Christadelphian Bible Mission--BASIC BIBLE TRUTHS


The Root of all Evil, Bible Advice about Money



When you have read this leaflet you will know the answers to these questions:

1. What is the root of all evil?

2.     What is a worldly attitude to money?

3.  What should be the Christian's atti­tude to money?







1.Money can be Good or Bad



"Money is the root of all evil"—many peo­ple think that this is Bible teaching. But they are wrong! Look up the quotation from 1 Timothy 6:10. This says that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil". Jesus told us a similar thing: "The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word" (Matthew 13:22). In itself money is not a bad thing. Without it modern life would not be possi­ble. It is money that pays for food and shelter, for clothes and education. Money can help the sick and support the aged. However, money can also do many evil things. It can give a person power over others, making them proud and cruel. It can become a terrible master, making people discontented with what they have, and eager to grasp more of this world's perishable treasures. Money becomes a great evil when it is used wrongly.



2. The Worldly Attitude to Money



The worldly person has one aim: to get more money and the things money can buy, in the quickest and easiest way pos­sible. This constant lusting after money and worldly things Jesus calls "covetous-ness"—a word which means 'eagerness to get more'. Gambling, sweepstakes, raf­fles, avoiding income tax, giving short change, workers deceiving employers and stealing—all these are examples of covetousness. These evils are very com­mon because unconverted men and women are naturally selfish.


A person who wants to be Godly and contented will resist this desire for worldly things. Jesus said, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses" (Luke 12:15). There are many people who possess fine houses, motor-cars and many attractive things, and yet they are inwardly sick and without that true joy and contentment which Paul says are "great gain". He also says that covetousness is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). He means that the worldly man makes a god of the things he possesses, or wants to possess, and for­gets the one true God.

属灵和知足的人会抵御对世俗东西的欲望。耶稣说:你们要谨慎自守,免去一切的贪心,因为人的生命不在乎家道丰富”(路加福音12:15)。许多人拥有漂亮的房子、汽车和许多有魅力的东西,然而他们内在的身体不佳,缺乏真正的快乐和满足,就是保罗所说的“大利”。 他还说贪婪就与拜偶像一样(西结书3:5)。他的意思是说世俗的人把拥有的东西或想得到的东西视为异神,却忘记了惟一的真神。


3.    Pride



Money is often used—or rather, misused —by people who want to impress others with their own importance. This is a dan­gerous form of pride. Some people spend far more than they ought to spend (more than they can afford to spend) on belong­ings just to show off. They get seriously into debt because they are not content with simpler, humbler things which they can afford. So they are never in a position to help others with their money. Just to show off, such people "fall into many fool­ish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition" (1 Timothy 6:9).



4.    The Christian Attitude to Money



Money which a Christian possesses should be the result of honest labour. The Bible has not one good word for men and women who try to live off other people, or the Church, when they are capable of providing for themselves. "If a man will not work, neither shall he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Paul writes very sternly to the person who is idle and a busybody. Such a man must learn to "labour, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need" (Ephesians 4:28). The life of Paul is also a witness against those who live off others in the name of religion. Although he was an apostle, he worked hard with his hands as a tentmaker, so that he did not become a burden on those to whom he preached.


Money should first be used to provide food and other necessities for the family, and where necessary for the children's schooling, and not on luxuries. Some children have to go hungry because their father spends too much on drink and tobacco, or because their mother spends on expensive clothes and hair setting. Such people sin against God.



5. Giving to God



The Jews of Old Testament days gave a tenth of their income for the temple service. This was a kind of income tax to pay the wages of teachers, judges and other necessary people. But over and above this, Godly Jews gladly offered "freewill offerings" when they went to wor­ship. "They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the bless­ing of the Lord your God which he has given you" (Deuteronomy 16:16,17).

旧约圣经时的犹太人把收入的十分之一献给教会事业。这好比是教师、法官和其它普通人员支付工资的税收一样。但除此之外,属灵的犹太人在拜神时还心甘情愿地奉献“礼物”。在耶和华你神所选择的地方朝见他,却不可空手朝见。各人要按自己的力量,照耶和华你神所赐的福分,奉献礼物” (申命记16:1617)

This freewill offering is held up as an example to Christians. Paul urges each believer to set something aside for the service of God, according "as God has prospered him" (1 Corinthians 16:2). On the first day of the week the members of the ecclesia met together to "break bread" (Acts 20:7). It was then that they took up these offerings. This formed a very important part of the communion service. To give like this is one very small way of expressing our thanks to God for His great gift of forgiveness and salvation through Christ. The community cannot work without funds, but these should always be freewill offerings, not compul­sory payments. They should be given gladly by the members, and not begged from those who are not members.

这种自由奉献成为基督徒的榜样。保罗要每个信徒要照自己的进项抽出来留着,“因为神已吩咐他”(哥林多前书16:21)。在每周的第一天教会的会员要聚集在一起“掰饼” (使徒行传20:7)。他们就在那时作奉献。这成了圣餐礼很重要的部分。这么做是为了略表我们对神的谢意,感谢他通过基督赐予我们饶恕和拯救的礼物。教会没有资金无法运转,但它们应该是自觉自愿的奉献,不是强迫支付。它们应由会员高兴地付出,不可向不是会员的人乞求。





A true Christian must be absolutely faith­ful and trustworthy in money matters. Only to such men will Jesus entrust the "true riches", that is, everlasting life in God's Kingdom (Luke 16:11). If a pay­ment is due to someone else, the true true disciple will make that payment promptly, and will not conveniently 'for­get'. In regard to debts, the ideal is: "Owe no man anything" (Romans 13:8). The Christian will remember that failure to repay what is owed (unless hard poverty makes it impossible) is considered by God as robbery. A servant or employee is not to "purloin" his employer's things— that is, take for his own use, without per­mission (Titus 2:10). It is often by a right attitude to money, both our own and other people's, that we show how faithful to Christ we really are. It was the mishan­dling of money that led to the downfall of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11).

真基督徒在钱财的问题上必须绝对忠诚和可信赖。只有这样的人基督才会托付“真实的钱财”,即在神的国里的永生(路加福音16:11)。对他人的付款,真信徒应立即支付,而不应顺便“忘掉”。对于债务,理想的做法是不可亏欠人”(罗马书13:8)。基督徒应牢记不偿付欠债(除非贫困得无法支付) 被神视为抢掠。 仆人或雇员不应“偷窃”老板的东西即未经许可不能据为己有(提多书2:10)。正确地对待钱财,包括我们自己或别人的钱财方能显示出我们对基督的忠诚。误用钱财导致了亚拿尼亚和撒非喇的灭亡(使徒行传 5:1-11)


7.    A Wonderful Example



When the Lord Jesus wanted to show us a supreme example of how to use money to God's glory, whom did he choose? A millionaire spending huge sums to pro­vide schools and hospitals and libraries? No, a poor widow who gave 2 mites (the smallest coins) as a freewill offering: so small, yet how great—greater than all the other offerings, for it was all that she had. She is a great example to us of someone with the right priorities in her life. She knew that service to God was far more important than worldly wealth.

主耶稣要告诉我们一个最好的例子,说明如何按神的荣耀使用钱财,他选择谁了呢?是百万富翁花巨资建造学校、医院或图书馆吗? 不是,是那个穷寡妇自愿地投下两个小钱(最小的硬币单位)作为奉献: 虽然渺小,但却很伟大比其它所有一切的奉献都更伟大,因为那是她拥有的一切。她是一个极好的例子,告诉我们在她的生活里什么是应最先考虑的事情。她知道侍奉神比世俗财富重要得多。


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