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Should Christians participate in the web forums according to Luke 18:18-27?
This was originally asked in the hubs Christian forum titled Christians participate in web forums? This is my reply to mathsciguy. I posted this as a hub, since it was too long to post in the forum. Please feel free to reply in the forum or leave a comment here.
“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 18:18-27”
The man that Jesus was talking to was a very wealthy, and some believe he was a business owner. In today's terms you are probably looking at someone whose worth is in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. He built his money up, protected it, and it became an obsession with him. He was more focused on money than anything else. He wasn't willing to give up what he prized the most to follow God.
The eye of a needle is not the eye of a sewing needle as I was taught in Catholic Sunday school. I found out later on in life that it actually refers to the back entrance to a walled city. They only had two entrances. The main one was the heavily guarded gate in the front. The back one was for people who got caught outside after the gates came up. Basically it was an emergency entrance, which was also easily defended.
This entrance was only big enough to allow one person to fit through without carrying anything big. If you had any big bags, you had to leave them outside. For a camel to get through, you would have to take every thing off the camel, make it kneel, and make it crawl through the back entrance on its knees. It was not totally impossible for a camel to do so.
Jesus did say it would be harder for a rich man to get into heaven, but not impossible. He was also dealing with people who believed that the rich can do anything, or buy anything they want. That is why the crowd around Jesus asked who then can be saved. If the people have that mentality and stick with it, their arrogance will prevent them from going to heaven. No one can buy their way into heaven. A rich man who honestly follows Christ and gives from what he has to help others, I honestly don't think he is going to have any difficulties. Yes, that is even if they have a nice house, car, and etc. Jesus never said you could not own anything.
Jesus and his disciples did have money. Point being that Judas carried the money box for them. The only reason to have a money box is if they had money and a way to earn it. I know the gospels really didn't talk about how the disciples and Jesus earned or got their money while Jesus was teaching. That was not even considered important enough to write about.
Maybe it was done to also make a point. Money was never important, and it didn’t matter who had what or how much. We do tend to much emphasis on it. Later on in Acts, Peter or was it Paul, I tend to get those two confused, said he worked as a tent maker so no one would have to support him. It was never mentioned how much he made, what he did with the surplus, or how wealthy he might have become. This is another example of de-emphasizing money to focus on what was really important.
Having money is not bad. Jesus never said that every Christian had to give up every thing in order to follow him. He did basically say your attitude towards your wealth is what is going to help or hinder your walk with God. Don't condemn Christians with wealth, because you don't know what they are doing with their money. God will deal with them if they are not following God’s path. It could be very severe such as in Luke 12:15-20 where God took the life of the rich fool, because he horded everything for himself. “So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:21 American King James Version.
As for having money to be able to buy a computer, buy internet service, and post on the forum, that would not be a concern except between the individual and God. Who are we to judge? We don’t know their circumstances, how much they gave before they bought the computer. We don’t know how much they are giving after their bills are paid. We don’t know if they tithe or not. We can not know for sure, or even where that person’s heart is with God.
Yes, a person can still consider themselves a Christian, and post to this forum for the reasons stated above and more. Jesus said we are the light of the world, and to let our light shine. We as Christians can let our lights shine brightly on the forms, share our beliefs, possibly gently guide someone to Christ, and answer people’s questions about our faith. These are people we would not be able to come in contact with otherwise.
Who’s to say God doesn't lead someone to post something, or guide a Christian forum member to someone who is posting questions who is genuinely asking the question. Who is to say God didn't guide the Christian forum member to post so it would be there for another member to stumble upon who is seeking an answer to that very question?