"and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
We understand that people will take scripture out of context to suit their agenda, but that doesn't lead to a productive discussion. Nowhere is this more true than with Jesus' discussion of money in the Gospels. Consider the following:
- People LOVE to talk about how, at times, Jesus didn't have a lot of money (Matthew 8:20), but they neglect to mention that He had A LOT of rich friends:
- Speaking of tax collectors, it's certainly true that Jesus teaches us to pay LEGITIMATELY OWED taxes (Mark 12:17), but Jesus ALSO teaches government officials and tax collectors NOT to abuse citizens or collect more than they are owed:
- Finally, while Jesus condemns wealth gained through cronyism and political connections (John 2:13-21), He COMMANDS His followers to engage in productive economic activity:
Author's Note: Elsewhere in the Gospels, there's discussion of those who attempt to use money as a substitute for a personal relationship with the Lord (Matthew 6:19-21, Matthew 19:16-24), but that's a separate discussion for another day.