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Author Topic:   Money Isn't a False God
Caleb
Junior Member (Idle past 3619 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 05-11-2011


Message 76 of 150 (615513)
05-13-2011 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by purpledawn
05-12-2011 7:25 AM


Re: Worship or Worship
Sorry, I have not been able to look at the forum for a couple days. I think that money does not always take the place of God, but it can. If a wealthy person trusts in the actual God, then obvoulsy money is not a false god. But if that wealthy person trusts in money for happiness, protection, ect. then money has just replcaced God.

I am not sure what you met by your second statement on message 61, PurpleDawn, but maybe you could rephrase it.

There is not really any universal way to tell people who replace money as a god, but some indications would be them trying to buy happiness or are not very generous because they think they need all of that money for their protection, happiness, ect. The bigger stash the more it can do for them.


"Everybody makes mistakes"
Visit my website at www.propagandabypass.org

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Bailey
Member (Idle past 3301 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 77 of 150 (615514)
05-13-2011 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by purpledawn
05-12-2011 1:31 PM


Money Can Be A False God By Definition
quote:
But I still think you are taking the whole thing far too literally. Has anyone at all genuinely suggested that money is a god in the sense of being a supernatural entity directly comparable to, or in competitiopn with, Yahweh?
Not a deity, no. As I showed, they changed the definition of god to make it work.

Allowing a literal or narrow meaning of false gods, such as expressed in the booklet of Yirmiyahu, to indicate the gods and goddesses of the nations surrounding Yisrael seems an appropriate way to consider the concept of false gods.

Also, there appears to be genuine examples where money may be viewed as an idol - or a false god, and perhaps even as suggestive toward a notion money is in direct competition with, if not comparable to, the God of the Yuhdeans.

First, the idea that worship has different meanings was addressed in Message 36, Message 37, Message 38 and Message 70 by a variety of forum members. Later, in Message 65 and Message 69, PD provided various details showing where Luther could be seen fleshing out his protest doctrine suggesting money may act as a false god, or "one's god".

I disagree in a sense the definition of (false) god need be changed or modified in any regard to facilitate a more doctrinal approach to the concept of a false god. It isn't necessary to perform that way if one desire's to achieve such a result as other definitions, which will be examined below such as worship, allow for this dynamic within their natural context.

The capacity for worshipping money may be more easily viewed as that which is being directed towards a false god when considering money as an idol. At this point, it may be helpful to review the definition of idol and then the nature of money.

Directly below is an attempt to present a doctrinal approach demonstrating how money, in the traditional sense, could be viewed as alien to God. This will be followed by a more direct approach employing definitions less theologically freighted.

i·dol
n.
1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) a material object, esp a carved image, that is worshipped as a god
2. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity Judaism any being (other than the one God) to which divine honour is paid
3. a person who is revered, admired, or highly loved

[from Late Latin îdôlum, from Latin: image, from Greek eidôlon, from eidos shape, form]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

In these examples it may prove interesting to place the concept within a biblical and historical framework. In one corner, let's consider the God of the Yudeans; in the others, false gods are assigned. At the top of that list, Caesar is enthroned.

One can find him commanding the legal title Imperator before his name and modeling the coverings of a god, with the triumphant purple robe and laurel crown - reminiscent of the Kings. Also seeing to it an ivory statue in his likeness is paraded around at all public religious processions, while placing another in the temple of Quirinus with an inscription reading 'To the Invincible God'. Consider who this fellow Quirinus was.

To the roman people, he became the deified likeness of Romulus - Rome's first king and founder, and so, it is then easy to determine such an act would clearly identify Caesar not only on equal terms with the divine, but with the Kings as well. This notion becomes increasingly obvious when we learn another statue was erected alongside those of the seven Roman Kings, as well as Lucius Junius Brutus - a gentleman who originally led a revolt to expel them.

Finally, demonstrating what would appear to be the utmost scandalous behavior, Caesar commences the minting of new coins bearing an unique image and likeness and it's here you get one guess at who's and what it was ..

That's correct - this was the first time in roman history that a living human was prominently displayed on a coin. This golden calf act clearly placed Caesar not only above the God of the Yuhdeans, but well above the roman state and tradition.

Right around that time there's breaking dialogue concerning the Kingdom of God as described by Joshua, who's rumored to be next in line for the throne, and we learn it's coming. While many people are encouraged to pray for it to come (on earth as in heaven), we have Joshua on earth making it happen before people’s very eyes.

There is little doubt Herod would be angry if he caught wind of this Gospel. After all, he was King of the Yuhdeans and, as his luck would have it, rival claimants had a tendency to not live long as a result. With that said, it is a safe bet Caiaphas' motely crew and the Sadducees also understood this notion to present a challenge toward their power base - the Temple.

Finally, if Caesar heard, there's no doubt he would've been in similiar opposition as it may impede his pursuit of avarice.

Regardless, none of them were able to discern what even Joshuas’ closest associates had a certain difficulty
understanding and that was what kind of a challenge he intended to pose. That is, what sort of a Kingdom was Joshua advancing? And what kind of a King must he consider himself to be? Both answers begin to emerge as Joshua arrives in Yirusalem, symbolically purging the Temple and cleverly pointing ahead to its imminent 70 CE destruction.

We learn of a string of debates taking place a short time later and we find where Joshua's placed on virtual trial, like someone being interviewed by Fox news with the expressed understanding any minute a verbal slip may just prove fatal. In the booklet of Mark, chapter 11 and 12 offer a snapshot of such debates, most all of which are politically motivated.

At times, some are framed theologically as well and this is also where we find the trick question (and opaque answer), addressing Caesar and the God of the Yuhdeans with special regards to Caesar's gloriously magnificent coin o' tribute.

This is no isolated political comment in an otherwise nonpolitical sequence of events and thought, but to the contrary it's right at home. Which is to say, tax revolts against Rome were nothing new and if we consider a large-scale revolt of this nature taking place during Joshua's adolescence, we can then imagine it being crushed with typical Roman brutality.

So with no further ado, here is a crux in the matter:

Joshua was unwilling to respond by suggesting, ‘Yes, pay the tax’.

That would be as saying ‘I’m not really serious about my Father's Kingdom, but rather I'm the glutton for punishment type, so trust in Caesar'. Yet, to suggest that anyone should revolt in the traditional sense was likely to incur imminent wrath.

So, what does Joshua do? Requests his challenger conjur up a coin (indirectly causing admittance that the hated coinage was kept, indeed with its blasphemous inscription and its culturally illegal image of the portrait of Caesar himseslf, and all).

'Whose is it?', he asks.

'Caesar’s', they answer.

'Well then, you’d better pay back Caesar in his own coin - and pay God back in his own coin!'

Within these statements we learn of an early radical prophetic tradition which held distinction between the currency of the God of the Yuhdeans and Caesar the god as we encounter a variant leaving the idol fashioned in Caesar's image without place in the economy of the Kingdom. The one who trusts in Caesar will collect his coins, thus supporting his economy.

Transactions made within the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven appear to be done without the employ of traditional roman coinage; coin that's little more than a carved idol, bedded in the worship of Caesar and the vision of his terrorist empire.

i·dol
n.
1.
a. An image used as an object of worship.
b. A false god.
2. One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.
3. Something visible but without substance.

[Middle English, from Old French idole, from Late Latin dlum, from Greek eidlon, phantom, idol, from eidos, form; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

While it's true the dollar is a currency whose value may experience relative stability and gold is a commodity whose value may display great variance, it's also true they cannot reasonably be termed with intrinsic value in the absolute sense. The fact is, money is little more than a symbol of faith in the value of an economic system (ie. visible but without substance).

It also seems safe to say money has indeed been, and is still at times, adored and often blindly; even to excess.

Additionally, we learn an idol can be a false god. When we examine the meaning of idol, we find that money seems to apply well in many instances, as it has been demonstrated money can be viewed as an image used as an object of worship without the meaning of (false) god being modified, providing one allows for a broad context defining worship.

Thus, if money is one's idol, it may also - by definition, be considered one's god or false god.

Edited by Bailey, : sp.


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2389 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 78 of 150 (615520)
05-13-2011 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Caleb
05-13-2011 5:48 PM


Trust in Money
quote:
But if that wealthy person trusts in money for happiness, protection, ect. then money has just replcaced God.
So if the wealthy person doesn't trust in god or trust in money for happiness, then money isn't a false god, correct?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Caleb, posted 05-13-2011 5:48 PM Caleb has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Caleb, posted 05-13-2011 10:49 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
Caleb
Junior Member (Idle past 3619 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 05-11-2011


Message 79 of 150 (615526)
05-13-2011 10:49 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by purpledawn
05-13-2011 8:48 PM


Re: Trust in Money
I would have to agree with you, PurpleDawn, on that statement.

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 Message 78 by purpledawn, posted 05-13-2011 8:48 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12719
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 80 of 150 (615537)
05-14-2011 6:17 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by crashfrog
05-13-2011 5:02 PM


Re: Clarification Requested
crashfrog writes:

Mammon is a metaphor for the behavior prohibited by the scripture referred to as it specifically pertains to money, and that the result of all this is that an obsession with money is "worshiping a false god" - Mammon, in this case - precisely as described by the passage in question.

If the differing opinions derive from scripture then it should help the discussion if someone were to quote the relevant scripture for both Mammon and the provision against worshiping false gods.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2389 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 81 of 150 (615544)
05-14-2011 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Admin
05-14-2011 6:17 AM


What Constitutes a False God
In Message 1 I stated: This isn't about which gods are false, but what constitutes a false god.

I disagree that money can be construed as a false god in reality.

In sermons and articles, authors include many things as "modern" false gods.

Your Gods
Isaiah 44:17
And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!" (Isaiah 44:17)

This verse says that a false god was worshiped because the idolater believed the block of wood could deliver him. Herein we find a definition for what constitutes a false god. According to Isaiah 44:17, a god is anything to which we ascribe the power to deliver us. Westerners have their own set of false gods—sources to which they turn for deliverance when in times of crisis or need (let the reader understand):
• Money
• Health insurance
• Medical treatment/prescriptions
• Social Security
• Retirement plans and IRA's
• Credit cards/consolidation loans
• Pleasure/entertainment/recreation/sports
• Sex
• Friends (to deliver us from loneliness)
• Counselors
• Lawsuits
• Filing bankruptcy

I've shown other articles in this thread. They aren't talking about the love of money or obsessions. (Message 4, Message 51, Message 65)

As I said in Message 25 concerning the Hebrews turning to foreign gods: It isn't about relying or trusting on everyday items to do what they are intended, but worshiping or relying on the god of another nation to provide for you as one feels their own god does.

The phrase "worshiping money" has nothing to do with labeling various things as false gods. Love of money or greed is addressed in other lessons although some include love of money as a false god.

If, as Martin Luther felt, your god is what your heart clings to, then our families would qualify as false gods.

These articles aren't speaking of loving money or other things to the exclusion of spiritual endeavors. This is why I showed the different meanings of worship in Message 47.

Worship: extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem

This isn't how the phrase "money is a false god" is being used in what I've presented.

As I said in Message 73: I have no idea what you are doing. It usually depends on how you use it in a sentence or lesson. The point is about what Christianity is doing and I feel they are. Of course, as I've just noticed, today Christians don't feel that the ancient gods were deities at all. IOW, they didn't exist unlike their own god. So it was just worshiping an idol (inanimate object). Since they only considered them idols, they are comparing money to those false gods. That's probably why I have a problem with the statement. I consider false gods to have been someone else's god.

Even with my new understanding, there's a very different mindset between paying homage to an idol and expecting that idol to deliver one from a crisis and the insatiable greed for riches. They aren't the same.


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 Message 80 by Admin, posted 05-14-2011 6:17 AM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member (Idle past 106 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 82 of 150 (615546)
05-14-2011 8:27 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 8:20 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
Do you agree that money and wealth can be idolised?

Wiki definition of "idol" writes:

An idol can be defined as an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion

Boldening mine.


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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2389 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 83 of 150 (615548)
05-14-2011 8:44 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Bailey
05-13-2011 6:01 PM


Re: Money Can Be A False God By Definition
quote:
That's correct - this was the first time in roman history that a living human was prominently displayed on a coin. This golden calf act clearly placed Caesar not only above the God of the Yuhdeans, but well above the roman state and tradition.
Interesting. That may give a new insight to the teaching concerning two masters. Can't serve God and money. Money may have been an overt way of referring to Caesar since avarice was associated with Caesar.

Just an interesting thought. I'll have to do more research.


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 Message 77 by Bailey, posted 05-13-2011 6:01 PM Bailey has responded

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12719
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 84 of 150 (615550)
05-14-2011 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 8:20 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
Much of the recent discussion has been about Mammon, which is mentioned in Matthew and Luke. Crash seemed to be basing his arguments on scripture when he discussed Mammon, and I haven't seen either Matthew or Luke quoted in this thread, though you mention them in the OP. Seems like taking a closer look at what they actually said would be helpful.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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 Message 81 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 8:20 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2389 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 85 of 150 (615552)
05-14-2011 9:14 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by Straggler
05-14-2011 8:27 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
quote:
Do you agree that money and wealth can be idolised?
It isn't about what can be done, it is about what is done. People can be obsessive about anything.

Idolize has two meanings also just like worship. One deals with paying homage to the idol and the other is the figurative use that deals with excessive admiration. Again, it depends on how it is being used.

The issues I've shown aren't talking about excessive admiration. How many times do I need to say that? (Message 37, Message 47, Message 51, Message 63, Message 73, Message 81)


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member (Idle past 106 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 86 of 150 (615555)
05-14-2011 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 9:14 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
The problem here is that you seem to have shut the door on both a literal meaning of 'false god' and a metaphorical meaning of 'false god' as well. Thus I remain genuinely confused as to what you do mean....

PD writes:

Straggler writes:

Has anyone at all genuinely suggested that money is a god in the sense of being a supernatural entity directly comparable to, or in competition with, Yahweh?

Not a deity, no.

So you are not talking about a 'false god' in the literal sense of a supernatural entity such as a god or demon or whatever. Is that right?

PD writes:

Idolize has two meanings also just like worship. One deals with paying homage to the idol and the other is the figurative use that deals with excessive admiration. Again, it depends on how it is being used. The issues I've shown aren't talking about excessive admiration. How many times do I need to say that?

OK. I get it. But if 'false god' is neither figurative nor referring to an actual 'god' in the supernatural being sense of the word then what are we talking about here?


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Caleb
Junior Member (Idle past 3619 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 05-11-2011


Message 87 of 150 (615556)
05-14-2011 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 9:14 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
PurpleDawn, what makes you think that using money as a false god is not done?

By the way, like Straggler, I am confused by exactly what you are getting at.

Edited by Caleb, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2389 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 88 of 150 (615559)
05-14-2011 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Caleb
05-14-2011 9:39 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
Are all these things to be considered false gods?

• Money
• Health insurance
• Medical treatment/prescriptions
• Social Security
• Retirement plans and IRA's
• Credit cards/consolidation loans
• Pleasure/entertainment/recreation/sports
• Sex
• Friends (to deliver us from loneliness)
• Counselors
• Lawsuits
• Filing bankruptcy

Some have added children to the list.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Caleb, posted 05-14-2011 9:39 AM Caleb has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2011 10:06 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply
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Straggler
Member (Idle past 106 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 89 of 150 (615560)
05-14-2011 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 10:01 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
PD writes:

Are all these things to be considered false gods?

In a literal sense of the word 'god' no they are not gods (false or otherwise)

In a more metaphorical sense I suppose any of them could be in the right context but some of the things in your list lend themselves better to that metaphor than others.


This message is a reply to:
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Caleb
Junior Member (Idle past 3619 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 05-11-2011


Message 90 of 150 (615561)
05-14-2011 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 10:01 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
I believe that any of them can be false gods to some people. They won't be to everybody, but only false gods to those people who expect everything that a true God should provide. Happiness, protection, ect.

This message is a reply to:
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