We seem to honor wealth and worldly success. The General Authorities are typically chosen from the ranks of doctors, lawyers, and business men. The president of the church is provided a multi-million dollar penthouse suite complete with driver and limousine. Even the local ranks of stake president and bishop are typically filled with professional people who are successful, live in the best areas and exhibit all the trappings of wealth and material abundance. The gospel of prosperity extends to the corporate church itself as the message of tithing, while filling the coffers of the church, is spread as a means for guaranteeing financial stability for the rank and file.
Is material success a prerequisite to spiritual administration?
Can God and mammon peacefully coexist?
Without the coins and special paper which carries the emblem of the state, we cannot buy nor sell. We are all entwined in Babylon and carry the marks of the beast with us ready for the opportunity to exchange his currency for the material things we desire.
We learn from the Bible that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” but there is more to the story from the writings of Timothy found in his first book, chapter six:
“1 LET as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
What should be the linkage between personal material wealth and spiritual wealth?
In the passages from Timothy, we find servants counseled to serve their masters faithfully. We read that we are not to blend material success with the doctrines of the kingdom, even to the point of rejecting the use of material gain as a marker of the spiritual gain of those around us.
Must we be satisfied with only food and raiment in order to be free of the corruption that is imbued in our society? Can we strive for more than is required to feed and clothe us and still be counted among the righteous?
I see the emphasis on wealth within the church as yet another indication of the impending apostasy. The more ground we cede to Babylon, the less the righteous have room to stand. Many of us took an oath to consecrate our time, talents, and possessions to the building up of the kingdom of God, yet much of what we do to acquire possessions simply adds to the barrier between us and the righteous environment of the Zion community.
Would you be willing to give all you have to know God? Is the carnal commandment of tithing and its ten percent sufficient to position you one hundred percent in the kingdom of God?
What think ye?