Here are some ideas that are connected to stoicism.
- a well-lived life
- wealth is not good or bad in itself
You can read more about stoicism in the link above, but these three points are sufficient for this discussion.
At first glance, stoicism may seem to be a lot like Christianity … a well-lived life … virtue … and even the Bible does not condemn wealth but says that “the love of money is the root of all evil (I Timothy 6:10)”. That scripture is often misquoted, money is not bad, but it is how money is used … to bless or control … for good or for evil.
Stoicism sounds close to Christianity, but there is a major difference; what it lacks is the new birth through Jesus Christ. In the beginning the Lord God created man. Man was tempted by a being named the serpent that had been thrown out of heaven for trying to take the throne of God. Man listened to the serpent, disobeyed God, fell from all that God had given Man when God created Man (Adam), and Man lost the authority and blessings that God had originally given him. Sin, sickness, and death entered the world.
God had given the world to mankind. Because of that, jurisdiction over the earth had been given to mankind (until a set point in time called the Second Coming). God could not just take the earth back to correct the Fall … that would be a kind of theft and God cannot break his own law “thou shalt not steal”.
Psalm 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
Man could not solve the problem himself. The only way to legally remedy the situation was that God had to come in earth in human form (Jesus), pay the price for the penalty of sin on the cross, die, be buried, resurrect, descend to hell and take the keys of death and hell from satan. Jesus then showed himself alive and then ascended back to heaven. As Jesus ascended, he returned dominion, or the authority to have to dominion, back to mankind. Jesus had purchased back what was lost in the Fall.
It is up to each individual to come to Jesus, to repent, to be born again, and to receive what Jesus did and operate in it, but it has been already given by Jesus. Along with that, the potential for blessings such as healing instead of sickness was purchased by the stripes Jesus took on his back. What was lost in Adam’s Fall was regained by what Jesus.
Going back to stoicism, the problem is not that it talks about a good life or a virtuous life or that money is not bad, it’s how you use it. The problem with stoicism is that it neglects the new birth. It neglects a relationship with Jesus Christ.
It is possible to leave a pretty decent life. There are people who avoid drugs, alcohol, the brothels, pedophilia and work hard and have a traditional family and live a decent life. However, without being born again, there is no connection to God through Jesus Christ.
A person can have a decent secular life and still miss the life of God.
That is the problem and omission of stoicism. It is a “thief and robber” because while it may sound good … a good life … virtue … it robs a person of the new birth and a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
And stoicism is not the only philosophy that has this inherent error. Even going to a church week after week, volunteering, giving offerings to the church and doing all sorts of other good works, if the individual lacks the born again experience, the relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then there is still something lacking.
In the passage below, the Pharisees were the church-goers of the day, they were the religious leaders. Yet they missed having a relationship with Jesus. God in human form stood before them, and they wanted to kill him. We have a term in modern language … he missed it or she missed it or they missed it … sin is called missing the mark and they missed it. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.
20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?
21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.
41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
42 And many believed on him there.
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