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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : How do you make friends with unrighteous wealth?

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Caleb4life
Member



Joined: 2012/7/22
Posts: 83
Minnesota

 How do you make friends with unrighteous wealth?

Dearly beloved saints!

I have long meditated on this passage in Luke 16.

Yet it’s still something I know I do not fully grasp.

“And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.” - Luke 16:9

Of course that’s just one verse, that comes after the parable, which is quite profound itself.

With these words attributed to Christ Jesus Himself, they are so palpable and loaded with meaning and application, surely to his disciples then and also to us today.

Questions:

1. What is your understanding of what constitutes “unrighteous wealth” not only in the context it was spoken, but today?
2. What are the eternal dwellings spoken of here?
3. What is your experience making friends with unrighteous wealth?
4. Is there such a thing as righteous wealth?

Maybe my ignorance of language is shining through in my questions, because perhaps knowing Greek or Hebrew would give me extra insight?

I have never viewed “wealth” as carrying any intrinsic spiritual characteristic in itself, but rather the person who is in possession of it. Their heart toward it is obviously going to be manifest in how it’s used.

I am so thankful for all the wisdom represented by you saints that contribute by posting on SI!

Thank you in advance for any insight that God has revealed to you by his Spirit!

For anything less than that is surely not worth its weight in gold! Hah!


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Caleb

 2019/2/2 4:55Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5300
NC, USA

 Re: How do you make friends with unrighteous wealth?

A bible teacher that I really respect and listen to a lot says the parable of the shrewd steward stumps him. It has always stumped me because it seem difficult to glean meaning from it, primarily because the stewards action in cheating his boss for his own benefit is *commended*.

Who knows.


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Todd

 2019/2/2 8:44Profile
docs
Member



Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1962


 Re:

Hi Caleb. Good question I just don't have a good answer right now.

I'm glad you made it through the cold. I'm in Bemidji, MN. The day of all the wind the wind chill had things at nearly 60 below around here!

I'll see what I can find regarding your question.


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David Winter

 2019/2/2 10:33Profile
KervinM
Member



Joined: 2019/1/15
Posts: 14
South Africa

 Re:

This is what brother John Wesley had to say of the same on his Commentary. Given his great evangelistic exploits, I have always judged his Bible commentaries to be well worth every evengelical Christian's time/attention. Not authoritative as such but often helps in cases of buffling passages such as the one in question.

[Luke 16:9] And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

And I say to you — Be good stewards even of the lowest talents wherewith God hath intrusted you. Mammon means riches or money. It is termed the mammon of unrighteousness, because of the manner wherein it is commonly either procured or employed. Make yourselves friends of this, by doing all possible good, particularly to the children of God: that when ye fail, when your flesh and your heart faileth, when this earthly tabernacle is dissolved, those of them who have gone before may receive, may welcome you into the everlasting habitations.


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Kervin

 2019/2/3 10:46Profile
Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1062
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re: A different view


I don't see it as John Wesley sees it. First off, he's not addressing Christians he's addressing greedy Pharisees.

He's telling them, in their condition of heart, take a good lesson from a dishonest servant, use your possessions to gain favor with those like yourself, so when you come to poverty those whom you helped will help you back.

In all the epistles this is never taught to the Christian, that is why (as I see it) the idea 'giving to make friends so they will help you in bad times' is a worldly idea.
Jesus teaches the man who would honor God...
Luke 14 :12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

In this teaching Jesus is telling those who would honor God to "13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee:"

But with another kind of person, those with hearts that love money...

Jesus is offering the Pharisees some little grace seeing they were unfaithful in God's employment, God will judge them so as to 'fire them'. The parable is directed at those who trust in riches, therefore Jesus is telling those who trust in riches that if they use them to procure some safety for themselves when they fail, they will have a place to go (depending entirely upon the gratitude of his beneficiaries).
But, even here, paradise is not being offered only the 'company' of those who were benefitted by a shrewd 'unfaithful steward'.

Jesus is not done with unfaithful spiritual leaders, as they were lovers of money and unfaithful to God as he employed them, the parable of the rich man and lazarus was added to show, the rich man will eventually lose all that he has and will (because of his greed and uncaring heart toward the poor) end up in hell unable to cool even his tongue, the poor cannot receive him nor help him seeing as God has placed an impassible gulf between those comforted and those tormented.

This I believe more clearly explains Luke 16, than Wesley explained.


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Marvin

 2019/2/5 9:58Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5300
NC, USA

 Re:

//First off, he's not addressing Christians he's addressing greedy Pharisees.//

Hey Marvin where do you get this from- vs 1 says he was talking to his disciples.


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Todd

 2019/2/5 10:33Profile
Gloryandgrace
Member



Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1062
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:


Hi Todd: It does, thanks for the ability to clarify.

yes, the disciples were the primary students, but the Pharisees were the primary subject, not the disciples.

I suppose if the disciples were to follow the errors of the Pharisees, that teaching would be applicable. But if they do not follow the errors of the Pharisees, Luke 14 is a more appropriate way for a righteous man to 'give and expect nothing back' as was also stated in the sermon on the mount.

There is no teaching from any of the disciples that enjoin us to 'give to get favor with others so when we go bust we have a place to stay'. So, with that in mind, I relegate Jesus teaching here to what I would call an 'antithesis'.

In the final analysis, the Pharisees were unfaithful to God, and not shrewd enough to be faithful to themselves either.
At least the 'shrewd unfaithful servant' was faithful to himself and provided for himself what is needful.
The Pharisees didn't provide to God what he wanted, and didn't even provide for themselves what they need. They trusted in riches...but as we see in Lazarus and the rich man...their riches were gone and they were received into hell and abode with men just like themselves.

Maybe I'll just put it into common vernacular.

This is a lesson on what not to do. Don't live like the Pharisees. and if you do live like them, the best you can do is follow the pattern of a 'shrewd unfaithful servant' and go make friends with what money you have so you have some place to go when God pulls the rug out from under you.

Clear as mud? I hope this helps.


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Marvin

 2019/2/5 12:10Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5300
NC, USA

 Re:

I think that’s the only way it can be taken, otherwise it appears Jesus is telling us it’s ok to take advantage of others for our own benefit. Just hope his disciples understood he was talking with tongue firmly planted in cheek🧐


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Todd

 2019/2/5 15:07Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1983
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Marvin: I think you may have just nailed it brother.


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Travis

 2019/2/7 19:02Profile
EAGLEFLYING
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Joined: 2012/9/25
Posts: 629


 Re: How do you make friends with unrighteous wealth?

Brother Caleb,
As i read this post I believe that it is about being yoked to anything unrighteous..
Unrighteous wealth" It reminds me of yes the pharisees who were clean on the outside but inside I believe JESUS called them full of dead mans bones.
Matt 23: 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Anytime there is a WOE we must pay attention I believe.
Anything unrighteous is of course ungodly. like Psa 1:1
Blessed are those who walk NOT IN THE way of the ungodly..
I believe making friends with unrighteous wealth is like hooking up with an unsaved person for counsel, or business transactions.. Any wealth not worked for will leave proverbs teaches us.. So just my little take.. on making friends with unrighteous wealth..
thanks for the post made me think about joining with any unrighteous anything.. ugh..scary and definitely a WOE i'm sure from our precious JESUS..
His handmaiden
sister Frannie


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Frannie

 2019/2/19 21:06Profile





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