Saturday, July 25, 2015

Seven Deadly Sins: Avarice

Avarice is the desire for money that is unquenchable. No matter how much it is never enough. This thought suggests a biblical quote.

"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10). 

The original word is philarguria. It means according to Strong's Concordance: love of money, avarice, covetousness.

How can this lusting for money be the root of all kinds of evil? Let's see. Paul is teaching Timothy about false teachers that are really in it for gain and renown. He exhorts his pupil to teach sound doctrine while warning him of people teaching false doctrine.

This is the end of verse 5: "Imagining that godliness is a means of gain." He says that they distort sound doctrine to get wealth. Distorting doctrine misleads people and causes division. When people recognize a false teacher it causes some to lose faith and emboldens the ungodly to speak falsely against Christianity.

But in verse 6 he explains that being godly and content is the correct and bona fide source of tremendous gain.

The love of money or greediness causes people to murder, lie, cheat, and steal. It causes them to be jealous of other people and to envy them. These are sins and the Bible definitely states in many places that sin is against God's holiness. For instance:

"To you alone I have sinned and have committed wickedness before you because you shall be just in your word and you shall conquer in your judgment" (Psalm 54:1) (Aramaic Bible in Plain English).

Actually, people break the first commandment when they let something become more important to them than God because they make it an idol. Loving money and not just using it as a tool makes it an idol. Thus, an inordinate liking of money causes people to hurt others and to insult the holiness and righteousness of God our Father.

Also, people cause their own sorrow when they sin. They hurt themselves and if they don't repeat, they cause the ultimate harm to themselves, assigning themselves to hell.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bakers and Threats: Florida, Oregon

Threatening people is wrong. What is hard to understand about that? It seems some people don't get it. But really it is because sin has gotten into their hearts. The sin in question is hate.

When people make death threats hate is at the core of the action. We are supposed to love our neighbor, not hate them. This hatred causes people to be unjust. Threats concerning a person's business are wrong too.

Two cases in point are the Oregon bakers that were fined for not baking a wedding cake for two lesbians and the Florida baker that refused to bake a cake that stated, "We do not support gay marriage." Haller, the Florida bakery owner says that people started calling the bakery making vile remarks and threats to her business.

Both bakery owners received threats. In either case, the people making the threats are wrong.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pride or Vanity, One of the Seven Deadly Sins

The sin of pride is committed when someone thinks he is better than other people. In other words, he has an inordinate sense of his own worth. He doesn't think well of himself within logical limits.

His expanded ego rejects God and his grace and has a low opinion of others. 

But don't confuse sinful pride or vanity with the good feeling of doing a job well, inventing a gadget, or writing a song.  Pride that is sinful is immoderate and it knows no limits in shutting God out and putting other people down and walking over them like fodder.

These are synonyms for pride as in sin: arrogance, conceit, snobbery, haughtiness, narcissism, or hubris meaning excessive pride or vanity or superiority.

The Bible has much to say about pride or vanity.

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).  

Being egotistical is destructive to self. You can't win a popularity contest that way, but more importantly, it is detrimental to your soul and spiritual well-being. This haughtiness makes the prideful treat others badly. It is self-righteousness.

17 You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18" But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today" (Deuteronomy 8:17-18.)

We enter the world with nothing and go out with nothing. Some may be born to rich parents, but the wealth stays on earth and all go to an eternal destiny. While in this earthly realm, it is best to acknowledge where we get our life, intelligence, creativity, and other abilities from. We didn't invent them for ourselves.

Producing riches whether money, accumulating valuable property, jewels, expensive art works, businesses and so on should rightly be credited to the sense and abilities God gave an individual. If someone doesn't give God the praise and isn't thankful to God for his abundance, then pride has overcome him because he gave in to this sin. 

"For all that is in the world, the [1] lust of the flesh and the [2] lust of the eyes and the [3] boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." (1 John 2:16).

The boastful pride of life means something that leads to arrogance or bigheadedness. It is related to being boastful which is such as swaggering and self-applauding. A person full of vanity doesn't recognize his sinfulness and need for forgiveness. He is so wrapped up in himself that he can't see his need for God.

"These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren" (Proverbs 6, 16:19).

 Proverbs says that God hates a proud look. The Hebrew word denotes a continuing action or routine. This is a state of being in pride or a proud look. It is the status quo of the vain person.