Can a person consider themselves Christian (ie, a true follower of Christ) if they have the wealth necessary to be able to participate in web forums? Consider the following excerpt from the Gospel of Luke:
"And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." LUKE 18:18-27
Thoughts on this?
Umm....my internet connection costs about $30 a month. Of course it's tied to a package w/tv and telephone, so the total is more than $100 a month.
Is that considered wealthy?
Oh my bad....I should take that money and give to the poor.....
Should I give it to the poor who have internet service and/or at least usually cell phones, or send it overseas where the government can take it, or give it to a bum on the street who'll buy himself a bottle of wine to drink after his trip to the food pantry?
You're participating in this forum. Are you a wealthy Christian?
By the way, most of my time spent on "web forums" is, or is related to, things of God. And even if it wasn't specifically, there's nothing wrong that I see with a Christian using the internet. It gives the devil (the prince of the power of the air) a black eye.
Great response Brenda. God provides for everyone's financial needs as He sees fit to provide. What's more God invented the computer and the internet and everything that man uses to his advantage, whether he uses it for good or evil.
Hence, he provides nothing to the starving children of the world by the tens of thousands every day.
But, he does provide for you? That should make you feel terrible.
I cannot for the life of me understand your negativity about everything. Why should I feel bad if God chooses to provide something for me yet permit someone else to face hard times.
Yes, I know, and that is very odd, indeed. It is strange you don't understand the negatively of tens of thousands of starving children in the world each day who get nothing while Christians sit there telling everyone god provides everything they need.
Don't let it bother you one bit, Dave. You just keep on believing that. Those dying children should make you feel good about believing in a loving god who gives you everything you need and lets all those children starve to death.
Yes Dave, you go and feel real good about that.
You have been with Hub Pages now for about 15 months. You have written 2 hubs and then spent the rest of your time tearing down others for their beliefs with your sarcastic, negative comments, to accomplish nothing. Al you manage to do is to alienate others, upsetting them and spew your negative opinion that is worth little. Why don't you stop attacking others with your negativity and sarcasm?
I would say you are developing a conscience, Dave. Seems it actually bothers you to believe what you believe and that you do really care for the plights of others who have nothing and that you don't really believe your god answers your prayers.
You're taking a big step here, Dave. Good for you.
But David is so much more deserving than everyone else Beelzedad!
In John 12, a woman named Mary used expensive fragrance to anoint Jesus's feet. Judas Iscariot complained, asking why the stuff wasn't sold and given to the poor. (Matthew and Mark also record this incident).
Jesus said "Let her alone; against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always."
It wasn't that Jesus didn't care about peoples' poverty. It was just that He knew Mary's heart was on Him; she loved Him and honored Him so much that she considered Him worthy of her best.
Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead! And many of the Jews came there to see him, and to see Lazarus. The almost-funny part is that the chief priests were trying to figure out how to kill Lazarus again! Because the people believed in Jesus after they witnessed/and/or heard about Him raising Lazarus from the dead.
What they had there, in their presence, was the Son of God! Mary knew this, and she gave Him her best, wiping His feet with her hair.
The point is that, first and foremost, one should Love the Lord. That heart status is more important than a showing of works like giving money to the poor. Matter of fact, they should've recognized that their money wasn't nearly as powerful as the power of Jesus. They had God in the flesh right there in front of them! He could've healed every sick person and turned rocks into money if He had decided to.
One cannot usually take just one piece of Scripture like mathsciguy posted and run with it to fit every situation. We have many related passages in the Bible that must all be taken into account in order to get the full story of what is required of us and what God wants us to do.
Sorry I never replied Brenda; I thought I already had, but now I see that I was mistaken. So here goes:
I don't see anything wrong with living a normal, modern lifestyle. I do, myself. But I was under the impression that a Christian lifestyle was supposed to be different than a normal, modern lifestyle. Of course, I could be totally off-base and incorrect. Maybe there is just something "worldly" about such amenities that seems to clash with what I perceive to be the Christian philosophy.
Did you ever see the film Schindler's List? The final scene where Oskar Schindler realizes that with every article of his personal wealth he retained, he could have possibly saved one more life formed the very beginnings of the thought process that led to this topic. And Schindler's revelation wasn't even put in a particularly Christianity-based point-of-view. My point really is that if you want people to believe you when you say that the teachings of scripture are absolute truth, then it couldn't hurt to be as closely aligned with them as possible, right? I'm not saying that it's even practical in today's world to do this. So, relevant point or not?
My answer got so long, I decided to create a hub just to answer it.
Should Christians participate in the web forums according to Luke 18:18-27?
Short answer is yes Christians can participate in web forums. The long answer with the reason behind it, you can read in the hub. I believe my answer is really too long to post here with over a 900 word count.
Well, I have made a mistake - what I should have pointed out is how bizarre it is that the modern lifestyle is acceptable as a Christian lifestyle. It really was not my intention to attack Christian web users, but to use this one example as an illustration of how incompatible the average person's amenities are with Christianity as per the Bible.
In America, in 2005, the median household income was $44,000 - I know that most Americans would say, "That doesn't make a family rich." But try telling that to people 2000 years ago. Just seems to me that Christianity is, by definition, a religion more suited to the poor than to the affluent.
So, not intended as a personal attack against Christians on the internet - but still a valid point, in my opinion.
Just what is it about a modern lifestyle that troubles you? Would you rather I for example quit my job in IT and get a job as a fisherman or carpenter? should I sell my two cars ( both are 10 year old heaps) and get myself a donkey?
I don't mind what you do, Disappearinghead. If you don't see any conflict with your lifestyle and current status in life with the teachings of whatever your religion may be, then don't change a thing. It's possible I misinterpreted the entire exchange, anyhow; but my point wasn't that anyone should change necessarily, just that it seemed like lots of people weren't practicing really what they were preaching.
Modern lifestyles don't trouble me, for the most part, other than being prone to shallowness and susceptible to rubbish - but that goes with any lifestyle. What troubles me is when I see (or think I see) a contradiction in what a person is saying and what they are doing. Especially if they are in the habit of trying to convince others that what they are saying is the absolute truth.
I have to chuckle when I see non Christians reading Biblical passages more literally than fundamentalist Christians. Why is it that we can perceive literary device in secular texts (and by extension oratory device), but we are so clearly inept when it comes to religious texts?
If I were a World Literature professor asking my students to explain the intent of this story of the rich man and Jesus, I would hope to have equipped them with the ability to "get it". Or, if a particular student were having trouble with it, I would ask this question:
How can the message of this story be deciphered by referring to what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments; the two that all others stand on: "Love God with your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself"?
I think that background knowledge might illuminate the point of the story.
What I do not see is a literal reading that renders the passage an 'exclusion clause' for the label of Christian.
Alas, I am blessed/cursed with a literal mind. It's possible that I wasn't born with it, but rather developed it during years of reading and learning from technical manuals and mathematical texts. So, when person tells me "harder to get to heaven if you're rich than a camel to go through a needle" I tend to interpret that literally. Likewise, when I am given the proposition that "All of the universe was created in seven days (sun-up/sun-down, according to the story)" I evaluate it on a direct basis.
Perhaps it's a form of rebellion... but I don't think it is, since I am fairly sure I was born (created, if you will) with that characteristic. I have always had a literal mind, for as long as I can remember, and I don't tend to be able to read very much into secular literature either, unfortunately.
Language doesn't work that way. Propositional statements might, but literature (or oratory for that matter) does not. If it did, we wouldn't have metaphor, or sarcasm, or allegory, or hyperbole, or any number of literary or oratory devices.
That's true. Although I think you have to admit that it's difficult to distinguish metaphor from what is intended literally when you are dealing with a text full of references to entities nobody has seen, places that nobody has been (nobody who returned to tell about it anyhow), and matters of spiritual and philosophical import.
For example, I can identify metaphor in the case of likening life to the suffering of slings and arrows since I am familiar enough with life in my experience to know that any slings or arrows endured by a person are likely to be figurative. However, I am not familiar enough with the "kingdom of heaven" through experience to be able to differentiate with any certainty figurative language from literal language regarding the topic. Unless, of course, the "kingdom of heaven" itself is a figurative literary device? I can't tell.
Oh absolutely. Very good point. I think there are still people in obscure corners of the globe debating the existence of a place called Atlantis; that place of great and marvelous kings that was first described in Plato's dialogues, Timaeus and Critias
The existence at some time of Atlantis is far more likely than the existence of a god of any description in my own opinion.
As for christians posting in the forums there are remarkably few, I am not quite sure what the flock of right wing nasties who claim to be christian, and the sheeple who are clearly sub-normal in some vital brain function, but real christians who can be admired for their compassion, wisdom and understanding can be counted on the fingers on one hand - excluding the thumb.
Well if you're going to get that technical, then wouldn't your logic dictate that the only true Christians are Amish people then? After all, any of societies' items like cars, tvs, and any other modern appliance is technically a luxury by definition. Therefore, are you saying that all Christians should live like Amish people? Not that there's anything wrong with how Amish people live, but I certainly wouldn't want to live their lifestyle. Just saying.
I'm not in any position to say what SHOULD be done. But, yes, I would take Amish people more seriously if they were trying to convert me to become Amish as well, since they seem (emphasis on seem - like I said, I'm not an authority on what is meant when Jesus says "Sell all thou hast") to follow more closely what they claim to be truth to me. That's all.
Also, I happen to like the Amish people. I admire the strength and cohesion of their conviction, even if I disagree with it.
For the record, I would recommend that anyone wanting a good counter-point read Bible Studies' hub: "Should Christians participate in web forums..."
Much appreciated, Bible Studies. Christians can now all breathe a collective sigh of relief.
And, I must agree that it seems convincing that amenities are not, by definition, anti-Christian. So there's my official view on the matter, having reviewed the arguments proposed by Bible Studies.
The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." LUKE 18:18-27
Abraham was rich. Job was rich. King David was rich. Do you think they made it?
A good point. Certainly there have been rich persons in biblical history that were reportedly in good favor with God. Makes me wonder what Jesus could have meant by "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
And then, to say "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." What was the point of mentioning that it was basically impossible for a rich man to enter, only to then say that it wasn't really impossible?
What a nonsense question?
The Internet is now an essential service like gas and electricity. I'd sooner get rid of the tv which usually has crap all on.
As for posting to hubpages, I've learnt so much from other people here and I would like to think I've passed some useful thoughts to others.
Since when was living in a western nation; holding down a job; trying to support a family; paying high taxes and petrol costing £6 a gallon (that's $137 in American money) rich?
Remember that Jesus knows the thoughts of all people. Jesus knew what the rich man loved. He also knew the rich man was trying to buy his way into the kingdom of God. Jesus told him he lacked one thing. That one thing he lacked was compassion.
He was sorrowful after Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give to the poor. He loved his riches more than he loved people.
Dave Matthews, brother, you're right.
Some non-believers simply want to accuse Christians no matter what. Funny how they scrutinize everything we do. It wouldn't matter if we became monks and nuns or gave all that we had to feed the poor anyway. Because their minds are set on killing Lazarus again! (in effect). They've decided not to believe in Christ, and they will not, no matter if we became literal saints on earth and "though one rose from the dead".
I think that's why Judas Iscariot was lost. He didn't love the Lord!
Hey, that idea of killing Lazarus again just gave me a tentative subject for a hub.....
This reminds me of something I have wondered about (and this is a serious wonder): If Jesus brought Lazarus back, did Lazarus have to die again or is he still with us?
Good question. The Bible doesn't say, that I can find.
But I'd imagine he died at some point just like most. But I'd bet he had little fear of death again, since he knew the power of God.
Well... that whole man-being-appointed-once-to-die thing apparently has some wiggle room. Take Enoch or Elijah for example. So, I think that's a pretty good question, from a purely logical standpoint.
Brenda, interesting point about Judas.
When what you say and what you do show a completely selfish nature at the expense of others, the accusations fit the crimes.
recommend..unfortunatley you are right about a true believer of Christ that follows him the way he teachs can be counted on one hand. Maybe..how many do you personally know? I try and ask for God's help to be these things you mentioned. Because when I don't I am the one who he will be dealing with for not doing those things. I am a sinner, and I need to be a witness of what God/Jesus has taught his children.
We all fall short. I'm glad that God is a God of second chances. There is always room for forgiveness and to be forgiven. I'm the one to ask for forgiveness tomorrow from my husband.
Jo, you are not alone in asking God to help you be more like He wants me to be. I also need more discipline in not doing the things I use to that I know are wrong. I pray God answers both of our prayers.
Hi Jo_G - I was raised in a catholic convent school for girls surrounded by nuns and priests. Many of them were good people but few seemed to actually follow the words they taught me and a few behaved absolutely counter to the words that came out of their mouths. Over two decades I only met two people who clearly followed the words they taught, and I think maybe my sister is another.
I well understand the principle of trying to follow the teachings and maybe not being totally successful - but those who make no attempt to follow the teachings and just use selected words as weapons to promote or defend their arrogance and plain badness are following the anti-christ of their religions already.
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