24“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24 NIV))
9But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. (1 Tim. 6:9-10 NLT)
Pretty clear teaching here. There is not too much left open to “interpretation.” Yet we as church leaders take little heed of the very explicit caution in the scriptures and plow ahead thinking that this is not a temptation to which we, or the churches we lead, will succumb. In fact, the love of wealth is much more than a temptation as is made clear in Matthew – it is a force of evil.
I have a saying when it comes to the construction of new churches, “when you build the beast, you have to feed the beast.” This is not an inherent criticism of large churches or what we call Mega Churches; it is simple fact. Whether a congregation is throwing $50 million into a 200,000 square foot stadium style, or 2.5 million into a 25,000 square foot “traditional,” that building is going to have to be fed water, sewer, electricity, insurance, maintenance and people to serve it – yes, I said serve it. The building must remain open and it is not long until the pressures of serving the building invade the preaching, programs, and marketing of the church. People MUST come; money MUST be made. Serving people will attract people; and people bring money and money is power in this culture. People, money and power – the unholy triumvirate of churchianity.
How true is this, however, in our personal lives? Its easy to look outside of ourselves – to churches (in which the Gospel is compromised) to schools (in which healthy, comprehensive education is compromised) and to government (in which the principles of our constitution are compromised) – but what about you? Which master do you serve? What constructs have you created that must be “fed?” House? Car? Hobby? Work? Your people? Your money? Your status? Your time? Now, what is it that you compromise in order to serve those masters? Next question… why won’t you submit and trust your Savior?