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Written by Jim Jordal   
Sunday, 01 July 2012

WHEN MONEY IS GOD

By Jim Jordal

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in the greediness, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

I Timothy 6:6-10, NKJV

The god of this world is money. If you don’t believe it, look behind every business transaction, every TV ad, every emanation from Congress, and virtually every decision you make relative to earning and spending your income. If you allow yourself to admit the truth, then I think you’ll see that money drives virtually everything, usually to the exclusion of morality, decency, justice, truth and most other human virtues.

Does this have to be? No, it doesn’t have to be, it just is because we’ve substituted trust in wealth for faith in God.

So what is the outcome of allowing money to drive everything? What happens when people and societies worship money over God? In the political realm you may have already seen the last free election in what used to be a democracy. Now that spending money is exercising free speech and corporations are people, what chance does anyone have to win an election against the unlimited spending power of "big pocketed" super PACs? Liberals now ask for a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court. But they fail to consider the mountains of money that corporate America will devote to seeing that this doesn’t happen. So money is the god of politics.

And what of money and the economy? I don’t think I need to delve into the control of money over financial life in this country: Money sits supremely upon the throne of finance and banking. But what of other corporate activity? Do the needs of workers for jobs and living wages have any power in corporate decisions involving efficiency and fattening the bottom line? Does resource conservation and preservation have more clout than money in determining production practices of coal, oil, automobiles, consumer products, and almost everything else? So money rules again.

What about the role of money in entertainment and the media? Just consider the filth and frivolity that now passes for wholesome entertainment and the reasons given why this garbage is permissible. It’s all about money. If it makes money we’ll do it. It’s just that simple. But of course the entertainment industry always blames the tastes of the consumer as the driving force for what they produce, never considering that their advertisements and inducements to watch upcoming programs actually create public demand for their trash. I’m reminded of what Jesus said about those who cause little ones to stumble: "But whosoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone had been hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:6, NKJV). If you manage to be deluded enough to believe that TV programs and ads do not negatively impact children, then it seems to me that you are siding with those who destroy children for profit.

And what of money and generic religious institutions? Unfortunately, many religious bodies seem to have elevated money into a position as the prime indicator of faith and godliness. If you are one of God’s chosen you will be blessed with wealth, and if you lack money you had better look at shortcomings in your spiritual life as the primary cause. Like I’ve said before, there’s nothing inherently wrong in being wealthy. Where sin enters is when we idolize this temporal blessing above the God who gave us power to get it, or when we practice injustice in either gaining or keeping money.

In family matters it seems to me as if poverty, homelessness, lack of medical care, poor education, joblessness, and entertainment-fueled violence--- leading to family dysfunction and eventual destruction--- are all related to the inability of working people to earn living wages. So again money wins.

So, is money the god of this world? I think so. What can you do? Deny money the power to determine your every action. Surrender its power over your life to God, then watch what happens.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1978, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.