Luke 16:13 KJV
13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
The discussion that started about Rick Joyner video’s has turned to the topic of church ‘tribalism’, which seems worthy of its own thread… here it is. As a starter, I’m reposting Heretic’s remark on the topic, which links tribalism and mammon.
RP and I were discussing mammon the other day (as you do) and she pointed out something I had not really considered before (but she did not post it I think). The literal meaning of mammon is money, but what is the “unseen” or spiritual reality that the “seen” reality of money points to?
The scripture points to mammon being another “master”, a master being someone who provides you identity, security and tenets to follow.
Money certainly does this. There are many rules and principles about getting growing and keeping money, money provides security and people definitely see themselves in terms of how much money they have and how they came by it.
So the “unseen” version is that mammon is about identity, obedience and security and how finding yourself and your security in these things means you can’t get these things from Father through Jesus. You can’t have two such relationships at the same time (we are designed to be monogamous).
There are many other things besides money that fall into the mammon category and this tribalism thing is just screaming out “mammon, mammon, mammon!”.
The tribe gives you tenets to follow and if you follow them you get your identity. You get the security of being part of something that has in some way “arrived”, “made it” and if you are associated with it you have arrived too and are safe in the knowledge that you have made it too – you are OK.
I am convinced that chasing the next big movement of Christians (emerging church maybe), or, say, hanging your hat on the third last movement (Pentecostalism maybe), is mammon. Similarly chasing the latest “outpouring” is the same.
Father may have spoken the leaders of those movements. That is great. But that is not for us to rely on. Father speaks to us too and that is sufficient. I am pretty sure the only label we should appropriate for ourselves is the one Jesus gave us, being, friends of his.
I don’t think it is wrong to go a Pentecostal or Emerging gathering and/or associate with brothers of that ilk but if you find your identity in it or become obedient to it or find your security in that movement then you may well be choosing another master for yourself and be in the thrall of unrighteous mammon even if money is no problem for you at all.
And just for context, Vine’s definition of mammon is:
mamonas, a common Aramaic word for “riches”, akin to a Hebrew word signifying “to be firm, steadfast” (whence “Amen”), hence, “that which is to be trusted”, Gesenius regards it as derived from a Heb. word signifying “treasure” (Gen. 43:23); it is personified in Matt. 6:24; Luck 16:9, 11, 13.
So – can we serve both God and tribalism? Where do we draw a line?