“GIVE ME NEITHER POVERTY or RICHES”: The MISSING FACTOR, whether for or against WOF (Part 2)

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on November 30, 2007

I brought up the Scripture regarding “Not wanting either POVERTY or RICHES” as an ideal…..and someone had this to say in response:

I think personally that the “poverty mentality” has been part and parcel of fundamental Christendom for a LONG time. You can hear it in hundreds of southern gospel hymns – “Cabin in the corner of Gloryland”, “Mansion over the hilltop”, “This ‘ol house”, and of course the famous picture of the pathetic desperate Christian clinging desperately to the “solid rock” in the midst of a storm-swept sea. It seems sometimes the most that a Christian should expect out of life is a merciful death. Many of the AoG churches that I went to in the years before the ’70s tended to WORSHIP subsistence living as a “holy” calling, and looked foreward to that big ‘ol “Pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye”.

Naturally when the LOVE of material gain is the motivation, then something’s out of order. I’m “filthy rich” compared to 90% of the world’s humanity – most U.S. citizens (including many under the “poverty level”) are, relatively speaking.

Could be that the OVER emphasis on “prosperity” is just an “introduction” to the simple fact that God gave PROVISION to folks in the OLD Covenant, and still does under the NEW Covenant. When a “truth” goes out of balance, it’s STILL a truth, and just has to be put in proper balance with all the other truths.

To that, I thought it was a very interesting observation.  Someone else in response said how a lot of these songs were sung in churches that had southern slaves in them that were considered property, and would have had nothing except a bed role and a change of clothes in personal property. An ol’ cabin in the corner of Gloryland like the poor white share-cropper down at the end of the lane, probably looked like a pretty good mansion to get in glory-land. I suspect that ol’ house, an ol’ feather bed full of bed bugs and a wood cook stove was luxuries of great value to some.

That being the case,  Then perhaps the conversation now becomes an issue of RELATIVISM…or more specifically, PERCEPTION…for as the old saying goes, “The Grass is Always greener on the other side”……and from a different angle, YOUR GRASS IS LOOKING GREEN TO SOMEBODY ELSE…….

As they also said in response, “Curious  if the Plantation Owner, setting in his southern mansion sipping his evening bourbon and having his wife read him the scriptures felt like he was being blessed by God. Maybe like a rich wof preacher driving over to his private airport on his 10,000 arce “compound” so he can fly off to his favorite ski resort thinking, “Lord I will only use this air plane to further your word and for your glory.” His relativity was probably he didn’t feel as rich as Solomon and Abraham”
That makes me consider that Perhaps it could be said that riches actually change depending on time, situation, and experience. Whereas when living below the poverty line I considered Middle class to be very Rich, becoming Middle Class made me initially satisfied…..but eventually, when I saw others who simply had MORE THAN WHAT I HAD, I thought they were having WAY TOO MUCH….& CONSEQUENTLY there was either more of a desire to get what they had so that I could again be “RICH” or to get them on my level of what I percieved to be MEAGER/MODERATE

Reaally, I think there’s a bigger cycle that many may be missing……for to me it is simply of matter of the differing stages of COVETOUSNESS, GREED, and NEVER BEING SATISFIED that needs to be adressed…..because truth be told, IF the level of the middle class arose to the point where ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN AMERICA OWNED JETS LIKE COPELAND or MANSIONS (with the class below us rising to our Previous Middle Class Level and a new class being designed for poverty) I guarantee you that somehow the value would go down and those who have the NEXT BEST THING (PERHAPS FLOATING HOUSES or LIVING ON THE MOON) would be seen as “RICH” by those of us who didn’t…..

Proverbs 27:20

Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.

Proverbs 30:15
“The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry. “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:

Ecclesiastes 5:10
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.

Truth be told, I plead guilty to the fact that COVETEOUSNESS/LUST of the EYES is something that I’m guilty of….and I think that many more Christians speaking out against PROSPERITY while not adjusting the level I’m at so that others can be on EQUAL GROUND are guilty of the same, which of course is an issue with God:

1 John 2:15-17

Do Not Love the World

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Moreover, when reading the Word, I can’t help but get a check in my spirit when I see that NOT BEING SATISFIED WITH HAVING ENOUGH/MY NEEDS MET (or confusing my needs with my WANTS AND TRYING TO DEFEND BOTH) AND not being concerned that others are on the same level is just as big of an issue to God as is saying “SOW INTO MY MINISTRY TO GET MORE!!!”

By definition, Greedy means “having a strong desire for food & drink” or inordinate desire for material possessions….. and by that definition, most of us fall way short of God’s Standards.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:5-7

5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a]

6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.

As said before, what’s the defining line concerning riches? And are we guilty of actually doing the very same things we see others do on a more FLAMBOYANT/OUTRAGEOUS SCALE….simply from a differing angle? And if we are, what are we to do about it?


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