Religion in western culture has taught us that money is evil and wicked. Money is referred to as the root of all evil, filthy lucre, mammon, and many other names which associate it with Satan. But is it really?
I mean think about it: Religion has taught us that poverty is a godlike quality. Religion has also implied that for us to draw closer to God we must abandon our earthly possessions and take a vow of poverty—IF we really want to be close to God. I have been to Third world nations. I have seen poverty up front and personal. Not one time did I feel the overwhelming presence of God’s love. I felt and sensed curse—not blessing. Because poverty is a curse and not blessing!
Religion uses the story of Jesus telling the rich young ruler to go and sell all of his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor and come follow Him (Jesus). The story goes on to say that the young man went away sorrowful as he was very rich. This is the only reference of Jesus asking someone to give up all of their wealth. If this was a prerequisite for following Jesus, why didn’t he ask all of his followers to do this? Obviously, the money had the man. And, also note that there is no call to poverty—simply to follow Jesus. Jesus was asking the young man to trust Him not wealth. For Jesus also told his disciples that he would take care of their every need. And, He wasn’t talking about pie in the sky in the sweet by and by. He told them that they could abound on the ground while they were still around!
Religion has told us to give up money and draw closer to God. Sounds noble and pious, but it’s stupid. The godly are told to abstain from wealth while the evil can gather as much as they want and use it for whatever they want! They can use wealth to spread more evil, while the godly gather in holy huddles and struggle to make difference.
Money is simply a tool. Money is neither good nor bad in itself. What makes money good or bad is how it is used. Let me use an example. You can give a carpenter a hammer and he can construct something beautiful. You put that same hammer in the hand of a psychopath and he will use it to kill someone. What made the difference was who held the tool and how it was used.
God made a promise to Abraham and said “in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). How can I be a blessing when I am broke? How can I offer hope to people in need when I live in poverty? Obviously, God wants to put the means in our hand to be a blessing to the needy. Helping people involves more than just saying a prayer for them. “I see you’re hungry, naked and homeless—I’ll say a prayer for you!” Give me a break! That kind of religion is called hypocrisy! (cf. James 1:27; 2:15-16)
The Apostle James said that faith without corresponding actions is useless! To make a difference in the world involves people investing their time, talent AND treasure. The problem is, most people do not have a handle on their finances to help those in need. Others feel that their tax dollars go to help the needy. And, others see it as the duty of the church to take care of it. Bottom line: to feed, house, and clothe the needy requires MONEY! We have a moral and social obligation to help those in need.
During this Lenten Season take a look at your finances. How do you handle your money? Like a carpenter or a psychopath? If your finances are out of whack—get counseling. If you feel that it is the government’s sole responsibility to take care of the needy—find where Jesus said and practiced that. If you think your local house of worship should be doing something—give to make it happen. And, I would ask you to pray a prayer for yourself that God would bless you to be a blessing. Be the difference

Author's Bio: 

Dan Toops is an accomplished writer, speaker and personal development mentor. Dan is an ordained minister with nearly twenty five years of pastoral care expereince. Dan's writing and speaking challanges traditional religious opinion in an attempt to show people that faith somes from the heart. Dan is alos the creator of better thinking betterliving--a ministry developed to help people achieve personal success. Dan has been married for 28 years and resides in Palm Bay, Florida