Bible Teaching aimed at helping you enjoy the Scriptures which are the Word of GOD!
Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*
Warren Buffett and I both live in Omaha, Nebraska.
I live in his city, he doesn’t live in mine.
Buffett is said to have more wealth than any single person in the world, except his friend Bill Gates, III.
Except by reputation, I scarcely know Warren Buffett. I’m quite sure he knows me not at all, neither by reputation or recollection.
When I was an editor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha student newspaper in 1972, Buffett’s weekly, the Omaha Sun Newspapers, was our printer. While preparing the campus paper for print, I got to know some of the reporters and the editor-in-chief of the Sun Newspapers.
Some of those reporters: Mick Rood, Lisa Lewis, and Wes Iverson, along with Editor-in-Chief Paul Williams won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting when they popped a story on how Omaha’s Boys Town (“Father Flanagan’s Boys Home”) was sitting on a pile of cash, and raised more money in their Christmas giving campaign than they used in the following year.
On more than one occasion, I was in the Sun offices when Warren Buffett called. Mick Rood would then get on the phone, talking in hushed tones to Buffett, and taking notes. It was common knowledge around that office that there was a big story brewing, and that Buffett was running the story by telephone.
My personal experience with Buffett is obscure at best. In 1973, I played bridge against him at the Omaha Bridge Studio. My bridge partner and I were arrogant young college students, and we occasionally played duplicate bridge.
In that context, I remember the 43-year-old Buffett as an unfriendly guy. The bridge studio annoyed him – I think it was the cigarette smoke, in part – so he opened one of his own. On the other hand, I’m confident that I was annoying enough to bring out the worst in anyone playing at my table.
We spoke briefly on the telephone in 1974. I was a journalist. Buffett was induced and annoyed to return my call about his interest in Newsweek magazine. As I recall, he was then becoming a major shareholder of the Washington Post and Newsweek.
It’s ironic that after all these years, the very thing Buffett sunk his teeth into as a crusader – donations to tax exempt charities – is forming his latest legacy.
Buffett’s latest donation – said to be as much as $37 billion when in fact, the way people like Buffett count money (net present value) it is not more than $16 billion, and more likely $8-12 billion – is an interesting indicator of a man and a mind gone tragically wrong.
Warren Buffett grew up with privilege and exposure I never knew as a child. His father, Howard Homan Buffett, was a four-term congressman from Omaha, and a prominent leader in perhaps the most influential social network in Omaha in his day, the Dundee Presbyterian Church.
His father was “a very faithful Christian” according to one pastor. Howard H. Buffett was famous for his libertarian political views, and his disdain for big government and the “one-world crowd.” He was against the USA having a large standing army (after all, it IS unconstitutional) and said that people like FDR and Truman would have our men in uniform fighting for Arabian oil. He was an insightful guy.
So, it’s a pretty surprising his son Warren – proudly an “agnostic” – makes a statement, in the context of announcing his large donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “There are many ways to heaven, but this is a great one.”
Buffett was making an analogy, and was not speaking about buying into heaven. That’s his claim. He may have rather said, “There are many ways to skin a cat, but this is a great one.” That would have offended the PETA crowd, which, I am guessing, loves Buffett.
Buffett recently said his father was “his hero.” He said he had a great relationship with him, he was “my friend.” He also said his father’s internal drive was fueled “by religion.” I personally do not think Buffett distinguishes “religion” from “faith.” He has obviously either left his Sunday school roots, or he flunked out.
I understand, however, his sentiment toward his father. I loved by dad, and he loved me. And later in his life, when he was 58, I had the privilege of introducing him to Jesus Christ. My father and I will rise together – right along with Howard H. Buffett – at the return of Jesus Christ.
While many modern Presbyterians might not bat an eye at Buffett’s “ways to heaven” statement, nor let it interrupt the cash flow into their 401K’s, it had to send a chill up the spine of the orthodox among the “frozen chosen.”
After all, Jesus Christ said “ I am the way … no one comes to the Father but by Me.” And he said, “ Narrow is the gait, and difficult is the way that leads to life.”
Let’s give the usually artfully sanguine Buffett some grace – something he desperately needs, and about which he knows little – and accept that he was not trying to spin theology. After all, he persistently claims agnosticism, and seems to stick to the true meaning of that term: not an outward seething hostility toward God, but a claim one does not know whether there is God, and neither, therefore, heaven.
To those of us who know the grace of God , and the meritorious work of Jesus Christ in our behalf as a Substitute , Buffett’s agnosticism is a pathetic case. I don’t question that he doesn’t know: I will take him at his word. But why doesn’t he know?
Maybe it’s because most of the believers that come his way are more interested in Warren’s money than his condition, especially now that he’s giving it away in nearly unfathomable (to many) chunks. Maybe it’s because Buffett has become jaded due to his experience with graceless ecclesiasticism and ritualism, and he has therefore ignored the Scriptures entirely.
The Queen of England once said she thanked God often for the “m” in “many” in 1st Corinthian 1:26 . There’s a better hope for poor Warren Buffett than he knows.
So my take on Buffett’s gifting is simple enough. He needs to avoid the 55% death tax that he likes so much: that means give it away. He doesn’t want to manage a foundation: it’s way too much work, neither does he want to scale one up. Gates and he see eye-to-eye on how to save the world: control population, and combat disease. In the process of doing that, discover – tax-free – opportunities world-wide and especially in the medical and biotech sectors.
Oh yeah: live as long as you can! I find it interesting that Buffett’s gifting program terminates exactly when the CSO mortality tables on Buffett do: age 94. Maybe Buffett will live long. Frankly, I wish him well on that score. From what I understand, he’s (rightfully) very concerned – maybe fearful – about dying. That’s prudent, because, in Warren’s case, it is far more certain than taxes.
On the other hand, Warren Buffett doesn’t live in my city.
My city is the same one Abraham looked for 4,000 years ago. It’s enduring. As for me, I’ve already passed through death , so I don’t fear it.
At Gorat’s steakhouse in Omaha – Buffett’s alleged favorite – when I buy an entree, they give me one for my wife free. I like free stuff. Especially the gift of God . Warren Buffett doesn’t even know what that is. No one is giving to him.
Poor, poor Warren Buffett.
I don’t know about God, because like Buffett, I am an agnostic. (We have never discussed our religious views. In fact, we haven’t discussed anything in 30 years.) But I enjoyed your commentary. I would mention that it wasn’t likely that Warren would be calling me on the phone in those days. It was much more likely Paul Williams calling me from home or the other room. I always took notes very carefully when he spoke. He guided the Pulitzer Prize to fruition, not Warren.
Excellent, excellent, excellent.
Warren Buffett probably doesn’t like evangelists because they are mostly swindlers. I’m an agnostic and i think they are swindling themselves by believing in such tripe in the first place. The whole faith is one big swindle.
These Christians are good at finding an achilles heal in people – but there are so ‘many’ things wrong with the bible!
Mr Malone, i can see that you are intelligent in some ways; but you seem to need a god to stay ‘good’. If that is really the case, then people like you disgust me.
If there was a god, then i would have to take IT to task for the countless tortures of people, including children, that go on everyday; sometimes in your neighbour’s house.
If you were really good – why not impeach this God and put him on trial for all the things that he has initiated in the first place!
Evangelists are mostly swindlers? I agree that some who claim to bring God’s word have other motives. Usually it is easy to discover. But does that blame fall on God or His people? Do you have some evidence of John being a swindler? Of course you do not. You are just taking a cheap shot because you want an excuse for your unbelief – ‘there are bad people in this world, so God must not exist.’ How foolish of you. You are in great peril, and you mock the only One that could rescue you.
What specifically is wrong with the Bible? If there are so â€˜manyâ€™ things, it should be easy for such an intellectual champion as you to expose it. Are you as intelligent as the Author (of the Bible)? I think not. But you sound like you think so. Here is your chance to prove yourself, and your sound reasoning. You might want to read it first.
Ironically, there is certainly a God, whether you acknowledge Him or not, and He will absolutely take you to task in His own time. You will be judged for your wicked deeds, including the taunting of God Almighty, unless you believe in His son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died in your place so you wouldn’t have to face that consequence.
More ironically, you call yourself an agnostic, meaning â€˜no knowledgeâ€™, while, at the same time, claim to know. Which is it?
There is none that is â€˜really goodâ€™, except the One whom you want to impeach. If God were to strike down anyone that did wrong, there would be none left. So how would you be here to impeach Him for allowing you to sin against Him. I think your argument is silly, but feel free to correct me. Just remember, it is God that is giving you the breath with which you use to curse Him.
You need to get over it. I laugh when I hear the term “poor Warren Buffet”. What an inspiration he is; and to be so selfless as to give his fortune away toward the greater good of mankind is an amazing display of compassion. Don’t be so bitter. He did and continues to live a full and rewarding life which rubs off on people who cross his path. I dont see how anyone can take your article seriously. Grow up…you’re an adult.
What does it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life? (Mark 8:36-37)
Warren Buffett aside, I’m worried about Ron. Ron, what happened pal? Seems to be a lot of anger or frustration in your post. Have you had too many experiences with folks claiming Christ that don’t really know Him from a hole in the ground? There are a lot of them out there – the devil makes sure of it. If so, I’m sorry.
You actually touched on the good news / bad news part of the Gospel, though. The good news is that we are in the Age of Grace. That means that God is not giving us what we deserve when we sin against Him. Instead, He is calling out a people to Himself. All who will come, can come, and that means you too, Ron. The bad news of the Gospel is that God is not giving OTHERS what they deserve when they hurt us or people we care about, because He wants them to repent and come too. Its a heck of burden for Him, I’m sure, to not act directly, and to feel all the pain and hurt of the world’s suffering. But, because He is willing to hold off judgment, He can still be calling people like me and you to Him.
Jesus has told us He is coming back and that He will rule with “a rod of iron” – meaning that, in His 2nd go-around, Jesus will be the God you are looking for, taking out evil left and right. But, once He comes back, the opportunity for Grace is over and its just judgment.
Please make sure you have come to Him as your Savior and Lord now, while you can, before He comes to you as your Lord and judge (you get Him as Savior or you get Him as Judge – but never both). I can tell you from personal experience, He’s a real good boss to have and a lot better than my old one (spiritually speaking). I don’t particularly want Him as my Judge, because His sentences are pretty tough.
All the best,
I am a born again Christian, not because I am self righteous or deserving, but because God has loved me enough to accept me and to forgive me for my human weakness. I do not deserve God, He blesses me regardless. And I find it very interesting that the richest of the rich can give billions away to “heal the world” through tax write offs but can not give money freely to those who really need it, because there is no tax benefit to it. What about helping the homeless, or abused women, or giving financial support directly to families in need? What if you give $10 to a hungry person? Is it so awful to touch a life in a real way rather than frittering monies to non profit organizations that obviously are failing to help those they claim to be helping? Why not help a family who is losing their hoime, rather than turning them out on the streets? Why not give money to help someone in need of medical care rather than going to a $500 a plate dinner to fit the picture of a cheerful giver. God is not the problem here at all. We are, because we are self absorbed.
In 2001 my daughter was murdered by he spouse, leaving me with her children to raise. My parents are in ill health, disabled and don’t have the finances to meet their needs so I help them out. I had ovarian cancer last summer and in December my sister died. I don’t blame these tragedies on God, I blame them on mankind. An angry young man killed his wife because he could not do what he wanted to do, that left 3 children frightened and demoralized for us to raise without either parents help. Elderly parents that are ill, do not have adequate coverage for their medical needs, rx’s, and rising costs of living. Why because they helped a daughter who was over come with bi polar disorder and could not get adequate insurance or financial help to get appropriate treatment. They spent the last money they had just to bury her.Give money away if you have it to give, to help someone, not just to get a tax break. Poor Warren has missed the real boat here, the opportunity to not ignore the blind man begging at the gate. Eternity is a long time to spend in hell, if you could help someone and chose instead to ignore them.
“religion that God the Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Seems so simple and easy to understand,and maybe one of the best illustration given to christianity of how we are to live.
Join me in praying for warren’s, Bill gates and ron reagan jr.’s salvation. God is faithful- He IS and will always be. What a great God we have.
Did God create us, or did we create God because psychologically we need him in order to move through this life?
God in our society is created by man. That is not to say that there isn’t a God out there, I believe there is, but not the one that most Christians espouse.
Further, Religion is a man made system that men use to try and control and manipulate God, because we all want to be in control of our own lives.
Myths are stories that whether they be true or not, contain eternal and timeless truths, and these myths (including the ones in the Bible) often sustain and support our inner heart lives.
When we look at religion this way, instead of trying to look at everything so literally, then we align ourselves with God and his cosmos.
Then we understand that God put things in our hearts and minds that were to be our special gift in this world, and our purpose here is to find our meaning and life and bring forth the fruit. Just like Jesus wanted the fig tree to do.
This man Warren Buffett, has found his bliss and he has followed it, he has used his understanding of the economic system and began to pour out all over this world to help the problems of lack and poverty.
If God allows the stars to align for this man so that he recieves tax breaks for doing so, if he decides that running a foundation is not his gifting, what does all of this matter? I say GOOD JOB WARREN. If you are generous I hope you get all the breaks that a man could possibly get in this life and the one beyond.
The Chrisitans on this board will try to somehow become “super spiritual” and drag someone down using the scriptures just like the old religious order was doing that Jesus destroyed.
Remember Christ set his face against the religious people of that day, not the people they considered the sinners.
Their ability to become so blinded to the goodness in the world, and the reason for our being here, and to become set up in their mental strongholds of self righteousness, is exactly what Jesus was talking about when he called them whited sepulchres who were full of dead men’s bones! Or that they had gotten the letter of the law but missed the spirit of the law.
To be more specific, he said:
“They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,* and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them.”
This man is doing GOOD in the world, the RIGHT IS RIGHT, you can claim to know and understand his motives.
God’s truth pops up in all civilizations and in all religions all over the world, and does not belong exclusively to Christians, in fact being raised as a Christian all my life, I understand that there are some precious people within the church, but there are also those who are the ABSOLUTE WORST TWISTERS AND PERVERTERS of the truth in all of our known civilization.
Anytime someone does good in the world, you should applaud that person and encourage those types of actions, not to sit on your self proclaimed self righteous throne and pretend to be God judging the thoughts and intents of another mans heart, because you are not God.
Only God knows the thoughts and motives of our hearts.
Unbelievable, a man tries to do good in the world, and is attacked by Christians, you people are the HYPOCRITES you need to return to your alter and get real with God this time.
Absolutely agree with J Woods. Sanctimonious as they are,these people are never there to help people who are really in need of help. It is, however, amazing that they will no doubt be “always” there to pass judgements.
No one is perfect, and hence, any attempts to do good should be encouraged rather than be criticized.
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. People see evil in Warren Buffet because they are evil. Like the hypocritical Pharisees in the time of Jesus.
It is always amazing to hear someone call another person a hypocrite while, in the same breath, saying no one can judge anyone else. And, you have passed judgment on Warren Buffett, saying he is trying to do good, even though you also say only God knows the thoughts and motives of our hearts. Well done Mr. Woods. At the very least, you should try to stay within your own argument, even though you are wrong.
Tim, who are ‘these people’ that never help, only pass judgment? If you are referring to John Malone, since he wrote this article, would you please inform us how you know he never helps anyone in need. I doubt you actually know him, because if you did, you would not have made such a glaring mistake. But you are right, no one is perfect, not even close. That’s why attempts to do good are useless to ‘get to heaven’. You need a savior to take away your sin, not pathetic acts like giving a little money.
hey guys, I somehow ended up on this site.
I just want to say that while I am a Christ follower, I still am encouraged at the impact that people like buffet and gates can have on the world. in fact, it challenges me to strive harder to be a world changer and history maker.
but I will say this: the very reason why people like gates and buffet and all these other people devoted to fighting injustice have these kinds of hearts is because man was created in God’s image. we bear our God’s heart and it’s that very fuel for these kinds of acts.
I’m so sorry that many of you have either been hurt by the Church or “religious” people, but I’m here to tell you that “religion” is not what Jesus was about. many times in the Bible, after healing someone, Jesus told them not to tell anyone about it. I always always wondered why He did that, it finally dawned upon me. maybe it’s because it wasn’t for the sake of the HEALING that Jesus healed. maybe it’s because he was more interested in the PERSON that he was healing.
guys, this is the Jesus that I know, and the Jesus that I hope you all will get to know. he’s not a set of beliefs. he’s the living God who loves us to death (literally). in all other beliefs, it’s all about works- a “righteousness” that you “earn.” but not my Jesus. He came down the ladder and put out a hand for me to grab. that is why I follow Him and that is why I hope you will all someday meet Him and fall in love with him too.
be easy guys =)
I agee with your every word.Thank you for sharing with others on this blog. God may use you to lead more people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Acceptance of his blood shed for our sin is the ONLY way to eternal life with God.
Do you only do “good” because god promise you paradise?
J Lno if you knew the gift of God, and who it is who offers it to you, you would ask Him, and He would give it to you. Gospel of John chapter 4 verse 10 / Book of Romans chapter 6 verse 23 / Gospel of John Chapter 14 verse 6.
J Lno, I wanted to answer your question.
I do “good” not because I can “earn paradise”. In fact, there will never be enough good that I can do to be able to “earn paradise”. that is not what Jesus preaches at all. this is the exact reason why Jesus had to come down for us- to satisfy God’s wrath. and demonstrate the ultimate act of love.
Also, the psalmist, many times, writes things like “whom have I in Heaven but You”. I believe that that phrase easily translates to “what do I have to look forward to in Heaven but You”. the fact of the matter is, our reward or “paradise”, if you will, will be God himself. It will be us finally meeting our Savior and Father. It won’t be about certain riches or finding 70 virgins. If that was what heaven was all about, I wouldn’t follow any faith. why? because you can get 70 virgins on earth. but the heaven that Jesus came to preach is not about that, it’s about an eternity with our creator.
hope this answered your question.
I it possible to get Warren Buffett to give money to a family who are desperately in need. The wife has a stage 4 Bladder Cancer, Her Husband lost his job. They have 2 children, and are struggling just to keep food on the table. Will he help? If so contact me at the website above and I will try to get in touch with him.
While I am a Christian believer, I am also Presbyterian as Mr. Buffett’s father was. And the Presbyterian Church does not teach about the return of Christ at least as I remember. In fact, that was why he sent the Holy Spirit was to guide the disciples until they too joined him in Paradise.
Revelation was not studied much, since it has been given many different interpretations, and was also a disputed book for inclusion in the Bible originally due to its incoherence in much of the scripture.
Born again in my day simply meant sinners returning to the Church and walking in Christ. Not the evangelical “born again” that focuses on the claimed “rapture,” at all.
Interesting article. And Buffett I believe is simply one in denial, and a businessman before all else with little connection to his emotions – and appears Bill Gates is also of that bent as a surrogate son, apparently, as both left brainers who have little emotional connection to their inner self or inner lives.
Well, Betsy, first of all, thanks for the flag. It has endured. Dorcas was raised from the dead so she could keep making blankets.
Second, let’s not throw the Book of Revelation away so quickly. Do not let your background among the “frozen chosen” keep you from enjoying the Scriptures. The “rapture” is the doctrine relating to our gathering together unto the Lord in the clouds, and thereafter we shall ever be with Him. It is actually a transliteration of the Latin word translating the Greek word harpazo, to snatch. That word is found in 1st Thessalonians 4-17, and is descriptive of what happens to living believers at the time “the dead in Christ shall rise first,” at the Lord’s coming.
This coming for His own (parousia, comes prior to revealing Himself in his earthly appearance. It is the assembly in the heavens, the episunagoge, the assembly in heaven.
After that, He will come visible to every eye in the air, returning as he left, with clouds, to Mount Olivet, where He touches down, and all Israel (at the time) will look upon Him Whom they pierced. This is His apocalupsis, translated “revelation” in the English version.
The parousia or “snatching away” is connected with our heavenly hope, which may be realized immediately after that event, called resurrection and rapture. We shall not only be caught up to be with the Lord, but we shall all then be manifested at the judgment seat of Christ, to receive from Him for that which was done in the body before its translation at that moment, that twinkling of an eye.
That grand assize which is His judgment seat is the time that He will be the time our Lord Jesus will be “sifting out the souls of men (believers) before His judgment seat,” as the Battle Hymn of the Republic references. Our hope is yet beyond that grand scene. We hope to be bold at that time, and not ashamed, causing us to shrink away. We hope to hear, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”
We can be bold then because, prior to that time, we believers have the opportunity, by the grace of God, to judge ourselves here and now, as we are commended to do when remembering Him in His supper as He appointed.
I realize you Presbyterians call that “communion,” which is a fine word properly understood.
I am also a presbyterian (from presbuteros, old person), being a grandfather of 30 children, and so in that regard I urge you, as you seem to be deeply reflective, to stir up this heavenly hope in yourself, finding it first in the Bible as I have briefly summarized here.
Neither Mr. Buffett nor Bill gates have a heavenly hope to offer a generation or two here who are otherwise living without one. You and I do.
I hope this doesn’t offend you, as it may seem personal, but I also write for all who may read your comment.
Thanks for visiting.
Yours With All Things In Christ,
To the unbelieves and double minded christians-
God is God who created this World so that means we all comes later and are subject to Him. Yet, people suffer because Satan who is the enemy come to destroy us. So now we are not just subject to God alone but Satan also. Now which side do you stand? The creation of this universe has proven of God’s existance. If this is the fact then why do you so not believe the World of God (the Bible)?
To other religon believers
Does your god sounds as loving as our Jesus is?
Does you god teaches and only give what is good for you? or is your god spoil your people too much and has make him/her too proud and hurt other people?
Does your god teaches what is right from your direct contact with him? or does ur god never done so but merely principles, rules, philosophies and thought that taught by man?
Think about these….no need to argue fact is a fact!!
after reading the comments I was reminded of the story in the bible about the 10 lepers Jesus healed whereby only one returned and thanked Jesus, that thankful Samaritan did not make any comment when Christ inquired about the other 9. Why don’t we try to adopt such an attitude of gratefulness that will refrain us from spying and marking the faults of others. When we constantly embrace the joy of our salvation through faith in Christ then I believe we will be filled with love and we shall be effective channels of blessings that will eventually bring glory to our God.
grace means getting what we do not deserve. For a single sin we commit then we are absolutely bound to hell but thanks to God for dying on the cross to redeem us for being eternally separated from Him which I believe the most fearful thing that may happen to anybody. When he rose again and promised to come again, there, we have a reason to press on and to be hopeful. God doesn’t need us but He loves us which i do not understand but which I am truly and forever be grateful for.
let us fix our eyes on Jesus, live a life that would a smile on His face, abide in the truth, be fruitful in the ministry he entrusted unto us and to reflect Jesus in our speech and conduct.
I bothered reading about Buffett because our teacher mentioned his philantropic engagements and I thought he could be a christian for considering such acts. Whether he is or he is not? It is surely not our business to judge but it is our responsibilty to spread the good news and to defend the truth.
on the cross Jeus said, “It is finished”.
He did it for us.. our only part to get to heaven is to receive the free gift of salvation.
Just stay grateful everyday of His faithfulness, love, mercy and grace.
Keep resonating His glory. People shoud see Jesus in the way we live our lives. A life where love and grace flow. we are His ambassadors. With God nothing is impossible. Let us keep one another in prayer that we shall faithfully abide in His will. God bless you all.
Love never fails.
Thoughtful and insightful article. I feel sorry for Warren Buffet. He seems to be satisfied with his own greatness and wisdom rather than the eternal greatness and wisdom of Christ. It always bothers me that so many of the so-called “titans of business” have been fooled into thinking that there is no GOD or Savior. As for me, I believe in GOD in Christ through the Spirit and continue to try my best to grow into the Holy Community through prayer, Bible study, Church, a Christian life, and the corresponding work in GOD’s Will.
I think we have all become a little too judgemental. We don’t know how God is working with Warren Buffet’s sins. I do know that even one prayer towards him gives him an angel that tries to bring him to God. If warren has love and forgiveness in his heart when he dies than he will go to heaven plain and simply. You don’t have to know Jesus Christ to be saved. You need to know how to Love your neighbors and forgive others who may have hurt you. Now it would really help if you knew Jesus because thats where you learn how to truly Love and Forgive. I trust God to do whatever it takes to save Buffet. In the end the decision lies with Warren himself. God has given us free will. Now keep in mind you don’t even know if Warren Buffet has already been baptized and has already accepted Christ earlier. If he has then Christ needs to reel him back in and that is not a Job for us but for the Lord only. The lord has to draw him near. This may happen at the near time of death in which warren will say God who ever thou maybe please forgive me of all my sins. Thus he may just be in heaven.
You speak of a dangerous error. There is no such thing as salvation without the Lord Jesus Christ. Knowledge of Him is absolutely required for one to be saved. Please read what God says:
Romans 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
I hope it is now clear that one must first hear the preaching of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. God also said:
Acts 4:10) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
You cannot obtain salvation from your sins any other way. Loving and forgiving others will not suffice. Your sins need to be washed away by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Until that happens, you will not find righteousness in yourself.
However, once you do believe, you have His righteousness given to you, apart from your own works. So, again, it is not about you. Again God said:
Romans 4:1) What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2) For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God.
3) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6) Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7) [Saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8) Blessed [is] the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
I hope this helps free your mind from thinking you can earn your way. It has already been bought and paid for by Jesus Christ, and you only must believe it. Read what God says. Do you believe it?
If there is a god, then what force created it? How does a supremely complicated being such as a god exist in the first place without another creator predating it. You have to be completely narcissistic to believe that just by thinking a thought (accepting Jesus) that you get to go to heaven. By that logic you could go out and kill people, steal, lie, and yet you still get a free ticket to heaven. The very thought is repulsive and irrational. We simply don’t know what forces conspired to put our Universe into motion, and to act like you do is simply narcissism personified. There have been thousands of gods and religions in history… they evolve and mutate just like everything else does. It is just as logical to believe in Zeus or Thor (which is not very logical at all) as to believe in Jesus (god and holy spirit included). If Christians are atheists with respect to the thousands of other gods in recorded history… why do they happen to believe in Yahweh? The answer is mainly that Christians have killed most of the other competing believers in that same recorded history. People like Buffet and Gates choose to do good simply for its own sake… in the face of a bunch of sniveling Christians who pass judgment upon them, and that makes their efforts all the more worthy in my book.
None of you can seem to agree how you get to heaven. I don’t blame you though, the Bible is pretty confusing and hypocritical in so many ways. You can ask 100 different so called “religious leaders”… pastors, reverends, priests… and you will get 100 different answers. Religion isn’t about god, it’s about power and influence, god is just a tool to get people to comply. Most sophisticated theologians agree that the Adam and Eve story is just allegory… not real… so then you have to ask what parts of the Bible are real. I would argue none of them… and I would have much fire power on my side since there isn’t a legitimate shred of evidence for any of it being true. And before you claim I am going to burn in the fire pits of Hades… and I know how Christians love to judge… even though their own book says not to… you should know that hell was just a stolen story from Hellenic myths and Egyptian myths. Heaven is just a story to make people think they can live forever. All the evidence points to no afterlife… you get one life and then you go away. It’s not so bad though, you can make of it what you will.
WOW!!!! I’m a hispanic Christian and my english is not that good ( so I apologize if my english its not good )but it surprise me reading about non belivers comments as well as the Christians comments, first,thank God for Mr Warren’s Donations, even if it is not the way we will handle a fortune, but it was God who give it to him and only God will have the right to ask about what he did with it,2nd we do not know mr Warren’s inner motives, only God, but I will like to think he feels empty and he think this good doing will be “good enough to earn Jesus favor”( wich we know it wont),and 3rd maybe he will acept Jesus as his savior at the last minute( we all should be praying for this ) and if this donations are a sin which I dont think so, will be forgiven, on the other hand my respect to Mr John Malone for his comments and answers about our hope in our savior Jesus Christ, about the non belivers, they have a reason to belive what they belive, and only a personal encounter with God can change the way they do,
God Bless all!!! of you
Are you aware that your article make you sound like a bitter and jealous man? I don’t think it was your intention. I suppose religion does you good in the way that when you imagine Mr. Buffett will somehow be punished after death for his belief or the lack of it, you won’t feel so bad that he has more money and fame than you.
Poor, poor John!
I think you can agree with me that success will not last forever neither does failure. Stop living in angst, in jealousy, and in fear of after-life punishments. Imagine being the good person you want to be and doing it all on your own, without god’s judgement and rewards. You want to be good because you are intrinsically good. How liberating that would be! Don’t spend your life planning for after-death, live it! Live your life to the fullest. Open your eyes, open your heart, agnostics and atheists are just regular people like you, no horns, no tails. People are people, rich or poor, religious or not religious. The world is like a mirror, if you smile kindly, it will smile kindly back at you, the more you give, the more you will receive. Love is love. It is that simple
Don’t shut people off for their religion or the lack of it.
“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
- British Biologist, Richard Dawkins
Check out his non-fiction book, The God Delusion.
Here is the review by the Economist:
“Everyone should read it. Atheists will love Mr Dawkins’s incisive logic and rapier wit and theists will find few better tests of the robustness of their faith. Even agnostics, who claim to have no opinion on God, may be persuaded that their position is an untenable waffle.”
Open your eyes, give reason and logic a chance,
the truth will set you free
Happy New Year!
Does your god sounds as loving as our Jesus is?
You mean like eternally torturing people loving?
Warren is atheist or agnostic because he thinks he is God.
As I read this article I was very disappointed by the author. Rather than condemning the man for his lack of faith, we need to pray for him. Rather than comparing our FORTUNES (eternal life) with his, we need to pray for him.
I understand the metaphor you are presenting by calling Warren poor (spirituality) but why not offer him prayer instead of condemnation. He donates with perishable paper, but Christians can donate with everlasting words of prayer. As scripture says, “The prayers of the righteous are POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE.”
Bible strongly comes against the rich who claim self-righteousness but not caring for thier own creator. It says that their good works are like filthy rags. Warren is surely one of the poorest for he denies his God and practices secular charity. He donates for animal rescue programs but NOT FOR SOUL RESCUE PRGRAMS – a real harvest being done by thousands of selfless missionaries all over. Just because some church clergies are ruthlessly dishonest, he can’t judge all as same. Unless he donates for Lord’s kingdom there is no hope for his soul. It is sure !
All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. I know Him because of His visitation and what He did for me. Thank You All
Anything wrong for being agnostic, for not believing in bedtime stories, he’s too smart to believe what most people do, human beings are NOT used to think, they create religions to fill that gap….religion is not factual, not proven and science will always win.
I, too, am rich (though not as rich as Buffett or Gates), but unlike them, I am also saved by the Lord Jesus the Christ, whom I declare as my SAVIOR AND LORD. Had I not Jesus, but all the money in the world, I would indeed be poor. I am not envious of Buffett and Gates, for to me they are poor indeed.
And as the Bible says, “The rich have their reward.” So why waste your time focusing on Agnostic rich men? Instead, focus on the needy and the oppressed.
My wife, children, and I give to several charities: Worldvision, Compassion International, Cross International, Voice of the Martyrs, Food for the Poor, Catholic Charities, (and any homeless person we come across). All preach Jesus as Lord. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE.
Interesting article, yet I’m sure the author hasn’t changed as much as he thinks since college. One of the easiest things to do (and many religious people absolutely delight in it and think it makes them clever and special) is to find fault in others. Religious people more specifically look for fault in those who do not share their beliefs. They are only too happy to be compassionate enough to excuse those of their “brethren” as simply being human. After all, I suppose it’s okay to be human as long as you despise your “sinful” nature enough to conjure up an all-mighty being to praise for all good things and despise well meaning people as rubes for God to snuff out for not bowing down. I truly do feel sorry for those who conceive of God in this way. I do tend to agree that if God exists, none of the common religions are able to pin it down. If you can wake up every morning and do the best you can without knowing your fate, without asking for special privileges and divine mercies in the here-after then good on you. If you need a God to be accountable to in order to live well, that’s fine also. But don’t tear people down because they make you feel insecure about your beliefs. There’s plenty of other people who will flatter you for your religious leanings without goading those you wish were more religious into agreement with you for your own selfish ego.
Just think, Warren is an agnostic and he is mentioned in the bible.
Luke 12: 16-20
To make my position clear, I would say that I am a spiritual seeker not an agnostic because I do not believe that the existence of God is matter that can never be resolved. The upshot of the agnostic view is that we might as well not concern ourselves with the existence or non-existence of God since we can never know. Although I am somewhat sympathetic with an agnostic viewpoint, I think it is narrow-minded.
That said, I haven’t completely decided whether I believe in God or not. This doesn’t make me an agnostic because I am open-minded. I found this article a little grating because it seemed to employ a kind of circular reasoning. For instance, you assume what needs to be prove: that Jesus is the only way; heaven exists. This may be true but simply asserting these things doesn’t make them true. You might have done better to relate your experience of how Jesus changed your life. Also, I found your take on Buffet uncharitable. You found him “unfriendly” but you spoke with him on what two occasions; he could have been having bad days or maybe he is skeptical of people’s ulterior motives. I would agree that Buffett’s generosity would be much more compelling had he made his donations in secret as Jesus instructed. Still, I don’t think we have any business judging the heart of Buffett or any man> Jesus said that it is God’s place to judge not man. In addition, you made a rather cheap shot against PETA, which I found distasteful. Last, you employed scare tactics “believe or else” instead of attracting people to God with love.
I think Christians would do well to follow the example of Jesus and not judge people, return good for evil, speak humbly. This would turn more people to God than dire warnings of the horrors that await the unbeliever at death. This is what really turned me off about Christianity as a teenager.
Yesterday I was kinda shocked to find out that S. Jobs died at the age of 56. I knew he had some health issues, but I didn’t follow up his life in detail; so it was kind of a surprise to me. He wasn’t really known for his philanthropic causes (Wikipedia reports that “after resuming control of Apple in 1997, Jobs eliminated all corporate philanthropy programs”), and that was a sharp contrast to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett (the latter being know as America’s favorite billionaire or something like that). As a born again Christian, I was wondering about Jobs’ spiritual condition and sadly found out he was a Zen Buddhist. I had hoped to find out that either Bill Gates or Warren Buffet were Christian, but as I found out tonight they are not.
So this is how I found out this website, and I thought it was indeed sad to know that in spite of all their philanthropic efforts, Warren Buffet is not yet saved. I didn’t find the author of this post to be an arrogant preacher as it has been suggested. John even suggested that some Christians may share part of the fault about Warren’s spiritual conditions, for they might have been more interested in his money than in his spiritual condition. This is something that we must all recognize, that Christianity in this country is in crisis, and that if you don’t believe me just turn into TV to watch all these so-called evangelical preachers asking for money or preaching the prosperity Gospel: “Give me your credit card number and God will give you tons of money”. This is the attitude the Gospel that many Christians are preaching today so we shouldn’t blame the world but blame ourselves. For Steve Jobs there is nothing we can do, but we can certainly pray for Buffet or Gates so God will be enlighten and someday saved. We have spent a lot of time resources on finger-pointing and arguing with atheist and non-believers. I suggest we use better our time praying for these two souls that in spite of being rich are spiritually poor. There are nothing we can really do for them humanely, but if we keep united praying for them, we’ll see changes really soon. Let’s pray especially for Warren, that due to his good heart, I feel God is willing to give him more time to repent and join the Kingdom of Heaven someday. He’s old and he badly needs Jesus more than ever. There is nothing we can do for Jobs now, but much to do for Gates and Buffet.
God is good so start praying for GAtes and buffet that they will receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour ….
The first thing that struck me about the original commentary is the unkindness in its tone and comments against Buffett.
Is this what a Christian piece should be? Are we setting a right example for non-believers? Would they be drawn to God when we cannot even show ourselves to be kind in our own comments? If not, what better right can we claim to pray for the souls of Buffett or Gates when we should we be praying for ours?
Warren….you don’t believe in God…looks like you’ll find out that’s your dumbest investment ever.
Very Christian-like article. I love the acceptance and love shown to buffet. This author makes me want to share the fervor of a “Christian” towards the non believer. It’s great he try’s to help the world with his journalism an share his overwhelming passion for his fellow humans and statesman.
May we pray for Warren Buffet and Bill gates that they may know the true living God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.
Why do you have all this hate towards Warren Buffet? What did he ever do to you? I consider myself to be a very devout Christian; I love God more than anything. As it clearly states in the Bible, God is the only entity that is allowed to judge anyone on this Earth, so who are you to judge Warren Buffet? I have so many things to say in regards to your character. However, I know that I am in no position to judge you. I will leave that to God. Please pray for your own soul, and stop steering non-believers away from God. What happened to the brotherly and sisterly love that God taught us to have for one another? You obviously have forgotten all about that, so please stop judging others, as you are not perfect yourself
I know that I may have been a little hypocritical with my last comment, and I do apologize about that. However, I hope you can somewhat understand where I’m coming from. EVERYONE on this Earth are brothers and sisters in Christ. I just want us to treat each other like it. Please stop it with the hate.
It’s funny how you deleted my recent comments because you didn’t like what I had to say. God is LOVE, and therefore you should show love to all of the people on Earth. We are all God’s children. Don’t forget that. Jesus Christ LOVES EVERYBODY. The example that you are setting goes against God’s teachings. You will find out for yourself one day.
Anyways, I’m going to stop wasting my time on this website. Have a good life.