Mammon: Ten signs your church is worshiping mammon
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:10 ESV
The worship of mammon is the most subtle form of idolatry in many churches. But many people think they don’t worship mammon. Jesus had this understanding when he warned that we can’t worship God and mammon. Ordinarily, one would have thought Jesus would have said you can’t worship God and the devil at the same time. But he did not. He had a different perspective. He made us to understand that the devil is not in competition with God in the real sense of the word. The devil has been defeated on the cross. A defeated foe has no right or will power again. He has been crushed.
In Jesus’s perspective mammon is what is in competition with God. Mammon stands on the same platform with God and competes for our attention.
Mammon is the whole gamut of flesh represented in money and material acquisition. So Jesus noted, it is not possible to serve God and at the same time serve mammon. It’s either we are with God or we are with mammon. Isn’t that a complex submission?
Now let us see the ten signs that show we are worshipers of mammon rather than worshipers of God.
- Any church where money is the parameter to judge the success of a pastor is a mammon worshiping church.
There are churches where the promotion of a pastor, especially churches that have many branches, is influenced by the amount of money the pastor is able to raise in his parish. Such church is indirectly worshiping mammon. Their allegiance is to the god of money and they show it by rating their pastors using the money parameter. It is this same mindset that makes us believe money is the wheel of the gospel. While money is essential for our daily runs, it is never the wheel of the gospel because God did not send money to die for us. Jesus did not need money to lay his life on the cross. We can preach the gospel without money if we understand that money is just a means of exchange for service rendered and nothing more. We preach the gospel first with our lifestyle and then with words. If all believers live right and make impact, we will not have to spend the huge amount of money we spend on crusades. Evangelism will cost less if we share our faith on one-on-one basis.
- Churches where the success of a programme is judged by how much is realized from the programme are worshipers of mammon.
Is it not an irony that we do crusades and retreat; yet we look at the balance sheet at the end of the day? Are we a business outfit or change agent in the society? Why do churches get worried each time the account does not add up after each programme? Why do we make raising money the goal of our programmes?
- Anytime we organize programmes for the sole purpose of raising money.
This is common in many assemblies. They call for 30 days prayers whereby members are asked to come to church every day. In such programme money is collected every day in the form of offering. If you dig down, it is not the programme that is the issue, it is the money. Such practice is an indication of mammon worship.
- We worship mammon when we appreciate people based on the money they give to church not on the basis of their godly lifestyle.
When somebody donates large sums of money we pray for the person specially. But we hardly pray for people who render services like cleaning the church, cutting the grass in the church compound. Our heart is sold to mammon when we exhibit such trait.
- We are a mammon worshiping congregation when we give special preference to moneybags in the church.
They are the ones who take special seat in church and are addressed with great respect. It is an evil and an indication of mammon worship. Here is what James says: James 2v1-6 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?
- Churches where the pastors are appointed on the basis of their wealth not on the basis of their spirituality is a mammon worshiping church.
The wealth of a man should not be a parameter for any spiritual office. It is an aberration. Here is what Paul says about the person who wants to be a Bishop or pastor for better understanding: 1Tim. 3v1,2 This is a trustworthy saying: If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble task. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,…
- Any church where money seed is being sowed to get favour from God is a mammon worshiping church.
There is nowhere in the New Covenant where the apostles sowed money seed to get favour from God. The rain of God falls on both the just and unjust. God is not waiting for our money to bless us. Believers should give based on the love they have for God, not because they want to get something from God. Give and it shall be given to you has nothing to do with God. It has to do with our interpersonal relationship. What we mete to others will be meted to us. Peter was hard on Simon when he offered money so he could get the power of God: Here is what he told Simon in Acts 8v18-20: And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
- Unknown to many, saying offering time is blessing time is reducing the source of God’s blessing to mammon.
We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. It is not offering time that brings blessing. Is it not ironic that we do not say such phrase when it comes to Bible study time or even prayer time? But when we want to give money we say it is blessing time. It is denigration of the source of God’s blessings.
- We worship mammon when we rate our appreciation of God based on the money we give.
God in the first place does not need our money for us to show appreciation to him. That is why he tells us in His word to give thanks in all things. In every situation we find ourselves we are to give thanks not give money. But what do we do? It is only when we have some great positive lifting that we come before the altar to give thanks and we do with money. What of the days when we did not experience any supposedly good thing? Why don’t we also present money to God in our trying times to show appreciation for the bad things that happened to us? Why do we denominate our thanksgiving in money terms? Is it not ironic that preachers even say we should give something to show our gratitude and usually that thing must be fat? Some even say we should give offering that speaks. What does that mean?
- Churches where they ask you to speak to your offering are mammon worshipers.
Why do we speak to offerings? We get such thing in the camp of idol worshipers. They speak to money and throw the money to their idols. Doing that in the church is not of God.
Read also: The prosperity of poverty: When poverty is desirable and prosperity is nothttps://www.churchtimesnigeria.net/poverty-prosperity/
Mammon: A Conclusion
How then do we handle money? We should appreciate that money is a tool just like any other tool. It is an instrument. It is just that it is used to exchange value. If I sweep the entire church without collecting money and somebody else gives money to pay a sweeper we have done the same thing. I have rendered service, the other person has rendered money in lieu of service. Unfortunately we rate the person who gives money better than the person who uses his skill to carry out the assignment. People who rendered services in church should be equally appreciated as those who give money. Money should not be a yardstick for rating people in whatever way. God will not share his glory with any other thing. Mammon should not dictate our love for God. We should give all we can as God gives us the grace but we must not allow love for money hold us down. We must not hoard money.