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8/17/12 12:07 PM
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JitsuGuy
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If you believe this is your only shot, this is your only life-cycle... I can see how you would want to experience everything... Even massive wealth and cool toys. Mor power to ya.

If you believe there is more after this life and that your'e rewarded for how selfless you are in this life, I can see how you would want to live a life of modesty.

The problem comes when the person in the second example starts judging others like their specific after life scenario is utter truth.

One needs to be careful though, that giving to give and giving to receive some "eternal reward" are not the same. One is selfless and the other is selfish under the guise of charity/selflessness.

8/17/12 12:40 PM
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Grakman
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I like Ridge's posts on these topics because his view seems to me to be the most reasonable. There is a big tent under which many different types of believers with different personalities come to dwell. Some give less some give more but they're not excluded from the tent based on how much they give. There is room for the king and that guy who will be figuratively scrubbing toilets in the New Jerusalem.

In re: jitsu's comment, there are those who argue that there is no true act that is truly selfless because the giver is rewarded with feelings of 'goodness' and 'happiness' for having shared. These feelings reinforce the act of giving itself.

Other's argue that there any reason to give is a good reason, because you are still helping the other person. Also remember that charity is not necessarily just material goods, but helping hand, a smile, advice, a shoulder to cry on, there are many forms of charity and even a materially poor person can be called upon to give charity in this way.
8/17/12 12:55 PM
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JitsuGuy
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Grakman - I like Ridge's posts on these topics because his view seems to me to be the most reasonable. There is a big tent under which many different types of believers with different personalities come to dwell. Some give less some give more but they're not excluded from the tent based on how much they give. There is room for the king and that guy who will be figuratively scrubbing toilets in the New Jerusalem.

In re: jitsu's comment, there are those who argue that there is no true act that is truly selfless because the giver is rewarded with feelings of 'goodness' and 'happiness' for having shared. These feelings reinforce the act of giving itself.

Other's argue that there any reason to give is a good reason, because you are still helping the other person. Also remember that charity is not necessarily just material goods, but helping hand, a smile, advice, a shoulder to cry on, there are many forms of charity and even a materially poor person can be called upon to give charity in this way.

I'm pretty selfish as an adult. I didn't have much when compared to other kids as it was just mom and I.

Anyone, any god, that wants to condemn me or guilt trip me for keeping what I've earned can go fuck themselves.

I may give at times, but it's highly dependent upon the situation.

If God expects me to be more of a giver, he should have given me more during the years that my character traits were being shaped.

What you see is what you get. Cause and affect.
8/17/12 2:13 PM
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Grakman
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I understand where you're coming from, jitsu. I struggled with guilt because I often felt I did not give enough. I did not earn my place of birth in the United States, did not earn the talents and gifts that I was born with, but I did try to make the most of them. I do think a sense of gratitude for what we have been given, e.g. birth in a wealthy nation, talents, some 'serendipitous' circumstances, is warranted though, as is a sense of pride in what we've accomplished with what we've been given. I think some would say I have already been given plenty, and I am grateful for that.

If you want to throw karma and reincarnation into the mix, well that's a whole other conversation lol.
8/18/12 1:24 PM
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zealot66
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 Jitsu, I pretty much have nothing to do with Church. It is liberating not trying to conform. Just be careful that you dont spend time hating the past. It doesn't care if you hate it or not. The past is gone. You can only live in the present.
8/18/12 4:18 PM
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Ridgeback
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 Ths is a description of the early Church in 150 AD.  Clearly the wealthy are not giving all their money away but they are being generous with what they have.  

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration. 
8/18/12 6:22 PM
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Grakman
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Good post Ridge.

If I give away all that I have to help others, then I in turn will be poor and need others to help me. I think we have an obligation to others and to God to not become a burden to other people.


8/18/12 9:54 PM
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zealot66
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 This is a difficult subject to come to a bibilically based conclusion. You have the bible and then you have the history of the church. From Jesus to the Rich man, to Ananias and Sapphrias, etc. Speaking of money, I spoke yesterday to an old friend from australia, actually my first girlfriend ever, ( extremely innocent stuff) and she and her husband were missionaries in thailand for 10 years. They lost alot of support and now they are living in the backwoods of florida working for YWAM and are on foodstamps and medicaid. Contemplate that for a moment. Something either isn't right somewhere in the belief/promise structure or life is what it is and serving god can make you end up using the same services from taxpayers as drug addicts and innercity ( not all but you know what I mean) to serve God in ministry. 

Maybe you don't see the irony or contradictions here but I pondered the layers of it for several hours.
8/19/12 1:14 AM
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Grakman
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Not sure if you meant me or someone else or the collective 'you' in the 'you don't see the irony' part of your post, zealot, but in my opinion you're providing anecdotal evidence that supports what I said in the post just above yours. I think we're saying the same thing.
8/19/12 10:51 AM
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zealot66
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 I meant you in the general sense. of people in general. peace bro
8/19/12 5:52 PM
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Grakman
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Definitely peace, zealot. On re-reading it, my post came across as snarky and I did not intend it to be. My apologies.
8/19/12 6:06 PM
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Ridgeback
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zealot66 -  This is a difficult subject to come to a bibilically based conclusion. You have the bible and then you have the history of the church. From Jesus to the Rich man, to Ananias and Sapphrias, etc. Speaking of money, I spoke yesterday to an old friend from australia, actually my first girlfriend ever, ( extremely innocent stuff) and she and her husband were missionaries in thailand for 10 years. They lost alot of support and now they are living in the backwoods of florida working for YWAM and are on foodstamps and medicaid. Contemplate that for a moment. Something either isn't right somewhere in the belief/promise structure or life is what it is and serving god can make you end up using the same services from taxpayers as drug addicts and innercity ( not all but you know what I mean) to serve God in ministry. 

Maybe you don't see the irony or contradictions here but I pondered the layers of it for several hours.

  Yes the prosperity gospel is a load of crap.  There is no magic with money.  The whole thing is an American anxiety.  Look back across historical Christianity and people were not teaching that faithfullness to God would mean affluence.  More often than not it was taken for granted that it would lead to poverty or at least a financial state far below one's station.  

Half the problem with American Christianity is that people join it for the promise of happiness or wealth (American preoccupations if ever there were any) instead of becoming saints.  
8/19/12 9:14 PM
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DyingBreed
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Ridgeback -
zealot66 -  This is a difficult subject to come to a bibilically based conclusion. You have the bible and then you have the history of the church. From Jesus to the Rich man, to Ananias and Sapphrias, etc. Speaking of money, I spoke yesterday to an old friend from australia, actually my first girlfriend ever, ( extremely innocent stuff) and she and her husband were missionaries in thailand for 10 years. They lost alot of support and now they are living in the backwoods of florida working for YWAM and are on foodstamps and medicaid. Contemplate that for a moment. Something either isn't right somewhere in the belief/promise structure or life is what it is and serving god can make you end up using the same services from taxpayers as drug addicts and innercity ( not all but you know what I mean) to serve God in ministry. 

Maybe you don't see the irony or contradictions here but I pondered the layers of it for several hours.

  Yes the prosperity gospel is a load of crap.  There is no magic with money.  The whole thing is an American anxiety.  Look back across historical Christianity and people were not teaching that faithfullness to God would mean affluence.  More often than not it was taken for granted that it would lead to poverty or at least a financial state far below one's station.  

Half the problem with American Christianity is that people join it for the promise of happiness or wealth (American preoccupations if ever there were any) instead of becoming saints.  
I agree. The prosperity message has been twisted into God being our genie in a bottle, where if we do A and B, C will be the result...which gives the idea of we do certain things, and god will bless us.

In James it says "you have not, because you ask not...or if you do, you ask with wrong motives, to spend it on yourselves"


Over and over in the bible (if you believe in the bible) God speaks of wanting to bless us so much we won't have room to contain it, but guess what? DUH, the blessings aren't for US, they are to help others!


While I do believe God wants us to prosper, (and this goes way beyond just money) I know that the prosperity message has been screwed up so bad that most are so disgusted they don't even want to sift out what truth there is concerning the matter Phone Post
8/20/12 12:27 AM
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JitsuGuy
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zealot66 -  Jitsu, I pretty much have nothing to do with Church. It is liberating not trying to conform. Just be careful that you dont spend time hating the past. It doesn't care if you hate it or not. The past is gone. You can only live in the present.

Good words to live by.
8/20/12 12:29 AM
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JitsuGuy
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DyingBreed - 
Ridgeback -
zealot66 -  This is a difficult subject to come to a bibilically based conclusion. You have the bible and then you have the history of the church. From Jesus to the Rich man, to Ananias and Sapphrias, etc. Speaking of money, I spoke yesterday to an old friend from australia, actually my first girlfriend ever, ( extremely innocent stuff) and she and her husband were missionaries in thailand for 10 years. They lost alot of support and now they are living in the backwoods of florida working for YWAM and are on foodstamps and medicaid. Contemplate that for a moment. Something either isn't right somewhere in the belief/promise structure or life is what it is and serving god can make you end up using the same services from taxpayers as drug addicts and innercity ( not all but you know what I mean) to serve God in ministry. 

Maybe you don't see the irony or contradictions here but I pondered the layers of it for several hours.

  Yes the prosperity gospel is a load of crap.  There is no magic with money.  The whole thing is an American anxiety.  Look back across historical Christianity and people were not teaching that faithfullness to God would mean affluence.  More often than not it was taken for granted that it would lead to poverty or at least a financial state far below one's station.  

Half the problem with American Christianity is that people join it for the promise of happiness or wealth (American preoccupations if ever there were any) instead of becoming saints.  
I agree. The prosperity message has been twisted into God being our genie in a bottle, where if we do A and B, C will be the result...which gives the idea of we do certain things, and god will bless us.

In James it says "you have not, because you ask not...or if you do, you ask with wrong motives, to spend it on yourselves"


Over and over in the bible (if you believe in the bible) God speaks of wanting to bless us so much we won't have room to contain it, but guess what? DUH, the blessings aren't for US, they are to help others!


While I do believe God wants us to prosper, (and this goes way beyond just money) I know that the prosperity message has been screwed up so bad that most are so disgusted they don't even want to sift out what truth there is concerning the matter Phone Post

Yup. I could never envision Jesus as the pastor of a mega-church. It's just not he role I would see him in. The lavish lifestyle, the houses the cars the expensive hotels. Sorry, it just doesn't jive. There's still plenty of needy out there.
8/23/12 10:19 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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 Suffering produces an indescribable clarity in the heart and mind of  a Christian. The apostle Paul can attest to this.

Thank you Lord Jesus that YOU promised it to us...
8/23/12 11:20 PM
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Grakman
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For those who believe that the Christian life is about suffering, do you believe that Christians should deliberately seek out suffering?

What about self-flagellation as was practiced in the Middle Ages, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Physical hardship is one thing; should Christians work to ensure that they feel guilty for being a sinner? Guilt is suffering as well.
8/24/12 7:44 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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 """For those who believe that the Christian life is about suffering, do you believe that Christians should deliberately seek out suffering? """

No.

You should just simply NOT seek out comfort, pleasure, ease and self sufficiency as ULTIMATE goals or virtues.

The suffering is PROMISED. It will come and should not be avoided...
8/24/12 11:11 PM
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Grakman
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What does Jesus mean when he says that he came that people may have life, and have it more abundantly?

In another thread, I asked about the stories of Solomon and Job in the Old Testament, especially Job. It says that Job was blessed by God and that he had placed a hedge about him. After God gave Satan permission to wipe out Job's wealth, God ultimately richly blessed him again with more lands, cattle, and children, for remaining faithful. Why would God bless Job with material things for remaining faithful?

Would you say that as long as it's not our ULTIMATE goal to pursue wealth, that God may / might bless people with wealth ?
8/26/12 4:25 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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 """What does Jesus mean when he says that he came that people may have life, and have it more abundantly? """

That you may bear the fruit produced by the "promised" suffering that comes with knowing Christ and him crucified. Weight lifting produced muscle. Suffering produces spiritual fruit of the spirit.

"""Would you say that as long as it's not our ULTIMATE goal to pursue wealth, that God may / might bless people with wealth ?"""

No. Because Jesus WOULD NOT SHUT HIS MOUTH about how bad hoarding money is. His problem is not with MONEY! It is with the HOARDING of wealth. 

Most human beings do not understand that large sums of money/wealth have the power to blind you TO THE POWER THAT IT HAS TO BLIND YOU.

The human being is not born with "A SENSE OF ENOUGH". It is a gift to gain it.
 
8/26/12 10:05 PM
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Grakman
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Thank you for the explanation Demitrius. I'm happy for you that you have found a faith and a worldview that works for you. :)
8/30/12 5:50 PM
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zealot66
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 apparrently, no one understood my story about the missionaries who are now on welfare. Demitrius is saying Jesus would not shut up about giving away all your wealth to vagrants and others who will piss it away when we should be teaching people to become self sufficient no matter what their circumstances. Giving money in perpetuity to the poor can be counter productive ala, welfare. breeding dependence. Forget Jesus for a second and ask yourself Demi if you are building up stores to provide for your family. What if you have a disaster, a million dollar medical bill, your child is dying and needs un insured care and you have given it all to the poor to gratify Jesus, apparently. 

Charity is commanded and a just and decent thing and used to be in place of govt welfare. He that does not provide for his own house is worse than an infidel. Thats somewhere in the bible if I remember right. Tempting God by living by the seat of your pants financially when you dont need to is in my mind a self gratification of pursuit of altruism and becoming 'more right with God.'

My story about my friends now on welfare. They chose to forsake making income with their computer programming skills and 'went full time' . The fact is they are listless and most ministers have more free time than they need because they aren't really working per se. They are available and fill their time with ' ministry' and study, etc. Paul was a tentmaker, wisely plying a trade to not be a burden to society and other christians. This same missionary couple could have easily made a living in a foreign country with ingenouity and not have to ask churches for money. Even working part time in Thailand, they could have had plenty of time to minister. NOW, the churches are dry, his computer skills are shit and long gone and he has become a ward of the state and of christendom. There is no justification or rationale for this. You should be working especially if you are truly making the bling you claim to make sure that you will never be a burden to anyone nor broke ever or you are on some hunt for holiness that is a farce, imo.

I speak harshly but not personally. I am on the opposite end of the spectrum having been dead broke most of my life and only at the end of my thirties have more than a few hundred dollars to my name. God or no God, I am building a provision for me and my family and that is my first duty.
8/30/12 8:10 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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 """God or no God, I am building a provision for me and my family and that is my first duty."""

Your bank account or your dress size or your social significance CANNOT BEAR THE WEIGHT OF YOUR ENTIRE EXSISTANCE. 

The hardest part of life is giving up. When you can do this IT IS A GIFT.

OF COURSE we should be responsible and make sure that we steward well the provisions that God has graciously provided us with. BUT, we, by his Grace, can understand that OUR EFFORTS are not going to save/protect us.

It is ALL GOD - ALL THE TIME.

God is NEVER in heaven "wringing his hands - saying "what should I do...???"


9/1/12 3:31 PM
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zealot66
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 My question to Demi is one that he probably cant answer because there is no answer. HOW MUCH? HOW MUCH? how much do I have to give god and how much do I keep for myself to be christ like. HOW MUCH do I owe god or the poor? How much do I owe God? 

When you start making moral proclomations about hording wealth you have to answer how much or your argument is meaningless. I want to know what I need to do with my money and my family to be in tune with what God wants. lts just pious platitudes till you put a number and a line on this. You have expressed something that you believe to be axiomatic so therefore back it up with numbers, percentages. 
9/1/12 5:49 PM
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Grakman
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zealot, that's the same question I always ask every time this topic is raised - how much? How much does one have to give away to not be labeled rich, wealthy, or hoarding? Keep just enough to live comfortably - what's comfortable? Does that include having your own transportation and cable?

Most Christians accept tithing 10% of one's wealth to the church, which is then responsible for helping the poor, supporting missionaries, etc. This is based on the OT requirement that was paid to support the temple. Muslims pay 2% zakat tax which is suppose to go to poor, the widows, and orphans. The Bahai instruct believers to give 19% of what they have left after they pay for their own expenses and upkeep.

If I donate 90% of my income but I still have a million left over, does that leave me out of the Kingdom?




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