What Does the Bible Really Say About Being Wealthy or Rich?

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EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 140 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Before beginning. The author writing this article has been poor 70% of his life and 50% of that was extremely poor, even homeless for extended periods, and yet, he has never envied the rich or wealthy. He has worked extremely hard to become very wealthy in his life. But it has not been for the love of the money itself, it is with the altruistic desire of giving the poor and disadvantaged a helping hand up out of poverty. It has also been the desire to help educate the churchgoer about the Bible he carries.

What lies below is exactly what the Bible says about wealth and riches. At the end of the article, we will address the prosperity gospel explicitly and the recent attacks on John MacArthur. But first, let’s begin with some general thoughts based on Scripture. Is money the root of all evil? “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have been led astray from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.”—1 Timothy 6:10.

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So what we see from the Bible is that “the love of money,” money in and of itself does not cause “many pains.” In the Old Testament, King Solomon who was extremely wealthy, more than even Jeff Besos, recognized three kinds of injurious things that regularly happen to those who love money. Worry; anxiety: “Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12) Dissatisfaction: “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity [futility].” (Ecclesiastes 5:10) The Attraction to violate the law: “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.—Proverbs 28:20.

What purpose does money serve?For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom keeps its possessors alive.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12) Anyone who says money cannot ‘make you happy’ or ‘buy happiness’ is a fool and is wealthy and has never been poor. Money literally brings you security and happiness. The wealthy do not worry about whether they can buy food for their children, which utility they can do without because they do not have enough to pay for them all, will they lose their home or apartment, can they get their child good medical care, and so on. These and many, many others are the worries of the poor on a daily basis. Money can also help you to take care of yourself and your family. In fact, the Bible states: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, [I.e., relatives] and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”—1 Timothy 5:8.

FIRST TIMOTHY 2.12 EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1

A Church Run Like a Business? Business is not a dirty word, just as religion is not a dirty word, nor is church a dirty word. All three of those words are only dirty if the one running them is unclean. A business is an activity that someone is engaged in with the intent of being successful and profitable. My goodness, if a ministry is not successful and it does not make a profit, its reach will be stifled in the extreme. The average Christian does not fathom that you need an organized religion, church, run like a business to carry out the great commission. The preaching of the good news, teaching, and making disciples are to be done in all the inhabited earth.

However, there is a snag that Jesus said we were going to have to deal with. Jesus started one true Christianity. The apostles grew that one true Christianity from 120 disciples in 33 A.D. to over one million disciples by 133 A.D. About 190 A.D., we had 20 varieties of Christianity. By 400 A.D., there were 80 varieties of Christianity. Today, we have 41,000 different varieties. They all teach differently; almost all are false. The organized church business today has more to do than ever. It has to maintain the flock it has, growing them spiritually. It has to make disciples across in all the inhabited earth. It has to save those who have begun to doubt, and it has to evangelize other false Christians to save them if they can.

How can you use money wisely? “First sit down and calculate the cost.” (Luke 14:28) Use the money in such a way that it has God’s approval. (Luke 16:9) Be sensible, careful, wise, honest, and responsible when using your money (Hebrews 13:18) To avoid the burden of living beyond your means, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have.”Hebrews 13:5.

The Bible does not say that we cannot get loans, use credit cards, that is, take on debt, but it does warn us: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7) Pause and ponder at the moment before purchases, because “everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5) Instead, save enough money that if you lost your job tomorrow, you would have enough money to pay all of your bills for a year. God’s Word urges us to give generously out of love. “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) Hence, “do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16) All Christians should plan as though Jesus Christ is returning in 50 years but live as though he is returning tomorrow. What does that mean? It means that you can make relatively long-term plans such as going to a college or university, buying a house, having a career, or starting a business.

But you need to live daily with a righteous standing before God by living a Christian life, studying your Bible, having a family Bible study for an hour once a week, going to all church services, preparing for the church Bible study class, evangelizing in your community, and if you are a man maby become a deacon, assistant pastor or even a pastor, or a Christian author or educator in some way. The same for the female, even though she cannot carry out some teaching role (deacon, assistant pastor, or pastor) in the church as a whole, she can teach young people or a woman’s Bible study in the church, evangelize in the community to unbelievers, and be a Christian author.

Wealth, Wealthy

Wealth (Gr. πλουτέω plouteō) is defined as an abundance of valuable possessions or money; the state of being rich; well being, material prosperity. It means to have plenty of money, rich. The Hebrew word (חֹסֶן chosen) means stronghold treasure, stocks and has the sense of an abundance of material possessions and resources. Another Hebrew word (הוֹן hon) has the sense of an abundance of material possessions and resources.

Old Testament Terms

The OT uses a variety of terms to describe the rich or wealthy person. Some of these terms may also be used to describe powerful nations and fertile fields. The major Hebrew terms are:

(1) ʿĀšar (“be/become rich”), ʿōšer (“riches”), ʾāšîr (“rich”). These related terms are all used to describe persons gaining or possessing wealth (e.g., Gen. 14:23; 26:13; Ps. 49:2 [MT 3]; Prov. 18:11; 22:7). They sometimes describe wealth that is the result of God’s blessing (e.g., Prov. 10:22) or of industrious efforts (e.g., 10:4); in other instances, they are used of riches resulting from ill-gotten gain (e.g., Jer. 17:11; Mic. 6:12).

(2) Ḥayil (“power,” “capacity,” “wealth”). Since power is often related to wealth, ḥayil is used about thirty times to refer to the wealth of an individual (e.g., Job 5:5; 31:25) or of a city or nation (e.g., Gen. 34:29; Isa. 8:4; Ezk. 26:12; 28:4f.).

(3) Hôn (“wealth,” “rich,” “riches”). This term is used frequently in poetic passages. Sometimes it designates legitimate wealth (e.g., Ps. 112:3; 119:14; cf. Prov. 8:18), at other times wealth improperly gained (e.g., Prov. 13:11).

(4) šāmēn (“rich”). This term is used often of fields or food; the AV renders it “fat,” while the NEB often uses “fertile” (e.g., Gen. 49:20; Nu. 13:20; Neh. 9:25, 35; Isa. 28:1, 4; 30:23). Cf. Ugar, smn (t) and Akk. samanu, which are frequently used for fertile fields or well-fed cattle.

(5) Gāḏal (“become great,” “become rich,” “become wealthy”), gāḏôl (“great,” “rich,” “wealthy”). These terms literally mean “(become) great” and are so rendered by the AV (e.g., Gen. 26:13 [NEB “become powerful”]; 1 S. 25:2 [NEB “great influence”]).[1]

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New Testament Terms

Terms Several Greek terms denote riches, wealth, and prosperity.

(1) Ploútos (“riches,” “wealth”; e.g., Mt. 13:22; Rom. 11:12; Eph. 2:7; 3:16; 1 Tim. 6:17), ploúsios (“rich”; e.g., Mt. 27:57; Jas. 1:10; 5:1), plousíōs (“richly”; Col. 3:16; 1 Tim. 6:17; Tit. 3:6; 2 Pet. 1:11), ploutéō (“be/become rich,” “gain wealth”; e.g., 1 Cor. 4:8; Rev. 18:15), ploutízō (“make rich”; 2 Cor. 6:10). This is the most common word-group for riches and wealth. It derives from the root pel, “flow,” hence “be filled, satiated.”

(2) Chré̄ma (“riches”; Mk. 10:23; Lk. 18:24). This term is used in the NT exclusively for material possessions.

(3) Thesaurós (“treasure”). This term is used in the sense of a deposit (e.g., Mt. 2:11; 6:19–12; 19:21).

(4) Mammōnás (“mammon”; Mt. 6:24; Lk. 16:9, 11, 13). See Mammon.

(5) Euporía (“wealth”; Acts 19:25). This term denotes prosperity (cf. NEB “high standard of living”).

(6) Piótēs (“riches”; Rom. 11:17). The term refers to fatness or wealth.

(7) Dýnamis (“wealth”; Rev. 18:3). The term literally denotes power.

(8) Timiótēs (“wealth”; Rev. 18:19). This term signifies costliness.

(9) Hypárchō (“possession”; Mt. 24:47; Lk. 12:15, 33f), hýparxis (“possession”; He. 10:34). Both the substantive part of hypárchō (“exist,” “be at one’s disposal”) and the cognate noun hýparxis denote that which belongs to someone, i.e., property.

(10) Kté̅ma (“possession”; Mt. 19:22; Mk. 10:22; Acts 2:45), kté̄tōr (“possesor”; Acts 4:34). [2]

The possession of wealth is not regarded as sinful, but, on the contrary, was looked upon as a sign of the blessing of God (Ec 5:19; 6:2). The doctrine of “blessed are the poor, and cursed are the rich” finds no countenance in the Scriptures, for Lu 6:20,24 refers to concrete conditions (disciples and persecutors; note the “you”). God is the maker of rich and poor alike in that he allows us the freedom to make free will decisions that could result in wealth or poverty (Pr 22:2). But while it is not sinful to be rich it can be hazardous and indeed perilous to one’s salvation (Mt 19:23). Of this fact, the rich young ruler is a striking example (Lu 18:22-23). Because of the danger of possibly losing the soul through the possession of wealth, so many exhortations are found in the Scriptures aimed especially at those who have an abundance of this world’s goods (1Ti 6:17; Jas 1:10-11; 5:1, etc.). Certain parables are especially worthy of note in this same connection, e.g., the Rich Fool (Lu 12:16-21), the Rich Man and Lazarus, a parable (Lu 16:19-31). Like any other person, salvation is available to the wealthy. However, in the Gospels, it is apparent from such rich men as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea (Joh 19:38-39; Mt 27:57-60), and Zaccheus (Lu 19:1-10) face the temptation of developing a spirit of love of money and other temptations are there for those who are wealthy and the poor might not face these inappropriate desires. It may fairly be inferred from the Gospel records that James and John, who were disciples of our Lord, were men of considerable means (Mr 1:19-20; Joh 19:27).

Wealth may result from industry (Pr 10:4) or the result of God’s special blessing (2Ch 1:11-12). We are warned to be careful lest at any time we should say, “My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember Yahweh thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.” (Deut 8:17-18)

Those possessing wealth are liable to certain kinds of sins against which they are frequently warned, e.g., highmindedness (1Ti 6:17); oppression of the poor (Jas 2:6); selfishness (Lu 12:1-59 and Lu 16:1-31); dishonesty (Lu 19:1-10); self-conceit (Pr 28:11); self-trust (Pr 18:11).

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In 1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7, 11; 1 Peter 5:2, we find the Greek word (φιλάργυρος aphilarguros), which means that we are not to be a love of money, nor characterized by an immoderate desire for acquiring wealth. In four of these five places, it refers to the income of ministers of the gospel, as though they were particularly susceptible of being led away by the influences and power of money and so needed special warning.

The Scriptures are not without instruction on how we may use our wealth wisely and as well-pleasing to God. The parable of the Unjust Steward (Lu 16:1-31) encourages us to “make friends for yourselves by means of the unrighteous riches,”[3] which is meant that we should use the wealth which God has committed to us as stewards in order that we may win friends (souls) with it for Him and His kingdom, just as the unfaithful steward used the goods with which his master had entrusted him to make friends for himself. The parable of Rich Man and Lazarus gives us the sad picture of a selfish rich man who had abused his trust, who had failed to make friends with his money, and who, in the other world, would have given anything just for such a friend (Lu 16:19-31).

By William Evans and Edward D. Andrews

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES

Riches

rich’-ez, rich’-iz: The Scriptures regard material riches as neither good nor bad in themselves, but only according as they are properly or improperly viewed and used. They are temporary (Pr 27:24); they are not to be trusted in (Mr 10:23; Lu 18:24; 1Ti 6:17); they are not to be gloried in (Jer 9:23); the heart is not to be set on them (Ps 62:10), but God makes them (Ps 104:24), and come from God (1Ch 29:12); and they are the crown of the wise (Pr 14:24). Material riches are used to bring forth the most precious and glorious realities of the spiritual realm. See, e.g., Ro 9:23; 11:33; Eph 2:7; Php 4:19; Col 1:27.

By E. J. Forrester and Edward D. Andrews

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Wealth in Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible

Abundance, usually of money or material goods, whose value is ordinarily expressed in terms of some understood unit, such as a national currency. It is virtually synonymous with riches, and both may refer to family, friends, or even moral qualities, in addition to material possessions.

The Bible has much to say about material wealth and makes it clear that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Lk 12:15). Obviously, God owns all wealth, for he is the creator and possessor of all that exists (Ps 50:10–12).

In the OT riches are a mark of favor with God (Ps 112:3) and he gives power to acquire wealth (Dt 8:18). Both the piety and the wealth of Job are well known (Jb 1:1–3). Solomon was perhaps the richest man who ever lived; God granted him “riches, possessions, and honor” because Solomon had asked for wisdom and discernment rather than material things (1 Kgs 3:10–13; 2 Chr 1:11, 12).

Not all rich men were good. Nabal was “very rich,” but he was “churlish and ill-behaved,” stingy, and wicked (1 Sm 25:1–38). The affluent king of Tyre was the object of God’s judgment (Ez 28), and many other rulers of the world fell under the same condemnation. In Isaiah 53:9 the prophecy concerning the Messiah links the wealthy with the wicked: “they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death.”

In the NT wealthy men are often seen as godless, for example, the rich farmer (Lk 12:16–21) and the rich man with Lazarus (16:19–31). The wealthy are condemned for oppression and greed (Jas 5:1–6). Luke 6:24 pronounces woe against the rich, and all three synoptic Gospels speak of the dangers of riches (Mt 13:22; Mk 4:19; Lk 8:14).

Not all rich men were bad. Jesus was buried in the tomb of “a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph” (Mt 27:57). Nicodemus, who provided lavishly for the burial of Jesus (Jn 19:39), was “a ruler of the Jews” (3:1) and probably a man of means.

By Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel

How to Interpret the Bible-1 INTERPRETING THE BIBLE how-to-study-your-bible1

Riches in Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible

Wealth measured in money, or the amount of property owned—whether land and buildings (Is 5:8–10), livestock (1 Sm 25:2, 3), or slaves (1 Sm 8:11–18). Great riches brought great influence and power, as the Hebrew word for “wealth” implies.

The Bible seems to speak with two voices on the subject of riches, sometimes describing material wealth as a sign of God’s blessing and approval (e.g., Gn 24:35), at other times virtually identifying the rich with the wicked (e.g., Ps 37:7, 16). Jesus, in particular, is very stern in his denunciations of the wealthy. “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mk 10:23). [Here, I would still argue that Jesus is not saying the rich person cannot enter into the kingdom but rather it can be more difficult because of the temptations that come with being rich. Andrews]

God made all things for people to enjoy (1 Tm 6:17). That is why being rich is a matter of thanksgiving, not embarrassment. Every possession that a person can possibly own comes from the Creator (Ps 24:1), so all wealth can rightly be counted as a blessing from God. It was in this spirit that Abraham’s servant could say, “The Lord has greatly blessed my master” (Gn 24:35) and David could pray to God, “Riches and honor came from thee” (1 Chr 29:12). Even when wealth is earned by hard work, the Bible reminds its readers that both their talents and their resources are God-given. Jesus illustrates this important lesson in the parables of the 10 talents (Mt 25:14–30) and the 10 minas (Lk 19:11–26).

Nowhere, then, does the Bible say that having possessions and becoming wealthy are things that are wrong in themselves. There would be no point in the Ten Commandments’ ban on stealing and envy if it was wrong for God’s people to own anything at all. Jesus himself never taught that it was sinful to be rich.

9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

Some have tried to show from the life-style of the early church that Christians ought to live without private possessions or personal wealth of any kind. “No one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own,” Luke tells us: “they had everything in common” (Acts 4:32). This example of sacrifice is a challenge to all Christians, especially the affluent, but it does not teach that private ownership is wrong. The terrible fate of Ananias and Sapphira makes that clear (Acts 5:1–11).

The OT is particularly positive in its attitude to wealth. “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Prv 14:23). But the Book of Proverbs also paints in the darker side of the biblical picture. Riches may be a blessing, say the wise, but they can also lead to broken relationships and personal disaster (Prv 18:23; 22:16).

Ancient Greek jewelry, an indication of the personal wealth of a few.

These practical warnings anticipate Jesus’ teaching about the dangers of becoming rich. Affluence, he taught, can destroy peace (Mt 6:24–34), blind people to the needs of others (Lk 16:19–31), stand between individuals and the gateway to eternal life (Mk 10:17–27), and even bring God’s judgment (Lk 12:16–21). He told his disciples not to accumulate personal wealth (Mt 6:19), and praised those who gave up their possessions (Mt 19:29). [This was primarily for the first century apostles, who were going to give their entire lives to God’s work. You will note that it was wealthy Christians who funded the apostle Pauls travels at times. Andrews]

These strong words suggest that Jesus was against wealth, but his sharp warnings are not in fact directed against riches in themselves. What he condems is the wrong attitudes many people have toward acquiring wealth, and the wrong ways in which they use it. Longing for riches, not having them, chokes the spiritual life like weeds in a field of grain (Mt 13:22). The greedy desire to have more doomed the unforgiving servant (Mt 18:23–35). And the rich man’s selfishness, not his wealth, sealed his fate (Lk 16:19–26). Paul captures the main lesson in these parables exactly when he writes to Timothy, “For the love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Tm 6:10).

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The greatest danger of all arises when riches gain the mastery in a person’s life. The whole Bible warns against this idolatrous attitude to material things (e.g., Dt 8:17, 18; Lk 14:15–24). Satan tempted Jesus to put material wealth and power in God’s place (Mt 4:8, 9), and Jesus delivers the clearest warning against making money into a master (Mt 6:24). In this light Jesus instructs the rich young ruler to sell everything (Mk 10:17–22). Here was a wealthy man who had allowed his possessions to possess him. Jesus’ aim was to make him recognize his bondage so he could escape from his self-made prison. The fact that he turned away from Jesus demonstrates the powerful pull of riches.

These blunt warnings are the most striking aspect of Jesus’ teaching on wealth. But alongside his exposure of wrong attitudes he was careful to sketch in the outline of right attitudes. Those who recognize that they are God’s trustees (not owners) of their possessions, he taught, will find many valuable outlets for their riches in the Lord’s service (Lk 12:42–44). Instead of coming between him and them, their possessions (great or small) can be used as aids to worship (Lk 21:1–4; 24:50–53; Jn 12:1–7). Instead of making them tight-fisted, their riches will allow them to express neighbor-love in many practical ways (2 Cor 8:2). And instead of having their inward peace ruined by anxious greed, they will find the secret of serenity in an increasing sense of dependence on their heavenly Giver (Lk 12:29–31; 1 Tm 6:17).

According to the Bible, then, the morality of riches depends entirely on personal attitudes. And nowhere does this come out more powerfully than in the frequent comparisons Scripture draws between material and spiritual wealth. Those who make material riches their goal in life have wrong values. However wealthy they may appear, they are poverty-stricken in God’s sight (Mt 16:26; Rv 3:17). In his view, the truly rich are those whose main aim in life is to serve him as King (Mt 13:44–46). Their wealth lies in the currency of faith and good works (1 Tm 6:18; Jas 2:5)—a heavenly bank balance which no one can steal and nothing can erode. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt 6:19–21).[4]

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Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel

WEALTH in Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

hon (הוֹן, 1952), “wealth; substance; riches; possessions; enough.” The 26 occurrences of this word are almost wholly in wisdom literature, with 17 of them in the Book of Proverbs. This word appears only in the singular form.

Hon usually refers to movable goods considered as “wealth”: “But if he [the thief] be found, he shall restore seven-fold; he shall give all the substance of his house” (Prov. 6:31; cf. Ezek. 27:12). “Wealth” can be good and a sign of blessing: “Wealth and riches shall be in his [the righteous man’s] house: and his righteousness endureth forever” (Ps. 112:3). The creation is God’s wealth: “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches” (Ps. 119:14). In the Proverbs “wealth” is usually an indication of ungodliness: “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty” (Prov. 10:15).

This word can also represent any kind of concrete “wealth”: “… If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned” (Song of Sol. 8:7). This is the significance of the word in its first occurrence: “Thou sellest thy people for nought and dost not increase thy wealth by their price” (Ps. 44:12). “Wealth” in general is meant in Prov. 12:27: “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.”

Finally, hon means “enough” (only in Prov. 30:15–16): “The horseleech hath two daughters, crying, Give, Give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: the grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.”[5]

The Prosperous Lifestyle of America’s Anti-Prosperity Gospel Preacher

The article begins,

For decades, John MacArthur has railed on prosperity preachers, likening them to  “greed mongerers” who led First Century cults. Recently, he’s also taken aim at scandal-plagued evangelical leaders, like the late apologist Ravi Zacharias and former Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz, saying these celebrities were in ministry only for the money. That’s why “liars and frauds and false teachers” are in business, MacArthur said in a recent sermon. “False teachers always do it for the same reason—filthy lucre, money.” Yet according to financial statements and tax forms obtained by The Roys Report, John MacArthur and his family preside over a religious media and educational empire that has over $130 million in assets and generates more than $70 million a year in tax-free revenue. MacArthur and his family and related companies have been paid more than $12.8 million from ministry and donor funds. And MacArthur owns three luxury homes worth millions.

RESPONSE TO THE ARTICLE

Joel Osteen, Ernest Angley, Oral Roberts, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Robert Jeffress, John Hagee, T. D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Jimmy Swaggart, Benny Hinn, to mention just a few are the worst of the worst when it comes to the prosperity gospel. What does the phrase Prosperity Gospel mean? Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith) is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth. (Wilson, J. Matthew (2007). From Pews to Polling Places: Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic. Georgetown University Press, 140-142.)

 What about John John MacArthur? That article is a bit dishonest, inferring that all that money is his. John MacArthur began his evangelical career in the 1960s and has spent most of his time preaching in California. He soon became hugely popular and created the famous Grace To You radio broadcast. Since then, he has founded his own college and has written over 150 books. He has a net worth of around $14,000,000 and an annual salary of $180,000.

So, his money does not come from the ministry alone. MacArthur is a bestselling author who likely sells hundreds of thousands of books on each book, if not more. As an author, you are allowed to keep your royalties, you know. I am against the prosperity gospel preachers as much as the next guy, but I am not against a person who works hard his entire life having to live like a homeless person to keep some judgmental Christians happy.

So, the article skews a lot. He has lived in the same house for 35 years, meaning that maybe it was worth a few hundred thousand when he first bought it. And in 35 years, California is what it is; the value skyrocketed.

ARTICLE QUOTE: “Since 1996, MacArthur has also owned a $700,000 villa.” That is 25 years. What was the price when he bought it? Has the property value gone up? It is 1,500 dollars a month to rent a one-room studio apartment in most parts of California. That same one-room apartment in Ohio would be 450 dollars a month at best but more likely $350. You have to account for where he lives.

To reiterate, the point being is that he works 50 years to what he has and because he has had success in his life we want to take those away from him because he’s a Christian. We don’t take those away from business people or any other people within Society. He does not preach all day long about prosperity and how people need to donate to his ministry. And he is a bestselling author with 150 books so there should be an income from that. He is also the owner of the president of his Seminary so there should be income from that. He is also the pastor of his church and so there should be income from that. He is not a part of the Gospel Prosperity movement. What was said at the outset of the article need repeating.

Business is not a dirty word, just as religion is not a dirty word, nor is church a dirty word. All three of those words are only dirty if the one running them is unclean. A business is an activity that someone is engaged in with the intent of being successful and profitable. My goodness, if a ministry is not successful and it does not make a profit, its reach will be stifled in the extreme.

The average Christian does not fathom because you need an organized religion, church, run like a business to carry out the great commission. The preaching of the good news, teaching, and making disciples are to be done IN ALL THE INHABITED EARTH.

The organized church business today has more to do than ever. It has to maintain the flock it has, growing them spiritually. It has to make disciples across in all the inhabited earth. It has to save those who have begun to doubt, and it has to evangelize other false Christians to save them if they can.

[1] C. J. Vos, “Riches; Wealth,” ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 185–186.
[2] C. J. Vos, “Riches; Wealth,” ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 188.
[3] it mammon of the unrighteousness; Gr mamona tes adikias; a Semitic word for money or possessions.
[4] Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Riches,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 1858–1859.
[5] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 286.

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