Do you love money or God?


Do you love money?

I suppose this Elvis song from the 1950’s is a way into the subject of money.  From a localized family point of view many battles take place because of money.  In this song the man is having a hard time and he is being dumped by the lover for another man. How might Herman Bavinck interpret this?

On pages 125 to 126 of Bavincks Ethics Bavinck talks about self-love in the form of loving their body and being double minded. There is certainly double mindedness going on in this song and shows how frail the human condition is. In our strength we cannot break away from this condition.

Moving on from what was just said; In Western societies Fridays and Saturdays are seen as the nights to have a good time on the town.    One dresses up in their finest attire and go out to drink and have fun with their friends.  A lot of money is spent.  Money is spent even at the expense of their own family.  In the UK for example night clubs are always full.  Hedonism is the in thing.  One lives to drink deep of the worldly pleasures whatever they might be.  The Corona virus by a lot of people is seen as a dampener on this.  I was reading digitally somewhere that some psychologist said that when this Covid19 thing is over the time will be ripe for a 1920’s type of rave to take place.

On the political side too, we have seen a lot of things happen over the last 4 years and with the attempt to overthrow democracy in the USA.  Money and power seem to go hand in hand.  Trump lost the election, so he tried with his friends to overthrow the election.  I’m not taking sides on the election, but I think people who hold places of power need to do some heart searching.  Are they in politics for the money and power first or are they servants of the people?  The same conundrum holds sway in the UK with Johnson and his allies.  Listen how he spoke before Trump lost office and after.  Politicians ought not be chameleons but stick to their beliefs and have some integrity. Merkel who is retiring from leadership has been from my point of such a person. If money and power are the driving force for someone in power then I am sorry, the agenda will somehow fail. 

So, we have seen on the micro level and the macro level that money and power used for the self can have a devastating impact on individuals and society.  Who can give us advice on how to move forward from this malaise? I can see from what I have said why the Bible is very unpopular.  The Bible attacks the gangrene and root of selfishness.  I can see why secularism and atheism are very popular because people want to live their lives the best way, they seem fit with no constraints.  The Bible gets wrongly attacked for having a high bar of ethics.  Yes, the Bible has a high bar of ethics and anyone who calls themselves a Christian is called to love their neighbour.  The theology of this high ethics is for those who belong to the church and yes, the church encourages those who are not members to also keep doing the right thing. It can be rightly said that the 10 commandments have had a positive input on Western society.  Now however the Churches reach in politics has a lot of the time been side-lined and what do we have?

We have a very selfish society of citizens who think about their rights more than their neighbour. I see a lot of disgruntled young people who join gangs because they see it as their family. I see many young people in places like London go onto the streets to kill or be killed.  Well done you secularists for the breakup of the families in the name of whatever thing you follow. I also see the rich even get richer during this pandemic.   The church is called to help those who are vulnerable in society but unfortunately there are those who are in their ivory towers who only see their self-righteousness and have a false view of what righteousness really is.  I will save this topic for another day.  


The Bible has a lot to say about money and power, so it is useful as Bavinck does by looking at some Bible verses on the subject.  The following are verses chosen by Herman Bavinck on the subject;

Page 126-127 Reformed Ethics by Herman Bavinck

B. Spiritual Sins

1. the Love of Money

1 Tomothy 610

10 For the love of money is called the root of all evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10

Job 3124-25

24 “If I have put my confidence in gold,
And called fine gold my trust,
25 If I have gloated because my wealth was great,
And because my hand had secured so much; Job 31:24-25

Luke 1215

15 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” Luke 12:15

Luke 1613

13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and  wealth.” Luke 16:13

Matt. 19:24

24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

Matt. 6:16

16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. Matthew 6:16

1 Timothy. 6:9

9  But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9


5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” Hebrews 13:5

1 Tim. 3:3

3  not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 1 Timothy 3:3

2 Tim. 3:2

2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 2 Timothy 3:2

Col. 3:5

5  Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to  immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. Colossians 3:5

Eph. 5:5

5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5


Bavinck says; “The desire for money becomes a desire for the possession (not merely use) of money, because money is the greatest power on earth— everything can be obtained with money.  Money is thus truly Mammon on earth, Satan’s most powerful instrument of temptation. Desire for money turns us away from God and toward the earth…” (pages 127 – 128 Bavincks Ethics).

Obviously, it is a serious tool in the arsenal of weapons Satan has.  This is why in our day the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ is wrong as it indulges on a selfish act and in the name of God.  God is the opposite of Mammon.  God became a man and died a selfless way to save us from total separation from God.  God is not interested in houses, he is interested in people and that everyone can have enough to eat, not be homeless, be close to the sick et al. So then what is the center of your life; God or Mammon?


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