Should Christians Take a Vow of Poverty?

by Jason on April 28, 2010

Last week I wrote a couple posts on tithing that received some great comments.

The first post on tithing set the stage for the second one, which really looked at How Much Should Christians Give?

I won’t rehash it all, I suggest you read it, but basically the point we came up with was this:

Christians should be willing to give it all because all we have to do is look at Jesus, who gave up everything for us so we could have eternal peace, joy and fellowship with Him!

I received this interesting comment from a reader in that post, which is a very, very good question!  It goes like this:

Since I don’t believe in the supernatural, the whole concept of tithing seems silly.

But, based on what you write in this post it would seem that the logical conclusion for ‘true’ Christians would be to give everything away and take a vow of poverty (like some monks do).

After all, if your aim is to give ‘as much as possible’, well, that’s obviously 100%!

Wow!  Great comment! 

So, why shouldn’t a Christian take a vow of poverty and give away all he has – after all, wouldn’t that be a mark of a true Christian?

Wouldn’t it makes sense like the reader says to give it all away if our aim is to give as much as we can?

In many ways, I can totally relate to this reader!

My wife and I have had this discussion many times.  Why not give up everything and therefore not worry about how much we should give!

But there’s one main problem with that viewpoint

US!!

Why Taking a Vow of Poverty Is Not the Answer

Once we realize that we are the problem with ourselves – by that, I mean our hearts are deceitful and sick (Jeremiah 17:9) – we can see that even our best intentions are drenched with selfishness!

You and I can take a vow of poverty – and still hate Jesus!!

We can get rid of everything  and yet never deal with our greed, covetousness and stinginess!

In other words, just because you give it away, doesn’t mean you don’t still love money more than Jesus!

Here’s a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that might be helpful:

If we give away all our possessions, that act is not in itself the obedience that He [Jesus] demands.  In fact, it might be the very opposite of obedience to Jesus.

For we might be choosing a way of life for ourselves, some Christian ideal, or some ideal of Franciscan poverty.

In the very act of giving away his goods, man can give allegiance to himself or to an ideal and not to the command of Jesus.

What Bonhoeffer is saying is that even in our vow of poverty it can be laden with selfishness.

Here’s the other problem with a vow of poverty – the Bible doesn’t tell us to do that – Jesus is more concerned about the heart!

The vow of poverty is not what Jesus is asking for – So what is the command that He’s asking for?

Why Christians Need to Take More Than a Vow of Poverty

Here’s the scary part – Jesus asks us for MORE than a vow of poverty!

Wait a second, how can we give more than all our goods?

Here’s how – The Scripture summons us to follow Him with our whole lives.

Jesus says some pretty crazy stuff – like:

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me!

Or

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it!

Basically, what He is saying is that giving up our lives is really what Jesus is after.

Denying our selves (dying to self-will), taking up his cross (embracing God’s will, no matter the cost), and following Him is what Jesus is asking for.

You can give all of your money to some great Christian cause AND YET – never be a follower of Jesus Christ!!!

What Are Your Thoughts?

Readers, So my question to you is:

Do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Should Christians take a vow of poverty?

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

David of seo-writer.com April 28, 2010 at 7:13 am

I think you are right. The basis for what you are saying ius that stuff is just stuff. Jesus never told people to give away everything they have, simply to unburden themselves of their possessions. We can not be holy/spiritual/altruistic/etc if we are possessed by “things”. There is a difference between giving it all away and unburdening ourselves.

Paul Williams April 28, 2010 at 7:23 am

Jason, I agree with you. I’m glad you highlighted Jesus’ teachings about discipleship. He asks us to give ourselves completely to God first. I think we fail to realize that once that happens the rest will follow. If we’re truly seeking God’s will in all things, we’ll be generous, loving, compassionate, merciful, and forgiving.

Thanks for this great post!

Kevin@OutOfYourRut April 28, 2010 at 7:42 am

WOW, you’re climbing onto a cobweb with this topic!

I think we sometimes take a few verses out of the Bible and use them for the basis of a certain “command” that isn’t necessary given. For example, Jesus tells the rich young ruler to sell all he had, give it to the poor, and to follow him. We can translate this into a new two part command–follow Jesus, but FIRST see all we have and give it to the poor.

But Jesus wasn’t issuing a new command, he was convicting the heart of a very money centered person and challenging him to come out of it. But it wasn’t a general directive for all beleivers. In fact the rich young ruler wasn’t even a believer.

It seems that we tend to have a medieval view of the faith, as if the standard for what a believer should look and act like was somehow defined sometime during the middle ages. So we think the ideal is to take an oath of poverty, hide in a monastery, pray all day and become totally selfless. But that isn’t the calling for everyone.

God can use us right where we are, with exactly what we’re doing. I can’t see where calling people to be unproductive or poor would be beneficial for the whole of the Body of Christ. If we’re productive and even somewhat prosperous, we can be a blessing to many people.

That said, God may call certain people to a life of poverty for one reason or another. And we shouldn’t use prosperity as some sort of metric of our holiness, or worship it in any way. We’re all called to use what we have–however much or little–for the glory of God.

I know we all want something more definitive, like a written monetary manifesto, but it just hasn’t been given, so we have to do the best we can to understand what’s expected of us.

Ted April 28, 2010 at 7:58 am

Yeah, and I think it is important to understand that God needs people working and living in every part of the world. From the rich and famous to the poor and destitute. Those that have do need to sacrifice more in order to give to those that do not.

Pray about a level that you are comfortable before God living on. For us right now, we ‘just’ tithe and give a few bucks here and there when we can. Hopefully, we can increase our income, pay our debt down, and free up some more cash money to help others.

Joe Plemon April 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

Great post Jason!
The quote from Bonhoeffer spoke to me, and reminded me of Samuel’s words to Saul, “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” in 1 Samuel 15:22.

The key to the issue is exactly what you pointed out: Jesus demands our lives! Giving stuff away could be a form of trying to earn right standing with God or even (as in the case of Saul), attempting to substitute a good act for being obedient.

Besides, pragmatically speaking, if we take a vow of poverty, then WE could become the needy ones who someone else (family, government, church) would need to support. Not a good plan.

Kevin@OutOfYourRut April 28, 2010 at 9:19 am

Joe, on your last point, about becoming one of the needy, a secular author wrote “the best thing you can do for the poor is to not become one of them”. It may sound a bit harsh on the surface, but by becoming poor, we’re less able to help those who are.

I think we do have an obligation to use what ever talents God has given us to some tangible purpose. The more effective we are–where ever we are–the more we’re in a position not only to help, but also to witness. We often forget that witnesses are needed everywhere, in the office and in restaurants as well as in soup kitchens.

ChrisFM April 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Well sir!

I’ll just say that I agree with the sentiment that a poor person can have just as great (if not greater) a heart of greed as any rich person. God created us to be loving, kind and truthful, but sin came and made us deceitful and selfish.

It’s my viewpoint that because Jesus died on that cross, we owe it all to God to do just what Jesus called us to do — take up our cross and carry out God’s will for our lives. Christians don’t need to take up poverty, but they MUST be sold out for the Lord.

Dude, keep on rockin’ the boat. ;)

Deacon Bradley April 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Awesome post and great comments everyone! (has anyone disagreed yet? hah)

I completely agree! I will be able to help so many MORE people by NOT giving away everything. God has blessed me with an ability to plan, manage money, and teach. I don’t think he did this so I could give it all away “selflessly,” but rather so I could multiply those gifts. I forget where I read it but I like this analogy: (about God blessing people) “God might give more to some people, but what he’s giving more of is SEEDS.” It’s our responsibility to sow those wisely to produce the greatest fruits possible.

Peter April 28, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I agree that as Christians we need not take a vow of poverty. Having money or not has little to do with our heart for Christ. While it’s true that money can become an idol and a singular pursuit for many people, I think it’s also true that sacrifice, vows of poverty and appearing to be righteous can also become idols in our lives. It really comes down to having a personal relationship with our savior, having a heart change – and if you are blessed with wealth, to use it as He would have you use it.

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:23 am

David – Bonhoeffer would talk about “detachment” or “attachment” in regards to our possessions. Working to “detach” ourselves will help us become unburdened by them and keep our lives from being all about them. Thanks for weighing in on this!!

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:25 am

Paul, thanks for your comment. I agree, if we are truly seeking Him, then our responses naturally will be generosity, love, compassion for neighbors etc.

The hardest thing to give away is ourselves. Surrender is the toughest part. But that’s what God is asking for.

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:30 am

Kevin – you know how I like to climb into cobwebs and shake it up a bit! ;) I totally agree with you that we pull verses out of context and build whole “doctrines” out of things that aren’t even there.

Tim Keller says that the greatest witness we can have for Christ is to seek the common good of our communities – by that he means, working hard in commerce, arts, entertainment, finance – whatever field we are in to produce things that others can enjoy. Work hard to bring sustenance into a community and make it a thriving one.

Seeking the “Shalom” or peace of God in our communities won’t happen when we’re devoted to a self-inflicted isolationism. Christ never did that. Christ was out and about, relating to others.

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:32 am

Ted – I agree that we who have much need to give more sacrificially. I think that’s the piece that’s missing in today’s American Christianity. We’re (myself included) too much of a consumer! Praying about our sacrifices is a great step!

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:35 am

Joe – great reference! You are so right with the “attempting to substitute a good act for being obedient”. We end up playing this religious game where we won’t surrender our whole lives to God so I’ll make it up by giving more to Him and then He’ll be pleased with me mentality!

It doesn’t work that way – God wants us first and He wants us to desire Him more than our stuff!

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:36 am

Kevin – great point again about witnesses needed everywhere. We are called to a mission field at the office, gym, campus, restaurants etc. That’s what missional living is all about.

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:38 am

Chris – great comment. Jesus came to reconcile us back to Him and the least we can do is give up our lives to Him and be sold out – and if we need to give more of our money we need to be willing to do that!

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:40 am

Pete – Great point – it really comes down to this, “What is an idol in our hearts that we worship more than Jesus?” Is it our own righteousness (vows of poverty and the like?) Is it money? Is it our houses, cars, possessions? Those are things we constantly need to repent of and get back on our faces and cry out in surrender to Him!

Jason April 29, 2010 at 4:42 am

Deacon – good point about sowing seeds. We need to sow those wisely for sure. We need to be ready and willing to give it all up for Him if that’s what He asks of us. Again, as was mentioned, Bonhoeffer’s discussion of “detachment” vs. “attachment” is a helpful one.

Chris April 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

It is ridiculous to think a Christian should take a vow of poverty. Kevin mentioned the story of “The rich young ruler,” who Jesus told to give everything to the poor and follow him. He wasn’t telling him to do that, because that’s what Christians should do. He knew what was in the guy’s heart. If you read the first part of that story, the rich guy was basically bragging that he had kept all the commandments since his youth, and Jesus told him that he lacked one thing (Greed, he loved money more than God – a violation of the 1st Commandment). That’s why Jesus told him to give it all away.

Also, the Bible talks about being a “good steward.” Stewardship is about how well you use what you have been given, not just giving it away.

Very good article!

Jason April 30, 2010 at 9:41 am

Thanks for weighing in Chris! Yeah, the Rich Young Ruler struggled with greed. Greed is a funny thing – we never think WE are the ones who struggle with it. It’s always someone else. Just like the Rich Young Ruler we need to check our own hearts to see where our love lies!

Tork May 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I don’t understand why people say that Jesus was only talking to the rich young man in Mark 10 when it’s immediately followed by this:

Mark 10

24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

27Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

28Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”

29″I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

He’s talking to EVERYBODY when he addresses the rich man.

Kevin@InvestItWisely May 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

The problem with taking a vow of poverty is that if you do so, you will be dependent on other people, and you will never have the resources to be able to help a lot of people beyond what you can do with your own two hands.

If you work toward accumulating wealth, on the other hand, you can donate to select charities, travel and go to poor countries and help people there and actually be able to really help them as you can purchase them resources.

There is only so much you can do with two hands… with capital, you can do so much more. Imagine Bill Gate’s fortune used to build cities with good laws and politics to give people in poor countries a place to live, work, and build a future… the real way to help someone is to give them opportunity, not a handout, and that is one way to do it.

Celia A. Escalante July 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm

1) Jesus lived THE example.
2) Scripture was not meant to be read between the lines.
3) Jesus’ attitude towards being generous was not fueled by peer pressure.
4) “Vow of poverty” implies promising to do something EVEN against your wishes.
5) God does not appreciate lack of love when having the privilege to share in his graces, including charity: that’s true generosity.
6) Even demons can use the scripture to prove a points; we all have to watch out from disagreement getting in the way of love & peace.
7) Do you realize that St. Peter, the rock of God, explains the boundaries of evangelizing in 3:15?

The only true poverty is called ungratefulness. Count ALL your blessings children of God! God chooses anyone who chooses Him.

Matt Warner July 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

One needs to remember, though, that the vow of poverty is not actually a vow to be poor. It’s actually a vow to share all things in common with others, as the first believers in the first chapters of Acts did. When a monk or some other religious makes the vow of poverty, they are giving up their right to private property, and saying that everything that they have belongs to the whole community.

Should Christians take a vow of poverty? Yes.
Christians should have the willingness to share all that they have with others as if they didn’t own any of yet. That is the life of generosity that Christ calls us to.

Jason July 29, 2010 at 5:31 am

Interesting angle Matt! I totally agree that we should have the willingness to share all that they have with others – a total, radical life of generosity for Jesus.

Graveyard_angel99 October 22, 2010 at 10:32 pm

“A certain ruler asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why doyou call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’ He replied, ‘I have kept all these since my youth.’ When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’” [Lk. 18:18-23]

Vow of poverty or no heaven. Simple as that.

Anonymous October 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm

So you’re only a Christian if you sell everything you have? Sounds like a works-based faith then.

Kungfupinoy October 29, 2010 at 7:22 am

Many times the vow of Poverty is misunderstood, as well as the idea of Prosperity.

I pray that many realize one can take a vow of poverty and still live in God’s prosperity.

“The vow of poverty is not to be interpreted as being for ever poor, but rather to sharing everything in common.Those who embrace a vow of poverty do not claim private ownership of any possessions: everything they have is used for the common good of the Religious Order.”

and Prosperity is not being a millionaire. (after all you can have all the money in the world and still not
have prosperity) Being rich in God’s system means
to be abundantly supplied in all that you need.

Jesus himself did not posses anything, but yet he was supplied many things in abundance.
I believe to take a vow of poverty, is the highest level of walking in faith anyone can take.
because to take a vow of poverty is to trust completely in God’s prosperity.

__________________________________________________________
Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Forever and ever amen.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion have Mercy on Us and on the whole world.
O Blood and Water that gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy I trust in You.

David Geffeney March 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Outstanding article I must say. The quote from Dietrich Bonheoffer is out of context in my opinion as he had just spoken far more emphasis on how we must “also include the literal” translation.

Anonymous March 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

David, thanks for checking out the article. I don’t think Bonhoeffer is arguing for a literal or non-literal translation of the text, I believe what he is suggesting is that even in our giving we can turn that into an idol. So it’s not about the giving, it’s about the heart. We can give away all we have and yet still not have a heart that loves Jesus.

Chance May 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm

The main emphasis was on “Follow Me”. I think he was saying that you couldn’t have both. You couldn’t follow him and keep all of your things.

“Faith without works is dead”. This isn’t saying that unless you do works, you are not saved. It is saying that if you Truly love Jesus Christ, you will do what he says. If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” If you truly loved the person, you would have helped them. If you do not, you do not love them. The same goes if you say you Love Jesus. What you do shows what you believe.

How can one who has presented their entire lives as a living sacrifice to God, live in comfort while so many are suffering? We all have a means to help, yet do not. If “He who does not love, does not know God”, and we do not love, then how can we say we know God?

Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 3:09 am

I agree, it comes down to a heart issue.

Alrugh95@gmail.com June 11, 2011 at 2:01 am

If you think that Christ did NOT tell his disciples to give up all of their possessions, then you have obviously NOT read the Bible. Luke 14:33

Anonymous June 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Alrugh, the context of that passage is the cost of discipleship. Jesus’ larger point is that one must weigh the high cost of following him. One must love Christ more than any other thing (including family, money, your own life – see the entire passage).

If it was simply a matter of giving money away to become a follower of Jesus, Christianity would become just another works-based religion like all the other ones in the world….and Zaccheus wouldn’t have been a follower since he only gave away half!

Aussie16 August 10, 2011 at 1:29 am

Thank you for the article Jason.  Good stuff.  No, I do not believe Christians should take a “vow” of poverty.

I believe that we are neither to pursue poverty or riches, we are supposed to pursue Christ and HE will direct our paths whether it be to help the poor as He blesses us or to live with the poor for the cause of the kingdom.  I disagree with the comment: “I believe to take a vow of poverty, is the highest level of walking in faith anyone can take”.   While I agree there are fewer distractions when one lives in poverty, isn’t that just the removal of temptation so the focus becomes easier?  God blessed Israel with abundance and still blesses some of His people that way, (for HIS purposes) The problem isn’t the stuff it’s the heart that hungers for them instead of Him. There is NOTHING more faith building than to receive the blessings of God and to know your heart is not ruled by them. 
 
I believe the Scriptures say take care of the poor, not BE the poor everyone else has to take care of.   Unless you are unable and cannot work, it is a privilege and a duty.    
Even Paul worked so he would not burden others with his needs. 1Thess. 2:9 ; 2 Thess. 3:7-8.   In Philippians 4:12 Paul says he’s learned to be content with much OR little so it’s not wrong to live above poverty.   It’s not about what…. it’s about Who.   Some strong words in 1 Timothy 5 for those who refuse to care for their families and relatives. v. 8  But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is WORSE than an unbeliever.   

Christian, if your vow of poverty is for building your own personal faith and not used to further the cause of Christ and His kingdom then your poverty may be greater than you think.  We are to be busy doing the LORDS work whether it be in the workplace or on the mission field.  Let us not use poverty as a means to gain favor with God.  It may puff us up but the God I read about in the Scriptures…. isn’t impressed.  
Thank you for the space to express my feelings about this issue.  

Chance August 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Thank you for your input. You are correct. We need to pursue Christ.

However, the ‘vow of poverty’ is not a vow to not work. You can make millions of dollars a year, but if you use most of it to help the poor and those who need you, it is keeping with the spirit of this. In actuality, I do not agree with a “vow of poverty”. The name implies that you vow to be poor. I think it would be better named “vow to help”, or a “vow of Charity”. If you take it for any reason except to love and help others, then you are not doing it for Biblical reasons.

Kentsecor November 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Jason,

I think you are on the correct tack here. Taking a vow of poverty in and of itself is not specially holy. One’s attitude can still be selfish and an attempt to earn respect of our fellow man or God by our “self denying act.”

I think that denying myself, dying daily, and proper stewardship is the answer all rolled into one. It starts with fully recognizing that God our Creator owns everything. That all we have, all of our possessions and we ourselves belong to him. He has the right to take and give as He sees fit. We enjoy the material blessings he brings into our lives. From this basis I have learned that I am merely a steward of God’s material possessions.

Jesus taught us to love one another, and to love our neighbor. He defined neighbor as someone in need, no matter whether they are in the faith or not. The Samaritan helped a full blooded Jew, in Jesus’ story. He crossed a serious social line, to help a man in need.

Paul taught that we should consider the needs of the others as more important than our own. As a steward of God’s material possessions then, if I find a brother or sister or neighbor in need I should give to them. Jesus mentioned water, food, clothes, visiting while in jail or sick. James says to not withhold food or clothing. Jesus also said to give to all who ask of you.

These teachings and others have caused me to give away coats that I  very much liked, to a brother who was leaving Florida to live in Colorado. I have tried to maintain an open wallet. If someone mentions a need and I have the money, I give it to them. These are just two examples of how I have practiced stewardship.

I have read early reports of first and second century Christians, one was that when someone was visiting their town, they would invite them to stay at their home, showing hospitality. And the host would fast, so as to share their own food with the visitor. This is sacrificial stewardship and service to the brethren.

Another report from a Roman governor to the Emperor or a Senator stated that the Christians take care of their own so that there are no needy among them and not only that but they take care of all the needy in their neighborhoods so that the government had no necessity to use its fund to help the poor. This to me is a striking example of loving the brethren and neighbor and a condemnation of much of modern Christianity.

Kent, IHMS
Austin, TX

Susan March 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm

The vow of poverty often goes hand in hand with total commitment to serving God. I like to think of it an exercise in denying self. Obviously many have families and can not do such a thing. However, it is what is in your heart. I am contemplating taking a vow of poverty. My children are grown and my profession is accounting which Jesus had a real problem with the money changers and tax people. I am finding that there are very few people in this profession that are ethical. That is why I want to rid myself of those associations. Secondly, I wish to serve the poor and/or sick. I know that will bring me more happiness than any amount of money. Collectively with my love for God and belief in Jesus Christ I can spend the next (well who knows how many years) I’m 50 being more Christ like. This is also an exercise in faith that the lord will provide for me.

David September 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

It seems that most of the responses here are concerned with ‘proof texts.’ Perhaps a better way to answer the questions is in searching the scriptures for principles. We know of the tough words of Christ and it seems they will always be interpreted differently by different people. But what about the principle of giving one of your two coats away? This is pretty clear. Or sharing with one who does not have daily needs. Even more, Paul is clear that he has a right to other people’s money (those within the body). I think it is appropriate to say that the money we have as Christians is not ours individually but our corporately, period. And so, if we see a brother in need, or know of a brother in need, we have no right not to share – the money isn’t yours. Jesus also spoke of the kingdom and entering it – this has implications other than soteriological ones. The kingdom of God is at hand..

Francis labrynthi November 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hi Jason, I enjoyed reading this post and most of the comments. I have been called to a life of poverty for sometime and believe it is we’re I need to be. However, I was wondering if taking the vow is a more formal thing or just a vow to yourself kind of thing?

Thank you,
Master Labrynthi,
Heir to the Labrynthia estate

Leo February 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

Most things Jesus said in the Gospels and most things said in the epistles were said to the apostles and the ministers, the Clergy not the Laity. e.g.,1&2 Timothy.

You can’t expect all Christendom to give up worldly possessions, how will the needy and the ministry be sustained?

Only those who want to build His Church (kingdom) must give up worldly possessions. “No man is able to be a servant to two masters: for he will have hate for the one and love for the other, or he will keep to one and have no respect for the other. You may not be servants of God and of wealth.” (Mat 6:24)

It was said: “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier”. (2Tim 2:4) This was said to a minister, Timothy. You can’t tell that to the Laity, they must entangle themselves in worldly affairs.

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