DOES THE BIBLE CONDEMN WEALTHY PEOPLE?


Writing a daily column for this website is a perilous enterprise. While most of the emails I get in response are complimentary, there are always a few spoilers. One letter writer was stridently opposed to my article on “Let’s Stop Taxing the Rich More in the Name of ‘Fairness.’”I just got back from having my eyes examined. There were five high-tech optical machines being used. This does not count the manufacturing division that will make the lenses for my new glasses. These machines are a technological marvel. I was able to see an image of the interior of my eyes. The image taken today was compared to two images made in the past six years.

It took millions of dollars to develop and manufacture these machines. Poor people do not invent, develop, and manufacture machines like these. The non-rich, however, benefit immensely. As I point out in “Let’s Stop Taxing the Rich More in the Name of ‘Fairness,’” there is a trickle-down cost benefit in price and service to everyone.

Like most socialists, the letter writing critic quotes the Bible sparingly and most often out of context in an attempt to disparage the rich. Here was my response (with some modifications):

Dear Chris,

Thanks for writing in response to my article on “Let’s Stop Taxing the Rich More in the Name of ‘Fairness.” I notice that you are using a computer. Those who developed the computer are rich. If you are borrowing a computer, then you are guilty of participating in a culture of richness and contributing to a market-based economy that you seem to oppose. If the computer you are using is your own, that is, if you own it, then by the standards of the rest of the world, you are rich.

The same is also true if you own an automobile, have air conditioning and central heating, and shop at a grocery store where you can purchase foods from around the world at relatively low prices. If you have a refrigerator and a freezer where you can store food for long periods of time, you are living in luxury. Sorry to have to tell you this, but you are richer than King Solomon ever was! So I guess the Bible’s condemnation of the rich is only directed at people who are richer than you are.

It’s true that the “love of money is the root of all sorts of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10), but money in and of itself is not. “love” is the operative word. The Rich Young Ruler loved his money more than he loved God (Matt. 19:16-22). In his case, money was an obstacle that needed to be removed (Matt. 6:20). The same is true for power, fame, prestige, respectability, and any other self-before-God worldview.

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