The danger of wealth has been a prominent theme in the teaching of several pastors in recent years. John Piper’s chapter on money in Desiring God has shaped me and many others to a great degree. More recently, authors David Platt and Francis Chan have championed a similar message with their books Radical and Crazy Love.Read the rest.
Their message has met considerable resistance with counter warnings against embracing a “poverty theology.” Should we not rejoice in what God has given? Shouldn’t we want to take care of our families and provide for them? Shouldn’t pastors be paid well so their wives don’t have to work and they are not continually stressed out with financial pressure?
I’m afraid the framing of this discussion leads us to ask the wrong questions. Like the junior high boy who wonders “how far is too far” with his girlfriend, we are quickly caught up in questions about how rich is too rich, how poor is too poor, and the like. Where is the line? Do I feel guilty for having too much? Do the kids have enough? What does “enough” even mean? Should I feel guilty about not giving as much as so-and-so? If I give more, does that mean I am more spiritual? The hamster wheel of comparison, propelled by our spring-loaded legalism, keeps spinning unto exhaustion. We are all tempted to be prideful about what we give or feel guilty about what we don’t. Neither response befits the gospel, which crushes pride and erases guilt.
Still, the question remains: how should we handle money?
Friday, November 09, 2012
Gospel Centered Discipleship has posted one of my articles on their site today. You might want to click over and give it a read.