Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Do Those Claiming to Be “Servants” Need to Live in Mansions?

“Michele calls me and says, ‘I’m in. I love this house, but it’s more than we were talking about paying for, but I really think it’s a great house, you should go take a look at it.’” --- Barack Obama’s report of his wife’s assessment of the “house” they eventually bought in Chicago for $1.65 million dollars, which involved a $330,000 discount! Source: The Obama Nation by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.

It is a common claim made by elected officials, particularly at the federal level. Members of the U. S. Congress will often refer to their status of being a “servant” or “I work for you!” etc. when they are campaigning for reelection. These people are supposed to represent their constituents in D. C. and as such, ought not their personal lifestyles clearly reflect that status?

But if they insist on living in a house that costs in excess of a million dollars, send their kids to expensive private schools, and continually conspire to increase their salaries, perks and retirement benefits, how can they possibly have a genuine concern for the average citizen whom they claim to represent?

This has been a justifiable criticism in the realm of professing Christianity as well.

Those who head up mega churches and TV ministries have too often betrayed the people they claim to serve by indulging in worldly and lavish lifestyles. The days of “his & hers” Rolls Royce's (Jim & Tammy Faye Baker) or owning a very costly mansion (Jimmy Swaggert) have by no means ended!

It is all too easy when one moves into a position of power, influence and increased wealth to become infected with the spirit of this present world and “servant hood” fades away, becoming as dead as the many corpses buried in the local cemetery.

This is a tragic reality constantly repeated in both the political and the religious realms of human experience. And it is why you often find a lot scathing denunciations of political and religious leadership recorded in the holy Scriptures. Persons involved in political and religious leadership are regarded as being servants and are to discharge their responsibilities in obedience to Almighty God. Corruption setting in with a very negative influence on political and religious leaders will ultimately contribute to the downfall of a culture in time! The best summary where this pattern is demonstrated is revealed in 2 Chronicles 36 of the Old Testament Scriptures. The Old Testament prophets addressed this issue time and time again!

There will be attempts to justify the lavish lifestyles of politicians and those in the “higher ranks” of professing Christianity – if for no other reason than the fact that they deserve it for all the work they have done or they came out of very humble and poverty stricken backgrounds in younger and earlier years.

If one wants to get rich and live “high on the hog” then go into business, play the stock market (if you like to gamble), enter a profession, or become a trial lawyer! It’s wide open when it comes to opportunities to earn income and become rich, but even then one is still accountable to God for what you have done with your life. And if in the process you have become a billionaire many times over, then you really have a lot of accounting to do when you appear before God – and all of us will have that moment in which we answer to our Creator concerning what we have done with this most precious commodity called life.

But when it comes to involvement in something called government or a call to proclaim the Word of God, we then take on the role of “servants” and that means we are not to bathe in luxury in this present life. Keeping a proper focus is not at all easy due to a daily invasion of worldly distractions, but we can be greatly helped and challenged when we consider the example of One Who said, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Matthew 8:20).

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” --- Matthew 16:24-26

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