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Is Network Marketing Compatible With the Bible?

Anyone who’s been around network marketing companies has noticed a good number of Bible believers, including some clergy getting involved. Yet, it’s not mainstream and adherents seem to take a low key approach to their participation. What are the issues, both pro and con for those considering joining in?

First of all, churches and religious organizations are made up of people and will reflect the same characteristics as any group.  So if a certain percentage of the population in a given geographic area has a negative attitude about network marketing, it will be reflected in those of faith as well.  This has nothing to do with religious beliefs, but is more of a social trend.

On the other hand, certain scripture passages could be making believers more apprehensive.  For example, Jesus said in Matthew 19:23 that  “..it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”   And Proverbs 28:20 warns that “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”  Does this mean that a vow of poverty is a better path?

Those that have attended network marketing events certainly are aware of the potential for unlimited wealth that is afforded by network marketing, and avoid it to avoid the temptation or lapsing into idolatry.  But given the interest in traditional wealth creation even in religious circles, e.g., getting a good education and well paying position, indicates that it’s not really about a “poverty vow.”

In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25 and Luke 19), Jesus tells of a man going on a journey who entrusted his property (talents) according to their ability.  The men who were entrusted with five and two talents, put them to work and gained five and two more respectively, whereas the man entrusted one talent hid it in the ground.  The man upon his return, praised the first two men, but reprimanded the third man, as “evil and lazy”  and took the one talent from him, giving it to the man with ten.   This parable is an encouragement to use what we have while on Earth to the best of our abilities.

Network marketing (or any business venture) gives individuals the possibility of generating significant wealth.  As the Bible clearly states in I Tim 6:10 that it is the “love of money,” vs. money itself that is the root of all evil.  At the same time, it is equally evil to squander the resources given to us by God, including our abilities to make money for the benefit of others.

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