Great God Mammon

Written by | January, 2014
Post Tags
Post Categories Uncategorized

FROM THE FIELD                                            August 5, 2013

The great god Mammon


“Americans are rich.” This is undoubtedly in the back of a lot of peoples’ minds overeas. And we are rich, there is no question about it. You take the poorest people we have in the USA and compare them with the poor in Africa and India and there is no comparison. Unfortunately, there are those who come to us expecting us to just shell out money. We seek to disabuse them of this at the outset. Our purpose is not to share the material wealth, but the spiritual wealth of the Word and His kingdom. This will prompt some to turn away early on. But there are some who continue on deluding themselves that we will surely grease their palms before long. Even though we tell them of the key spiritual import of our work, they live in a fantasy world that their dream of our transfer of wealth to them will come. Eventually, they also leave us. I have seen both of these types in dealing overseas. I could name names.


We need to be so careful in our disbursing of money to people. It is so easy to make them dependent on us and this we don’t want for the church. In giving we can kill initiative with our kindness. We can also be deceived.


The reason we are not working in South Africa is due to this problem of mammon with our contacts. One man I had known for some years and had visited repeatedly in Johannesburg failed God and us on  Thou shalt not steal. There has to be integrity, moral fiber to withstand temptation in the preachers we work with. Sadly, our man took money from his employer that he claimed he was due, which still did not condone what he did. We no longer have to do with him. We cannot work together unless we are agreed on morals as well as doctrine. He has still not admitted it was wrong what he did. We pray he truly repents which includes stating ‘it was wrong.’


One year when Pastor Naumann, Larry Hansen and I were in the Republic of South Africa we were planning to meet with a group of Lutherans. We had exchanged correspondence. They sent us their material and we sent them ours. On paper and in letters there seemed to be no problem. Then when we attempted to meet with them some questions arose. In going to an umbrella Lutheran group in South Africa we found that the group we were to meet with had borrowed a large amount of money from them and not paid it back. This sunk the idea of a meeting. We found out it was only the tip of the iceberg also. There were some things they had lied to us about in the correspondence. Ah, but the yearning and hunger of mammon was a mighty potent thing with them. We could hardly go further in any way with a meeting.


This points up also how important it is to try to meet face to face.  Yet even though we may be with someone over time and think we know them, like our former brother in Johannesburg, still mammon can get control. We must truly be wise as serpents and innocent as doves in our dealings.