Christians and Materialism

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by ChrisCountryGirl, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Christians and Materialism

    Matthew 6:24 states that
    "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon"

    We live in a materialistic society. It seems like a lot of people want this or that to make them think it will lead them a happier or more productive life. Do you believe many Christians are materialistic? Why is it that people say they're Christians but seem to serve money by having many possesions which they cannot take to Heaven? Or they work overtime frequently/hold down 2 or 3 jobs to keep up with the "joneses"?
  2. Hi chris,

    Jesus wants us to be givers. If we are as materialistic as the world we are unable to give as much as we should. Parents and churches should encourage young people by their example that we should have humble lifestyles as Christians.
  3. I think Christians need to memorize Romans 12 (me included!). We are called to be apart from the world and materialism is definately of this world.
  4. amen gibby
  5. Matthew 19:21-24

    21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

    23Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    24And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
  6. These are very hard teachings of Jesus, especially for materialistic people like us, and have been ignored by most churches.
  7. Just an FYI - Very interesting text in Matthew 19:24 (KJV) - Many persons who just read the text take "the eye of a needle" literally. However, from the Greek Manuscripts, there is a little different and more colorful and technical meaning.

    In the original texts, the description and analogy relates to the main gate to the city and how it is operated and configured. The large main gate was usually open during the day and closed at dusk to keep out any bandits or enemies. Along side the main gate to the city was found another gate, but much narrower than the main, but just as tall.. It was referred to as 'the Needle Gate'. If someone was leading a camel loaded with goods to trade or sell during the day, the fully loaded camel would fit easilly through the main gate. However, if someone arrived after dark and wished to enter the city, the only gate that could be used was the 'needle gate'. In order for the camel to be led through the [eye of the] 'needle gate' at night, it's entire packed load would have to be removed and left outside as the camel was led inside. THIS is what the analogy means in Matthew 19:24 (KJV) - that his wealth has to be left behind in order for a 'rich' man to enter the Kingdom of God and most 'rich' men will not unload their material wealth to do so. Elsewhere in scripture, 'rich' is qualified as "ill gotten gains"... not the wealth of honest hard work.

    The translators of the KJV neglected to capture the full meaning as they translated from the Greek into English, but the general idea is the same.
  8. Gee, I guess that shoots down Joel Olsteen's teachings. Or do you think that it is just about "ill gotten gains"?

  9. Wow, so you are saying we get to "pick and choose" what we feel that Jesus would want us to do? Im not going off the deep end like that other guy in the forum, "alasdair" I think his name is?? Do you think Jesus was being a little to tough on us? We have people out there buying their children "brand new" vehicles to drive to school, of all places. Yet there are still kids going to the same school with no lunch money? Kids that have no new clothes to start the year off with? Maybe in this day and age, it would be very tough to literally sell everything you own, but I would have to believe anyone who has large amounts of money saved up as if to say their "storage barns are overflowing" should definately reexamine themselves if they proclaim to be a Christian. What are you "clinging" to this life for? Saving that money for retirement? I guess your sure you will make it? I guess you disreguard what Luke 12:20 says in reference to this very issue:
    20But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
    Im sorry, I guess I get a little frustrated when you say "These are very hard teachings of Jesus" especially if you are saying its to much of a sacrifice to give up living above the means of what it takes to survive and giving away any excess you have to help those in need in the name of the Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Did he have the same attitude when it was a very hard to meet the requirement of God's law in order to save us from our sins? God forbid! I realize there were many of his teachings that would not be meant to be taken totally literally, such as plucking out your eyes, cutting off your hands, etc.. But in the case of a rich man getting into heaven, I believe it is very literal. Not totally to a point of giving up everything that you own, but not living in so much excess of what would be considered more than you need to survive. For instance, if you had tens of thousands of dollars saved in the bank or in investments, and you were blessed to make really good money each year on top of that with a nice home, etc. etc. Think of what you could be doing with all that excess money. To cling to it is the total and utter definition of not having faith. Theres nothing wrong with having some money stored up in case of emergency or disaster, but there are many so called "christians" out there living well beyond this scenerio. I apologize again, I just get very frustrated when people say these days that we dont need to listen to what Jesus says because it makes us uncomfortable or may require to much of us. That is the very problem with the Church in this day and age. To many people are to worried about telling people things they dont want to hear. If that were the case, we would have to omit many things Jesus said in the NT. Anyways, may the grace, mercy, peace and blessings of the Lord be with you all who truly cherrish and love his Word.
  10. What are you talking about?

    Where in the world did I say we get to "pick and choose"?:confused: :confused:
  11. Your right, you only stated that this teaching is ignored by most churches. You didnt actually say whether or not you agree with that or not. Since there is a possibility that you were just making a comment about an observation, I will apologize to you, im sorry. My other reply is aimed at the churches that do, in one way or another, ignore anything that Jesus teaches.
  12. apology accepted:)
  13. Jesus said sell everything you own and give it to poor man if you want to follow Him.

    I am conflicted bc this means I have to sell my computer. Im not going to, but Jesus wants me to. What should I do?
  14. I am sure you can keep your computer. We are now living in a system that cannot function without high tech stuff. We certainly should live as humble as we can, but we should not feel guilty because we are using high tech stuff.
  15. not just high tech stuff, but everything and inbetween.

  16. Maybe they love the things of the world.

    1John 2:15 says; Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
  17. is it possible to love everything and everyone?
  18. temp,

    I understand that you want to be faithful to the Lord, and He loves you for that. all you need is to not to have everything like most secular people have. Just be conservative in your material desires. You will be amazed how much we can save if we are being creative. Just look around and see what you can live without. We have a lot of stuff we don't have to have.

    You can live with your parents and give them rent. You don't have to live in apartment. Living alone is luxury IMHO.
  19. You have been seriously miss informed!!!! Were did you get this idea????? Who if anyone told this and what scripture was refered to????
    What you should do is get a correct understanding of what Jesus said ,to whom and what He meant by it.
  20. Yes, the greek says that... and it's a horrible translation from the Aramaic (don't worry, many Aramaic sayings are mistranslated into greek). The saying (In Aramaic) is actually:

    But the Greecian "camel at the gate" is equally as nifty. I don't find fault with an individual being self-sufficient, but excess is a sure sign of one's handle on such things. Guess it's all in self reflection though...


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