Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 65 (9035 total)
57 online now:
(57 visitors)
Newest Member: Barry Deaborough
Post Volume: Total: 885,607 Year: 3,253/14,102 Month: 194/724 Week: 43/93 Day: 3/5 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Money Isn't a False God
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 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

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Admin, posted 05-14-2011 6:17 AM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2011 8:27 AM purpledawn has responded
 Message 84 by Admin, posted 05-14-2011 8:54 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Bailey, posted 05-13-2011 6:01 PM Bailey has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Bailey, posted 05-14-2011 4:47 PM purpledawn has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 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:
 Message 82 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2011 8:27 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Straggler, posted 05-14-2011 9:31 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply
 Message 87 by Caleb, posted 05-14-2011 9:39 AM purpledawn has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 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
 Message 90 by Caleb, posted 05-14-2011 10:12 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 92 of 150 (615620)
05-14-2011 7:52 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Bailey
05-14-2011 4:47 PM


Re: Money Can Be A False God By Definition
quote:
(unless the needs of the maimed, the poor, the sick and the widowed may be deemed false gods as Luther's protest doctrine holds)
Another interesting thought.

If a false god is that which we turn to or rely upon instead of God as some have mentioned, then by creating and supporting charities we create something the poor can to turn to or rely on instead of God.

Did God really instruct us to do something that could potentially cause someone to stumble?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Bailey, posted 05-14-2011 4:47 PM Bailey has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by Bailey, posted 05-14-2011 8:40 PM purpledawn has not yet responded
 Message 94 by Bailey, posted 05-15-2011 7:45 AM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 95 of 150 (615638)
05-15-2011 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Bailey
05-13-2011 6:01 PM


Re: Money Can Be A False God By Definition
quote:
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.


I didn't have time to address this earlier.

The broader meanings of idol (adoring a person) and worship (excessive adoration) are attested to the late 1500's.

I don't feel that having faith in an economic system is the same as choosing another god over God. We simply trust that every day things function the way they are supposed to.

When you take the later broad meaning of worship, many things can become false gods. It doesn't really reflect the Bibles issue with false gods.

As I've pointed out before, paying homage to idols in the Bible isn't about excessive adoration. Also the articles I've linked to aren't really talking about excessive adoration except when the love of money is thrown in.

The issue seems to be the idea that we have chosen these every day things to sustain us instead of God. They liken it to the Hebrews feeling deserted by their God and turning to other gods.

If my house is burning, I'm going to call the fire department. I'm not going to pray to God to put the fire out. A religious person may do both, but they will call the fire department. Adding a prayer to God doesn't change the fact that we trust that the fire department will come to our aid.

I don't feel that God, Jesus, or Paul were trying to tell us not to rely on everyday things or systems to function as they are supposed to. God literally did not want his people to bow down to the gods of other nations.

Trying to associate the things we rely on in our society as false gods is just a way to manipulate people IMO.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Bailey, posted 05-13-2011 6:01 PM Bailey has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2011 8:59 AM purpledawn has responded
 Message 99 by kbertsche, posted 05-15-2011 11:15 AM purpledawn has responded
 Message 100 by Bailey, posted 05-15-2011 2:27 PM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 97 of 150 (615641)
05-15-2011 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by Straggler
05-15-2011 8:59 AM


Re: Metaphorical Gods Are Not Literally Worshiped
Straggler writes:

As far as I can work it out your complaint in this thread is that metaphorical 'false gods' (such as wealth) aren't worshiped or idolised in the literal religious sense that a deity would be.

Is this right? And if so why would you expect them to be?

No.

It doesn't work metaphorically. There is no real similarity IMO.

People don't pay homage to money, sports, power, etc. the same way people paid homage to idols.
People don't turn to money, sports, power, etc. the same way the Hebrews turned to foreign gods.

It is the words worship and idolizing that have become figurative.

So it seems that when some Christians talk of modern false gods, they are actually thinking of the later figurative meaning of worship or idol which has nothing to do with false gods.

Some Christians feel these things are being substituted for God.

Others seem to use a mixture of the obsession issue and the substitution issue.

Some lessons do try to make people feel they are worshiping false gods. Not very metaphorical IMO. Another way to manipulate people.

Just as Juliet is not the sun, money is not a false god.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2011 8:59 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2011 10:38 AM purpledawn has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 101 of 150 (615682)
05-15-2011 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Straggler
05-15-2011 10:38 AM


Re: Metaphorical Gods Are Not Literally Worshiped
Have you read the articles I've linked to or paid attention to the quotes. This isn't a hypothetical situation. It is about what is being taught and preached. Look at what they are calling false gods.

quote:
Do you agree that it is perfectly legitimate to describe wealth as a metaphorical 'god' that is worshiped in a (metaphorical) non-religious sense?
One can describe wealth any way they want. But when one starts telling others that by having wealth or possession they are turning to false gods, that is different. They are trying to manipulate behavior.

quote:
When talking about figurative gods - Yes.
What gods are figurative? The words worship and idol are not figurative when referring to gods or images of gods. They are when referring to people or things other than gods or images of gods.

You need to provide an example of a real teaching you're talking about.

quote:
But your entire objection seems to be against a figurative use of terms like "worship" and "idolise" as applied to what you perceive as a literal use of the term 'god'.
I'm talking about things that are deemed false gods by Christians. You're attaching the figurative use of worship and idolize to the issue. Different behavior.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by Straggler, posted 05-15-2011 10:38 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Straggler, posted 05-16-2011 8:25 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 102 of 150 (615688)
05-15-2011 6:39 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by kbertsche
05-15-2011 11:15 AM


Re: Money Can Be A False God By Definition
quote:
PD, I don't understand why you keep ignoring the New Testament? As shown in message 34, both Jesus and Paul equated covetousness with idolatry. This broader, metaphorical use of the term "idol" doesn't derive from the 1500's, but from the 00's (the first century) or earlier. It is a biblical metaphor, not a modern invention.
You didn't provide verses. Yes, Jesus and Paul taught that greed is wrong. Paul compared inordinate desire for wealth or possessions to idolatry. The money isn't compared. The behavior is compared.

In the articles I've provided, the authors aren't talking about greed or avarice. When they refer to love of money they are, but wealthy people aren't automatically greedy.

Neither Jesus nor Paul says we can't be wealthy.

Things the Apostle Paul Teaches Us About Money
The first is that Paul never says that money itself is a root of evil – rather he says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. ...

But, if you are rich, you have to be careful – and you have to be generous. 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.

The idea that ordinary things in our life should be likened to choosing false gods simply because we enjoy them or rely on their function, is absurd. Still not talking about obsession.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by kbertsche, posted 05-15-2011 11:15 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by kbertsche, posted 05-15-2011 9:17 PM purpledawn has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 104 of 150 (615732)
05-16-2011 5:15 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by kbertsche
05-15-2011 9:17 PM


Re: Money Can Be A False God By Definition
quote:
Absolutely false! I most certainly did provide verses, in Message 32, to which you replied in Message 33, to which I replied in Message 34. I didn't suspect you would forget or ignore them within two messages!
You do realize it has been almost 10 days since those posts. I have a life outside of this board and it has many things that are a bit more important than remembering those verses.

When you are referencing verses you have already posted, a link to the post would be helpful. You said message 34 (no link). When no link is provided and I'm short on time, I don't take the time to go back. Now that I've looked at Message 34, the verses aren't listed in that post either.

quote:
Now please try to respond to these verses instead of ignoring them and/or denying that I have presented them.
As you noted, I did address them in Message 33. I also addressed the issue in Message 102. Jesus and Paul addressed behavior. Comparing greed to idolatry was Paul's way of vilifying greed. In reality, greed isn't idolatry either. He used an unacceptable action to vilify another unacceptable action.

So if those who compare money to false gods do so to vilify money, that's not a good message. Money is something that is necessary to daily life.

Do all the items in Message 81 deserve to be vilified?
Some even add church and children to the list.

Vilify the behavior as Paul did, don't vilify the object.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by kbertsche, posted 05-15-2011 9:17 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by kbertsche, posted 05-17-2011 10:00 AM purpledawn has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2351 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 107 of 150 (615899)
05-18-2011 3:43 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by kbertsche
05-17-2011 10:00 AM


Covetousness
quote:
Paul uses idolatry as a metaphor for greed, and idolater as a metaphor for a greedy person. You can't have an idolater without an idol. Paul's metaphors imply that he views wealth (or possibly it's accumulation) as the metaphorical idol.
Sigh!

As I've pointed out many, many, many times in this thread, the accumulation of wealth is not forbidden. Covetousness is forbidden. The difference is in how one accumulates their wealth. If done honestly, there is no problem. If done dishonestly it is covetousness. The point being that the person wants what others have and will take it illegally. That's why it ends up on the wicked list along with idolatry.

I don't think Paul was using the word idolatry as a metaphor for greed.

quote:
My point is that these metaphors are first-century biblical metaphors, not 20th or 16th century inventions as you have claimed.

I don't know that I did claim that. I've referred to the meanings of our English words "idol" and "worship".

In Message 95, I stated: The broader meanings of idol (adoring a person) and worship (excessive adoration) are attested to the late 1500's.

IOW, when used in the Bible we need to be careful we don't assume a later meaning and understand them as the people of the time would have. We have to understand the metaphor in the context of their time, not ours.

Paul's metaphor concerning greed isn't pointed at the money. It is the behavior. I showed you in Message 102 that Paul had nothing against wealth.

How was covetousness like idolatry in Paul's day?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by kbertsche, posted 05-17-2011 10:00 AM kbertsche has not yet responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2021