Monday, February 05, 2007

I Wish We All Were Ready - for this type of message!

"I would agree - there is no justification for me hoarding what I own - to another's demise. The way I see it is quite simple - if they ask, and I do nothing - then I am not listening to the voice of God or even following a single teaching from Jesus (break one - break em all). I have forgotten to love the other as much as I love myself - apparently I have healthy love for myself - but loving myself just seems selfish after awhile." (SVS)

"I have a warm house when there are plenty of others that don't and that I'm allowed to have a library of books amongst other things while there is even a single death from malnutrition or starvation (not having enough), there is no justification possible for this. Reasoning like, "I am a good steward" or "I can bless others with what I have" or even "I and my family are entiled to a little something" ring extremely hollow to me when I can save lives by giving even a fraction of that to others. People are dying because they need and do not recieve the things I have. I am responsible for these deaths, I have murdered the other, broken the command "Thou shalt not murder" and killed my neighbour." (Heinini)

"Levinas points out that this isn't simply stabbing them with a knife, there are many ways in which we murder, and all of these are "self-ish" pre-occupied with self, justifying self, perpetuating self, always at the expense of the other." (Heinini)

"In essence I agree with you about the 'have's' and the 'have nots' and learning to go back to when we played as kids - and sharing. The idea is not an extremely hard one to understand from the gospels and Christian writings - it's there in red and white a lot of times. So in essence, I agree with the concept." (SVS)

"I think we need to develop programs and ideas that will get people to think along these lines - programs that find a way to use what 'we have' to help the people that 'don't have'...I can see the power of the point of view - working with one another is of the highest importance. Many people are so heaven-bound they forgot about their responsiblities here." (SVS)


dorsey said...

Originally, such was ostensibly the motivation for the clerical vow of poverty. But, as we know, the motives of the heart reveal the truth.

I consider the wealthy men of scripture (Abraham, Job, Joseph) and see a profound distinction between the "godly life" and materialism. Scripture certainly does not forbid wealth, but the use of wealth is telling. When Ted Turner gave away half of his worth, some people made a very cogent argument that he could have done more for the poor by investing that money, perhaps building a factory in a place where impoverished people could have built sustainable incomes for themselves.

I think the difference, just like every other area of life, is whether you live to serve others or live to serve yourself.

SocietyVs said...

Thanks for the comment Dorsey! Good to see you in these neck of the woods from time to time.

the_burning_bush said...

We need a place where people believe that if they individually work to accomplish something for someone they will be rewarded. And if they don't their life will be hard.

Spiritually speaking if an individual draws near to God, God will draw near to him.

That's how it should be in economics and that's how it will be at the judgment of all men.

Anyone who tries to make it "all equal" when people run after different things promotes injustice.

The greatness of an economy (and the weakness of it) is the level of opportunity it grants to everyone. It has nothing to do with making sure everyone has the same amount of stuff.

Anonymous said...

Throughout the scriptures, God promises blessings to obedient people... people who would do what God told them to do.

Jesus' life was about helping those in need. And that included giving money to those in need... so much that when Judas left the Last Supper, the disciples assumed Christ had commanded him to give money to the poor (an apparent frequent occurance).

If Jesus' perfect life is our example of the will of God in the earth, then I believe we're to be givers as well-- no matter what out financial status in life.

The parable of the talents shows us that God encourages increase in wealth. But the story of the "least of these" shows us the proper utilization of such wealth.

Like Dorsey said, it's about focus & priorities.

Very thought provoking...

SocietyVs said...

"Anyone who tries to make it "all equal" when people run after different things promotes injustice." (BB)

I do agree with 'work and eat' and that concept from the Pauline epistles. I am in no way promoting laziness it irresponsibility. So I can see your hesitation with this idea, comes off a little 'irresponsible'.

However, at the same time some people just need us to care more - and in some cases - actually care. If I took your quotes above as a 'norm' for my lifestyle then I might overlook the poor in society altogether. But when I consider the problems with those in need in society then this issue becomes a little less 'easy' to brush aside. There are people out there who struggle in some of the worst ways and we as Christians do not have enough programs that either help us share our knowledge or our resources to make their lives 'liveable'...those people need to find work (I agree), but if you cannot meet some of the simpliest things in life like shelter, food, and safety - how can a job even be an option?

Now anyone can say this is not their responsibility - lots of people do in this system - but the biblical facts ring quite loud about community and the use of resources to help 'each other out' and 'to love our neighbor'. If I want a system that allows me to merely love myself - no questions asked - and that's all God cares about - then what about Jesus? Ever read those stories in the gospels? I find it awfully weird that his mission consisted almost solely of helping the poor and broken in life - as quoted to John's disciples when they ask him if he is the 'messiah'. I find the church glazing over his example (in stories) as a way to live - yet they focus on him as the messiah - if this is true he is the messiah (and the son of God) - shouldn't we follow that example a lot closer?

Re-read those stories and you'll see someone that cares for the 'un-equal' in his society to make them equals (as defined by the saying 'treat others as you want to be treated') and parts of the kingdom. There are tonnes of stories about healing the sick, feeding the crowd, curing the demon possessed, acceptance of the drunk and prostitute, acceptance of the Samaritan, raising the dead, healing lepers, etc...all these things and more, quite simply, HE DID. Yet we take his teachings only as the word of God - those same teachings point back to the way Jesus lived - and after also did Peter, James, John and Paul (from Acts and the letters). Is it just me - or shouldn't we be in the business of helping others - isn't this a huge part of the gospel?

SocietyVs said...

"Jesus' life was about helping those in need. And that included giving money to those in need... so much that when Judas left the Last Supper, the disciples assumed Christ had commanded him to give money to the poor (an apparent frequent occurance)." (Jefe)

I read those gospels and I see that a whoel lot more about 'helping others' and that is priority numero uno - so high up there it is tied to the idea of loving God also. Thanks Jefe.

I saw Dorsey and Jefe in the same comment box on my site - what's next a Bigfoot sighting, where he is driving a UFO, with a picture of his girl-friend the Loch Ness? I kid. I think they are the brothers Karmazoff (or however you spell that) - thanks guys!

BruceD said...

I think Jesus was all about helping people too, but not just some... He came to reveal the heart of the Father to all. He didn't create an instruction book for "Godly living", because He knew goodness would flow endlessly from our hearts, if we would only be set free from our twisted image of "who God is". He knew that mankind had come to only trust itself, because it didn't know a God it could trust. He came to show that God's love is so great, He was willing to die to set his friends free from self-trust, and bring an incredible liberty to the earth which would permit His creation to trust in Him completely.

But, religious people, knowing the danger of a free people, twisted the gospel to suit their needs. They could only control and manipulate a fearful people, a population which could only turn to them to understand how to appease an angry God. A people who trust God have no need for large organizations and their requirement and expectation. They simply have no need.

Freedom is only for the free, and eventually we all will be.

Then again, everybody knows I'm a wacko!

SocietyVs said...

Bruced I appreciate the comments - I personally enjoy your site and the last blog was really great - got a lot of people talking with a lady that was struggling - how great is that!

the_burning_bush said...

"Many people are so heaven-bound they forgot about their responsiblities here." SVS


"If I took your quotes above as a 'norm' for my lifestyle then I might overlook the poor in society altogether." SVS

I see your point here. My words may have been misleading.

Christ not only demanded a lifestyle of giving, he also demonstrated it. As believers we are not to admire Christ for his generosity -we are to imitate it personally through him.

Christian charity is not an idea or concept or system or program. It is a personal lifestyle. Jesus gave what other people had no right to ask or demand of him. In the same way we are called to give to the least, who have no political right to our possessions.

I do not find you lazy or a promoter of laziness, but people take redistributing wealth as an opportunity to be lazy.

"the poor in society "

There is no society, only individuals.

hineini said...

just a quick disclaimer that my words quoted above are in no way attempts to create a morallity or to urge others into any actions (this of course would be murduring the other). The context for the original conversation was quite different that the context on this blog.