Friday, September 18, 2015

Matthew 6:21 is not about your finances.

Matthew 6:21 is not about your finances. This is one of the most blatant butcherings of God's word.  Here is the passage, starting at verse 19: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!  No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."  This chapter is not about God getting increase in your life, and verse 21 is not about financial treasure.  Look at the sentence before it.  How could you store a physical treasure in heaven?  Throw it toward the sky?  No, this is a spiritual treasure.  Paul says in his epistles to set your minds toward heaven, not earth. At the end of these very verses, Jesus says you cannot serve both God and money.  6:21 actually means the OPPOSITE of what these pastors say it means.  They even exhort their congregations to not take these verses religiously, essentially the way they are meant.  Also, they will often quote the verse backward, saying over and over, "where your HEART is, there your treasure will be also."  That is backwards.  "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9, ESV)"  To put the heart first and put your treasures there is to lay up earthly, wicked treasure: the exact thing that Jesus warns against.  Jesus says to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  That means put all that you value in life in heaven, and your heart will then be inclined toward God instead of money, because you cannot serve both.  The mangling of this passage toward worshiping money leads congregations down the very wide road to destruction.