When Christianity becomes Inconvenient

   A preview of July's email-only article.

Mike Haupt

Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers. (If you'd like to join the club, fill out the form below. It's free!)

In this month's subscriber email we're looking at how to respond when faith becomes inconvenient.

Here's how the article starts:

On the blog this month we examined Job's wealth and godliness and the implied causal relationship between the two. The Scripture seems to suggest, but does not state, that Job was wealthy because he lived an upright and blameless life. That is, God blessed Job because he was godly.

But as we progress through the book we see Satan trying to reverse cause and effect. This should come as no surprise since the adversary is always trying to twist the truth, calling up, down and right, wrong. Here he claims Job is only living a righteous life because of the blessings God has given him. Take those away, Satan said, and Job would curse God.

If you ask me, it's pretty dumb to wager with an omnipotent being, but the enemy has enough hubris to do just that. Nevertheless, Satan probably formed his assumptions about Job's faithfulness to God based on centuries of human examples.


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Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Godly. Here's What It Takes.

 Lessons from one of the richest men of the Bible.

The book of Job is underrated.

While other passages and tomes get all the love, Job offers poignant and practical lessons regarding some of the most existential questions humans face. These lessons are myriad: faithfulness, suffering, evil, God's silence, integrity, holiness, justice, and more.

An important lesson we see right in the beginning is one that was not even a question for the book's original audience: the congruence of wealth and godliness.

As we read the first few verses of the book of Job, the narrative describes Job as both "blameless and upright" (1:1) and wealthy. In fact the passage describes Job as the wealthiest man of the east. (Such a designation probably means east of the Jordan river.)

In the ancient near east way of thinking, these two statuses should co-exist. Riches and honor result from integrity and faithfulness to God. Although the passage details no causal relationship between Job's godliness and his wealth, ancient minds would have read as much into the story. Whether or not such an inference is justifiable is up to interpretation.

Nevertheless, today we (and I mean culture in general) often villainize or look down upon the wealthy. We assume that they are greedy or unethical and love to take advantage of others.

Where do we get such notions?