8 or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.9 Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
In 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached a sermon titled “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians.” It was written in the style of Paul’s letter to the Roman church, but Dr. King used other letters of Paul and other books from the Bible. You might even notice quotes from Daniel, Matthew, or Luke. The 50s were little before King’s civil rights movement, so he was a pastor and then a civil leader. I wrote a few blogs about Dr. King’s sermon and Paul’s letter to American Christian, but this is about his view on Capitalism. Capitalism is the economic system of the United States that allows private businesses to supply the demands or needs of the citizens of a country. The opposite of Capitalism is socialism. The government controls the supply of its citizens’ needs, trying to provide for everyone. In Dr. King’s sermon “Paul’s letter to American Christian,” the civil rights pastor said the Capital is a beautiful idea. Still, you, American Christian, misuse it.
“I understand that you have an economic system in America known as Capitalism. Through this economic system, you have been able to do wonders. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. All of this is marvelous. But Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism. I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. ~ It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheelbase in your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity. The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation. They tell me that one-tenth of one percent of the population controls over forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes? If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem. You cannot solve the problem by turning to communism, for communism is based on ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and he has left in this universe “enough and to spare” for that purpose. So, I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth. “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” Dr. MLK
Since this letter is addressed to the churches of America and not the government rulers of it, let us go there with it. Many modern Christians believe that the tithing or offering system is not a New Testament requirement. Still, its purpose was so that God’s house, His church, could do His will for the church family. God told the church to be cheerful givers with the system of tithing and offering.
Malachi 3:8 “Would anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the entire nation of you! 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and put Me to the test now in this,” says the Lord of armies, “if I do not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
If the Christians of America gave as the Lord asked, then many of the problems the community of the US would have would hardly exist, but sadly, some American Churchgoers are greedy. That is how God is robbed, not that God needs your and my money, but the church is the body of Christ, and if it doesn’t provide because the members are stingy, that is how God is robbed. Judas Iscariot complained to Jesus about the woman washing His feet, wasting her money on expensive perfume that could feed the poor. But Jesus knew Judas’s heart and knew Judas did not care about the woman, the poor, nor did he care for Jesus. Judas loved money, and he was a lover of and he was a thief.
John 12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, the one who intended to betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the proceeds given to poor people?” 6 Now he said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he kept the money box, he used to steal from what was put into it.
In the Lord’s eyes, it is sad when church members have gracious homes, cars, clothes, and tasty food, and others do without. Some say they don’t belong to a church and give to a charity or simply help others from time to time. Still, when you or I am cheerful with others in giving, many more can receive blessings after blessings. In the style of the apostle Paul and the passion of Dr. King, they both say, share your wealth, and the spirit of giving makes you spiritually rich. God bless you all; the Lord Jesus loves you, and so do I. His wealthy bondservant, Samuel Jerry Head.
1 Timothy 5:7 Give these instructions as well, so that they may be above reproach. 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.