In this sermon, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, talks about Calvinism, and what our attitudes regarding work and money.  Here are some excerpts:

“…Now, of all the Protestants, the Calvinists, by and large, have been the most diligent workers… There were three elements in Calvinism that represented hard work as a virtue, and thereby generated a religious motivation for the accumulation of wealth. These three doctrines are…

Calvinists have always believed that those who are to be saved have been“chosen for this salvation before the foundation of the world.

“…[Calvinism would argue that…] Those who are predestined for salvation will know that they are among the elect by virtue of the fact that they prosper economically!”

“…What particularly grieves me is that this “health and wealth” theology has too often become the justification for some Christians to reject the pleas to provide economic assistance for people in impoverished countries…”

Calvinism promoted a new attitude toward the believer’s Christian vocation.

…The Reformation rescued Christianity from the cloister and restored it to the marketplace. The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, the carpenter, the farmer and the housewife, all could serve God in their respective activities if they offered up their work to Him as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and as a means of helping their fellow human beings…”

“Calvinists have always proclaimed the doctrine of thrift.

…Christians who embrace the Protestant work ethic work hard. They despise laziness. They glorify God through their work. Their spiritual attitude toward their job makes – them productive, and the more productive they are, the more they prosper. However, the old-time Protestant preachers offered important words of caution and admonition to their people:…”

Well Done Good And Faithful Servant

“So, I think this parable of the talents is telling us this Labor Day weekend:  Work hard; earn all you can; save all you can; give all you can. Do your appointed job conscientiously and well; do it as unto the Lord, for His glory, and for the benefit and. blessing of your fellow human beings…”

__________________

Graham has a lot more to say about this topic. If you would like to learn more, please download and read the attached transcript of the sermon, as the above excerpts do not even scratch the surface. If you would like to do a word search on the transcript, download the file, and then open the file with your web browser after downloading and use your browser’s find feature.

 

September 4, 1988

Matthew 25:26,27

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)