Heresy?  What’s he talking about?

What is a heresy?  A heresy is a belief contrary to correct doctrine, where you take a little bit of truth and wrap it in a falsehood.  People adhere to heresies because of the tiny kernel of truth that exists in them.

An example of a historic Christian heresy was that Jesus was not really a man – he could do all of those miracles and rise from the dead because he was God, and just God.  People succumb to them because of the truth in them.

When people believe that poverty is more righteous than wealth, that’s a heresy.

On the other hand, when we believe that because we believe in God, we’ll be rich, fat and happy… that’s also heresy.

But I want to focus on the first heresy.  One could raise the question:

“Didn’t Jesus say…
don’t store up treasures in on earth, where moths and rust destroy,
sell all you have and give the money to the poor,
you cannot serve both God and money,
the widow gave more than the rich pharisees?”

Why yes; yes he did say all of those things.  Taking that question a step further, it asserts that we should be poor, because Jesus stands opposed wealth.

That’s where we become misguided.  Almost anywhere Jesus spoke of money, he was relating it to heart issues, because he understood (and understands) better than us just how strong those bonds are between our hearts and our wallets.  We don’t realize how emotional (and spiritual) money can be.

Each of the quotes in the question about Jesus ultimately have to do with heart issues.  Where are your desires? Where is your trust placed?  What are your dreams?  What are your priorities?  Our money, and how we use it, indicates all of those answers.

Jesus is recorded to have talked about money and possessions more than just about any other subject.  I believe part of the reason is because he understood that how we handle our money indicates so much about the condition of our heart.  And that’s what he’s after – our hearts.  That’s what God has always been about.  Not our money.

When we take Jesus’ teaching and apply it to specific dollar amounts, that turns to heresy (and legalism).  No net worth threshold exists where Jesus suddenly goes from loving you and being pleased with you, to judging you and being disappointed in you.   He’s not after dollars and cents; he’s after your heart.

What other incorrect faith-based beliefs have you heard about money?  Have you ever wondered about what Jesus said about money?