Research on Belief in God

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DL9999 said:
That is not really true though, is it? As far as I recall, Christ repeatedly stressed the importance of helping the poor and downtrodden. Following his teaching can thus not be equated with reinforcing the existing order. And to state that the oppressed are close to heaven is not to declare that they should simply accept their lot.
Your argument is asymmetrical with regards to the other teachings of the Christ: that is to be saved, one must become "poor," both in spirit and in wealth. His message was thus not based on charitable acts, of which he found much hypocrisy (the parable about the poor woman giving a penny being much more than the wealthy doners' offerings, because it was all she had is exemplary), but symbiosis. He didn't really teach, therefore, that helping the poor was the way to God, but becoming poor.

"What must I do to be saved, teacher?"
"Give everything you have to the poor and come follow me."

And..."I say verily to you that it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, than for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle (an impossibility, in other words)."

I don't know how much Christ "repeatedly stressed helping the poor," therefore, but it appears much more accurate to say that his message emphasized how incompatible worldly riches and ambition, hubris and power over others were to receiving divine grace and salvation. Your thesis, to the contrary, does not correspond to the message of the Christ, who, both by example and word, established a value system whereby poverty was diametrically set against wealth. He also stated in no uncertain terms that only the poor can be saved.

Christianity, in the real world (with the rare exceptions of a Francis of Assisi), has always had the greatest difficulty in coming to terms with the radical nature of this message. Hence why I said Christians in fact live according to forms of life, which in fact are not their own. And much more today than in the past, because the consumptive, profit driven and hedonistic social model driving today's society has nothing to do with the ministry of the man from Galilee two thousand years ago.

Unless you can demonstrate to the contrary and without apology, I really don't see any validity in what you say.
 
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I am not really sure which part of my post you are disagreeing with.

It is nonsensical to describe charitable acts as hypocrisy though. The two terms are contradictory.

And I do think maybe you have missed the point somewhat if you consider "poverty" to be the most important or defining feature of Christianity. I was always taught that loving God and ones neighbour was the essence of Christ's teaching. Not seeking wealth and power for their own sake follows naturally. It is a consequence, but no more than that.
 
DL9999 said:
I am not really sure which part of my post you are disagreeing with.

It is nonsensical to describe charitable acts as hypocrisy though. The two terms are contradictory.

And I do think maybe you have missed the point somewhat if you consider "poverty" to be the most important or defining feature of Christianity. I was always taught that loving God and ones neighbour were the essence of Christ's teaching. Not seeking wealth and power for their own sake follow naturally. They are consequences, but no more than that.
What I disagree with, because nonsensical, was to have placed emphasis on a concept of charity, when that was not part of the message. The message was you have to become poor to be saved, period, however disagreeable that may be to you.

And it wasn't a question of wealth "for its own sake," but wealth itself, period, again however disagreeable that may be to you. As I said previously the absolute radicalness of Christ's teaching has never made for a practicable religion. But then again Paul did much to shift the attention away from this (that is all the unpleasant stuff) to directing the focus upon believing in the resurrection, hence faith, as distinguishing Christian identity.

PS. What has escaped you about the charity bit and hypocrisy, is that in a system in which a concentration of wealth that favors and rewards such imbalances; the act of copious donations is directly proportional to the misery that was generated in being able to make them. I am thus quite certian that Christ would have placed such doners among the hypocrits.
 
rhubroma said:
What I disagree with, because nonsensical, was to have placed emphasis on a concept of charity, when that was not part of the message. The message was you have to become poor to be saved, period, however disagreeable that may be to you.

And it wasn't a question of wealth "for its own sake," but wealth itself, period, again however disagreeable that may be to you. As I said previously the absolute radicalness of Christ's teaching has never made for a practicable religion. But then again Paul did much to shift the attention away from this (that is all the unpleasant stuff) to directing the focus upon believing in the resurrection, hence faith, as distinguishing Christian identity.

PS. What has escaped you about the charity bit and hypocrisy, is that in a system in which a concentration of wealth that favors and rewards such imbalances; the act of copious donations is directly proportional to the misery that was generated in being able to make them. I am thus quite certian that Christ would have placed such doners among the hypocrits.
You do not have to be poor to be a christian. Wealth in and of itself is a morally neutral thing. It can be a morally good thing when we use our wealth in proper ways, it can be a morally bad thing when we begin to place our trust in our wealth instead of God. The bible has many examples of wealthy men who where righteous. In God's sovereignty, He decided to bless some people with wealth because they were faithful to him. People like Abraham, Job, Joseph, and Solomon (though for a time he fell away from God because of his riches.)

Yes there are many exhortations for believers to store up treasures in heaven and not on this earth, but believers can still have material wealth....it just cannot consume their lives. In Acts Lydia, a seller of purple cloth was rich, Nicodemus was rich.

The balance is found in 1 Timothy 6.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

Basically God does allow some believers to have riches because he knows they can properly handle it, while others hearts would quickly be wrapped up in their wealth in a wrong way.

Edit: God knew the heart of the rich young ruler hence he called the man to sell all of his belongings. Notice how Christ did not have to tell Zaccheus to sell all that he had. Zaccheus's heart was in a completely different place and Jesus knew this.
 
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rhubroma

Charity was not part of the "message"? Right. And what about Matthew 5,38 ff, John 15,13, Luke 10,25 ff etc, etc.

I have yet to see where in the NT Christ condemns wealth per se.

And your last paragraph is just silly. Charity has nothing to do with copious donations. And nothing at all to do with misery. Or imbalances. I am not sure whether you are serious or not. Perhaps you do not know what the word charity means?
 
He did say that a camel had more chance to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get to Heaven. He did oust the merchants out of the Temple.

So yeah, I guess He values poverty above wealth. And that's a good thing of course. I guess the Bourgeois won't like it. Normal!

But I agree with you DL: charity is no gift, it's love.
 
DL9999 said:
rhubroma

Charity was not part of the "message"? Right. And what about Matthew 5,38 ff, John 15,13, Luke 10,25 ff etc, etc.

I have yet to see where in the NT Christ condemns wealth per se.

And your last paragraph is just silly. Charity has nothing to do with copious donations. And nothing at all to do with misery. Or imbalances. I am not sure whether you are serious or not. Perhaps you do not know what the word charity means?
The glaring passages I already mentioned. How about we go from there?
 
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rhubroma said:
The glaring passages I already mentioned. How about we go from there?
Which "glaring" passages? Where does Jesus condemn wealth? Telling one rich individual it would be easier for him to get to heaven if he sold his possessions and gave his money to the poor is not condeming wealth per se. And you seem to have conveniently neglected e.g. Mark 10,27.

So which passages do you mean?
 
He didn't refer to one rich individual in particular. He clearly generalised about rich people and He was definitely right!

You'll have to convince me that this comment was bad. You all bourgeois!


By the way apparently the word in Greek did not translate as "camel" but "rope", which seems to make more sense.

As a matter of fact, those passages converted me. So ...
 
DL9999 said:
Which "glaring" passages? Where does Jesus condemn wealth? Telling one rich individual it would be easier for him to get to heaven if he sold his possessions and gave his money to the poor is not condeming wealth per se. And you seem to have conveniently neglected e.g. Mark 10,27.

So which passages do you mean?
Precisely...it is the LOVE of money over God that is condemned. If you can exercise self control and even serve God with your wealth, than God does not condemn that. All the people that have been referenced from the scriptures who were told to give up their wealth were told this because it was a stumbling block for them.
 
DL9999 said:
Which "glaring" passages? Where does Jesus condemn wealth? Telling one rich individual it would be easier for him to get to heaven if he sold his possessions and gave his money to the poor is not condeming wealth per se. And you seem to have conveniently neglected e.g. Mark 10,27.

So which passages do you mean?
It was spoken to one person, but (and here comes the devastating reality), it was directed toward a category. You obviously have great difficulty, which is so typical among those who insolently call themselves the faithful today, especially among the modern day market apologists, digesting this clear-cut point; probably because you haven't got the stomach for it.

No, I beg to differ, they are clear condemnations of wealth and among the most emphatic points he made during his entire ministry. This was precisely the point. To the contrary there was every empathy for and personal identification with the poor, as well as declaring virtue in it, to be quite assured about the teacher's position on wealth, in addition to for whom the Kingdom is meant and for whom it is not. I rather see here, and this is so typical of the modern-day-faithful, a Christian who interprets the message based on convenience and self-serving interests, and who lives in a system that hasn't understood a damn thing about what he professes (or worse, tries to conform the message to the values of that system). But this is always spurious and vile with it.
 
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rhubroma,

Who exactly are you calling insolent? Who are you to judge other people? Why the personal attacks? Facts and logic not your strong points, maybe?

I presume you have a copy of the NT to hand. How does Mark 10,27 fit in with your absolute stance on wealth?

And how do Matthew 5,38 ff, John 15,13, Luke 10,25 ff fit in with your claim that charity was not part of Christ's message?
 
DL9999 said:
rhubroma,

Who exactly are you calling insolent? Who are you to judge other people? Why the personal attacks? Facts and logic not your strong points, maybe?

I presume you have a copy of the NT to hand. How does Mark 10,27 fit in with your absolute stance on wealth?

And how do Matthew 5,38 ff, John 15,13, Luke 10,25 ff fit in with your claim that charity was not part of Christ's message?
Mark 10,27 tells me nothing, frankly, to alter my position. After 2000 years of the same old story and all the known historical context, of which the NT is not included, one must be pretty insolent to continue to rely on a book that wasn't even written by the authors it claims to have been as their only salvation.
 
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DL9999 said:
rhubroma,

Who exactly are you calling insolent? Who are you to judge other people? Why the personal attacks? Facts and logic not your strong points, maybe?

I presume you have a copy of the NT to hand. How does Mark 10,27 fit in with your absolute stance on wealth?

And how do Matthew 5,38 ff, John 15,13, Luke 10,25 ff fit in with your claim that charity was not part of Christ's message?
C'mon, read it again. I have no idea how you're spinning this as it's pretty clear:
http://www.biblestudytools.com/kjv/mark/passage.aspx?q=mark+10:20-30
26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves , Who then can be saved ? 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith , With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Sounds to me as though he's saying that only God saves. If you read it with some context I can't see how you're thinking this says "get rich!".
 
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RetroActive said:
Sounds to me as though he's saying that only God saves. If you read it with some context I can't see how you're thinking this says "get rich!".
Get real. I've never said anything about getting rich.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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DL9999 said:
Get real. I've never said anything about getting rich.
I guess I posted on the wrong thread then. The conversation I was following on the God and Religion thread was going on and on and on about wealth and poverty and what Jesus said. There were some cafeteria Christians arguing that Jesus didn't say anything against being materially wealthy. Using Mark 10:27 is a hilarious choice to support a position for being wealthy as (it just makes no sense) Jesus has just been saying give it all away and is followed by him asking his followers to leave their worldly lives behind.

I have yet to see where in the NT Christ condemns wealth per se.
Cut to the temple scene with the money changers.
 
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rhubroma said:
Mark 10,27 tells me nothing, frankly, to alter my position. After 2000 years of the same old story and all the known historical context, of which the NT is not included, one must be pretty insolent to continue to rely on a book that wasn't even written by the authors it claims to have been as their only salvation.
So you are saying the NT is irrelevant? If so, what is the basis for your assertion that charity was not part of the "message" and that "the message was you have to become poor to be saved, period". And why do you bother quoting the NT?
 
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RetroActive said:
I guess I posted on the wrong thread then. The conversation I was following on the God and Religion thread was going on and on and on about wealth and poverty and what Jesus said. There were some cafeteria Christians arguing that Jesus didn't say anything against being materially wealthy.



Cut to the temple scene with the money changers.
Yeah. The temple scene. "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade". I guess I must have missed the bit where he said "Trade is bad".
 
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DL9999 said:
Yeah. The temple scene. "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade". I guess I must have missed the bit where he said "Trade is bad".
I guess you missed the whips, turning the tables over...calling them thieves. Oh well, selective reading and limited comprehension are synonymous with Christianity these days, particularly in the NA brands.

Exploit the people around you, exploit the natural world in the most destructive ways for your benefit...call it good and engage in 'charity'. Do you guys bother with the anonymous part anymore or do you want your name on it?
 
Great! Masks are falling. I was right from the very beginning. Anti-Christian atheists are bourgeois, despising poverty and proud of their wealth and comfort, apologising fraud and usury. The worst thing is that they even assume it and nobody will notice that, but me. Lol so insolent. :D

It's just the evidence that Christianity is the best opponent to present-day capitalist/consumerist society and that the so-called/self-proclaimed secular socialists or even better the Trotskyists are just useful idiots to capitalism.

It reminds me of David Rockefeller saying: "It has been said that I and my family are part of a globalist kabal to undermine the United States & replace it with a one world government. If that's the charge, I plead GUILTY, and I'm proud of it." These people are so sure of themselves that they can admit anything because they think the common men are too stupid to notice it.


DL9999 said:
Well don't read the parable of the talents then. It might convert you back.
You bet I read it multiple times. The Matthew Gospel is my fave. The most social of the 4 and Pasolini made a great film of it.

If you think that the parable of the talent should be read from a financial perspective, you are mighty wrong. The Lord would never worship an idol such as money. The parable is about a master (God) giving his servants (people) his treasure, which means life or the spiritual breath, whatever you call it. And we should preserve our life, indeed. That is consistent with all of Christ's teaching. If it were about money, it would contradict ALL His teaching. :eek:
 
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Echoes said:
Great! Masks are falling. I was right from the very beginning. Anti-Christian atheists are bourgeois, despising poverty and proud of their wealth and comfort, apologising fraud and usury. The worst thing is that they even assume it and nobody will notice that, but me. Lol so insolent. :D

It's just the evidence that Christianity is the best opponent to present-day capitalist/consumerist society and that the so-called/self-proclaimed secular socialists or even better the Trotskyists are just useful idiots to capitalism.

It reminds me of David Rockefeller saying: "It has been said that I and my family are part of a globalist kabal to undermine the United States & replace it with a one world government. If that's the charge, I plead GUILTY, and I'm proud of it." These people are so sure of themselves that they can admit anything because they think the common men are too stupid to notice it.




You bet I read it multiple times. The Matthew Gospel is my fave. The most social of the 4 and Pasolini made a great film of it.

If you think that the parable of the talent should be read from a financial perspective, you are mighty wrong. The Lord would never worship an idol such as money. The parable is about a master (God) giving his servants (people) his treasure, which means life or the spiritual breath, whatever you call it. And we should preserve our life, indeed. That is consistent with all of Christ's teaching. If it were about money, it would contradict ALL His teaching. :eek:
I've been to Rome - I've been in that temple, dripping with extravagance extracted from the blood of the world.

When I imagine Jesus (if he was even real) I picture a 'wandering Saint' in the Indian tradition, not someone living in the opulence of the Vatican.
 
DL9999 said:
So you are saying the NT is irrelevant? If so, what is the basis for your assertion that charity was not part of the "message" and that "the message was you have to become poor to be saved, period". And why do you bother quoting the NT?
Look it up. And, yes, as a historical work, the NT is entirely irrelevant.
 

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