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Christians and Wealth


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Over the past couple weeks, engaging in conversations with folks in this subsection, there have been many conversations where people who identify as Christians are defending billionaires, billion dollar corporations and their own greed and way of life. People who s#!t on others not so fortunate to defend people so greedy they would take everything if they could. They say they will not change their own lifestyles for the benefit of others. There are a lot of things in the bible that can be up for interpretation, but when it comes to wealth and being rich (and slavery) the bible makes it pretty damn clear what Jesus thinks about wealth and being rich and people who think this way. Im not sure if these people have not read their bible or they just dont care, but here are some scripture passages to review so you can at least attempt to live and think the way Jesus wants. Or just denounce your christianity and live and think the way you want. But you cant have both because Jesus is pretty damn clear on this issue. Like Gandhi once said “Id be a Christian if it were not for the Christians. I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”


Luke 16:14-15

First Timothy 6:10

Matthew 6:24

Matthew 19:23-26 “"I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

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Queue the defense of “I know I fall short of Jesus’ teachings, all humans do.  But it’s through his grace that we can live our lives how we want and go to Heaven as long as we pray in front of lots of people…”

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5 minutes ago, funhusker said:

Queue the defense of “I know I fall short of Jesus’ teachings, all humans do.  But it’s through his grace that we can live our lives how we want and go to Heaven as long as we pray in front of lots of people…”


I mean Im pretty sure you have to at least try to live like Jesus. It wont be 100% obviously but these people dont even try and hide the fact they are 100% against the teaching of Jesus in certain areas. 

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I’ll share a little story here for what it’s worth. It doesn’t directly pertain to this issue but…..

 

Back, way back, when I was going through confirmation in the Lutheran church I was questioning our class teacher (the Pastor of our church) about the Lutheran position being that unbaptized babies who die will go to hell. He stopped and looked at me and asked me “JJ, don’t you think that God in his infinite wisdom will do the right thing?”  That one question has pretty much been my one guiding principle ever since.

 

I’ve seen way too much horrid sh#t in this world to believe that God is interfering in any meaningful way with our existence in this life. And yes I realize that flies in the face of the Catholic Christian faith I profess and practice. Hence my admitted agnostic leanings the other day. But, if you believe in intelligent design or a God that created us and that will provide judgement on our life at some point (as I do), I firmly believe he will do the right thing when the time comes. So I guess this is why I don’t get too twisted up when I see cases of hypocritical behavior by Christians or other self proclaimed religious or non-religious folk. The good person who doesn’t believe in Jesus as well as the bad person who makes a show of being the best Christian will all be judged fairly imo. But as far as receiving any satisfaction of the right thing being done in this life, I’m not holding my breath.

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1 hour ago, JJ Husker said:

I’ll share a little story here for what it’s worth. It doesn’t directly pertain to this issue but…..

 

Back, way back, when I was going through confirmation in the Lutheran church I was questioning our class teacher (the Pastor of our church) about the Lutheran position being that unbaptized babies who die will go to hell. He stopped and looked at me and asked me “JJ, don’t you think that God in his infinite wisdom will do the right thing?”  That one question has pretty much been my one guiding principle ever since.

 

I’ve seen way too much horrid sh#t in this world to believe that God is interfering in any meaningful way with our existence in this life. And yes I realize that flies in the face of the Catholic Christian faith I profess and practice. Hence my admitted agnostic leanings the other day. But, if you believe in intelligent design or a God that created us and that will provide judgement on our life at some point (as I do), I firmly believe he will do the right thing when the time comes. So I guess this is why I don’t get too twisted up when I see cases of hypocritical behavior by Christians or other self proclaimed religious or non-religious folk. The good person who doesn’t believe in Jesus as well as the bad person who makes a show of being the best Christian will all be judged fairly imo. But as far as receiving any satisfaction of the right thing being done in this life, I’m not holding my breath.


You are probably one of the most reasonable people to talk to when it comes to religion. I think your spiritual journey is similar to mine and soon you will describe yourself as agnostic instead of catholic. I believe there is a creator, but I dont think we will be judged. I believe in reincarnation and multiple lives until we feel we got it right and then our souls can be at peace. Sounds more hindu or buddhist lol. 
 

The problem I have with this line of thinking as you are still in the process of figuring out what you believe and what to identify yourself as is that the God of the bible is not a reasonable being as shown multiple times in the bible. Hes vengeful and if you dont live according to the rules, you will be judged accordingly as sin cannot be allowed in heaven. Like I said above, Jesus is pretty damn clear on wealth. More clear than most things in the bible. Lots of Christians who believe in capitalism and making as much money as you possibly can, like many rules laid out in the bible, try to ignore what Jesus said because if they actually followed Jesus teachings, they would believe in socialism. Jesus was/is a socialist. Everything he said was against wealth and helping people less fortunate. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick. If more right wing Christians would just come out and say you know, I think Jesus got a lot right, but hes wrong on this issue, I would respect them a lot more than I do.

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I am a “left of center wing” Christian who 100% believes that right wing ultra capitalists who call themselves “Christians” are clearly not living in accordance to what Jesus has taught in regards to wealth.   To them it’s all about make as much $ as possible and pay as little taxes as possible which they know very well are to help the poor and underserved.   And it makes me sad that other Christians live that way.  

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2 hours ago, Frott Scost said:


You are probably one of the most reasonable people to talk to when it comes to religion. I think your spiritual journey is similar to mine and soon you will describe yourself as agnostic instead of catholic. I believe there is a creator, but I dont think we will be judged. I believe in reincarnation and multiple lives until we feel we got it right and then our souls can be at peace. Sounds more hindu or buddhist lol. 
 

The problem I have with this line of thinking as you are still in the process of figuring out what you believe and what to identify yourself as is that the God of the bible is not a reasonable being as shown multiple times in the bible. Hes vengeful and if you dont live according to the rules, you will be judged accordingly as sin cannot be allowed in heaven. Like I said above, Jesus is pretty damn clear on wealth. More clear than most things in the bible. Lots of Christians who believe in capitalism and making as much money as you possibly can, like many rules laid out in the bible, try to ignore what Jesus said because if they actually followed Jesus teachings, they would believe in socialism. Jesus was/is a socialist. Everything he said was against wealth and helping people less fortunate. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick. If more right wing Christians would just come out and say you know, I think Jesus got a lot right, but hes wrong on this issue, I would respect them a lot more than I do.


I can’t disagree. I struggle with many of these same issues. The difference may be that I don’t get quite as hung up on the Old Testament things like slaves and a vengeful God. Whenever mere human beings are in control of the message, as they really are with everything from the writing of the Bible to being in charge of organized religion, I have an easier rime explaining away things that don’t seem to add up. But that also flies in the face of the Bible being the unerring word of God. I may be a bad Christian because I do pick and choose what sounds right and what doesn’t seem right but it’s really the only way for a person to follow any of it. For the most part I like the lessons and examples of Jesus but honestly some of it is a bit too socialist for my taste. Not to the extent of not helping others and being a greedy bastard but it can be very hard to live up to what seems to be expected.

 

The one story that really sort of angers me, as it comes up seemingly every year in the readings, is the story of the prodigal son. I understand that it is really about the father always welcoming back his wayward child but it pisses me off that the other son who stayed and worked his butt off is not celebrated as much as the derelict who returns home. I always feel very unChristian when that story is told. Ive actually considered walking out of church when the reading starts. So anyway thats my example of how it isn’t easy to follow everything to a T.

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7 hours ago, JJ Husker said:


I can’t disagree. I struggle with many of these same issues. The difference may be that I don’t get quite as hung up on the Old Testament things like slaves and a vengeful God. Whenever mere human beings are in control of the message, as they really are with everything from the writing of the Bible to being in charge of organized religion, I have an easier rime explaining away things that don’t seem to add up. But that also flies in the face of the Bible being the unerring word of God. I may be a bad Christian because I do pick and choose what sounds right and what doesn’t seem right but it’s really the only way for a person to follow any of it. For the most part I like the lessons and examples of Jesus but honestly some of it is a bit too socialist for my taste. Not to the extent of not helping others and being a greedy bastard but it can be very hard to live up to what seems to be expected.

 

The one story that really sort of angers me, as it comes up seemingly every year in the readings, is the story of the prodigal son. I understand that it is really about the father always welcoming back his wayward child but it pisses me off that the other son who stayed and worked his butt off is not celebrated as much as the derelict who returns home. I always feel very unChristian when that story is told. Ive actually considered walking out of church when the reading starts. So anyway thats my example of how it isn’t easy to follow everything to a T.

The prodigal son story is viewed in a lot of different perspectives around the world.  Our church had a pastor from Tanzania visit and discuss this passage.

 

Finding fault with the son who left is a western thing.  The pastor talked more about how the people in the foreign land mistreated and exploited the son when he was down.  Even if it was his fault he was in the situation.  The son was willing to work for his survival, but the person he worked for wouldn’t even give him food.  The sons only option was to return home.  He begged for forgiveness just to have the opportunity to be a slave for his father.
 

Again, the son was in this situation because of choices he made, but he owned up to them and was willing to work.  He didn’t expect, at all, to be treated with any dignity when he returned home.

 

He then went on to blast the other son who was actually jealous of his brother who was in a desperate position.  My comparison would be the Americans who are jealous of the refugees who were put up in hotels not that long ago.  A couple posters on this very board talked about how it sounded better than the vacations they take.

 

Finding fault in the man with little while ignoring circumstances is a Western thing.  Many other places view it as the love of God is needed because a man isn’t guaranteed to succeed on his own with jealousy and greed of others being a main reason.

 

 

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If you want to discuss Christianity and accumulating wealth, take a look at the mega-Church pastors all over the country.  Those guys are supposed to be leading "non-profit organizations" yet they live like multi-millionaires.  The Righteous Gemstones is a work of fiction, but based a lot on the truth.  At some point the US should look into taxing religious organizations.  Don't get me started on Scientology and what they get away with in the name of religion.

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2 hours ago, teachercd said:

If there is a god, I think we know that us Husker fans pissed him off about 10 years ago.


…..20 years ago.

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57 minutes ago, ColoradoHusk said:

If you want to discuss Christianity and accumulating wealth, take a look at the mega-Church pastors all over the country.  Those guys are supposed to be leading "non-profit organizations" yet they live like multi-millionaires.  The Righteous Gemstones is a work of fiction, but based a lot on the truth.  At some point the US should look into taxing religious organizations.  Don't get me started on Scientology and what they get away with in the name of religion.

This!

 

One of the several reasons I stopped attending.

 

Our church was modest compared to most.  We partnered with the community food pantry and did a lot of good things.  Then we started “investing” in our congregation by hiring a “music director”, audio visual equipment etc.

 

I had no problem giving offering when it went to keeping the doors open for the pantry.  But if you tell me I need to tithe to help the church stay open standing in front of a big screen to background music played by a hired pianist, excuse me while I roll my eyes…

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1 hour ago, funhusker said:

This!

 

One of the several reasons I stopped attending.

 

Our church was modest compared to most.  We partnered with the community food pantry and did a lot of good things.  Then we started “investing” in our congregation by hiring a “music director”, audio visual equipment etc.

 

I had no problem giving offering when it went to keeping the doors open for the pantry.  But if you tell me I need to tithe to help the church stay open standing in front of a big screen to background music played by a hired pianist, excuse me while I roll my eyes…


ehhh, I don’t think that is the biggest tragedy. That is a pretty innocuous example. I agree that the primary focus and use of those funds needs to be to help the community but if nobody comes to your church, that also means less donations. Certainly there needs to be a balance between entertainment and the comfort of the parish but you have to spend money to make money also. But yeah I realize many churches and organized religions fail to meet a good  standard and shouldn’t be tax exempt to the extent they are. Maybe the solution is testing their expenditures and only exempting the truly charitable portion. There would be cheating for sure (ironic huh?) but a whole bunch of worthwhile support will be lost without that tax write off subsidy. I know I give a little more due to the tax deduction. And no I’m not always happy with how those funds are used but as long as I see enough good being done I’m okay with it.

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On 6/18/2021 at 1:20 PM, Frott Scost said:

Over the past couple weeks, engaging in conversations with folks in this subsection, there have been many conversations where people who identify as Christians are defending billionaires, billion dollar corporations and their own greed and way of life. People who s#!t on others not so fortunate to defend people so greedy they would take everything if they could. They say they will not change their own lifestyles for the benefit of others. There are a lot of things in the bible that can be up for interpretation, but when it comes to wealth and being rich (and slavery) the bible makes it pretty damn clear what Jesus thinks about wealth and being rich and people who think this way. Im not sure if these people have not read their bible or they just dont care, but here are some scripture passages to review so you can at least attempt to live and think the way Jesus wants. Or just denounce your christianity and live and think the way you want. But you cant have both because Jesus is pretty damn clear on this issue. Like Gandhi once said “Id be a Christian if it were not for the Christians. I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”


Luke 16:14-15

First Timothy 6:10

Matthew 6:24

Matthew 19:23-26 “"I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

 

***LONG POST WARNING, LOL***

 

I'm a Christian, and very involved in my church.  Been waiting on a post like this, because I think it validates exactly what I'm about to say on so many things.  Very happy that yesterday's sermon preacher was right on this road with the following quote:

 

"Religion can get us part of the way, but our belief and faith in God comes first.  Religion has us all torn up!"


So true! 

Paul wrote to Timothy and stated that the Bible was for "Doctrine, reproof, rebuke, instruction in righteousness.."  Keep in mind, that Paul (a preacher) was writing to Timothy (a YOUNG preacher)...context matters.

 

For those that are keeping up, that means

  • Instruction (Strong's) : 1319 didaskalía ("teach") – properly applied-teaching; Christian doctrine (teaching) as it especially extends to its necessary lifestyle.
  • Inner Reflection (Strong's) : 1650 élegxos ("test") – inner conviction focuses on God confirming His in-birthing of faith
  • Admonishment (Strong's) : 1882 epanórthōsis ("correct,  make straight") - correction, reformation, setting straight (right) again.
  • Spiritual Teaching with Growth Toward Spiritual Maturity: 3809 (paideía) properly, instruction that trains someone to reach full development (maturity), AND 1343 ( dikaiosýnē) - judicial approval (the verdict of approval); in the NT, the approval of God

Nowhere in Paul's letter to Timothy did he say, "If these people are out of line, then you judge them harshly."  People use the Bible like a crutch when they want to make something they say stick when it comes to religious beliefs - but they misuse the context. 

 

Paul also wrote and told Timothy the following:

 

2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
 

So, the #1 problem with folks as described above?  They don't know the Word of God like they SAY that they do.

If they did, we wouldn't be having this conversation....right?

 

So...with all of this being said, here are a few points that are basic beliefs to a true "Christian":

  • God granted mankind free will over his actions.
  • Man's ability of free will gives him the ability to make up his own darn mind.
  • God does not FORCE anyone to believe in Him....it is a conscious choice that one must come to on a personal level.
  • Jesus Christ was run out of his own home for having some very progressive ideas, but those in power chose to hang onto that power.
  • God has outlined the role of mankind as it pertains to His message of spreading the gospel to others.  Nowhere in that charge does it say, "Make laws and judge so that you can tell people how to live and what to do."
  • The average "Christian" has done little to no original language study of the Bible (or in that matter, study).  Context matters, and Ye Old King's English wasn't the original language of the Bible.

 

 

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