberties in interpreting Scripture. The Rapture Theory was introduced around the turn of the 20th century. The Prosperity Gospel appeared in the mid-20th century. There are many other examples of misinterpreted truth that have been introduced to the Body of Christ. As time evolves more new doctrines are appearing.
One day a man requested that Jesus settle a dispute he was having with his brother. The problem was that his sibling would not give him his share of the inheritance. Jesus responded with a simple rebuke, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” (Luke 12:14) This exchange gives an insight into how Jesus looked on the subject of money. He pointed out how greed can rob one of the things that really matters in life. He shared how a man built bigger barns to hold his “fruitful” bounty, but the problem was that his life would not outlast his possessions. (Luke 12: 16-20) Jesus emphasized that it was not the things that one acquires that secures life, but faith that God will take care of them. He went so far as to even encourage people to sell what they had, and give it to the poor (alms). (Luke 12:35) Jesus emphasized that it is not self-dependence, rather God dependence. It is not a reliance on money, but Faith that God will supply the things that are necessary in life. Today, people have attached money to the Gospel message and as a result, the world only sees and hears the church continually asking for money.
A good test of one’s spiritual walk is how little money plays in his thoughts and actions. Jesus leaves us with a simple thought, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)