Monday, July 21, 2014

Piketty (19) Unrighteous Wealth

My greatest concern a about Piketty’s approach is that the does not distinguish between righteous wealth. He considers the possibility, but decides that it is too hard, because the wealth usually have mixed motives (445).

Assessing the morality of wealth is beyond the capability of Piketty or of any democratic government. When governments portray wealthy as unrighteous, it is usually and excuse for one group of people to steal wealth from another.

God has a different perspective. Jesus introduced the concept of unrighteous wealth in the parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16). He described some wealth as righteous, but he expanded on the dangers of unrighteous wealth in the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus. He explained that the soul of the person who owns unrighteous wealth is in serious danger. It is almost impossible to get into the kingdom.

Jesus did not give governments responsibility for confiscating unrighteous wealth. Confiscated wealth remains unrighteous wealth.

Unrighteous wealth that Government transfers to another person remains unrighteous wealth. The only way to escape the clutches of unrighteous wealth is to give it away. Zacchaeus understood Jesus teaching so he gave most of his wealth away.

When a person becomes a Christian, one of the first things that we should expect is that the Holy Spirit will convict them about the unrighteous wealth that they own. They should be encouraged to give it away.

When unrighteous wealth is given away, it is transformed into righteous wealth. In the book of Acts, people sol their property and laid the proceeds at the apostle’s feet. They were most likely getting rid of unrighteous wealth. That fact that Ananias and Saphira had trouble giving up their wealth indicates that it was probably unrighteous wealth.

The nature of unrighteous wealth is described in God's Instructions for Economic Life given in the Torah. If we are not clear about whether our wealth is righteous or unrighteous, the Holy Spirit can show us. Discerning unrighteous wealth was too difficult for Piketty, but it is easy for the Holy Spirit.

Much of the wealth held in the western world is unrighteous wealth. If there is a gospel advance in the next few decades, we should see a massive amount of unrighteous wealth being given away. This would do more to reduce inequality than Piketty’s wealth tax.

Large holdings of unrighteous wealth, and a few people with righteous wealth. are a consequence of gospel failure.


  • Confiscated unrighteous wealth remains unrighteous wealth.
  • Unrighteous wealth must be given away to become righteous wealth.
I will post on Jesus parables and on unrighteous wealth when I am finished with Piketty.


Miklós said...
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Ian Williams said...

Some years ago, a Crown entity set me up and plundered me. I asked Jesus how to deal with it, He said, "Consider it an offering and bless it to them". Within a short while He had more than made up for any losses. When I asked Him about blessing my enemy so, He told me that as it was unrighteous mammon, being the proceeds of perfidy and plunder, that it would be as a SEED OF DESTRUCTION and would ultimately end in the destruction of Wellington when He gives them a 9.1 quake and stops the mouth of Leviathan forever. And BTW Ron, you are wRONg about so much, but that's OK...God is going to save everyone Ron...and there is no hell...