Christianity Is Not About A Big House And Three Cars

Most every time I send out an article, I get a passel of emails back from people who are essentially chiding me for being too materialistic and not spiritually-minded enough.  In general, these people hold to the belief that more or less goes along the lines of, “Godliness equals poverty and insignificance“…and so they feel the need to correct me…to point out that I am off-track and misguided.  Interestingly, pretty much all of these people are very open to and interested in “charity” from a wealthy person…they don’t mind receiving some “filthy lucre” from the kind of people they condemn as materialistic.

Now, anyone who knows me…or who has met me…knows that I am about the least materialistic person they know or have ever met.  Actually, I perceive that most people are kind of shocked when they first meet me…I get the sense that they have built up some kind of flamboyant Richy Rich picture of me in their own mind…and that is not the kind of person I am at all.

However, I AM very much a believer that God’s people should be successful and blessed…I AM very much a believer that God’s people should be wealthy and significant…I AM very much a believer that God’s people should OCCUPY our world until Christ returns.

How did I come to believe this?  Well, I…like most others from my generation…grew up under the teaching that “Godliness equals poverty and insignificance“…and LOOK WHERE THAT MODEL HAS BROUGHT OUR WORLD?

While God’s people have foolishly groveled along in poverty and insignificance, they have opened the door wide open to satan and his minions to take over every important part of our lives and world. 

This should have NEVER happened! 

If God’s people had of been doing all along what they SHOULD have been doing…if God’s people had of been doing what the Bible teaches in its entirety…our world would NOT be in the shape it is in today.

Thankfully, more and more of God’s people are waking up…especially after we got past the year 2000…and are realizing that yes, Christ is going to return for His Bride…and yes, His return is sooner than ever…but, until He returns, His words, “Occupy till I come” IS what we are supposed to be doing…because the more God’s people occupy, the more they squeeze out satan and his minions…the more God’s people occupy, the more God’s Kingdom is built up and satan’s kingdom is destroyed.

Anyway, in the interest of expanding people’s awareness…or at least giving people an alternate perspective to consider…I am going to share and respond to a comment sent to me:

Hi, I just read your letter “The Path To Success“. At times, I can see that God works like this. But, He knows our hearts and at other times he uses other people to test our walk and to find out where our heart truly is (He knows). If we are blessed by Him, and a Brother comes to us in need, and we can help him, but we don’t – He sees that (1 John 3:17). Our true heart is what matters, not just what we say. Sometimes it is God’s will for us to help someone come out of a snare the devil laid for him or her. We own nothing here. It all belongs to God. I do not put God in a box that He does things in one way only. Our understanding falls short of His. Words are words. In the Book of Acts, they helped each other and no one went without. That is how we are to still to be one to another. It is not about the money. It is about His people (how we treat the least of His). So, sometime it’s not about them. Rather, it is a test for us…to find out where we really put our trust. Christ did not die on that cross for us to have a big house and three cars. Your brother in the Lord.

I completely agree that God does not fit into the box of our understanding…and I completely agree that in most things, God has a multitude of ways in which He can do things. I also agree that God tests us to see where our love and loyalty lies (Jeremiah 17:10, Revelations 2:23). Next, I agree that if a brother or sister has been caught in a snare set by satan, then Galations 6:1 is God’s commandment to us. And, speaking for myself, I can CERTAINLY agree that my understanding falls way short of God’s understanding.

With regard to the rest of what you say, let’s explore. Based upon my understanding, experience, and view, the key phrase in your comment is: “at times”.

Let’s spell out the verse you mention in 1 John 3:17…”But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

Similarly, James 2:15-16 tells us, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Without argument, these verses are a SLIVER of God’s word…and the Bible teaches us that we will be judged according to God’s word…and therefore, it IS important that we know and honor these verses wherever applicable.

However, Jesus ALSO made it clear to us that we are to live by EVERY word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). That means we are to have the wisdom and discretion to consider the big picture of what we are dealing with and do our best to match that up with the entirety of God’s word, nature, and will.

To clarify, let’s consider other SLIVERS of God’s word…

2 Thessalonians 3:10 tells us, “if any would not work, neither should he eat“.

Matthew 7:6 tells us, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

I could go on…but these verses are enough to illustrate that it is our duty and obligation to consider WHY and HOW someone is in need, naked, or destitute…and to wisely respond accordingly.

As the Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 7:12, “wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” The reason MOST people have troubles and problems in life is because they have imprudently lived and operated without wisdom. And, it is important to understand that unless such people suffer from the consequences that correspond with their choices and actions, they will not learn to live and operate in wisdom.  They will simply continue to be a non-contributing drain on society as a result of their unwise choices and actions.

Now, let’s consider the example of a person who is drowning. Should you swim out and try to rescue them? Absolutely not! Does that mean you are a bad person? Nope! Again, wisdom giveth life to them that have it…and to swim out to a drowning person means that they are likely to drown you too. The point is, there is a wise and proper way to administer charity…and a LOT of unwise, foolish, and DESTRUCTIVE ways to administer charity.

There is another dimension that is particularly important for us to keep in mind as well…and this references right back to 1 John 3:17 and James 2:15-16. There are a LOT of people who “claim” they are Christians…there are a LOT of people who hang out in Christian circles to take advantage of Christian benefits and charity…but, the fact of the matter is that they are NOT a true Brother or Sister in Christ…they are NOT living according to the commandments and precepts God gives us…AND THAT IS WHAT THEIR “FRUIT” REVEALS (Matthew 7:16,20).

In your own life and experience, I challenge you to find a case where a true, Bible-honoring, Bible-living BROTHER or a SISTER is truly in need or destitute.

Assuming you live in a developed country (more on this later), I am confident you will find it VERY HARD to find such a person…because after all, as David said in Psalms 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I NOT seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Now, you will certainly find all kinds of NON-brothers and NON-sisters destitute and in need…as a result of their bad choices and bad actions…as a result of their non-learning and non-working.

You will certainly find people who go to church…who are poor and and in financial hardship…as a result of them having settled for living just a PORTION of what the Bible teaches…people who ignore scriptures like, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)

You will certainly find people in hardship sitting in a worn-out Lazy-Boy chair in a dumpy little house during the middle of the day watching their just-released, biggest-screen-ever TV and chatting on their brand-new iPhone or iPad…people who are not the least bit interested in hearing about scriptures like, “labour, it is the GIFT of God.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:13)

But, finding a true brother or sister…someone who lives and operates according to ALL of the principles the Bible teaches…someone who makes wise choices, acts wisely, and who pursues knowledge and wisdom as instructed in the Bible…and yet is still destitute and in need?

Hmmm…that doesn’t quite ring true, does it?  That seems to be an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

In fact, in my experience…certainly within the realm of a developed country…and often even in a less-developed country…the ONLY time you will find a true Brother or Sister struggling in hardship is during their short season of testing…their season of testing where God is proving them and determining where their love and loyalty lies…and that is a whole different matter…that is a matter between that person and God…and it is never wise to meddle or interfere with something going on between God and another person.

The FACT is, God’s Word that He purposely and specifically provided to us IS SOUND, WHOLE, AND COMPLETE!  Nothing is missing.  Everything we need to thrive and succeed on every level…both spiritually and in the natural…is included.  And, ANY person who studies, honors, obeys, and applies God’s Word to us cannot help but thrive and succeed…because God’s Word IS the very essence and nature of God articulated (John 1:1)…and the nature of God is unyielding, unstoppable, increase, expansion, riches, health, and so on…just read the Bible and you can see that it is so.

And so, IF there is a failure somewhere in our lives, it is because somewhere, we have failed to absorb, implement, and apply God’s Word in its entirety.

Now, let’s consider the incidence you mentioned in Acts chapter 2. This DEFINITELY falls under the umbrella of your phrase “at times”. Specifically, this was a time when there was extreme persecution from the Jews against Christians. As a result, the only way Christians could survive at that time…and simultaneously allow the brand-new gospel to be birthed, delivered, and established…was to band together and support each other. We can find other “special circumstances” in the Bible where “having all things in common” was the appropriate situation for survival. Moreover, there are cases in our world today…in certain nations and regions…where it is still the appropriate solution for Christians. And, I believe that as we continue into the unfolding of prophecy, there will be even more cases where it becomes necessary and appropriate.

However, when we take the Bible as a whole to determine how God wants things to be in “normal” circumstances, we very much find that the capitalistic, individualistic model is God’s model.  It is the model that made the United States of America so great…all the way up until they decided to forget God’s warning in Deuteronomy 8.

Ecclesiastes 3:13 is an excellent expression of God’s model…”every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour“.

As another example of what I am talking about, part of God’s aggravation with the Children of Israel when they wanted a King was that it would undermine the individualistic model that God had them operating successfully in.  You can read about that in 1 Samuel 8.

I could give other examples…but suffice it to say that what happened in Acts chapter 2 is NOT God’s model for “normal” life…and any open-minded review of the Bible will easily prove that.  What happened in Acts chapter 2 is a model that applies to exceptional and unusual circumstances.

Really, we need look no further than the 10 Commandments to know this: “Thou shalt not covet … any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)

Plainly and directly, this scripture tells us that we are not to “want” anything that other people have learned for…worked for…and earned/deserved.  Instead, we are to learn for…work for…and earn/deserve our own good!

God has PLENTY of blessings and abundance for each and every one of us.  That is why there is no need for us to covet/want what someone else has…that is why there is no need for someone else to give to us what they have learned and worked for.  God has PLENTY for us…God is with us…and He is ready to give us all that we are willing to learn and work for.  We just have to be willing to do the learning and the work necessary for us to be able to provide value, benefit, and service.

Now, in everything I have said, I am not suggesting that charity, gifts, tithing, and ministry-support are wrong…because they certainly are not. Charity, gifts, tithing, and ministry-support are definitely a part of God’s model of living for us. And, what I have hopefully clarified above is that there is a very specific (narrow?) way in which these things are properly exercised and executed.

Through His people, God has many, many works and ministries going on that are legitimate, good, and worthy.  Being guided by God to be a participant of such works and ministries is always wise and appropriate.

But, outside of works and ministries that are clearly God-ordained and clearly creating greater-good, proceed at your own risk…knowing that most likely, the person wanting your Christian charity just wants you to make the sacrifices, do the learning and the work, earn the money, and then give it to them…after which they will turn around and CONTINUE rejecting Christ…CONTINUE making bad choices…CONTINUE acting in foolish ways…and CONTINUE to want other people to bail them out of their messes and consequences.

And again, yes…I believe there can be a few rare “times” when the Lord wants us to give to this kind of person…as a testimony against them on Judgement Day.  But, my advice is that you better make sure it is God moving on you because otherwise, you are merely “wasting your substance on riotous living” (Luke 15:13) and “casting your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6).

Now, I know this article has undoubtedly raised the hackles of some people…so I will close with this: before a person starts parroting and pushing popular opinions, beliefs, and dogmas about what “Christianity” is and what “Christians” do, they should read the Bible in its entirety…and they should read it again…and again…however many times they need to…until they start to develop an OVERALL understanding of God’s true nature, will, and intentions.

The reason that God proclaimed David to be a “man after mine own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) was because David’s understanding of God’s OVERALL nature surpassed that of everyone around him.  In fact, with the exception of Christ, we would be hard-pressed to find ANYONE in the Bible who better understood God’s OVERALL nature better than David did.

My point is this: compare the OVERALL nature of God as defined by the entirety of the Bible…and compare that to popular “Christian” opinions, beliefs, and dogmas…and you will inevitably find major holes and errors…or in some cases, you will even find that there is very little resemblance between the two.  The fact is, MOST “versions” of Christianity are derived from a very NARROW, distorted extraction of a few key verses drawn from the Bible and used inappropriately or given inappropriate significance…much like satan did when he tempted Christ in Matthew 4.

So, by all means, go to church…we are commanded to do so (Hebrews 10:25)…just find the church in your area that practices the greatest portion of the Bible…and make sure that you have worked out your own salvation (Philippians 2:12) with a full-featured study of the entire Bible mixed with prayer and fasting.  Otherwise, you will get to suffer…and any “witnessing” you do will merely mislead other people into suffering too.

NOTE: If you want to consider this topic of “money is evil” further, take a look at this article: Is Being Rich Bad?

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6 Comments

  1. “However, I AM very much a believer that God’s people should be successful and blessed…I AM very much a believer that God’s people should be wealthy and significant…I AM very much a believer that God’s people should OCCUPY our world until Christ returns.”

    THANK YOU! I’m dealing with a similar problem. I am taking bible classes from a believer who wants me to believe that due to persecution christians are supposed to be broke and struggling all the time. I told that person that I reject this idea, we’re supposed to impact others with our lives, they’re supposed to see the power of God through us. How then can we be His glory? It doesnt make sense to serve such a powerful God, be His child and not have this attribute (being powerful and impactful through Jesus). Makes no sense. Your post sums it up perfectly.

    I told that person we must see “fruits” in the lives of christians, then a few days later that person asked me if I was really a Son” of God (or a daughter, I’m a woman), I felt so insulted. I no longer want to take those classes because with time I realized that person didnt have fruits. My life before and after salvation are like night and day. People around me are “sensing the hands of a force upon my life” and they are WATCHING to see what’s going on, as I am the only saved soul of my entire family. I will succeed through Christ, I’m a child of God! When I saw your website, I knew it was a blessing from God and an answer to my prayers, I asked Him for wisdom in all areas of my life including finances. He gave me two mentors, you and another christian. He is amazing.

    Thank you Mr Fox for sharing the knowledge. Christians are NOT supposed to live defeated lives that nobody wants to live.

  2. If you have Jesus you have everything: spiritually, physically, financially, morally and… because [Jesus has everything]!

    God bless

  3. God knows our hearts by the fruit by what we do with it. I have nothing to boast about only what Jesus did at the cross. Jesus said we are not of this world, to come out of it. This world did not love him, so they will not love us. If Jesus believed it was important to be wealthy why did he not even have a pillow to lay his head? Why did Peter say silver and gold I have none but what he did have was far greater? why did Peter and Paul spend so much time in this world’s prison’s? Why did all the apostles leave their jobs to do the real work for Jesus? It did not matter what men thought of them and look what they did by the power of the Holy Ghost. I am not saying money is evil or to have wealth. But the love and trust of it is. As for foolishly to grovel in poverty, that has nothing to do with what is happening in this world today, with or without money. Jesus said I told you these things will come, so you would not be afraid when it happens (as for now this world is not his kingdom). As for slivers of God’s word, Jesus left 2 commandments love God 1st with all we have. (John 13: 34-35) His whole walk here was about people — not money, not this worlds power, but God’s power of love. The whole bible is all about relationships. 1st ours with him, 2nd ours with each other. As for charity GOD said “i love a cheerful giver” (2cor. 9:7) what I have he gave me, and I trust him to give without judgement like seeds from the heart, God does the rest. Let not your left hand know what the right hand does..(discernment of spirit) He gives us. As far as someones claims it is not for me to judge them, God will. By the fruit (Gal.5:15-26),(Gal 6:1-18) please read all. As for true Bible honoring, believing (brothers/sisters) that are in need. Lets look at all the apostles destitute. We all go through tests to grow and come to trust in God only, not this world. He knows what we need to learn His truth. As for the church of Acts it was and still is that umbrella (God’s umbrella) to be able to live in these times now more than ever to make it to the end. We need God foremost and each other as never before. We are to lift one another up not judge one another. My labor I try to do is and enjoy most is helping people come to know the lord Jesus, and giving freely (no iou’s) to burden them but show God’s love to them. I agree with you not to covet anything here ( moths eat, rust etc.) I agree God blesses us. It’s what we do with it (pay it forward). It was not ours. It is all His. As for the overall nature of GOD as by His word is love one another as He loved us. He kept nothing not even his life here. He gave all so we may be with him forever. When He died on that cross for us He did not question our intent of what we would do with it. He just gave it freely. He is god. Who am I to judge what someone does with what I can give them (He knows my heart and theirs). He is the only one who earned that right (He is their god not me). I am your brother in Jesus. Pete

  4. I think it’s alright to be rich, if that’s the desire of your heart. If God is pleased with you, He’ll give you the desires of your heart. I think Paul the Apostle wasn’t rich (I think), he didn’t care about it, it wasn’t a desire of his heart. He’d get so much inner joy fulfilling his mission; God was pleased with him. John the Baptist too, probably not wealthy. He didn’t care, wealth wasn’t necessary to fulfill his mission. But if that’s what you want, wealth, you better make sure you use it wisely. I think if we walk in the Spirit daily, we’ll be using it wisely. As an individual, ask God, He’ll tell you if it’s ok for you. Maybe we’re afraid to ask Him? Maybe we’re too lazy to spend the time and energy to get close to Him to hear from Him personally. (I’m guilty of that too, many times in my life). “Ask, and you shall receive. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and the door shall be opened.”

  5. this guys teaching is of the devil. I am not saying that Lane of of the Devil but his teaching surely is of the devil. The devil knows the bible well, knows Jesus and knows the truth, but always and I repeat always mixes the truth with lies to get you to side with him. Almost all the scripture that this man is quoting is out of context and he is using it as trickery to make his point of greed to seem acceptable.

    the bible says, Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    Many will say that the eye of the needle was the common entry path for most camels. That is not true, for if it were true then the bible would not complete the statment at so ” 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

    26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

    Also Lane defended the rich by saying that they do less harm to the poor than the poor do to themselves. lol…Lane even talks about the poor as if he thinks they want to be in poverty. It is as if Lane is almost to the point of despising the poor, but the bible says in James 2:5 ” 5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

    6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

    7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

    The bible give us so many warning against strong desire for money..” the love of money is the root of all ever” and Luke 6: 24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

    25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

    26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

    I could go on and on, but the time would fall me to speak of “2 Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”
    and
    Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    and
    Proverbs 18:23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.

    and
    Proverbs 23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

    and
    Proverbs 23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
    and
    Luke 1:52-54King James Version (KJV)

    52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

    53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

    God does not want us thinking like this man Lane wants us to think. I dont think that he is a demon or that he is truly of the devil, but I think he needs to make himself feel better by putting a positive light on riches and his desire to keep his wealth. The fact is that we in America have more than what we need to accomplish anything that God wants us to do. Even the poor in America has more than most of the worlds population. So the strive to be rich is just pure greed and that is sin. It is that simple.

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