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Pastor, Can a Christian Be Friends With Money and Mammon?

Updated on May 30, 2011

Is It Possible???

Friendship With Mammon?
Friendship With Mammon?

Mammon Definition

MAMMON MADE A FRIEND

But I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends by means of the Mammon of unrighteousness (Luke 16.9).

May I give you a wise and happythought? Jesus, our Savior, tells us to make friends by means of mammon.

What is mammon anyway?

Mammon definition: Mammon is an idiom that is most often used to describe greed, avarice, and unjust worldly gain in Bible literature. It was personified as a counterfeit god in the New Testament. The term is often used to refer to extreme greediness as a harmful influence. (See Wiki mammon)

We typically think of the use of such means as defilement. Indeed, Christians ought to despise the wealth of the world! Should we not?


Christ is saying that there is some use after all for the world’s wealth in the Christian cause!

Look closely at Luke 16.9 …

(Luke 16:9 KJV) 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.

NO! It appears that Christ is saying that there is some use after all for the world’s wealth in the Christian cause! This entire parable requires much more study, but it is sufficient for this hub to deduce that we ALL need each other, and that there is a necessary friendship even with Mammon!

In Luke 16:9 one of the lessons I read is that real friendships are of real and permanent value! Material possessions (like money) should be used to bolster such friendships. According to William Barclay's Daily Study Bible, The Rabbis had a saying:

"The rich help the poor in this world, but the poor help the rich in the world to come."

Real charity in helping others will not save you, but it does store blessings in the world to come. Your real wealth is not in what you keep for yourself but what and how you give to others! This, as I see it, is Biblical friendship with mammon.

This Biblical friendship with mammon is done to affect this world. I can use my wealth selfishly, or I can use it to make life easier, not only for myself, but for my friends and my fellow-mankind. Possessions are not in themselves a sin, but they are a great responsibility. If I use them generously and cheerfully to help others and the causes of Christ, then I have gone far to discharge that responsibility.

Later in Luke 16:13 Jesus lays down the rule that no slave can serve two masters.

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13 KJV)

With slavery banished here in the U.S.A. we have lost much of the thrust of this passage! The master possessed the slave, and possessed him exclusively. A slave had NO spare time; every second of his day, and every scrap of his 'oomph', belonged to his master. He had no moment in time which was his own.

Serving God can never be a part-time or a spare-time job. Once I choose to serve God, every microsecond of every moment becomes His time and every atom of every molecule of my energy belongs to God. We either belong to him totally or not at all.

My Prayer

(Luke 16:9 KJV) 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.

I can now say with full personal persuasion that the world’s wealth is also to be at friendship with Christ’s cause. The native state of the world’s wealth in the world’s hands is desecration, but when put in Christ’s hands it becomes consecrated! We shall/should find use for it without any abuse of it. Christ wants men of wealth and worth and wisdom who have much to give. He desires men of mental worth to think and write and move the minds of the world. He requests men of moral worth and power to influence markets, cleanse the exchanges and restore trust to a people in recession.  And He wants men of money to send out the Bibles and the Missionaries to the pitiable heathen abroad, and at home. His divine grace calls forth, “Come all ye!” We need their friendships!

Come ye great, make friends of the little; Come ye landowners, make brothers with the renters; Come ye strong, give a lift to the weak. Come ye great wise men from the East, West, North and South, bring your gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and lay them freely at the feet of the Christ of the Bethlehem manger. I pray to the Christ of Bethlehem who made his dwelling among the poor.

“It is the rich heart Thou doest love.
It is the right use of wealth that Thou doest enjoin.
Help me to see it as such; help me to live it in example! Lord, help me to get the gain out of my gold, and the true value out of my silver.
In other words, let my money bring you a wealth of influence and multiply more power of service to YOU.”

AMEN!

If my Master discovered a use in Mammon, should I now pretend to be wiser than He? I have two duties: My first duty is to get it by right means, and my second is to dispense it by right methods. We show our wisdom by how we make it and use it! Integrity there must be in the former, and charity in the latter. Be honest but liberal; be thrifty but kind, be cheerful in all; and make true friends. There is even a friendship with the mammon of unrighteousness!


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    • Trevor Wallace profile image

      Trevor Wallace 3 years ago from Outside Houston, Tx

      This simply a justification for greed. The Bible specifically states man cannot serve God and mammon. It's great you're encouraging charity, but despite the words in Luke (of which you only focus on one verse and not the whole parable, as David said above), money is evil and a leading cause of spiritual death.

    • thunderacion profile image

      thunderacion 6 years ago from USA

      No David, the Pastor's interpretation is the correct one.

    • profile image

      David 6 years ago

      This is ridiculous. This is an example of reading a single passage and misinterpreting it's meaning. Read the entire parable of the unjust steward from whence this passage comes, and mediate on it's meaning. Basically, it is saying that if you are not a child of God, you are NOT a Christian, and you are going to die anyway, then you might as well make friends among those who serve mammon, as that is the wisest option.

    • Pastor_Walt profile image
      Author

      Pastor_Walt 8 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

      Dear John,

      I do not know if your comment is serious, but I do know there is a certain, easy to understand, response that might be of help to the readers of this hub.

      Salvation does not come by paying tithes or protecting girls living in a dangerous, unscriptural occupation. Salvation is found in sole trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and LORD. (I have other articles which explain this in more detail).

      When we do accept Christ in this manner, we do our best to pattern our lives with Him as LORD and the Bible as our guide. There are many ups and downs in this journey of faith, and we often fail miserably.

      However, we keep trying and over time, we mature and grow in Him. You mentioned being a "sinner." This tells me you are friend of God. Jesus came to save sinners. Everyone who is saved is/was once a sinner.

      1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

      We can all blame circumstances for our failings, but it is better to come to Christ "just as we are without blame." He loves us all!

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (Joh 3:16-17)

    • profile image

      John 8 years ago

      Dear pastor, I am a pimp not by birth but bcs of the circumstances. I make money and i give tithes also. I help the girls and i give them proper protection. Tell me what am i? a sinner ? am i doing a right thing? Give me an answer on rahul.girls@rocketmail.com. Give me an answer which i can clearly understand.

    • Pastor_Walt profile image
      Author

      Pastor_Walt 8 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

      Dear Pastor Earls;

      I thank you for your comments, but I am not under a test here. I give (or try to give) my tithes, offerings and alms to the limit I feel God desires me to give. I have and will always try to do this. The Lord loves a cheerful giver.

      However, my stewardship requires me follow what I feel is God's leadership in where and how I give. There are always more needs than my fixed retirement income can respond to, and I MUST take care of my own household as well. My priorities are thus:

      1. God first2. Family second3. My Church family third4. Other alms as the Holy Spirit directs me.

      If I am under a 'test', it is not from an outside source, but from within. I will give you my prayers, and if I feel the Lord's guidance and have more information maybe something else.

      One of my ongoing prayers is that God will allow me to invest more into His kingdom. I am a poor rich man!

      May God bless you.

    • profile image

      Pastor Jeff Earls 8 years ago

      OK I will test you on this sir. My wife and I have great need. We are about to be tossed out on the streets and all so called Christian friends have ran and made excses about helping. Are you too going to make excuses or shall you answer the call to help a Brother and sister in Christ? My email is pastorikm@innkeeperministry.com I also am on your twitter. The test begins now!

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