For the love of Money: A tale of two perspectives
Ok this is going to be a long post. After not posting on the Essential 100 challenge for awhile, this is a doozy. When I came upon reading 87 about ‘The Love of Money’ I was really challenge.
I do not know about you, but I could have seen this coming. On the Oxygen network this fall is a new reality show called, “Preachers of L.A.”. This show follows six ‘mega Church’ pastors and what is called their ‘Mega-lives’. The trailer for the new reality show indicates that that it will follow these six pastors in their ministry and their lavish lifestyles. If you want to know what the show may focus on just look at these quotes from the Oxygen Channel’s trailer for the show:
1. "The Bible says I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. I believe that," declares Bishop Clarence McClendon, one of the stars of the show.
2. McClendon, whose weekly international broadcast reaches some 250 million homes, believes "there is no other kind of Gospel" except the prosperity gospel, according to a release from the Oxygen network.
3. P. Diddy, Jay-Z, they're not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses," says cast member Bishop Ron Gibson, a former gang member who now ministers to 4,500 people each week at Life Church of God in Christ.
4. "The Bible says that those of us who sow among us should reap from us, that's implying that preachers should be taken care of," says Senior Pastor of The Sanctuary of Huntington Beach Pastor Jay Haizlip, who is also on the show.
Another cast member is described as follows:
“Cast member Bishop Noel Jones, who was born into extreme poverty in Jamaica, now lives "on a hilltop with a view of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu at his feet, and across the street from the former home of the late L.A. Lakers owner, Jerry Buss," according to his biographic information shared by Oxygen.”
What holds all these pastors in common is not their ministry, but their lavish lifestyles and belief that God’s desire is for those who follow him will prosper.
Recently, as I was reading day 87 of the Essential 100 challenge, I was confronted with Paul’s writing to Timothy regarding Pastoral leadership and ‘the love of money’. In 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
I will be so bold as to declare to things:
1. I love money. I love the security it brings, the comfort it brings and the lifestyle it brings. But this too, as the writer of Ecclesiastes would say, is vanity. To love Christ is to forsake money. You can not serve two masters.
2. God specifically does not want money, possessions or anything else to impede our relationship with him or our mission of spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom of heaven; which is freedom in and through Christ.
I want to end with comparing two stories from this week, the Pastor’s of L.A. with Pope Francis and ask which of these ministers most truly reflects the heart of God and the ministry of Jesus Christ.
1. Those six Mega Pastors on Oxygen
2. Pope Francis asking his clergy, “What Would Jesus Drive.” And asking them to be more humble.