I feel the golden rule is being ignored by the church these days: the laws that say "love thy neighbor and your enemies and love God with all your heart." Maybe if you teach these principles instead of pointing fingers, people will follow you. Sure, you teach that homosexuality, pre-marital sex, and the rest of your favorite subjects are sin. That's fine, but I believe there are more pressing issues that are leading men astray.

How many times does the Bible warn us about being rich? It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle? I know, with the Lord, anything's possible. Is not materialism the leading cause of sin in the world today? Does it not lead us to ignore the golden rule? Does it not lead us to worship something other than God and inflict us with sinful worry? Where are you on these issues?

It's easy to point the finger at something you are not. I can look down at a homosexuality because personally I think it's disgusting, but there's no virtue in that.

"Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."" (Matthew 22:35-40).

When considering God's laws, everything can be summed up in the two statements that Jesus gave. Basically, the rest of the Bible is an explanation of what it means to love God and to love your neighbor. This includes the passages that instruct us on how to live righteously as well as the ones which tell us not to sin. "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:8-10). All those negative commands in the Ten Commandments are applications of loving God and loving your neighbor.

If "pointing fingers" is so bad, why are you pointing your finger at me? Not that I mind, because I know what I teach, but I would like you to see that the very thing that you accuse me of doing is the thing you give yourself permission to do. "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things" (Romans 2:1).

God requires His messengers to point out the shortfalls of men. "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul" (Ezekiel 3:17-21). In other words, my salvation as a minister is dependant on my pointing out to people that where they are sinning and showing them how to get out of sin.

Paul solemnly charged Timothy, "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (II Timothy 4:1-5). Notice that Timothy as a minister was to convince people what was right and wrong, to rebuke people for their sins, and to exhort them to live righteously.

Rebuking people for their sins is an essential part of getting people to change because unless a person is convinced that they are in the wrong, they have no motivation to change their ways. Jesus said, "unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Yet, the motivator to repent is sorrow over personal wrong doing. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death" (II Corinthians 7:10). I'm pleased that the information on this website is making you uncomfortable, but I will be happier when it sinks in to the point that you regret your participation in those sins because only then will you truly change and leave those sins behind.

You asked why I don't teach against being rich. The answer is simple. Being wealthy is not a sin. If it was then Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, David, and a host of others would be guilty for they were all wealthy men. Look at the example of Job: he lost everything he owned, yet after his trials we read, "And the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold. Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys" (Job 42:10-12). God gave Job riches and it is called a blessing, not a curse.

What you are confusing is Paul's warning: "But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (I Timothy 6:9-10). It is not wealth that is a sin, but the desire to be wealthy. Money is not the root of all evil. It is the love of money that is a root of all kinds of evil. Greed does turn men's hearts away from God and their fellow men. It produces numerous sins, but it is not the source for every sin.

Those who are blessed with wealth need to be on their guard. Their comfort can lead them to false confidence. "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life" (I Timothy 6:17-19). But, no, it is not a sin to be rich. The existence of this command informs us that there were wealthy Christians.

You mention that it is easy to point fingers at something that you are not. Would my guess be accurate that you are not rich, but you are comfortable in condemning those who happen to be well off? If my guess is accurate, do you not see that you do the very thing that you condemn others for doing? But, worse, you are condemning people for something that is not declared sinful. "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:1-3).

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Judging Others
Questions and Answers regarding Money Matters
Articles on Judging Others
Articles on Money Matters
Sermons on Money Matters