I have to say that this book is one of the finest I’ve read concerning Christianity and Finances. I’m not finished with it yet, but what I’ve read so far deserves hearty praise. The excerpt that really ignited some feelings in me involves common myths that many Christians believe regarding God and Money.
Top 12 Christian Myths about money: (in random order)
1. “Money is the root of all evil” It is corrupt and leads people astray. Therefore, you should not be concerned with money and material possessions. If a person has money, he or she must be stealing from someone.
2. “Poverty is a sign of spirituality.” God took away all of Job’s material possesions; therefore, it is wrong for us to try to build wealth while we are here on earth. True Christians should live a life of poverty in order to demonstrate their genuine love for God.
3. “Jesus had nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20) Jesus was poor and had no worldly possessions; therefore, as followers of Jesus, we should be poor as well.
4. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to go to heaven.” (Matthew 19:24) Therefore, you can’t have wordly wealth on earth and expect to go to heaven too.
5. Jesus told a rich young ruler to sell his possessions and give his money away. (Luke 18:18-22) therefore, if you love Jesus and want to serve God, you should take a vow of poverty. You will obtain your riches when you get to heaven.
6. “All preachers want to do is get your money,” or ” Money is part of the world’s economic system, and Christians are supposed to be heavenly minded.”
7. God answers prayer; therefore, if you really trust in Jesus and exert faith, He will meet all your financial needs. You don’t have to do anything about your circumstances. Just pray and take one day at a time.
8. You should be content with what you have (Hebrews13:5); therefore, you don’t have to plan ahead. God will take care of your circumstances. If you were born on the wrong side of the tracks, there is nothing you can do about it. You should be content with where you are.
9. Jesus was interested only in spiritual things, not material possessions; therefore, it is wrong to talk about money in church. Church is not the place for that kind of thing.
10. You should not charge your brother interest (Deuteronomy23:19); therefore, you should not have savings and investment accounts that pay interest.
11. You are not supposed to lay up treasures for yourself on earth (Matthew 6:19) or hoard up money; therefore, you should not have surplus or savings accounts. Having bank accounts limits your trust in God.
12. Whan a person tithes or gives extra offerings to further the cause of the Gospel, God is automatically bound to meet all of that person’s financial requirements, even if he or she doesn’t follow the other principles that govern money which are outlined in the Bible.
Some of these myths probably sound funny or extreme, but I’d argue that several of them ring true for most Christians. Somewhere along the line we were fed these distortions of actual Biblical principles and we took hold of them.
I’m not arguing that God want’s us all to be filthy rich or that sometimes hard times don’t legitimately fall on financially intelligent Christians. I would say, however, that so many Christians are bound to financial struggle because of these misconceptions, and that if they would really seek out all that God has to say about finances they might really be surprised that it’s not all about being poor or better yet about avoiding wealth.
There’s definitely more to come on this topic, but I’m interested to hear the comments that will no doubt show up on such a controversial post.