The Christian’s Cash and the Bible
Robin Calamaio - Copyright 2010
Introduction: First Things First
Does God care how you handle your cash? This is the first thing that must be established
- one way or the other. If you have decided He does not care about this, then the forthcoming
discussion is not for you. On the other hand, for those of you who have become convinced He
does care, then you will find this material of great interest. There are two bedrock passages that
lay first claim to a Christian’s cash. The first pertains to family provision and the other involves
debt. Theses are like two rails upon which we financially ride, or two boundaries to stay inside.
Rail One: Family Provision
“(I)f anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he
has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Tim 5:8). If there is one passage you
could almost make me say -“This is not inspired by God” - this is it. Six day creation, Lot’s wife
turned to salt, Balaam’s speaking donkey, the sun stopped, floating axe head, resurrection of
Jesus Christ, resurrection of everyone on the Last Day, creation of the new heavens and new earth
... no problem. But, this passage is very close to being too hard for me to believe was authored
by the Holy Spirit. And cash is the tool that determines one’s compliance with it ... or not.
My Reason for Near Unbelief
This verse is actually a parenthetical statement by Paul - almost a throw away line. He
was addressing the issue of widows in the church - and the church’s responsibility toward them.
He first said the children or grandchildren were “to make some return to their parents” in
meeting the needs of widows in their family (1Tim 5:4). Later in the discussion, he said a
“woman who is a believer” with widows in her family was “to assist them, and let not the church
be burdened” (1Tim 5:16). But, between the “children or grandchildren” and the “woman who
is a believer,” Paul addressed the head of the family unit. “... if anyone does not provide for his
own (“his own” - refers to a widow in his family) and especially those of his household (the
man’s immediate family) he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Tim 5:8).
Failure to use his cash properly in these two matters has two astounding consequences.
First, he “has denied the faith.” Denied is the word, “ernetai” (from “arneomai”). It
means, “denied, disclaimed, disowned, renounced, contradicted” the faith. It is only by faith that
anyone stands. I can not think of a more dire pronouncement for any transgression anywhere in
the Bible. This rivals blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Lk 12:10). To deny the faith means eternal
trouble. If God deems you in this category, you are doomed. It is not possible to overstate how
grave the predicament. Divinity degrees will not help you. Ordination to the clergy can not
deliver you. Even hiding in the last pew, claiming yourself as a “lowly layman” will not shield
you. And this verb is in the perfect tense - meaning past action with results to the present. You
denied the faith and that state of affairs stands to the present. Concerning God’s authorship,
though the passage is terrifying, I have no problem so far. ...