COMPELLING THOUGHTS :
- “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. ” 1 Timothy 6:10
- “Greed brings grief to the whole family, but those who hate bribes will live.” Proverbs 15:27
- “Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.” Proverbs 28:25
- “In their greed they have gathered up many nations and swallowed many peoples.” Habakkuk 2:5
- “It was land monopoly that ate out the lion heart of Rome. Latifundia perdidere Italiam — “Great estates ruined Italy. ” The Roman historian Pliny
- “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10
The Bible tells us that God is the one who gives us power to earn wealth.
“You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth…” Deut. 8:18
But some people take earning money to extremes until it becomes greed and pride. We are living in a time of the worst greed in history, far worse than Roman times. God states this is what causes all evil and many griefs.
- “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. ” 1 Timothy 6:10
Many insightful people and experts from across the spectrum have confirmed God’s many warnings that greed, the love of money, hoarding, luxury for a few are the roots of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10, James 5:1-6; Rev. 18:3-19, etc.). They cause major harm at all levels of society from causing the deaths of many children to destroying societies, nations and civilizations. 1000s of years of history confirm that greed causes a myriad of traumatic evils. 1000s of studies in science confirm that greed and high levels of economic injustice are the cause of every evil, just as God stated.
The Christian economist Dr. Michael Hudson, writes about how when greed takes over and many go into debt, that is the greatest destabilizing force in history.
“A century ago, two centuries ago, three centuries ago and all the way back to the Bronze Age, almost every society has realized that the great destabilizing force is finance – that is, debt. Debt grows exponentially, enabling creditors ultimately to foreclose on the assets of debtors. Creditors end up reducing societies to debt bondage, as when the Roman Empire ended in serfdom.”
Greed/debt affect almost everything. A recent scientific study showed that poor children are the most vulnerable to foodborne diseases:
“foodborne diseases annually cause as many as 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths worldwide. One of the most disturbing findings from the report is that children are disproportionately affected: 125,000 kids under five die from foodborne illnesses every year. ‘Based on what we know now, it is apparent that the global burden of foodborne diseases is considerable, affecting people all over the world — particularly children under 5 years of age and people in low-income areas,’ Dr. Kazuaki Miyagishima, the WHO’s Director of Food Safety and Zoonoses, said in the agency’s press release.”
Every year, almost half a million people die from a seemingly harmless illness
Another thing destroyed by greed is freedom. Here are a few insightful people who realized that freedom and greed can’t coexist:
**“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt said:
**“I sincerely believe … that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” Thomas Jefferson
**”I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country. ” Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US president 1801-1809
**”I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country…corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”
President Abraham Lincoln
**“unequal distribution of wealth inevitably transforms popular government into despotism. This is not a thing of the far future. It has already begun in the United States, and is proceeding rapidly before our very eyes.” Henry George (pioneer of the land rent/single tax that is based on a couple of the principles of Biblical Jubilee economics)
**The great Christian apologist G. K. Chesterton saw capitalism as legalized pickpocketing, for it channeled wealth from many workers to a few capitalists. Communism was hardly an improvement though, Chesterton wrote, for it only “reform[ed] the pickpocket by forbidding pockets.” (for more on how capitalism is based on greed and causes desperation throughout societies, as well as how it has been heavily promoted by the Rockefellers and other super rich elites and how they are using it as one of their main tools to create the first one world order or new world order, something that Bible prophecy predicted as a great danger, read this link:
We will look below at some of the other specific problems, tragedies and injustices that the Bible says that greed causes and what history, science and economics have confirmed about this issue.
But first let’s make sure we understand what constitutes greed.
One Greek word that is often translated greed (or covetousness) in the Bible is pleonexia, from the Greek term πλεονεξια, (see Luke 12:13–21; Colossians 3:1–11; 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 2 Peter 2:3).
Biblical commentator John Ritenbaugh describes it as a “ruthless self-seeking, and an arrogant assumption that others and things exist for one’s own benefit.” Plato and Aristotle defined it as “the insatiable desire to have what rightfully belongs to others.”
New Testament Greek scholar William Barclay describes pleonexia as an “accursed love of having,” which “will pursue its own interests with complete disregard for the rights of others, and even for the considerations of common humanity.” He says that biblically it is an aggressive vice that operates in three spheres of life:
- In the material sphere it involves “grasping at money and goods, regardless of honor and honesty.”
- In the ethical sphere it is “the ambition which tramples on others to gain something which is not properly meant for it.”
- In the moral sphere, it is “the unbridled lust which takes its pleasure where it has no right to take.”
A couple verses in the Bible which illustrates a key test of whether our practices are following love or greed are these:
A) GIVING IS A BLESSING
“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
We should always give tithe and offerings to God’s church and science shows enormous benefits from doing so which confirms the Bible’s claims (Malachi 3:8-10). Research by Dr. Cnaan shows that for every $1 given to churches, there are ~$4.77 of benefits to the members and surrounding communities(and sometimes up to $10 if a church is more biblical). This investment beats nearly all others in financial ways and also other ways.
We should also give to those who are in emergencies around us or that we are aware of in other places because of the golden rule and because science shows it is quite valuable for us in terms of health, relationships, building trust and other ways.
B) GIVE MORE WHEN YOU HAVE NO MAJOR DEBT
Our first responsibility is to work to make ourselves independent and take care of our families (1 Tim. 5:8). The Bible says we should aim to owe no one anything except love.
“Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.” Romans 13:8
“But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.” 1 Timothy 5:8
There may be emergencies or times of war or depressions, joblessness and certain exceptions when we have to go into debt. The Bible understood and provided for and made a welfare system where a person could work to provide for their needs, pay off debts, etc. (this was called slavery in the Bible, but is wrongly understood to be chattel slavery…it was voluntary since forced slavery and its source, kidnapping, were condemned as capital crimes in Ex. 21:16). God also said that after 7 years all debts should be canceled if a person was still unable to pay (Deut. 15:1) since no one should be enslaved to debt for life. But if at all possible, debt should be avoided.
C) WHY IS GETTING OUT OF DEBT IMPORTANT?
Why should we pay off our own debts before giving large amounts to others? Because being in debt is a form of slavery and actually robs God’s people and church of more funds long term:
“The borrower is slave to the lender.” Prov. 22:7
All throughout history, exploiters/tyrants tried to force people into debt since that is when they could strip them of their assets.
And when people are in debt, they are often forced to give over a lot more of their financial resources, leaving less to take care of their families and less to contribute to God’s cause.
D) By the Bible’s definition of love, if we have enough for our needs, which includes paying off all debts we ow, then we are to find ways to give to others in need to help them become independent too.
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[a] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” 1 John 3:17 (NLT)
According to researchers like Dr. Chomksy and others, this kind of giving love is the scariest thing to the people who are in the top 1%. At a lecture at Syracuse Peace Councils, Noam Chomsky said:
“…this concept of sympathy and social solidarity is considered extremely dangerous [by the most powerful and wealthy people, the top 1%]. There’s a major propaganda effort to try to drive into people’s heads that you should only be concerned for yourself…There’s been a tremendous effort over the years to somehow drive that into people’s heads and to drive out all normal human feelings…That’s pretty dangerous. If it was happening in a small country, it would be a shame. But when it’s happening in the richest most powerful country in history, it’s very dangerous.”
Noam Chomsky on U.S. Education System https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5xkp8ce7DQ (~8:08)
The reason love, sympathy and solidarity are considered so dangerous is because one of the biggest ways the super wealthy make profits every year is by forcing many people into debt, charging them interest, consuming enormous amounts of their time by trying to figure out how to juggle debts, and then stripping away their wealth and assets in various ways.
The church needs to pay very serious attention to this, because as evidence in the 2nd section below shows, this can consume huge amounts of people’s salaries, sometimes all of it and plunge them into debts where far more of their resources will be taken by banks and financial institutions. Then people will be far more limited in how much they can contribute to the church. This is a severe detriment to not only churches, but communities where churches are located as well as the research by Dr. Cnaan above proves.
Ellen White has many warnings about how Satan tries to cut off funding for churches so they can’t do God’s work as well, and this is certainly one of his most successful ways to cripple the church.
If Christians and other moral people teach valuable truths, follow God’s principles of love, equality, justice and helping those suffering oppression as the Bible tells them they must do (Prov. 29:7; 31:8,9, etc.) and help those in difficulties, the super wealthy will lose much of this way of getting billions of dollars per year for no work done at all.
Some sincere people though become a little confused by a couple texts in the Bible (esp. Acts 2:42-7;4:32-25, Luke 14:33) and feel guilty if they don’t sell their houses and all they have and give (almost) everything to the poor or missions. This is a serious misunderstanding because not only is it not following Bible principles, math and economics show that it is detrimental to the individual, their family, the church and society which also proves it is not what God wishes. As research below shows, just the cost of rent alone will cause a person to lose ~30-70% of their income and there are other consequences as well. If God tells someone by revelation to do that for an urgent reason, then it would of course be for the best. But it is clear from principles above and below that the early church members sold off extra houses and gave to those in need to help them get out of poverty (Acts 2:42-7; 4:32-35).
The Bible has numerous balanced verses/principles showing that God wants each person to avoid the evil extreme of greed on one side, but also the evil extreme of poverty and landlessness and homelessness on the other.
1) Jesus was very clear that He did not come to abolish the laws of the Old Testament in Matt. 5:17-18. Apostles confirmed this and complemented early Christians on following all of God’s laws in several cases. This means that the early Christians understood and followed to the best of their ability the principle of God that every family should have their own home/land outside cities (Lev. 25:1-20, Ez. 47:22-23, etc. Land rights are the foundational capital that underlies every farm, growth of plants, business and nearly every venture and project of any kind on this planet. See more on this here:
So when the Bible says that believers sold everything and gave to the poor, it should be quite clear that this is meaning they sold the extra houses and lands they owned, gave away money they didn’t need to help other church members become stable and things like that.
2) God tells us that we are responsible to take care of our family’s needs first or else we are worse than pagans (1 Timothy 5:8). Having land and a home debt free is certainly part of that.
3) The Bible, Jewish culture and Ellen White are very clear that we should not give in ways that create dependence (Ellen White in fact says that some kinds of giving cause harm to people…and she is referring to types of giving that create dependence). We may need to help in emergencies, etc. But whenever possible give in ways that can help people to become independent themselves so that they can also be able to contribute and thus exponentially increase the ability to help people in need. Paul wrote:
“Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality. ” 2 Cor. 8:13-14
Here are some principles the Jews followed, and they are some of the principles that helped them to endure, overcome and eventually conquer all their oppressors, nearly all of whom have disappeared from history.
Maimonides defines eight levels in giving charity (tzedakah), each one higher than the preceding one.
On an ascending level, they are as follows:
8. When donations are given grudgingly.
7. When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.
6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.
5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.
4. Donations when the recipient is aware of the donor’s identity, but the donor still doesn’t know the specific identity of the recipient.
3. Donations when the donor is aware to whom the charity is being given, but the recipient is unaware of the source.
2. Giving assistance in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other. Communal funds, administered by responsible people are also in this category.
1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.
4) God tells us that debt is slavery (Prov. 22:6), and in Romans 13, Paul tells us that we should try to owe no one anything except love. So getting ourselves out of debt is a priority. There may be emergencies that come along when we can and should help even if we are in debt, esp. life and death situations or time sensitive one. Look and see who has the greater need, pray about it and act according to the principles God gives and what He impresses you to do.
5) Happiness is not just something nice to have. It’s important and it is a need for many reasons. It increases efficiency 20-30%, improves motivation according to former Harvard professor Stephen Achor, and many other things. So it’s important to do some enjoyable things with family, make memories, and things like that with your spouse/family. If you do this, then you can be a lot more efficient in doing other work and benefit others more.
But be careful to avoid the temptations of luxury and hoarding that are wasting resources that God gave to human beings to do good works and that don’t create any more happiness anyway. As even atheists have acknowledged, the the most effective ways to be happy are by following God’s principles in the Bible, especially by making strong relationships with God and being part of a healthy church community weekly involving celebrations, eating good food, service to those being oppressed and more. There are many other important habits that improve happiness to a greater or lesser degree as well. Here are ~54 of them and most are quite simple and cheap.
6) Some have a hard time with Luke 14:33 . But Ellen White explains that it’s about giving up anything that would separate us from Jesus. “In giving ourselves to God, we must necessarily give up all that would separate us from Him. Hence the Saviour says, “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33. Whatever shall draw away the heart from God must be given up. Mammon is the idol of many. The love of money, the desire for wealth, is the golden chain that binds them to Satan. Reputation and worldly honor are worshiped by another class. The life of selfish ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of others. But these slavish bands must be broken. We cannot be half the Lord’s and half the world’s. We are not God’s children unless we are such entirely.
There will be deceptions and thieves and injustice in our world and have been in many cases in the past. But if God’s people as a community follow His principles and protest and oppose injustice, they will eventually conquer all enemies. Not only that, God says that the wealth of the wicked will eventually come to them.
“Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.” Proverbs 13:22
The history of the Jews and much science confirms this too. For example, look at the massive benefits, including financial benefits, that come from following Bible health principles. These alone can double your money by your 50s if followed.
THE SPECIFIC EVIL CONSEQUENCES OF GREED ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE
The Bible tells us that the root of all evil is greed in general and then also specifies specifically some of the horrific damage it does. Here are some of the specific consequences.
(Note: I’m still adding some real life situations/science that confirm that each principle is happening these days too…a few are here already, but more are coming).
1) WICKEDNESS/LOSS OF ETERNAL LIFE
The Bible has many things to say about greed and hoarding, none of them good. It also strongly condemns luxury in nearly all situations. Greed is a form of idolatry and will result in loss of life. Here are some typical verses.
“You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” Ephesians 5:5
“Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” Luke 12:15
“And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” Mark 7:20-23
“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)
Ellen White writes:
“This history [of Nehemiah] teaches an important lesson. In this generation wealth often comes by fraud….Just to the extent that we may try to gain personal advantage at the disadvantage of another, to that extent will we become unresponsive to the influence of the Spirit of God.” Royalty and Ruin, p. 230
2) GREED IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL (injustice, crimes, oppression, cruelty, etc.)
“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10
“But you! You have eyes only for greed and dishonesty! You murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly.” Jeremiah 22:17
3) GREED CAUSES LOSS OF LIFE & HARMS THE GREEDY
“Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.” Proverbs 1:19
Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is another serious problem I have seen under the sun. Hoarding riches harms the saver.
4) GREED CAUSES PERVERSION OF JUSTICE
“But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.” 1 Samuel 8:3
5) GREED CAUSES POVERTY
Greed by people giving trillions to the rich every year is the primary cause of poverty and injustice in the world.
“A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.” Proverbs 22:16
“Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.” Proverbs 28:22
Proverbs 21:17 Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
Proverbs 21:20 The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
6) GREED BRINGS GRIEF/RUIN TO FAMILIES
People who spend their lives chasing money cause broken relationships, marriages and families and this is a huge cause of poverty.
“Greed brings grief to the whole family, but those who hate bribes will live.” Proverbs 15:27
7) GREED CAUSES FIGHTING
“Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.” Proverbs 28:25
President Eisenhower was a military man, but he warned very strongly against the military industrial complex getting too strong since this would destroy freedoms (as many American founders also knew and warned against).
Eisenhower’s “Military-Industrial Complex” Speech Origins and Significance
Smedley Butler was a 4 star general and thought he was fighting for freedom, but realized that much of the fighting he did was actually done due to the influence of corporations. He wrote a small book on how corporations have the highest profits during war and this is why they often support wars so strongly.
War Is A Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler, 1935 –
Allan Nairn has been a journalist covering dozens of wars around the world for decades. He reports that both the democrats and republicans have supported a lot of wars abroad that did not bring democracy to those places and often involved much injustice and loss of innocent lives.
Allan Nairn: Obama leads no war on terror
This article and many others explain how the United States is supporting wars that have terrible consequences and have killed many innocent children.
8) GREED CAUSES EXPLOITATION
“In you, people take bribes to shed blood; you demand and accept interest on loans; in greed you make profits off your neighbors by extorting them; and you have forgotten me,’ says Adonai Elohim.” Ezekiel 22:12
“[The godless] oppressed the poor and left them destitute. They foreclosed on their homes. 20 They were always greedy and never satisfied. Nothing remains of all the things they dreamed about. 21 Nothing is left after they finish gorging themselves. Therefore, their prosperity will not endure. Job 20:19-21
Western scientists and corporations are patenting indigenous medicines and teas so that only they can sell them and the natives who have been using them from ancient times won’t be able to sell them anymore.
The GOP is trying to do away with a ban on chemicals that harm children at their most vulnerable ages.
10) GREED CAUSES THE CORRUPTION OF RELIGION
“In their greed they [false religious teachers] will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.” 2 Peter 2:3
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence!” Matthew 23:25
“From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all frauds.” Jeremiah 6:13
Who Profits from the Opioid Crisis? Meet the Secretive Sackler Family Making Billions from OxyContin –by Christopher Glazek, Esquire reporter.
Sacklers have funded education, the arts, businesses, influenced govt publicly, but hide that they got their fortune from selling pharma drugs like OxyContin that are causing an Opioid crisis.
~15 Opioids are killing many people.
~18 billionaire democracy
~20 Obama signed law to condone opioid crisis Trump nominated fox to guard chicken coop.
~21 Now being marketed abroad. Following Tobacco playbook.
Nestle pumps millions of gallons of Michigan water for just $200 a year. Two hours away, Flint still doesn’t have clean water. https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/1776093229172031/
11) GREED CAUSES OPPRESSIVE GOVERNMENTS
“A prince without discernment is a cruel oppressor, but one who hates greed will prolong his life.” CJB Proverbs 28:16
“It’s become clear that many of America’s most powerful and most respected institutions have housed and protected repeat sexual harassers and predators, while shutting up or shutting out their victims…“Has a sexual harassment problem” is a dubious distinction that the Democratic Party shares with Hollywood, Fox News, prestige television shows and networks, the restaurant industry, America’s most successful massage chain — and, of course, the Republican Party.”
12) GREED CAUSES THE RUIN OF NATIONS
“In their greed they have gathered up many nations and swallowed many peoples.” Habakkuk 2:5
Yuan Zhiming was a dissident and co-leader of the Tiananmen Square protests. He later escaped to America, became a Christian and then began making documentaries about belief in the God of the Bible throughout Chinese history. He made a powerful documentary surveying 5,000 years of Chinese history which shows that belief in the God who revealed Himself to them and who is the same as the God of the Bible leads to equality, peace and thriving, while belief in false religions, secularism and atheism lead to greed, violence, crime and much loss of life.
A key section of the documentary says:
“Facts have once again demonstrated to us that as long as the Chinese people worship men instead of God, as long as sinful men act like righteous God, as long as men with limitations hold limitless power, that peace and stability will never last long…Oh China! This is where your misery resides. The one who sits on the central throne is not God, but an earthly man….men who did not know God became gods of men. Is not this the source of all China’s tragedies? Chinese butchered their fellow Chinese and Chinese conspired against their fellow Chinese. They abused each other…until…they became prey for foreign invaders…Oh China, because you firmly believe there is no God, you give full reign to sinful men to carry out their self abuse in hopelessness. Since you firmly believe mankind does not share a common holy nature, you then let human reason negate your God given conscience. Since you believe there is no Savior except yourself, you are left to drown again and again in an ocean of bitterness, a sea of fire and a pool of blood, of your own making”
13) GREED CAUSES PERSECUTION & IS A TRAIT OF BEAST POWERS
“And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Rev. 13: 17
“For all the nations have fallen because of the wine of her passionate immorality. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her. Because of her desires for extravagant luxury, the merchants of the world have grown rich.” Revelation 18:3
14) GREED CAUSES JUDGEMENT
James 5:5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.
15) GREED CAUSES IDOLATRY
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” Colossians 3:5
16) PRIDE MAKES PEOPLE GREEDY FOR EXPENSIVE FASHIONS THAT DAMAGE THE ENVIRONMENT:
“I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
“The throwaway nature of fashion has created a business which creates greenhouse emissions of 1.2bn tonnes a year – larger than that of international flights and shipping combined.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/28/stella-mccartney-calls-for-overhaul-of-incredibly-wasteful-fashion-industry
17) GREED CAUSES INDIVIDUAL DESTRUCTION
“I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ… But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.” Jude 4, 10, 11.
18) GREED CAUSES NATIONAL DISASTER
“What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Jerusalem, and you who feel secure in Samaria! You are famous and popular in Israel, and people go to you for help. You push away every thought of coming disaster, but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer.” Amos 6:1, 3
“Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.” Romans 1:29
“Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.” James 5:3
For the reasons above and others, the Bible strictly warns against greed as the root of all evil and even tells us not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian and is greedy.
“I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.” 1 Corinthians 5:11
The Bible tells us that godly people love to give and God blesses them for it.
“Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!” Proverbs 21:26
So after you have taken care of your needs and that of your family, be a giver, not a greedy taker. This is not just important and beneficial for communities, God will also reward you in this life and eternity for doing that (Matt. 10:40-42).
THE RIPPLE EFFECT CONSEQUENCES OF GREED (esp. in the area of land rights)
The Bible repeatedly emphasizes land rights for every family. I have documented this here:
Many scholars have testified that land monopoly is a key factor that has destroyed nations and empires.
The Roman historian Pliny said, “It was land monopoly that ate out the lion heart of Rome. Latifundia perdidere Italiam — “Great estates ruined Italy “. This article explains some of the problem.
And if you look at almost every beast and evil power in the Bible and look at their principles in history, they almost always rejected/abandoned land rights for every family. This same problem is rampant around the world now and is the reason why almost every nation is a plutocracy.
If churches don’t follow economic justice, members will have to give large amounts of money to the bank instead of the church and the whole community will suffer since for every $1 invested in churches, there is ~$4.77 and up to $10 in benefits for the community. If this situation continues, eventually people will get so desperate that they will look for anyone who has an answer to their suffering. When the church in Russia didn’t follow or care about Bible economics and justice, people eventually got so desperate that they thought atheism and communism might have better answers. They did not. 35 million people died, many more were tortured and nearly 1/2 the world lost its freedom.
Below I will review ~20 effects of rejecting the land rights principle that God has given to humanity with specific cases and/or science. There are many more consequences than this. But these are some of the biggest ones.
Before that though, these are some of the main reasons God insisted on land rights for every family and every generation.
A) As above, close interaction with nature gives people insights regarding our Creator and more awe for His power.
B) Economically, it gave every generation the resources to follow their dreams whatever they may be. Family land could be leased out for up to 49 years. If a person desired to do another occupation besides farming, but came back to the family at that time so that every generation had fair and equitable opportunities and the financial capital/resources to follow their dreams ).
C) Those without land usually have to pay ~40% or more of their salary to landlords, sometimes up to 70%. They also have to spend ~20-30% of their income on food, leaving little for other expenses like education, clothing, transportation, investing in the future, etc.
D) Permanent family ownership of land was not only a right for every family, God specifically referred to it as a key foundational factor for the long term stability of nations and other scholars have persuasively shown that without this right to land, freed and human rights are degraded and/or destroyed, people don’t really have human rights.
E) One of the reasons this is true is that this is by far the simplest and easiest way to prevent extremely high concentrations of wealth which the Bible calls greed, the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10) for very good reasons. For almost every evil you can mention whether it’s poverty, hunger, homelessness, terrorism, sex slavery, racism and a myriad of others, numerous studies are showing that greed/hoarding wealth is the root of pretty much every evil and every deception on the planet either directly or indirectly, confirming the Bible’s claim. Studies also show that at present we have some of the worst levels of inequality in history with 8 people owning more than the bottom 50% (3.6 billion) combined.
1) People without a home/land have to pay 40-70% of their income for rent (minorities and the poor of all races usually pay much higher percentages of their salary for rent or mortgages).
If someone is in the process of buying a house, they spend ~43% of income on average on mortgages.
African-Americans pay ~44% of income on rent, sometimes up to 71% while Hispanics pay an average of 48% of their income on rent.
Black and Hispanic Communities Are Spending Almost Half Their Incomes on Rent
Many realizing this and fighting to recover their land rights. Watch especially the documentary “The Economics of Happiness”. Highlights are here:
2) People without a home/land have to pay 10-50% of their income for food (depending a lot on which country you live in.
4) Because people without a home/land need high paying jobs to pay many more expenses, families often have to invest a lot more in education to get a better paying job to pay all those expenses. That sometimes requires paying for various services/goods they need, ranging from textbooks and computers to daycare or babysitting costs if they have kids, etc. This adds to their financial burdens.
5) For the reasons above and others, people without a home/land get into debt far more and then have to pay 5-20% (or sometimes even 100% or higher) interest on the money they borrow, depending on what country they live in. The average American family pays ~$8,037 or more just in interest each year.
“Here’s How Much the Average American Pays in Interest Each Year”. Holly Johnson. https://www.thesimpledollar.com/heres-how-much-the-average-american-pays-in-interest-each-year/ 03.22.17.
The average American family with debt has ~$135,7683 in outstanding debt.
But pay day loans and loan sharks in other countries are quite a bit nastier. It can be between 6000-14000% interest annually.
6) People without a home/land often get into debt and so become desperate. They need a job to pay basic expenses, to take care of their children. They are then vulnerable to various kinds of exploitation, cheating and even several types of slavery. Their desperation sometimes convinces them to take risks they wouldn’t usually take and this can result in literal slavery.
Dr. Kevin Bales says,
“All around the world I’ve been told an almost identical story. People say, “I was home, someone came into our village, they stood up in the back of a truck, they said, ‘I’ve got jobs, who needs a job?'” And they did exactly what you or I would do in the same situation. They said, “That guy looked sketchy. I was suspicious, but my children were hungry. We needed medicine. I knew I had to do anything I could to earn some money to support the people I care about.” They climb into the back of the truck. They go off with the person who recruits them. Ten miles, 100 miles, 1,000 miles later, they find themselves in dirty, dangerous, demeaning work. They take it for a little while, but when they try to leave, bang!, the hammer comes down, and they discover they’re enslaved. https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_bales_how_to_combat_modern_slavery/
7) People without a home/land often consume enormous amounts of time, countless hours, just trying to move their debts around, talk to bankers, get their credit score high enough to get a 0% balance transfer, convince family or friends to help them pay off their debts, etc. And if you try calling a bank to correct errors in your credit score as I did (after paying consistently for 10 years, but going through a series of crises that left me in debt), a bank might tell you that a credit rating agency is responsible for your low credit score. Then you call the credit rating agency and they tell you they don’t decide the score, that’s the bank’s responsibility. And round and round it goes…with the customer left hanging in the middle and wasting a lot of time for no purpose.
8) Because people without a home/land have so little extra money and are often in debt, they also have difficulty buying in bulk. This costs them quite a bit.
“some experts estimate it can save you around 20 percent on your purchases, others have found that buying in bulk saves you as much as 83 percent on some items.”
Applying for welfare consumes enormous amounts of time with red tape and limits creative ideas and actions by people who have to do that.
10) BIG GOVERNMENT
When people go into poverty, governments balloon in size. When many people get into debt and extreme poverty, governments face basically 2 options:
A) Risk a revolution and and overthrow
B) Provide for the needs of the really poor with government programs.
The Bible understood this long ago and this is why God said that that Israeli governments and even pagan governments were responsible to ensure the rights and needs of the poor (if at all possible by doing valuable work as the Jews understood, but somehow their needs must be provided for.)
Governments that want to avoid revolution but that also foolishly refuse to follow economic justice in regard to land ownership often develop many welfare programs, child and educational assistance programs to alleviate some of the exploitation. These of course require people working in these programs to help the poor, and they also usually need some kind of training. Then some people will try to scam the system and get more than they need. So more rules and more requirements get added, which require yet more training and expenses mount up. In this way, government over time gets more and more bloated. Sadly, this can set the stage for revolutions.
11) RELATIONSHIP CONSEQUENCES
People without a home/land often have to move from time to time to get a job or to get promotions. This separates extended families and adds to the work load and stress of the nuclear family.
When people depend on corporations for their lives, the products have to be shipped to them. How is that done? By hiring a lot of people to drive trucks, work on ships, drive trains, etc. Most of these people have to spend long periods of time away from their families and many families break up because the father or mother is forced to be away so much. Here are a couple truckers who share their stories.
“I have been divorced two times because of truck driving…I have a 21-year-old son in the military who is about ready to come out. In all honesty, I do not wish him to get into this industry because it’s a hard life. I don’t recommend it to anyone who has a family. My kids are in their 20s now. I missed most of their lives growing up. They tell me they wish I would have been home more. I have been divorced two times because of truck driving. For a real perspective, talk to a trucker’s wife.”
Lee Klass of Portland, Ore., has been a truck driver for more than 40 years. He took his first selfie for this article. He says:
“You can kiss your social life goodbye.”
This becomes a lot more serious when we understand that broken families (and especially abusive families, which involves neglect) are one of the biggest causes of addictions when people grow up to be adults.
Research has found that when grandparents live close to grandkids, it can decrease risk of Alzheimer’s, hugging and more touch improves white blood cells and immunity for all, adds ~5 years to life, reduces anxiety/stress, encourages healthier eating, keeps you more active, is an opportunity to share values, etc.
“Health benefits of taking care of your grandchildren”. Sue Walker
http://www.dailypostathenian.com/news/article_a96aaaf2-510f-11e7-8086-10604b9f0f42.html. Jun 14, 2017.
12) People without a home/land more often experience family breakdown and divorces. Financial problems are the #1 cause of divorce and these kinds of problems happen far more often to people without land. There are at least 5 reasons for this and it helps to understand what “money personality” you have.
“5 Reasons Why Money Is The #1 Cause of Divorce”. Scott & Bethany Palmer. https://www.crosswalk.com/family/finances/5-reasons-why-money-is-the-1-cause-of-divorce.html
And if people do tragically divorce, it can cause up to
People who divorce spend a lot more money on many things. Sometimes they can spend up to $1,000,000 more during their lifetime.
The High Price of Being Single in America www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/01/the-high-price-of-being-single-in-america/267043/
Divorced people cost America ~$112,000,000,000 a year and children of divorced parents usually earn less money as well. Reducing divorce by just 1% can save countries like America $1,000,000,000.
Marriage and Economic Well-Being: The Economy of the Family Rises or Falls with Marriage, Patrick F. Fagan, Andrew J. Kidd and Henry Potrykus May 4, 2011 http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF11E70.pdf
13) People without a home/land often become poor and this causes them to lose 13 IQ points according to Princeton researchers. This is not because they are dumb. It is because they have to use so much time and energy just surviving (often 2-3 jobs) that they don’t have time to study or work and innovate to become well off financially or successful as they could be in other areas.
“In a series of experiments, the researchers found that pressing financial concerns had an immediate impact on the ability of low-income individuals to perform on common cognitive and logic tests. On average, a person preoccupied with money problems exhibited a drop in cognitive function similar to a 13-point dip in IQ, or the loss of an entire night’s sleep…
Previous views of poverty have blamed poverty on personal failings, or an environment that is not conducive to success,” she said. “We’re arguing that the lack of financial resources itself can lead to impaired cognitive function. The very condition of not having enough can actually be a cause of poverty.”
“Poor concentration: Poverty reduces brainpower needed for navigating other areas of life”. Morgan Kelly. https://www.princeton.edu/news/2013/08/29/poor-concentration-poverty-reduces-brainpower-needed-navigating-other-areas-life. Aug. 29, 2013.
14) People without a home/land are often victims of propaganda. The wealthy elite don’t want others to unite against them. So they try to gain control of the media and shift blame for societies problems onto foreigners, other races, the poor, etc.
15) People without homes/land often produce a lot more pollution. And the use of plastic is working itself throughout the food chain. Now people are eating microplastics in food AND in their water…esp. single use water bottles.
“Perhaps the biggest known source of microplastics that we consume is bottled water…Single-use water bottles contained between two and 44 microplastics per litre, while returnable bottles (designed for collection under a deposit scheme) contained between 28 and 241 microplastics per litre. ” https://theconversation.com/youre-eating-microplastics-in-ways-you-dont-even-realise-97649
16) People without a home/land are more vulnerable to being provoked into committing various kinds of crimes. Greed is the root of all evil according to the Bible (1 Tim. 6:10), and science has linked greed as the primary factor to nearly every crime and evil that you can think of. I’ve listed some examples here.
17) People without a home/land more often become con artists. They to make ends meet and to do so they have to sell something. have to engage in advertising to get people to buy what they are selling. This creates a lot of paper waste, time waste and pollution.
18) People without homes/land are more likely to give up on churches that don’t care about economics fairness and justice in society. This damages communities since the secular scientist Dr. Cnaan has found that for every $1 given to churches, there is ~$4.77 and sometimes up to $10 (depending on how biblical the church is).
Another study found that when all the volunteer work, crime reduction, education, moral improvement and other effects of churches are considered, the average church generates ~$2 million every year.
“Calculating the Economic Halo Effect of Sacred Places”. Ram Cnaan. www.endowedparishes.org/download_file/view/2154/
If they included the effects of following Bible health principles, Bible economics and others, the evaluation would arguably be a lot higher.
19) When people are desperate and lose their connection to God and His church, they can then be easily taken in by many other harmful deceptions (communism, Darwinism, atheism, etc.).
When nations go into high levels of greed, poverty and injustice (esp. with the top 20% having more than 9 times what the bottom 20% have, a situation which Dr. Wilkinson has shown produces a flood of evils in society), there are going to usually be 3 options. People look to godly believers to see if they have any solutions before considering other options.
A) GODLY BELIEVERS SHARE GOD’S SOLUTIONS
In the example of Korea where I was, Korean Christians met the challenge largely by following Bible economics and ~25 other principles at the church and then national/government level as researchers have shown. Korea grew from 1% to 30% Christian during that period.
B) OTHERS FIND PARTIAL SOLUTIONS (they get credit, not God)
If God’s people don’t show His solutions that work, sometimes other well meaning people study, think hard, use trial and error or even borrow some ideas from God and share solutions with people (sometimes they don’t explain that they got the ideas from God. Then they get the credit, not God or His church. And their solutions are almost always going to be partial ones that don’t fully solve the problem.
C) TYRANTS/DICTATORS OFFER FALSE “SOLUTIONS”
The other option was demonstrated by Russia. As a new book called Young Stalin shows, when churches ignored societal injustice, eventually people like Stalin came to think that the church had no solutions. So they looked elsewhere for answers and became open to Darwinism and atheism. They were far worse though and 35 million people died. This fulfills Hosea 8:2-4, 11, 12 where God says that when believers ignore His laws, enemies will chase them.
How greed, atheism, corrupt believers, Darwinism fuel holocausts (like Russian Communism)
 “How income inequality harms societies”, https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson
 How Korea Rose from the Ashes of War to Top Rankings in the World. http://blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/thrive/koreas-rise/
 How Korea Rose from the Ashes of War to Top Rankings in the World. http://blog.truth-is-life.org/rights/thrive/koreas-rise/
20) People who are exposed to all the above factors are subjected to various kinds of dependency and even slavery. They began searching for any solutions to the pain they are feeling. If they don’t find them in religion, many will turn to more radical options.
** “I slowly came to realize that political democracy cannot flourish under all economic conditions. Democracy requires an economic system which supports the political ideals of liberty and equality for all. Men cannot exercise freedom in the political sphere when they are deprived of it in the economic sphere.” –M Mortimer Adler, a philosopher of politics and economics after learning about democratic capitalism. (According the book “Democratic Capitalism”, “Adler had it almost right: It is economic freedom that can improve lives and then lead to political freedoms.”)
**” [T]here seems to be nothing to prevent the transnational corporations taking possession of the planet and subjecting humanity to the dictatorship of capital…. In order to crush any thought of organized resistance to the supporters of the new world order, tremendous police and military forces are being used to establish a doctrine of repression….”
Christian la Brie, Le Monde Diplomatique (Paris)
NATIONAL SECURITY CONSEQUENCES
21) Nations with many people poor and in debt become weak. Those people are much likely to support and defend their country. Some will listen and follow revolutionaries, or even betray their country to its enemies.
**“Our founding fathers knew that the American experiment in individual liberty, free enterprise, and republican self-government could succeed only if power was widely distributed, and since in any society social and political power flow from economic power, they saw that wealth and property would have to be widely distributed among the people in the country … Could there be anything resembling a free enterprise economy, if wealth and property were concentrated in the hands of a few?“ –President Ronald Reagan
22) People without homes/land are the ones who grow so enraged at debt slavery that they will support the overthrow of governments.
**”The essence of all slavery consists in taking the produce of another’s labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live. ” Leo Tolstoy
These facts above explain why in a short time, countries without land equality sink into dire levels of inequality and injustice. But there are actually over 30 principles of Bible economics and each is very important for life, freedom, health, happiness and other things.
Any nations that rejects greed, especially in the equitable sharing of land which is the most crucial principle of Bible economics for these and many other reasons will be stable. Those who follow it will live and thrive and make strong families, communities and nations where freedom and justice are given to all. Any nations that follow greed and destroy land rights for families will soon go to terrible extremes of rich and poor, justice will infect the whole country and eventually society will collapse, turn to tyrants for “answers” or be conquered by invaders. The only way to prevent one of these things from happening is if a culture turns to God and follows His principles. Then they can be healed.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
I pray and hope that our churches, communities, and other areas will follow justice and generosity since it is one of the most beneficial things we can do.