Friday, November 03, 2006

The dangers of wealth

Some of what I wrote didn't get posted when I put this together. I noticed it this afternoon and will be doing a new post sometime to get it all together 11/03/06.

It’s not that no one with wealth will enter the realm of God. But there is a warning to those with money in this passage (and in many other passages). That warning is don’t let dollars distract you from what is really important. One’s life doesn’t consist in the abundance of possessions. (12:15) One’s life is (or should be) about worshipping God.

Yet we often forget this. We often forget about the one we should worship and begin worshipping the money, the power, and the prestige. We ignore the one who made is in favor of the idea that we are self-made. Or worse, we use the ‘but I’m so perfect that I deserve it’ mentality to excuse any of our excesses and trampling on other people.

It’s not just those with money who do this. We can find greed and excess wherever humans are. It is where anyone decides that they are better than the other or that the rules don’t apply to ‘me’. But the warnings in the gospels are directed more to the wealthy, the powerful and the prominent than to those who are poor. The poor may equally succumb to some of the temptations of wealth but just don’t have that as the temptation put before them each day and hour.

In many ways this week I’m looking at someone who fell due to the excesses of greed and power. Haggard of Colorado has been powerful. He led a large congregation, participated in regular phone calls with the president, led the National Association of Evangelicals, and more. Yet someone who only knew him as Art realized that he was someone else and came forth.

Now the paying for gay sex, buying drugs, then pronouncing against those things is

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