THE LOVE OF MONEY IS IDOLATRY: BURN IT!
“For the love of money is a root of all evils, of which some having lusted after, they were seduced from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”, 1Tim.6:10 

The Love towards money may be binding and the love towards God may turn us into great users of money. The Bible does not state money is evil, yet it says the love of money is and is a root for all kinds of evil, many kinds. Any kind of sin may take roots and sprout from money and its possessions. From money grows hatred, jealousy and all kinds of evil.

If you are rich and use all you are for God’s service, in God’s presence, if you love God with all your heart and mind, you do not love money and I wish you had millions in your hand!

Money may be like marriage: it binds you for life and it may either uphold God faithfully for Life or uphold and breed all kinds of evil and sin most of the time, if not always. If anything binds and hinders your relationship to the Lord, you should bring it to the apostle’s feet, to the Great prophet who has come after Moses – He will know just what to do with all of it and how to have it restored to full holiness, even if it is not done through you.

Idolatry turns trusting upon void and empty things an easy task. If money could save, if it were trustworthy, God would not require it from us. But there is no other way to be reached by God, either promptly or from time to time until it is all fulfilled, through Christ and His power alone. The great danger for man is to feel at rest upon coals of destruction, to trust upon vain things and fill his thinking with something which has no power to save. If money were not a void trust, an empty vessel, God would not have it corrupt itself and be destructive towards the souls of men. This is the basic principle of idolatry: to trust a vacuum, something which does not move by itself. This is why Paul states that money and its covetousness is idolatry Col 3:5 – it can be nothing else, for it can make people trust it, lean upon it, prostitute themselves for it, preach for it, trust other things coming from it, or even feel to be trustworthy and complete because of it!

Because money buys people off, entangles motives, reaches the heart of men, harms relationships, it starts believing it will buy God off or into something with presents and tithes; because it brings about jealousy and suspicions – unfounded or even founded ones – traces a map to murder and deceit, plans to steel and to desire after all other empty things like voyages and cars, making people feel well when they have bought a house or treasured up things where thieves will be able to rob them, or where rust and moth will soon eat it all up, because of all that and more it may become a piercing issue involving many kinds of sorrows and disappointments which may even go as far as turn one to blame God for sin's responsibilities and main gifts.  Money is a root for all that, for many a kind of evil. Money may not be evil, but is a sure root to it all, or even more! People blame God and not Mammon when money leaves them or disappoints them somehow, but when they have it they worship Mammon and do not praise and live for God with all of  it.

There is also a great problem with money: it makes a donor feel good, even if Jesus stated there is none good. Once people start being helpful, they unconsciously believe money is theirs to give away, and that God is too poor to deny them something back or to be unto them as He had been towards Cain and his gifts for gain! And that’s how their heart starts conceiving the idea to be a root to all kinds of false and fake goodness. It may come to hide away many a sin under it, cover up many a greed from consciousness and awareness, as well as from the sight of all other men, feel opportunist towards graceful things and disdain all Jesus did and said towards and about men being evil. There has got to come a day when "The fool shall no more be called noble, and a covetous will not be said to be generous", Is.32:5. If money manages to take hold of any heart whatsoever, there will be no end to the imaginations of it – therefore, to state them all as useless is very little, for they are a destructive vacuum of some kind, and there is no end to new ways of reforming conceptions of all kinds of imaginary evil, new and old, recent or antique, which money can bring about. Even to fight money is wrong unless we have Jesus within, fully and unconditionally settled down to stay for good. None fights the air or the wind unless such has a dress to hold because of the wind. We should be fighting to have Jesus, Who will have the love of money safely removed from us. We should not be involved with great foes unless Jesus is to fight for us, unless the fight is the Lord’s! We should get involved with God, just as a woman would take care to hold to her dress rather than be found complaining or fighting the wind when it blows her clothes up. It is shameful that sinners hold on to sin to fight back when it blows upon them, tempting them, rather than holding on to Jesus with both hands. "But that which you have, hold fast unto it till I come", Rev.2:25.

We often regard people bringing all their money in as an act of goodness. But, it may not be a greater thing done than what we read about those who “believed and came and confessed and showed their deeds, (19) also many of those practicing the curious arts” in Act 19:18-20 who “bringing together their books burned them before all…  (20)  so the Word of God grew mightily and prevailed”. We regard such as came forth to put their possessions at the feet of the apostles as kind people and such as bring their wizard fetishes as evil ones!  Maybe, it is but the same act of contrition we read about here, for in both cases people were doing away with idolatrous practices.

So, it is wrong to ask people to sustain the church, to ask money when their heart is bound to it still, for if they bring it in, they will not believe they are bringing sin to be burned, but are rather being good and that goodness is money-linked and not Life bound. Whoever accepts money from the greedy, is greedy - even if he has not been greedy for it till that day. But it is also wrong to handle it as one would towards a certain taboo affair. People should bring their money to be burned at the altar, just as they would do with their fetishes and sins, one by one, coin by coin, sin by sin individually! And the Apostle who takes it in, must  still be blameless before God after that, just as one man who hears a confession from a woman which involve sexual deceit must remain spotless after hearing and praying over it for forgiveness. Money is a kind of pernicious idolatry which should be burned too. It is only interesting to know that, the apostle in whose feet people were laying their possessions down, was the one who had no coin to grant a beggar and said "silver and gold have I none". The head of the Church in Jerusalem was too poor to have a coin to give to someone in need.

John asked his children to guard themselves against idols! Now, for all of you who believe there is no idolatry in Protestant churches, in revival sites, learn from John and think not highly of yourselves, for it is among children of the Most High God where the love of money easily settles down to decapitate God from His own throne: your heart! I always wondered why John would say to revival Christians, “Little children, guard yourselves from idols”. Now we may state “Amen” to it as well, for we know why he says so! 1John 5:21.

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José Mateus
zemateus@msn.com