Today over at the DesiringGod blog Marshall Segal writes about money (“Four Questions to Keep Close to Your Wallet”). His opening line is right on: “It’s hard to imagine many things more maligned in Scripture than money.”
He opens by putting the topic in the big picture for Christians –—
At the end of the day, we must each know our own hearts and be willing to ask what role money is playing in our thoughts and affections. Is it a means of worshiping God or a means of replacing him? Is our budget highlighting the sufficiency and worth of Christ or has it become a reason for boasting in or treasuring something other than him?
He then presents & discusses four questions we should be asking:
1. Is my spending marked by Christian generosity?
2. What does my spending say about what makes me most happy?
3. Does my spending suggest I’m collecting for this life?
4. Is my spending explicitly supporting the spread of the gospel?
I encourage you to click through and read the whole thing at the DesiringGod blog. Thanks Marshall Segal.
“Jesus himself didn’t condemn economic inequality. Yes, he repeatedly warned about the snares of material wealth; he exploded the comfortable conventionality of the Pharisaical tendency to regard prosperity as a badge of honor and superiority; he commanded compassion toward the poor and suffering. But … in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:24-30) he condemned the failure to productively use one’s God-given talents—whether many or few, exceptional or ordinary—by having a lord take money from the one who had the least and give it to him who had the most, thereby increasing economic inequality.”
In a brief article “The ‘Social Justice’ Fallacy? Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”, adjunct faculty member, economist, and contributing scholar with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College — Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson — explains, “The modern left’s ‘social justice’ strives for economic equality. It endeavors to reduce, if not erase, the gap between rich and poor by redistributing wealth. This is ‘justice’ more akin to Marx and Lenin, not according to Moses and Jesus. It is a counterfeit of real justice, biblical justice. Modern notions of ‘social justice’ are often wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
READ IT ALL HERE: The “Social Justice” Fallacy? Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing by Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson, Grove City College, PA
I site the following item of interest, from Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin from a speech delivered in January (note sentence in bold):
America today is not as far from the tipping point as we might think. While exact and precise measures cannot be made, there are estimates that in 2004, 20 percent of households in the US were receiving about 75 percent of their income from the federal government, and that another 20 percent of households were receiving nearly 40 percent. All in all, about 60 percent of American households were receiving more government benefits and services, measured in dollars, than they were paying back in taxes. It has also been estimated that President Obama’s first budget alone raises this level of “net dependency” to 70 percent.
When a country’s fertility rate drops below 2.11 children per family, it can no longer sustain the present population, and it will shrink. That is, if 2 parents only have 1 child (which is almost the norm in many countries in the western world), the next generation is drastically smaller, and is statistically unlikely to recover. This means there are (and will be for decades to come) fewer laborers in that country’s economy.
Today, in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and even the UK, their shrinking workforce has attracted lots of immigration — primarily from Muslim countries. While this helps the workforce (but drains money out of the country), it also radically shifts the country’s social and religious situation. (Do you remember the head-scarf issue in France a year or two back? Or talk in Britain about accepting Sharia law?).
There are reports that in 2004, 18% of the children born in Germany had foreign-born mothers (that’s nearly 1/5th). And Germany’s government foresees that by 2050 it will be a Muslim state!
Here is one sobering video presentation on these statistics and their implications. I do not know its source, but its fundamental theories are appearing more and more in the news.
As Christians we should be concerned, but also prayerfully committed to:
(a) diligently raising our children in the Christian faith, preparing them for this changing world, and, (b) specifically evangelizing the 100,000+ immigrants who come to these Western countries — seizing this huge opportunity to reach them while away from their closed home countries.
May the Lord lead us in our thinking, planning and serving the cause of Christ, in this generation and the next…
As we all follow the financial crisis in DC, WORLD magazine – HERE – has a pretty good summary article on where this crisis came from.
I would add this to the “step 2” of the article: greedy home owners, seeing their equity value increase, did lots of refinancing to get their hands on that (inflated) value, then they SPENT it. When values dropped, they have more mortgage than house — which banks really don’t like.
Such greed is a sin, and sin always pays out hard wages.
I’m afraid that, at this juncture, our government will need to do something (spoken by a fierce capitalist), but hopefully not a bailout, but something which gains taxpayers some value. (This may just be what those House of Representatives’ Republicans are seeking today too).
We must be praying.