Question for the fundies

edited September 2009 in Religion & Philosophy
How do you interpret Luke 18, and Jesus general attitude toward wealth? The majority of the bible is literal to you, is Jesus ministry toward greed the same?
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  • You're probably addressing this question to some folks outside this board. No "fundies" here.
  • What was it ol' Will said...?

    Oh yeah, http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quote ... h-methinks

    Perhaps the discussion would benefit from definition of the term "fundie." The OP question is a compelling one.
  • Guy you are a biblical literalist, correct? The earth is 6k years old et al. Is that not a fundementalist? Or is "fundie" taken as an insult (I did not mean it that way).
  • said:

    Guy you are a biblical literalist, correct? The earth is 6k years old et al. Is that not a fundementalist? Or is "fundie" taken as an insult (I did not mean it that way).[/quote:lxl8oe11]

    I hold to the fundamentals of the Christian faith and doctrine, theologically explained through the text of Scripture. I am not a "fundamentalist" or "fundie" as you suggest. Neither are most conservative Evangelicals. "Fundie" of "fundamentalist" is a pejorative in most Christian circles, unless one is one, then EVERYONE else's position is a pejorative or otherwise flawed.

    By "literal" I would suggest that I take the Bible according to the usage of the text in context, based on a proper hermeneutical study. That means that I understand that there are different genres of literature contained within the pages of Scripture such as poetry, allegory, metaphor, figure of speech, history, biography, evangelistic tract, apocalyptic literature, etc. Taking something "literally" when it is intended to be poetic, for instance, could lead one to a false interpretation of the text. Same goes for allegorical text, etc.

    About the age of the earth comment -- yes, I am a "young earth creationist" (YEC) but no, I do not set dates like 6000 years. Why? There are no dates mentioned in the Scriptures, and evidence from the other revelation (there are two revelations commonly held in conservative Evangelical circles, one is the "specific" revelation of the Bible the other is the "general" revelation of the cosmos) seems to indicate a time frame somewhat more than 6000 years, but most likely under the "billions and billons of years" most often promulgated by the atheistic naturalists bent on some form of neo-Darwinian evolution as their worldview.

    Now, on to your question:

    I should start this by asking you what YOUR understanding is of Jesus and wealth – for that is in large part driving your question. By your OP, I would derive that you have little understanding of things in the Christian realm, and it is possible that you smell a way to somehow poke Christians about somewhat via your line of reasoning.

    Next, you asked, “Is Jesus ministry toward greed the same?” By that, if you mean, is Jesus against greed, the answer is yes. Is Jesus against all forms of wealth? The answer is no. There is a difference between wealth and greed, and also varying degrees of how people use their wealth versus how they store it up for themselves and their own use (or more often, just for the sake of storing more, never to be used, but also to be kept from another’s hands).

    It was Jesus that said that we must “count the cost” before undertaking large projects (Luke 14:28-30). Jesus was also cared for in His earthly ministry by “wealthy” women (Luke 8:3) who were able to provide for Jesus from “out of their means.”

    Wealth in the Bible is never seen as an outright sin. What one DOES with that wealth may or may not be a sin. Greed is always a sin, as is failure to care for the needs of others in your midst, starting with widows and orphans (and likely not men capable of working, BTW).

    Does that mean that a lot of Christians are living in sin? Probably... But, I'd suggest that so too are those who are not Christians, so that point doesn't really get anyone anywhere, except as I noted above, as a reason to poke Christians for something.

    There is more, but I’ll start here…

  • Can you look for guidance in the modern world by considering what Christianity offers regarding [i:2ea9h9xd]greed[/i:2ea9h9xd] without also considering what Christianity offers regarding [i:2ea9h9xd]envy[/i:2ea9h9xd]? An isolated, disproportionate inquiry could lead to all sorts of errors, including political errors that make charity impossible.
  • Guy I consider myself a Christian, though I take a few positions that you would disagree with. As far as my question, it as asked to answer somebody else's.

    My answer wS thus: Jesus is referring to absolute devotion to others. Not actually become poor etc. Again, there are exegesis on this.
  • said:

    Can you look for guidance in the modern world by considering what Christianity offers regarding [i:2gxov3x6]greed[/i:2gxov3x6] without also considering what Christianity offers regarding [i:2gxov3x6]envy[/i:2gxov3x6]? An isolated, disproportionate inquiry could lead to all sorts of errors, including political errors that make charity impossible.[/quote:2gxov3x6]

    True that... In fact the "social gospel movement" started primarily via the writings of Walter Rauschenbusch perverted many an otherwise good Christian or church into thinking their only responsibility was to care for the needs of others. It was this, working in concert with the liberal political emphasis of the centralized welfare state that brought us to where we are today in America (and Europe) -- and entitlement state. Along the way, the concept of the Great Commission was largely abandoned, until today, when a denomination like the SBC announces a Great Commission Resurgence movement, everyone is aghast at the thought that the church might place the sharing of the gospel before feeding people (who might still be headed for hell, but with full bellies).

  • said:

    Guy I consider myself a Christian, though I take a few positions that you would disagree with. As far as my question, it as asked to answer somebody else's.

    My answer wS thus: Jesus is referring to absolute devotion to others. Not actually become poor etc. Again, there are exegesis on this.[/quote:xtide8ph]

    I'd say you are on the right track... No where is it espoused in Scripture that one must become poor, or that there is any holiness to be gained by taking vows of poverty or aceticism. The general rule of thumb is to take care of God first with the tithe (tenth) which goes to support the workings of the local church and missions activity at home and around the world; the family next (the Bible says that the man that refuses to care for his family is worse than an unbeliever -- 1 Timothy 5 has a lot to say in this regard, and also in the general context of social ministry); then attention can be turned to caring for others, extravagant giving, storing up for later days, etc.

  • said:

    I'd say you are on the right track... No where is it espoused in Scripture that one must become poor, or that there is any holiness to be gained by taking vows of poverty or aceticism. The general rule of thumb is to take care of God first with the tithe (tenth) which goes to support the workings of the local church and missions activity at home and around the world; the family next (the Bible says that the man that refuses to care for his family is worse than an unbeliever -- 1 Timothy 5 has a lot to say in this regard, and also in the general context of social ministry); then attention can be turned to caring for others, extravagant giving, storing up for later days, etc.[/quote:3k89bgyi]
    So one is supposed to provide for the church BEFORE his own family?

  • said:

    So one is supposed to provide for the church BEFORE his own family?[/quote:h5l5ssa7]

    Before Guy can answer that, I think you have to tell him what you mean by "the church" because I think you will not mean what he understands from it.

    I am almost certain he doesn't mean buildings and bishops, not that those are irrelevent to what we have now.

    said:

    Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.[/quote:h5l5ssa7]

  • said:

    Before Guy can answer that, I think you have to tell him what you mean by "the church" because I think you will not mean what he understands from it.

    I am almost certain he doesn't mean buildings and bishops, not that those are irrelevent to what we have now.
    [/quote:1x3nfbsp]
    Does it really matter what the church does with its money if you can't put food on your own table?

  • I think so.

    If you decide to send your children to a public college so you can engage in activity you consider pivotal to individual salvation, you've done something very much apart from underfeeding your children so the cathedral steeple can be ten feet higher.
  • said:

    I think so.

    If you decide to send you children to a public college so you can engage in activity you consider pivotal to individual salvation, you've done something very much apart from underfeeding your children so the cathedral steeple can be ten feet higher.[/quote:178lgjlw]
    I disagree, family should be first regardless.

  • said:

    said:

    I think so.

    If you decide to send you children to a public college so you can engage in activity you consider pivotal to individual salvation, you've done something very much apart from underfeeding your children so the cathedral steeple can be ten feet higher.[/quote:29k86tke]
    I disagree, family should be first regardless.[/quote:29k86tke]

    How does that leave a fellow with a family able to do any charitable planning?

    A family's "needs" are not finite. If you only ask "What could I do for my family with the next dollar?", it will always get that dollar.

  • said:

    said:

    said:

    I think so.

    If you decide to send you children to a public college so you can engage in activity you consider pivotal to individual salvation, you've done something very much apart from underfeeding your children so the cathedral steeple can be ten feet higher.[/quote:turz4ttt]
    I disagree, family should be first regardless.[/quote:turz4ttt]

    How does that leave a fellow with a family able to do any charitable planning?

    A family's "needs" are not finite. If you only ask "What could I do for my family with the next dollar?", it will always get that dollar.[/quote:turz4ttt]

    Good answer...

    Neither are the demands of "the church" infinite. The standard giving response that we find in the Bible is a "tithe" -- a theological/biblical term that means "tenth." So, in other words, A NT giver is expected to take a tenth of his income off the top and give it to the church. Scripturally, the giving to God first is called "firstfruits" and the issue signifies that you place and keep God first in your life (your entire life, including your finances) and all else of life uses the 90% that you have left.

    Though only anecdotal, I can easily line up for you a quarter of a million believers in short order who practice the tithe and who will say, to a person, that they have more money after giving away that tenth to the Lord than they do if they do not.

    Now, if one holds God or the concept of god to be merely a human construct (ala Armstrong from our other conversation) then I can easily understand why the concept of giving to God or God's church (after all, we don't hand our money directly to His hand) something of little overall value. But if you are one of the millions who are convinced that God [b:turz4ttt]IS[/b:turz4ttt], and that, as sovereign over the universe, He has the power and ability to bless at will, then you can more easily understand the worldview and practice of the believers. I am among those convinced... I've seen this work time and again.

    Additionally, "the church" pours the funds it recieves back into the community in any number of ways. For instance, in America. fully 90+ percent of all hospitals are Christian backed. A vast majority of colleges and universities are also backed by church activity. Virtually every orphanage, adoption agency, food pantry, and clothing closet are run by Christian people and supported by Christian giving. America overall is known as one of the most giving nations on earth, and that is in large part due to our Christian heritage. If the people stopped giving to the church and the church stopped supporting all its ministries in virtually every city and community within those cities, the USA would be a RADICALY different place.

    Yup... all that money is to raise the steeple 10 more feet... :roll:

  • said:

    So, in other words, [b:lt85edgm]A NT giver is expected to take a tenth of his income [u:lt85edgm]off the top [/u:lt85edgm][/b:lt85edgm]and give it to the church. [/quote:lt85edgm]

    ...and with this sentence, NPB converted to joodaism.

  • Guy, can you show me the verse or verses that says Christians must give a tenth? Why to the church? What of tax dollars that benefi the needy?
    In regards to the great commission. It seems that helping peoples basic needs tends to convert more than other forms of ministry. The social gospel can certainly be the great commission. (or am I missunderstand your definition)
  • said:

    I hold to the fundamentals of the Christian faith and doctrine, theologically explained through the text of Scripture.[/quote:21xjr9v3]
    Likewise. I tend to be a bit naive, though, equating "fundamentalist" to glf's definition above. I tend to treat words as they actually mean, often missing the pejorative.

    said:

    is to take care of God first with the tithe (tenth)[/quote:21xjr9v3]
    God doesn't [b:21xjr9v3]need[/b:21xjr9v3] our money. The tithe is to thank God for what He's given [b:21xjr9v3]us[/b:21xjr9v3]. This [b:21xjr9v3]incidentally[/b:21xjr9v3] helps the local and global church, but strictly speaking, God can do awesome things without the tithe.

    You already know this, but the way it was phrased leads to errors like Axe's here:

    said:

    So one is supposed to provide for the church BEFORE his own family?[/quote:21xjr9v3]
    God does not equal the church. God desires we love [b:21xjr9v3]HIM[/b:21xjr9v3] first and foremost, above all other things. This includes giving your [b:21xjr9v3]first[/b:21xjr9v3]fruits to [b:21xjr9v3]Him,[/b:21xjr9v3] which are generally a tenth of your income, leaving the lion's share (90%) for yourself. Certainly there is plenty there to support your family with. If you ask tithers, they generally tell you of this strange effect of being blessed with [b:21xjr9v3]more[/b:21xjr9v3] resources while tithing than when not. God cares for His own.

    Speaking for myself, I have experienced this side-effect blessing of God's with tithing. No matter how hard it gets, I wouldn't want to do it without God's help. God is first. Family is second. Church, friends, and strangers are third.

    said:

    I disagree, family should be first regardless.[/quote:21xjr9v3]
    For someone who believes God does not exist, it would make sense not to put God at #1.

    Oh, I didn't see glf's answer on page 2.... Sorry if I repeated stuff..

  • said:

    Additionally, "the church" pours the funds it recieves back into the community in any number of ways. [/quote:2hwq9ack]
    Good point. It's sort of like Socialism, but in a way that is propelled by the heart and not by heartless politicians. Which have better success? ;)

    said:

    Guy, can you show me the verse or verses that says Christians must give a tenth? Why to the church?[/quote:2hwq9ack]
    It goes to [b:2hwq9ack]God[/b:2hwq9ack], not necessarily the church. At least, as I understand it. And even if it all ultimately [b:2hwq9ack]does[/b:2hwq9ack] go to the church, tithing to "the church" misses the mark of what the tithe is for: thanks to God for what [b:2hwq9ack]He[/b:2hwq9ack] has given you. Giving to the church (with God removed) becomes legalism, and God doesn't want that:

    said:

    But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.[/quote:2hwq9ack]
    Also: "Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:13). And: "To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mark 12:33).

  • said:

    For someone who believes God does not exist, it would make sense not to put God at #1.
    [/quote:p9xegrqn]
    Agnostic =/= Atheist

    I just can't shake the thought that money given to the church gets funneled into things like this:

    [img:p9xegrqn]http://www.rome-hotels.redflag.info/pictures/vatican-city2.jpg[/img:p9xegrqn]

  • said:



    I just can't shake the thought that money given to the church gets funneled into things like this:[/quote:2ha2sbtd]

    If only!

    Beauty and order have an effect on man's mind that all the food, medicine and shelter in he world can't match -- That's why I included the quote from Third Man.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv1QDlWbS8g&NR=1

  • said:

    said:

    For someone who believes God does not exist, it would make sense not to put God at #1.
    [/quote:7zvh1dvb]
    Agnostic =/= Atheist

    I just can't shake the thought that money given to the church gets funneled into things like this:

    [img:7zvh1dvb]http://www.rome-hotels.redflag.info/pictures/vatican-city2.jpg[/img:7zvh1dvb][/quote:7zvh1dvb]

    We sort of dispensed with that concept in the first couple of posts.

    When I speak of "the church" I am speaking of that called out body of believers that may or may not happen to utilize a building of some sort. You are referring to a different "church" and focusing on buildings.

    With that being said, does "the church" build ornate buildings, and perhaps funnel too much money into those sort of programs? I would say yes. I've seen it at every level, and I disagree with some of where the money given to God gets spent. But, on the other hand, I also know that buildings can be very important parts of the overall mission of the church, and building something that reflects God's glory can make an impact that might otherwise be missed. I'll remind the readers that God Himself ordained the construction of an ornate temple in Jerusalem -- one literally sheathed in gold. It is from that concept that temples and cathedrals are constructed.

    About not spending money on buildings... Jesus indicated that the poor will always be with us, and that caring for them is important, but it is not THE sole mission of the church. In essence, Jesus gave the church (the called out ones) two mandates, the first -- "The Great Commandment" stipulates that we love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. The second -- "The Great Commission" stipulates that we go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus taught (which in Chrisitan terms is the complete Bible, for we see Him as ultimate author). How we use money in the exercise of those two great mandates is left to the leadership of the church and the priesthood of the individual under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That may include money for buildings, programs, music, and yes, ministry to the poor, downtrodden, underpriveleged, etc., all of which requires regular gifts to God via the local church, plus other giving on a more personal note, such as one person directly helping another.

    The concept of the tithe is an OT idea that has been carried on into the NT church.

    [b:7zvh1dvb]About the tithe:[/b:7zvh1dvb]
    Lev 27:30 "Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord 's; it is holy to the Lord .
    Lev 27:32 "And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman's staff, shall be holy to the Lord .
    Deu 14:22 "You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year.
    2Ch 31:5 As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.
    Neh 13:12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses.

    [b:7zvh1dvb]For the service of the church:[/b:7zvh1dvb]
    Num 18:24 "For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the Lord , I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel."
    Num 18:26 "Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, 'When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord , a tithe of the tithe.
    Neh 10:38 "And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive the tithes. And the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse.
    Mal 3:10 "Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.


    [b:7zvh1dvb]For the assistance of others (widow and orphan):[/b:7zvh1dvb]
    Deu 26:12 "When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your towns and be filled,

    [b:7zvh1dvb]In the NT (assumed is the giving of the tithe):[/b:7zvh1dvb]
    Mat 23:23 [Jesus speaking] "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
    2Cr 9:7 [Paul speaking] Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
    Mat 6:4 [Jesus speaking] "so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
    "So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
    Mar 12:41 And he [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.
    Mar 12:43 And he [Jesus] called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.
    k 5:14 [Jesus speaking] And he charged him to tell no one, but "go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them."
    Luk 21:1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box,

  • I'm a fundy and proud of it.

    I find that identifying myself as a fundy helps the un-churched work through their angst towards faith in interpersonal communication. The conversation usually goes something like this -
    Heathen - "Those gat dammed fundys are ruining this country!"
    Me - "Hey, I'm a fundy"
    Heathen - "really? Blah blah blah gay blah pedophile blah hate blah boosh blah but you seem normal?"
    Me - "blah blah blah Jesus"

    They then convert to follow Jesus and we all go to Heaven.

    Blessings,
    JIMP
  • Axe must not have any Baptists up by him. A Baptist would never set foot in a building like that unless it was bingo night and they hid their identity.
  • said:

    I think the question in the OP is being misinterpreted. The way I read it is more along the lines of how does a literal interpretation of scripture in the area of creationism and eschatology etc. square with a non literal interpretation of Jesus' seemingly straightforward statement in Luke 18.[/quote:1kkd7mgu]

    Part of the problem is, which statement of Jesus in Luke 18. He made multiple, multiple statements in that pericope.

    Which one are YOU talking about?

  • said:

    Axe must not have any Baptists up by him. A Baptist would never set foot in a building like that unless it was bingo night and they hid their identity.[/quote:1d8p3gmt]
    :lol: :roll: :lol:

    He doesn't... I've been involved with some church starting activities in Canada, and the Baptists are close to non-existent. There is also a great deal of angst concerning the RC or Anglican church from what I've seen.

    Canadians can be THE most friendly people, talking about almost anything, but at the mention of something "religious" the conversation typically ends on the spot. Axe is most likely (from what I've seen of the typical Canadian person) really getting outside of himself, likely by the safety provided in an internet persona, to even speak of religious things. I can easily understand much of his confusion...

  • said:

    Axe must not have any Baptists up by him. A Baptist would never set foot in a building like that unless it was bingo night and they hid their identity.[/quote:1i5gxcwp]

    I think it has something to do with the weather. Going barefoot in the snow would be awful, and I don't even know if they [i:1i5gxcwp]have[/i:1i5gxcwp] poisionous snakes up there.

  • said:

    Axe is most likely (from what I've seen of the typical Canadian person) really getting outside of himself, likely by the safety provided in an internet persona, to even speak of religious things. I can easily understand much of his confusion...[/quote:1tiaprr6]
    Not at all. I'm usually the first to defend religion in conversations with "real" people here. I have nothing against religion per se, my issues are mostly with people's interpretation of it.

    And no, we don't have many Baptists here. French Canadians are RC, and most anglophones here are just "regular" protestants I guess? I'm not sure which branch they'd fall into.

  • said:

    And no, we don't have many Baptists here. French Canadians are RC, and most anglophones here are just "regular" protestants I guess? I'm not sure which branch they'd fall into.[/quote:9nivw6bo]

    Anglophone prots usually can be categorised like gasoline. There may be regional variations, like more presbyterians than methodists in a particular area. The difference would be that in most places I've been, most people by the mid-grade denomination even though they get the regular grade gasoline.

  • In any case I don't think they're as "hardcore" as the SBC.
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