Here are six important statements about wealth from the Bible:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
Now, the next time you go to church, look at the building. At any "normal" church in America, the church building is an immense structure worth significant amounts of money. Here is a typical church in Raleigh, NC:
The church's web site has this to say: "In May of 1993 the church fellowship voted unanimously to relocate our church campus. As a result of God's gracious plan, our Tryon site almost immediately became inadequate to facilitate our growing numbers. Thus, the church body once again demonstrated its pioneering spirit, faith and vision—vision to be a church not only blessed with a wonderful past, but faith and trust in God for an enduring, effective future. As of May 21, 1996, we became the owners of 33 acres on which to build our new facilities. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!" This church has soccer fields, indoor basketball courts, dozens of meeting rooms and classrooms, several buses, a library, a huge sanctuary and ample free parking.
[One obvious question to ask after reading the church's statement is this: If all blessings flow from God, then why are his blessings so amazingly unbalanced? Why are tens of thousands of children dying of starvation every day on this planet [ref], while Colonial Baptist Church is blessed with such wealth? Why wouldn't God spread his blessings evenly among all his children? Answer: Because God is imaginary.]
If you look at this article you see this description of the Catholic Church: "The Vatican's treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment."
The contradiction is startling. No where in Jesus' teachings is it suggested that Christians should buy land and build church buildings with indoor basketball courts. No where does Jesus suggest the accumulation of billions of dollars in gold bars. Chistians are supposed to sell everything and give the money to the poor, according to Jesus. Yet church congregations do exactly the opposite on a regular basis. Building a large sanctuary and indoor basketball courts is an exercise in vanity, ego-boosting, selfishness and human pride. These attributes are the opposite of Jesus' prescriptions and everyone knows it.
Church congregations regularly and willfully ignore Jesus' teachings because they know that Jesus is imaginary.