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WHY Money Is the Root of All Evil?
By Herbert W. Armstrong
It all started long before money came into existence. Of course that ROOT of all evil is the LOVE of money!
ONCE UPON A TIME there was a super spirit being named Lucifer. He had been created by the supreme Superbeing, named GOD. He had been taught and trained in the GOVERNMENT of the supreme Creator over all the vast endless universe, at headquarters in heaven.
Lucifer then was placed on the throne of the earth, one of the planets of the solar system in one of the galaxies called the Milky Way. Lucifer was set on earth's throne to administer as chief executive the GOVERNMENT OF GOD - a government that rules the universe.
That universe government is based on a supreme LAW - a WAY OF LIFE - the way of "GIVE," which is outflowing love, cooperation, serving.
Beginning of competition
But Lucifer, once on earth's throne, cast competitive eyes on the universe throne. "WHY," he reasoned resentfully, "should God sit on the throne of the whole universe, while He gives me only this one little earth? He wants me to COOPERATE. I believe COMPETITION is the better way. I would rather TAKE than GIVE or cooperate. I will have more for myself if I COMPETE, TAKE, ACQUIRE and then HAVE, instead of GIVING Him love, obedience, loyalty, so HE may have everything.
"I see," Lucifer further reasoned, "He has everything to enjoy, even my kingdom here on earth, while I have only this earth - just like a small dot in His whole vast universe. If I rise up against Him in COMPETITION - if I strive to TAKE from Him His whole vast universe - think what a THRILL - think of the ECSTASY I shall enjoy if I WIN. I realize fully the agony I may have to suffer if I LOSE. But I think the ECSTASY of WINNING is worth the risk of defeat. I believe COMPETITION is the better way of life - the struggle to WIN - the strategy of DEFENSE against Him as my opponent. It's the one who WINS the race who enjoys the thrill and ecstasy of WINNING. Winning is a goal worth the risk of defeat.
"Therefore," Lucifer concluded: "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will be like the most High" (Isa. 14:12-14).
And thus the spirit of COMPETITION was born. But the superbeing Lucifer suffered the agony of DEFEAT - is suffering it still - shall suffer it continually forever because he is an immortal spirit being!
Humans should have learned from his experiment. Humans should have learned from the teachings of the supreme Creator GOD - available to all in print in the world's best-selling book, the Holy Bible!
But humans have not learned. Humans don't want to learn.
Today in this pulsating end time of the 20th century, COMPETITION is the "life of trade" in commerce and business. COMPETITION is the life of SPORTS, now coming to be the principal interest in human life. COMPETITION is the lifeblood of human governments over nations - the desire to TAKE - to invade, conquer, TAKE, GET. Competition is the basic spirit of this world's society. COMPETITION is the interest-incentive both to contestants and TV viewers of the Miss America Pageant, the Miss Universe Pageant and all such contests.
Striving to get
But what is COMPETITION? It is strife to GET from another or from others. Competition has its offense AGAINST neighbor (instead of LOVE toward neighbor as to self). Competition is defense AGAINST an opponent - a striving to get the best of the other fellow or other side, and enjoy the best for SELF. How? By TAKING FROM another. But what has all this to do with the LOVE OF MONEY?
Money has come to be the world's medium of exchange. We put a VALUE on goods and services in terms of MONEY. One GETS and TAKES from the other usually through the medium of MONEY. And the incentive? The LOVE of that money - the desire TO GET - TO TAKE - to HAVE!
How about SPORTS?
This article was inspired by a Los Angeles newspaper sports column, by the inimitable Jim Murray. This column was headlined, "Money is the root of all evil in college football." Jim Murray is a super-clever humorist who often dishes forth a lot of truth through his particular style of humor.
This column started out, "Once upon a time there was a game called college football." The game originally was played "for God, for country and for Yale." He intimated it was started by a few students like Frank Merriwell. I was surprised Mr. Murray knew about Frank Merriwell - a fictional character in a weekly paper read by kids long before Jim Murray's time. In my early high school days - 1907-09 - I was an avid reader of the Frank Merriwell novels, devoured by teenagers. I used to try to hide these novels under the mattress of my bed or in the pipe under the furnace heating register in my bedroom - that is, until my mother found them and burned them.
These Yale kids, continued Mr. Murray, corralled some other kids, coming out of Latin class, to form a football team to try to beat Harvard. But soon people paid to see the annual Harvard game. And home-coming old grads were far more interested in beating Harvard than in a Yale man winning a Nobel prize.
Then entered a new figure in football - the coach. Money began to inject its hand in football. Coaches soon learned that sons of coal miners or high school dropouts were better players than brilliant Latin or psychology students. Soon coaches were surrounded by a staff of recruiters. Where they were barred by the rules from hiring coal miners' sons, they could arrange jobs for the parents to get the kids into college. Then developed every kind of trick to get the brawny players enrolled and through classes - even though they could not read through a book in a year.
Football became a leading national sport - especially since television. Immense concrete stadiums were built. It became big business for the presidents and financial heads of universities. Different means were manipulated to get certain unscholarly players through college - often even without attending classes - as long as they were not found out.
College football became the farm teams to prepare big bruisers for the National Football League and million-dollar contracts. Now five schools of the Pacific Ten Conference have been caught at it and barred from post-season bowl games. But don't expect the University of Southern California to refund the MONEY raked in at last New Year's Rose Bowl game.
Coveting MONEY and that which money will buy is merely the manner of manipulating Satan's WAY OF LIFE - "GET" instead of "GIVE" - TAKE and COMPETE instead of COOPERATE - self-concern and self-gain with desire to WIN, instead of LOVE toward GOD and LOVE toward neighbor.
This world doesn't realize this. This world is DECEIVED by a clever, subtle SATAN. It can't see any wrong in many of Satan's WAYS injected into human society to pull it away from GOD and GOD'S WAY!
This article WON'T BE POPULAR! Most who have read it will still think SATAN'S WAY is BEST. Truly the WHOLE WORLD has been DECEIVED by the wily Satan. HAVE YOU?