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“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10

It seems that ever since the end of WW2, people have devoted their life to achieving the American dream. People work their entire lives just to say they’ve “made it”, they achieved the dream, whatever dream that is. Yet while some actually do reach that level of financial success, there are twice, to three times as many who do not attain the so called “American Dream”. If the dream was truly slanted to allow everyone the opportunity to succeed, then why do we have greater numbers of people falling below the cracks into poverty? If the American dream is truly attainable, then why only a select few realize it?

I won’t get political because I’m not politically motivated. Nor will I promote anything which is suggestive of a ideology of self achievement. I’m simply going to share why I stopped believing in the American dream and instead began to understand the message of the cross, and why that message (the cross) has given me more meaning than anything American ideology could ever bring.

For me, the American dream ended the moment I surrendered to Christ – nothing else matters. Now that will go against the grain of many American idealists and even Christians, but does Capitalism have its place in Christianity? The answer is no, it doesn’t.

Paul mentored, discipled, and wrote two letters to a young pastor named Timothy.  Here’s what Paul says to him in 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” Notice that Paul never says money itself is a root of evil – rather he says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. If money were evil, we’d be in trouble.  Loving it is where the problem lies.

How can we tell if we love money?  We can begin by asking ourselves if we have a desire to be rich, to make a quick buck, or if we constantly look for things that benefit us financially. Loving money is a destructive force.  Notice the vivid language he uses – through this craving some have pierced themselves with many pangs and have wandered from the faith! What Paul emphatically warns against is that the yearning for money can – and will – lead to ruin, both financial and spiritual.

It all comes down to the heart.

But if you are rich, you must take extra precaution.  You must be careful to avoid loving money more than God.  There are certain things that rich Christians must do with their money as well.  Look at what Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:17-18: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.

Notice Paul says they are to do good, be generous and ready to share.  It’s OK to be rich, but how eager are you to share with those in need?

The so called “American Dream” denies this, and instead, focuses on only one thing – self. It seems as though unless a person has the car, the large home, the bank account, the flat screen tv, they can’t truly be happy. This is the world’s version of prosperity. But Christ told his disciples to pick up their cross and “follow me”. When I came to Christ, my ideas, my ambitions, my dreams, my goals all died at the cross. The striving to reach a level of financial freedom was a never ending illusion I had believed in, yet Christ ended that when he took that aspect away and instead, replaced it with a desire to fulfill God’s will for my life. That’s when I stopped believing in the American Dream and instead, began to follow Christ.

Sadly however, the world has infected the church with its message of the “dream”, and in turn, has affected the lives of many Christians. The world says, “Get an education and get a high paying job” Christ says, “Deny yourself and follow me.” If we look at the current statistics, we see that the world and its ideology, is literally taking first place among many who call themselves “Christians” and their life.

Statistics tell us that nearly 50% of Americans have no church home. In the 1980s, membership in the church had dropped almost 10%; then, in the 1990s, it worsened by another 12% drop—some denominations reporting a 40% drop in their membership. And now, over half way through the first decade of the 21st century, we are seeing the figures drop even more!

How bad are things getting? The current number of evangelical Christian Missionary’s is now at a record 34% in DECLINE. The average budget of most major denominations for mission work is now at 3% for the year. The larger problem is the declining numbers of young people going into missionary service in favor of a career. The facts are, once young adults go into College and come out with their degrees, the weight of debt, the promise of the American dream literally outweighs and over rules the call of Christ.

Isn’t it interesting that when Christ walked the shores of Galilee and called those men who would become his trusted disciples and literally changed the world, that he told them to leave their secular jobs? The same call goes out today. Is the American dream really that more important than the gospel? Is having a home, a car, 401K plan and a paid vacation more important then the souls dying lost in Africa, Sudan, Russia or China? It appears so.

Even more disturbing are the number of churches closing their doors. Every year more than 4000 churches close their doors compared to just over 1000 new church starts! There were about 4,500 new churches started between 1990 and 2000, with a twenty year average of nearly 1000 a year.

The United States now ranks third (3rd) following China and India in the number of people who are not professing Christians; in other words, the U.S. is becoming an ever increasing “unreached people group.” Half of all churches in the US did not add any new members to their ranks in the last two years.

The call of the gospel in this nation is at a crossroads, one that must be met head on if we are to gather in the harvest in these last days. The problem is, many in the church don’t believe we are truly in the last days and what’s more shocking is the number of those who call themselves Christians that do not believe the promise of Christ return – nearly 41%. To make matters worse, nearly 64% of evangelical Christians with a College degree reject the idea of the physical return of Jesus Christ. [pew research]

1 Timothy 4:1 says, “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to deceitful spirits, and doctrines of demons;” What we are seeing today, the declining of the Christian faith, the drop in Church attendance, the declining interest in foreign missions has all to do with the last days. The Apostle Paul gave us two distinct warnings to look for before the coming of the Lord, which I believe can be applied today; 2 Thess. 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come the falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

There is no question we are in the last days. The question is, what will we do knowing this truth? I believe, based on the word, God is going to push his remnant of servants like never before to answer the call and preach the gospel like never before – with signs and wonders following. While many will depart from the faith, God has a people who will declare the glory of God across the world to those who desire it. I encourage you to find that calling God has for you, to seek God’s will through earnest prayer and then, by faith, step out trusting God and fulfill the commission you were called to. The pleasures of this world will seem incomparable to the glory of God and his reward for our service when we stand before our Savior and realize that his will was more valuable and more important than our will.

On that day it won’t matter how successful you became in life, or how much wealth you attained or how many cars you owned or how popular or educated you were. The only thing that will matter is, were you faithful to the calling of God or not? That will be the question we all will have to answer. This is the reason why I stopped believing in the American Dream – and so should you.

2 Cor. 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

 

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Comments
  1. karentraa says:

    A very good word; thanks, Christopher. We have ” the American dream” up here in Canada, too. Not very many people, even those who profess to follow Christ, are willing to walk away from it in pursuit of the Saviours way of doing things.

  2. It’s time to start believing again Christopher

    There is an AVALANCHE of American support ready to be triggered nationwide by the right Real Conservative Deal Leadership

    an avalanche that did not roll down the mountain for the R/R Obama-Lite ticket

    Americans are CRYING OUT FOR LEADERSHIP that believes in Constitutional America and who can be TRUSTED

    Get out of the way of the Palin/Cruz JUGGERNAUT you Corruptocrat DC WEASELS lest U B STEAMROLLED into Ruling Class ROAD PIZZA!

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