1 “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.
2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.
3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire.”
“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
14 " And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, will I spit you out of My mouth.
17 ‘Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to
anoint your eyes so that you may see.
23 And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 'And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”
1 John 3:17
Matthew 19: 23-24
Aldersgate Advisors was formed with the needs of a specific group in mind. A segment of society often ignored by many and reviled by some. Which since you are reading this, suggests you may well be a member.
Our mission is to help the worldly wealthy – especially those of the church of Laodicea. Hence our mission to Laodicea:
In this regard we believe we are somewhat unique. There are many worthy missions to reach and comfort the lost, the poor, sick, and hungry, the homeless, those in prisons, those addicted to drugs, etc and to almost every country in the world.
However, ours is a special outreach to those with truly extraordinary circumstances and that are “almost impossible” to reach - those that may be considered “rich” by the world’s standards and to then to “save that which may be lost”.
Many scriptures admonishing the wealthy are well known to both Christians and non Christians alike.
Even “Believers” already in the “Church” are not exempt from the special struggles, burdens, and temptations of “worldly success”.
However, in this increasingly affluent secular materialistic society, is there a more disconcerting scripture than Matthew 19: 23-24, – and yet the affluent with their unique burdens, temptations, and struggles, are rarely looked upon with sympathy or needing our help.
It may be counter-intuitive at first impression, but if there is any group that truly needs our compassion and help - it is the affluent both in and out of the Church.
At least for most people that may be lost, sick, hungry, in prison, drug or alcohol addicted, depressed, or otherwise without hope, etc, there are numerous missions seeking to help them. Hopefully they will eventually realize they have a problem and obtain help.
However those ensnared by their pride, fame, fortune, wealth, are often blinded by their worldly success. They can be especially skeptical and suspicious of someone trying to” help them” as almost everyone in they know wants something from them. Besides from their worldly view point, they think they “have the world by the tail” and don’t need any "help".
The affluent are often surround by sycophants and have no one willing to tell them the truth - not in judgment but in love. As such they many never realize their peril – or at least not until it’s too late at the final judgment.
So just as Jesus made a special effort in Luke 19 to personally reach out in a one on one effort to save a rich tax collector, Aldersgate Advisors is a business with a Christian mission designed especially to help solve the problems of the “worldly” wise and affluent who often require personal - one on one attention.
Our mission is to seek and save that which was / is lost and then to help the affluent use their gifts and talents to be wise stewards of their blessings and lead balanced productive lives and to prosper in all things – just as their soul prospers in this world and the next.
Aldersgate also works with churches to obtain resources necessary to penetrate the common fallacy of the affluent: “that being rich, they don’t have any needs as their lives are already “complete”.
However, it’s well established the relationship between material gain and emotional welfare often seems to be inverse. Even the ancient Greeks knew this from their myth of King Midas who recognized his infamous “touch” was actually a curse after it turned his food, drink, even his daughter into gold.
Research on human happiness and contentment reveals that after someone wins the lottery, they are only “happier” for about six months. After the euphoria wears off - they are no happier than before they won the lottery. In fact many are less so.
Even very rich people--the Forbes' 100 wealthiest Americans are only slightly “happier” than average Americans. With net worths exceeding $100 million, providing ample money to buy things they don't need and hardly care about, 80 % agreed that "money can increase OR decrease happiness, depending on how it is used." And some were indeed unhappy.
One fabulously wealthy man could never remember being happy. A woman reported that money could not undo the misery caused by her children's problems. Thus, it’s no surprise that research suggests rich people are up to three times more likely to kill themselves than those with less money.
In fact it’s common that after achieving a certain level of financial success, eventually for an empty feeling, depression, or a sense of restlessness to be expressed by excessive risky, unhealthy pursuits including but certainly not limited to substance abuse and promiscuity. Is there a more compelling cry for a personal relationship with Jesus? Yet too often the “Church” and “Christians” are silent.
Do we really love our rich neighbors as we love ourselves?
Ironically, while many willingly sacrifice everything for fame and fortune- their children, spouses, health, etc, others in society blame the rich for most of our social ills.
Our increasingly covetous, secular society seems to have little sympathy for the spiritual well being or the eternal consequences for our wealthy neighbors. Rather than viewed with compassion, the affluent are mere resources to be exploited, their personal life struggles – just entertainment.
Much of American society believes the affluent are simply “getting what they deserve” just reaping what they sowed. No doubt much evil has been done in the unrighteous pursuit of mammon. Mistakenly though many seem to think all wealth is ill-gotten. Besides - the wealthy can “afford it” as evidenced by an increasingly disproportionate tax burden. In the U S, the top 50% of income earners pay 97% of the income tax. The top 5% of earners pay 60% of all taxes while the top 1% earns only 19.6% of the income yet pay about 41% of all the taxes.
All have received special gifts, some a special blessing to make money. In fact, it is God that gives us the power to make us rich. Wealth if used properly as intended, is a blessing and a force for good. But rather than use their gifts and blessings for the benefit others (1Peter 4:10), many are seduced by the temptations and are ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
Being ensnared by wealth is really just another form of idolatry.
It seems to have much in common with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Just as drugs and alcohol if abused can cause undesirable and destructive behavior temporarily deceiving an addict from the realities of their actions, so can fame, wealth, success, deceive the affluent!
However the improper use of wealth can be much more devastating. While the abuse of both drugs and wealth can be catastrophic to the individual, their family, and to society - the misuse of wealth and idolatry can have eternal consequences.
Our efforts are necessary because society tends to look the other way when the wealthy need help - often with unfortunate results. The news is filled with the numerous personal tragedies of many wealthy, famous, and successful athletes, entertainers, politicians, business professionals and celebrities that are surrounded by “yes” men. However, these are just the travails of the famous that we hear about.
Unfortunately, even just the “marginally” affluent in our neighborhoods, churches and companies, have friends, family, business and spiritual advisers that are equally financially dependent on them. Thus too few of these “confidants” are willing to tell them the truth and potentially jeopardize their relationship. It may be because they don’t know the truth themselves or they are afraid of losing their “gravy train”.
Even many modern churches may tend to tolerate too much inappropriate or questionable behavior from the “wealthy” in their congregations for fear of aliening potential donors. Unfortunately for many of the affluent, they lack anyone around them that is willing to risk their income and association with the affluent for the true spiritual benefit of the wealthy. Such failure to correct is not scriptural and is a disservice.
With their wealth, many actually purchase legions to insulate them from truth – at least for a while. With these literal and figurative “gated communities” it often takes special programs and efforts to reach them.
Aldersgate may be the only voice of truth available to many of them.