Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
PaulS

"The poor will always be with you"...so don't worry too much about them.

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, JosephM said:

Everybody couldn't be like Jesus and live like Jesus. There had to be those to support him with food and lodginging and that needed to listen to his message. His message  to literally leave family and friends and follow him (live like him) wasn't to everyone. Only to a handful of chosen apostles. The soldiers came to him asking what they should do along with many others in different trades. He didn't say to stop doing what they were doing or to give all their money to the poor. That wasn't his message to them. To the soldiers It was to  not accuse falsely or extort money and be content with your wages and to tax collectors " don't collect anymore than you are required to" (Luke 3:13-14). 

The line you speak of that people (followers of Jesus) appear to draw,  in my view,  is each according to the grace that is given them. Reasons to me are just a cover-up of the reasoning mind.

Just as a general principle, simply because others were needed to support Jesus and Jesus did not tell all to give up everything, it is still the case that his preaching for all (Jews) was to repent and prepare for the Kingdom - and whatever this included (ex. obedience to or living the 2 great commandments and teachings about 'behavior' or preparation). That this is the case is consistent with Jesus' mission for all. In other words, even though he was supported by others for food and lodgings, his teachings were still for them also. So, the 'Sermon on the Mount' and his parables or his encounters (Good Samaritan, the rich man, etc.) were for all and all who followed him were to 'take heed.'

 

I don't necessarily see a difference between what you term as 'grace given them' and the reasons they might give which are based on the realities of their circumstances. Sometimes reasons are not a cover-up.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2019 at 8:39 PM, thormas said:
Conversation is fine but I did not contrast two major life choices to pit them against one another - I pointed out what is a profound difference between the two. I know and greatly admire people in both life choices. The question about being human was not even germane to my comment as nowhere did I suggest that. 

So it was  a question you weren't expecting in the script.  Okay, moving on.

On 11/13/2019 at 8:39 PM, thormas said:

You have tied the proverbial line to a statement made by Jesus and used an an excuse for not giving sufficiently to the poor. I, having never heard this excuse, have suggested other reasons why one might not give 'everything' that seem to be totally legitimate and not violations of the 2 great commandments.

I have heard the excuse, and more than once.  It is also very apparent to me that many Christians do not do ALL that they possibly can (genuine Christians too and not those you conc=conveniently want to label as not real Christians).  Many choose to stop at a certain point.  I do the same. But that seems insincere to me if such are truly followers of their Christ & Lord, Jesus.  The fully human example of what love is.  The man who said to love others as he loved them.

On 11/13/2019 at 8:39 PM, thormas said:
If one is not trying to be like Jesus then it follows that that is what is in their mind (or conversely they never even give it a thought).

I think life, even in the industrial west, has its responsibilities and burdens and many committed religious people do 'what they can, what they are able to do' given their 'station' in life and their family responsibilities. I don't think it is used as an excuse, it is the excuse or reason for their level of being able to help. I can understand your concern vis a vis wealthy people who appear to have a great deal and are major holiday or name-only Christians but It seems that the lower class and even the middle class are in an entirely different world. 

I question whether your comment about 'the vast majority of us' reflects the real lives of that majority. 

So you do have a line or a point where you do say "I am doing enough"? It's not just mine and you do actually practice drawing the line at some point like most other people when it comes to how much charity you can and will provide others?

If you own a computer you are amongst the majority of wealthy people in the world - i.e. a much greater proportion of the world is poorer than you.

I struggle with this picture versus Christians who argue they are doing everything they possibly can, but still go on holiday or buy a new car, or upgrade their TV or some other material spending, when these kids can't even afford a clean glass of water.  I simply cannot imagine the Jesus that much of Christianity preaches saying spend your money on material items rather than save these children's lives.  If Jesus truly instructed people to love others just as he loved us, then surely we are ignoring his please if we say he means all to us but we draw the line at maintaining our own comfortable lifestyle.

Image result for kids drinking from mud


 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2019 at 9:24 PM, JosephM said:

Everybody couldn't be like Jesus and live like Jesus. There had to be those to support him with food and lodginging and that needed to listen to his message. His message  to literally leave family and friends and follow him (live like him) wasn't to everyone. Only to a handful of chosen apostles. The soldiers came to him asking what they should do along with many others in different trades. He didn't say to stop doing what they were doing or to give all their money to the poor. That wasn't his message to them. To the soldiers It was to  not accuse falsely or extort money and be content with your wages and to tax collectors " don't collect anymore than you are required to" (Luke 3:13-14). 

The line you speak of that people (followers of Jesus) appear to draw,  in my view,  is each according to the grace that is given them. Reasons to me are just a cover-up of the reasoning mind.

I just can't see "loving one another as I have loved you" means a Jesus who would buy a new TV over giving that money to somebody who is otherwise going to die a miserable death without help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaulS said:

So it was  a question you weren't expecting in the script.  Okay, moving on.

You do try..........unexpected wasn't and never is an issue from my side, that you read into another's words without understanding is.

1 hour ago, PaulS said:

I have heard the excuse, and more than once.  It is also very apparent to me that many Christians do not do ALL that they possibly can (genuine Christians too and not those you conc=conveniently want to label as not real Christians).  Many choose to stop at a certain point.  I do the same. But that seems insincere to me if such are truly followers of their Christ & Lord, Jesus.  The fully human example of what love is.  The man who said to love others as he loved them.

You have established that you have heard it - while other have not. Moving on, unless you know and understand individual circumstances what is apparent is that we are dealing with your opinion.

1 hour ago, PaulS said:

So you do have a line or a point where you do say "I am doing enough"? It's not just mine and you do actually practice drawing the line at some point like most other people when it comes to how much charity you can and will provide others?

If you own a computer you are amongst the majority of wealthy people in the world - i.e. a much greater proportion of the world is poorer than you.

I struggle with this picture versus Christians who argue they are doing everything they possibly can, but still go on holiday or buy a new car, or upgrade their TV or some other material spending, when these kids can't even afford a clean glass of water.  I simply cannot imagine the Jesus that much of Christianity preaches saying spend your money on material items rather than save these children's lives.  If Jesus truly instructed people to love others just as he loved us, then surely we are ignoring his please if we say he means all to us but we draw the line at maintaining our own comfortable lifestyle.

Actually I don't know people who think in terms of "I am doing enough'  - they simply do. 

If you ever want to stop the accusations, try to understand the circumstances of others and have a real discussion - then do.

In the meantime, look to yourself and erase your line. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, thormas said:

Actually I don't know people who think in terms of "I am doing enough'  - they simply do. 

And do they stop 'doing' at some point or do they keep on giving until they are broke?  Presumably not, so I guess they must draw the line somewhere mustn't they?

21 hours ago, thormas said:

If you ever want to stop the accusations, try to understand the circumstances of others and have a real discussion - then do.

I can see why you are being defensive if you think I am accusing, but I have acknowledged that I do draw a line myself.  So I think this is a very real discussion, except that you think people make no judgement as to how much they think they can and can't give.  You think they just 'do' with no thought for when to stop 'doing'.  I do find that hard to believe that you actually believe that.   I do do 'some' things and I do draw a line at some point and decide when I don't want to give any more.  I don't think that is an unreasonable suggestion of most people and I think if you felt less accused you may be able to discuss the matter more openly.  So know that I am not 'accusing' you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaulS said:

And do they stop 'doing' at some point or do they keep on giving until they are broke?  Presumably not, so I guess they must draw the line somewhere mustn't they?

I can see why you are being defensive if you think I am accusing, but I have acknowledged that I do draw a line myself.  So I think this is a very real discussion, except that you think people make no judgement as to how much they think they can and can't give.  You think they just 'do' with no thought for when to stop 'doing'.  I do find that hard to believe that you actually believe that.   I do do 'some' things and I do draw a line at some point and decide when I don't want to give any more.  I don't think that is an unreasonable suggestion of most people and I think if you felt less accused you may be able to discuss the matter more openly.  So know that I am not 'accusing' you.

 

What is your ‘line’, Paul?

This line idea sounds much like what Jesus labeled ‘the leaven of the Pharisees’.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, PaulS said:

And do they stop 'doing' at some point or do they keep on giving until they are broke?  Presumably not, so I guess they must draw the line somewhere mustn't they?

No Paul, although, as you have stated, you do think in terms of drawing lines. 

3 hours ago, PaulS said:

I do do 'some' things and I do draw a line at some point and decide when I don't want to give any more.  I don't think that is an unreasonable suggestion of most people and I think if you felt less accused you may be able to discuss the matter more openly.  So know that I am not 'accusing' you.

I'm hardly defensive Paul, I simply disagree. But it is evident you are accusing everybody.

Most people give as they can and don't use Jesus' words as an excuse, don't even have Jesus' words (that you referenced) in mind. Can't be more plain that that.

Your 'very real discussion' is based on your experience and not reflected in the experience of all others.

 

Edited by thormas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Burl said:

What is your ‘line’, Paul?

This line idea sounds much like what Jesus labeled ‘the leaven of the Pharisees’.  

As I have previously made clear, 'the line' is an idiom for making the point that most people have some sort of threshold where they say 'enough'.  Unless you are one who gives your entire disability pension away to the poor, I would suggest you have a line, or a point, where you say "enough is enough".  Do you not?

So I have a line, a point, a budget, where I say I don't want to give any more than a certain amount of money away.  My contribution in the community is less rigid and may change from week to week depending on what else is happening in my life.  My point is - I don't run myself into the ground with my time contribution and I don't spend more than my budgeted charitable contribution, so I draw a line at some point.  Amazingly, apparently others give no such consideration and do ALL they can, so I guess they have no free personal time and no money left for themselves whatsoever eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, thormas said:

No Paul, although, as you have stated, you do think in terms of drawing lines. 

And you clearly want to ignore that my explanation for using the term 'line' was that it is a common idiom, or saying, that expresses how we all have a point, somewhere, where we stop giving and look after ourselves.  According to you, that doesn't happen in your experience.  Apparently you only understand people giving until there is nothing left.

Quote

I'm hardly defensive Paul, I simply disagree. But it is evident you are accusing everybody.

Everybody including myself it would seem!  Move past your defensiveness Thormas, acknowledge that all of us have limits to what we give, and then discuss why we have those limits.  That is the conversation I am trying to have but you want to stonewall by saying that all of the proper Christians you know have no such limits to giving and simply 'do' -  whatever the heck that is supposed to mean.  Subsequently I gather all your Christian friends must be homeless and live on the streets and own no material possessions whatsoever - lest they otherwise be seen as at some point drawing a line in the sand to their giving.

Quote

Most people give as they can and don't use Jesus' words as an excuse, don't even have Jesus' words (that you referenced) in mind. Can't be more plain that that.

'Most people' is based on what empirical evidence exactly, or is that your opinion?  It seems my opinion is wrong but yours is right.  Go figure.

And when they give what they can, do they make some sort of assessment or consideration, for stopping their giving at some point, lest they exhaust all sources of giving?  Apparently not you say.

Quote

Your 'very real discussion' is based on your experience and not reflected in the experience of all others.

I would expect this discussion to be based on nothing BUT our experiences, yours included.  And I don't disagree that my experience is not the same as ALL others.  Similarly, I don't argue that your experience is that people don't use Jesus' words as an excuse, but to say my experience that others don't knowingly stop giving at some point less they give EVERYTHING away, would seem to be a pretty obvious reality.  One that in your experience has never existed apparently. Really?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, PaulS said:

And you clearly want to ignore that my explanation for using the term 'line'........

I ignore nothing, I simply disagree with your characterization. 

4 hours ago, PaulS said:

Everybody including myself it would seem! 

Indeed I never said otherwise, you just want us all with you.........

4 hours ago, PaulS said:

Move past your defensiveness Thormas,

No defensiveness, merely disagreement.......

4 hours ago, PaulS said:

......saying that all of the proper Christians you know have no such limits to giving and simply 'do' -  whatever the heck that is supposed to mean

I have never spoken of so called 'proper' Christians and it is not actually I term I use. You are again creating strawmen to knock down - albeit unsuccessfully on both counts. 

4 hours ago, PaulS said:

 It seems my opinion is wrong but yours is right.

 

4 hours ago, PaulS said:

I don't disagree that my experience is not the same as ALL others.  

Exactly my point..........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/17/2019 at 6:31 AM, thormas said:
I ignore nothing, I simply disagree with your characterization. 

I said "And do they stop 'doing' at some point or do they keep on giving until they are broke?  Presumably not, so I guess they must draw the line somewhere mustn't they?".  You say "No Paul, although, as you have stated, you do think in terms of drawing lines."  What from that do you say I am characterizing?  That people have a conscious thought about when they will and when they won't give?  And you disagree with that?

Thormas, I think you must know that you are really trying to be too clever by half by now.  I think you know you are overreaching by trying to focus on the words ‘line in the sand’ when I have explained to you that this is a phrase used to express that most people will come to a point in time when they will make a decision concerning how much charity they are willing to provide.

You say people don’t think in terms of “I am doing enough”  - they simply ‘do’.  If that really was the case, why then do most people stop at some point rather than simply give all of their money and all of their possessions away?  Burl's on a pension and does what he can - do you really think he does not make a conscious decision to not to do more, to properly protect his own existence?  Of course he does (and so he should)  He draws a line in the sand at some point and says, enough.  And so he should in my opinion.  But you deny this simple, logical step (why, I have no idea, other than just for being defensive).  Do you really believe that people do not ever consider whether they can’t/shouldn’t/won’t give any more?  I know I do, I expect you do, and I expect most other charitable people do come to a point where they say, that'll do.

To ignore this and to say you disagree with my characterization is the real straw man here.  That is why I think you are letting your defensiveness get in the way of genuine discussion.  I have tried to clarify that I am not attacking you or anybody - I am just trying to discuss a topic in a logical, step by step manner, but of course we can't even get past step one because you keep telling me it is my imagination that people consciously decide when to stop giving. 

We haven’t even gotten to discuss the factors which people may use to make such decisions because up until now you’ve been arguing that people don’t even make a decision when to stop giving  - i.e. they have no conscious thought about where to stop, at which point they may draw a line in the sand and say they can’t give anymore.  You disingenuously keep using the term 'line' when I have made clear it's a phrase used to simply show people make a conscious decision.  Do you truly believe they don't?

Just answer me – do you think most people make a conscious decision concerning when they have given enough time or money to charity?  If not, what is it that you think that prompts them to stop at some point? (unless you are talking about people who give every single cent to charity and own no material possessions).

If we can get a sensible consensus on this single issue, then maybe we can have a sensible discussion about the rest - i.e. the factors that go into these decisions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, PaulS said:

......you are overreaching by trying to focus on the words ‘line in the sand’ when I have explained to you that this is a phrase used to express that most people will come to a point in time when they will make a decision concerning how much charity they are willing to provide.

............why then do most people stop at some point rather than simply give all of their money and all of their possessions away? 

............Do you really believe that people do not ever consider whether they can’t/shouldn’t/won’t give any more?  

.............you are letting your defensiveness get in the way past step one because you keep telling me it is my imagination that people consciously decide when to stop giving. 

.............you’ve been arguing that people don’t even make a decision when to stop giving  - i.e. they have no conscious thought about where to stop, at which point they may draw a line in the sand and say they can’t give anymore.  Do you truly believe they don't?

........... do you think most people make a conscious decision concerning when they have given enough time or money to charity?  If not, what is it that you think that prompts them to stop at some point? (unless you are talking about people who give every single cent to charity and own no material possessions).

 

Paul, don't yet again, rewrite history. You used the idea, the phrase, of drawing a line and Christians using the Jesus quote as an excuse in your opening statement: "The words attributed to Jesus in John 12:8 are often provided as a reason for drawing a line above 'acceptable' poverty and for individual Christians to not do everything humanly possible to eradicate it........ I think as a representation of Jesus' words it is used as a cop-out for not caring enough for the poor as fully as Jesus seems to have preached. 

Point 1. I disagree - I used your line imagery and stated I never had the experience (over decades) of others using this quote - as you accuse - as a cop-out. You stated it is cop-out for a decision against charity, against the poor, to 'not give any more,' 'for not caring enough.'  I disagree that Christians look for excuses so they don't have to care.  Where do you get this stuff?

Point 2. Most people simply give alongside of their other responsibilities. So, no, I don't think, nor is it my practice nor my experience with others, that people say or think "I have given enough time, money - I have done enough" or I "won’t give any more"  and draw your line. My experience is that they keep giving, even keep trying to give. Your mistake is that you deal in extremes: you think unless one gives "every single cent to charity and owns nothing," (and therefore, by definition and of necessity, provides nothing for their family) that they have stopped giving or haven't given enough. This is simply absurd both in theory and in practice.

If you are now changing this to Christians don't have to: a) give away all possessions; b) give every last cent; and that Christians are not saying they c) have given enough: and are, d) continuing to give more - that would be welcomed. Without this change, the first two, a and b are ridiculous and extreme to the point of being unrealistic and non-historical. Does Jesus tell all people to give up everything? Certainly his immediate disciples did when they chose to follow him and there is the story of the rich man but even with him, Jesus first told him to obey the commandments. Do we know, for example, if the sisters of Lazarus (or Lazuras himself) were married with families? They certainly seems to be 'followers' of Jesus but do we have stories of Jesus telling them to give up everything, did they give everything away - every last cent, all their possessions? And how about all the others that Jesus encountered?  It is apparent that a and b are not commandments, requirements or expectations placed on all the followers of Jesus. Since these are not Christian expectations/commandments, your argument is false.

And a change on c and d would be a return to reality: most everyday, ordinary people don't deal in your extremes. How many or, better, how few people, i.e. committed Christians in community think in terms of 'doing everything humanly possible' (which according to you means every last cent and all possessions) or that they have 'given (or done) enough' or will do 'no more?' Admittedly, you do! Most know that your extremes are not what they are called (or commanded) to do and most (which has been my experience and my contention in this thread) continue to do: they do .........they continue to give, they do not consider that they have given enough, they continue to give, in concert with - as opposed to giving away everything and neglecting - their family obligations and responsibilities.  So, no, I don't think such people stop - i.e. saying or acting like 'that's enough, no more' - as you say that you have. And what is enough? You seem to talk as if it is every cent of money or all one's possessions - but it is working a food bank, it is wrapping Xmas presents. it is giving used clothes, books, furniture, toys, it is giving canned food, it is giving and asking others to contribute non-perishable food items, it is even supplying turkeys to families at Thanksgiving, it is buying another gift to put under the tree at a hospital or decorating the hospital doors of the aged and infirmed at Christmas, it is teaching in an inner city school for room and board, it is providing transportation to others for services or events, it is caroling in retirement and nursing homes, it is a thousand acts of wait for it.................CARING.

People give more or less depending on their circumstances as oppose to another family or individual and people give more or less depending on their changing circumstances (health, increase in taxes, insurance, food prices, gasoline, college, a needed car, etc,) but they do not use your Jesus quote to cop-out not do they draw your line in the sand or in their lives. They continue to 'do' because what you call charity, they call the great commandments and their charity takes many forms - not just money.

If you stop the Christian bashing (whether or not you include yourself), if you stop the misuse of the words of Jesus by Christians, if you stop the insistence that Christians are tying to use Jesus' own words to cop-out, if you stop dealing in extremes, if you recognize that charity/care is not simply about money - then we have something to discuss. 

 

But really, where do you come up with this stuff. You seem to try to find fault with Christianity or with Christians and then bash them - even though the fault or the faulty thinking is yours. 

 

This is not defensive, this is disagreement with an absurd statement "........ reason for drawing a line ...... for individual Christians to not do everything humanly possible........a cop-out for not caring enough for the poor" that lays blame on countless Christians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/19/2019 at 2:36 AM, thormas said:

Paul, don't yet again, rewrite history. You used the idea, the phrase, of drawing a line and Christians using the Jesus quote as an excuse in your opening statement: "The words attributed to Jesus in John 12:8 are often provided as a reason for drawing a line above 'acceptable' poverty and for individual Christians to not do everything humanly possible to eradicate it........ I think as a representation of Jesus' words it is used as a cop-out for not caring enough for the poor as fully as Jesus seems to have preached. 

Nope - I have made it very clear that whilst my experience HAS been some Christians denying charity because of Jesus' words such as "the poor will always be with you", I have acknowledged that that is not other people's experiences.  I have no issue with you not agreeing with me and that such is not your experience.  Why do you keep wanting to stay stuck on this?  As the thread developed I made it clear that I was referring to most people coming to a point where they decide that they have provided enough or what they can.  It's a conscious decision that charity to others stops here because they need the money, for whatever reason.  You said that doesn't happen.

Quote

Point 1. I disagree - I used your line imagery and stated I never had the experience (over decades) of others using this quote - as you accuse - as a cop-out. You stated it is cop-out for a decision against charity, against the poor, to 'not give any more,' 'for not caring enough.'  I disagree that Christians look for excuses so they don't have to care.  Where do you get this stuff?

I know you disagree about that.  I agreed you disagreed.  Why are you stuck on this?

Quote

Point 2. Most people simply give alongside of their other responsibilities. So, no, I don't think, nor is it my practice nor my experience with others, that people say or think "I have given enough time, money - I have done enough" or I "won’t give any more" and draw your line. My experience is that they keep giving, even keep trying to give. Your mistake is that you deal in extremes: you think unless one gives "every single cent to charity and owns nothing," (and therefore, by definition and of necessity, provides nothing for their family) that they have stopped giving or haven't given enough. This is simply absurd both in theory and in practice.

I think what is absurd is that you think people don't make a conscious decision as to when they will stop giving to a charity.  Everybody I know does.

Quote

If you are now changing this to Christians don't have to: a) give away all possessions; b) give every last cent; and that Christians are not saying they c) have given enough: and are, d) continuing to give more - that would be welcomed. Without this change, the first two, a and b are ridiculous and extreme to the point of being unrealistic and non-historical. Does Jesus tell all people to give up everything? Certainly his immediate disciples did when they chose to follow him and there is the story of the rich man but even with him, Jesus first told him to obey the commandments. Do we know, for example, if the sisters of Lazarus (or Lazuras himself) were married with families? They certainly seems to be 'followers' of Jesus but do we have stories of Jesus telling them to give up everything, did they give everything away - every last cent, all their possessions? And how about all the others that Jesus encountered?  It is apparent that a and b are not commandments, requirements or expectations placed on all the followers of Jesus. Since these are not Christian expectations/commandments, your argument is false.

It seems you are getting ahead of the discussion and trying to defend Christianity before we have even gotten to the point that they may decide they don't have to give away everything.  You ask about where I get this stuff but I think the question might be better asked of you - who the heck said Christians had to give everything away or give every last cent?  You want to shape my discussion before we can even get to the point that Christians actually make a decision about what they will and what they won;t give! 

As for my argument being false - I haven't even made an argument for how much Christians should give.  Talk about defensive & extreme!

Quote

And a change on c and d would be a return to reality: most everyday, ordinary people don't deal in your extremes. How many or, better, how few people, i.e. committed Christians in community think in terms of 'doing everything humanly possible' (which according to you means every last cent and all possessions) or that they have 'given (or done) enough' or will do 'no more?' Admittedly, you do! Most know that your extremes are not what they are called (or commanded) to do and most (which has been my experience and my contention in this thread) continue to do: they do .........they continue to give, they do not consider that they have given enough, they continue to give, in concert with - as opposed to giving away everything and neglecting - their family obligations and responsibilities.  So, no, I don't think such people stop - i.e. saying or acting like 'that's enough, no more' - as you say that you have. And what is enough? You seem to talk as if it is every cent of money or all one's possessions - but it is working a food bank, it is wrapping Xmas presents. it is giving used clothes, books, furniture, toys, it is giving canned food, it is giving and asking others to contribute non-perishable food items, it is even supplying turkeys to families at Thanksgiving, it is buying another gift to put under the tree at a hospital or decorating the hospital doors of the aged and infirmed at Christmas, it is teaching in an inner city school for room and board, it is providing transportation to others for services or events, it is caroling in retirement and nursing homes, it is a thousand acts of wait for it.................CARING.

Again, you keep saying people give without ever deciding when to stop.  I find this nonsensical - it is not reality, but you insist it is.  Go figure.

Quote

People give more or less depending on their circumstances as oppose to another family or individual and people give more or less depending on their changing circumstances (health, increase in taxes, insurance, food prices, gasoline, college, a needed car, etc,) but they do not use your Jesus quote to cop-out not do they draw your line in the sand or in their lives. They continue to 'do' because what you call charity, they call the great commandments and their charity takes many forms - not just money.

Why do they give less?  Because they make some sort of decision about stopping!  C'mon Thormas, this is just a waste of time.  I can see how your hang up with my initial statements to get the thread going have caused your defensiveness about Christianity.  It doesn't look like this is going to be at all a fruitful discussion.

Quote

If you stop the Christian bashing (whether or not you include yourself), if you stop the misuse of the words of Jesus by Christians, if you stop the insistence that Christians are tying to use Jesus' own words to cop-out, if you stop dealing in extremes, if you recognize that charity/care is not simply about money - then we have something to discuss. 

Unrequired defensiveness.  Move on please.

Quote

But really, where do you come up with this stuff. You seem to try to find fault with Christianity or with Christians and then bash them - even though the fault or the faulty thinking is yours. 

Get a grip, Thormas, I am not bashing anybody.  I said that my experience was what it was in the opening statements, and have then tried to move the discussion in a practical direction concerning people making decisions about how much to contribute to charity.  You are simply not being genuine about what is on discussion here.  You are defending Christians from a bashing that isn't even happening.  Take a breath, maybe settle down with a drink, read the thread properly, and see that I have only used extreme to try to make the point to you that people clearly DO make decisions about when to give or not.  I am NOT saying anywhere what people have to, should do, or must give!

Quote

This is not defensive, this is disagreement with an absurd statement "........ reason for drawing a line ...... for individual Christians to not do everything humanly possible........a cop-out for not caring enough for the poor" that lays blame on countless Christians.

Move on people - nothing to see here.  Sheesh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/9/2019 at 10:25 AM, PaulS said:

The words attributed to Jesus in John 12:8 are often provided as a reason for drawing a line above 'acceptable' poverty and for individual Christians to not do everything humanly possible to eradicate it. 

On 11/12/2019 at 10:17 AM, Burl said:

No, I don’t think that is ever used as an excuse and I never heard of Christians being dissuaded from charity except those people who hate being accosted by panhandlers.

On 11/13/2019 at 12:55 AM, thormas said:

I don't believe I have ever heard that argument from Christians: not when I was growing up Catholic or all the years in Catholic schools thru grad school or all the years teaching in Catholic high schools. Actually, as a 'Church or school community' we always had food drives to assist the poor, for example at Thanksgiving time. Maybe it simply wasn't a Catholic thing??

 

 

 

On 11/12/2019 at 10:46 AM, PaulS said:

....(if you Google a little, you will see plenty of evidence of such). 

 

It's not just my experience by the way, Thormas, if you had bothered to take the time to look into it just a little rather than automatically defending.  I hope this helps a little in your understanding:

“Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us.’” Or: "No matter how hard we try, there will still be poor people.”  How This Lets Us Off the Hook: "What good is it to help the poor since they’ll always be with us anyway?"

https://sojo.net/articles/8-sayings-christians-use-let-ourselves-hook

“If I hear one more person take the phrase “The poor you will always have with you” out of context (almost always as an excuse to avoid asking the hard questions about poverty), I may have to scream. I have heard this statement used countless times as Jesus’ prediction of the state of the world. The poor will always and forever be here, so don’t worry about trying to eliminate poverty. It’s clearly God’s will.  Jesus said so.”

http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/56108/the-poor-you-will-always-have-its-not-a-prediction/

“Biblical texts, especially “the poor will be with you always” are used to justify the inevitability of inequality and to provide religious sanction for the dispossession of the majority for the benefit of the few.”

https://kairoscenter.org/understanding-the-poor-will-always-be-with-you/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, what is your personal reading of this text?   You don’t have to agree with your reading.  Just post what you think the author(s) meant in this pericope about the apostles objecting to the anointment of Jesus. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, PaulS said:

It's not just my experience by the way, Thormas, if you had bothered to take the time to look into it just a little rather than automatically defending.  I hope this helps a little in your understanding:

That's your so called evidence, a couple of articles? How does that translate into many/most Christians?

The first is an opinion from a seemingly lovely human being.

The second is also an opinion from another seemingly lovely person who has also instructed at the college level and, thankfully she gives a correct interpretation. 

And the 3rd is also an opinion from another seemingly lovely human being who also gives the correct interpretation. But the quote about the poor is the most famous verse in the Bible that Wallis always, without fail gets? Really? 

 

Mine wasn't an automatic defense, as you had spoken from your experience that you had heard this as the excuse, I simply gave my experience of over 20 years Catholic education, 12 years of teaching in Catholic schools and being raised Catholic - I had never heard this excuse or witnessed encountered actions based on this quote.

Se we have your experience (seemingly your sole experience for a lack of charity) and you didn't bother to give the proper interpretation and we have established that some others have the same experience - that it translates into many or most Christians using this quote is not the case. And there is still fault with your extreme positions.

So I already understood ..............without reference to google :+}  I do like the fact that you have had to 'back googled' to support your position.

Hey, are you actually using quotes now? I thought you didn't believe in them.

 

Edited by thormas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, thormas said:

That's your so called evidence, a couple of articles? How does that translate into many/most Christians?

The first is an opinion from a seemingly lovely human being.

The second is also an opinion from another seemingly lovely person who has also instructed at the college level and, thankfully she gives a correct interpretation. 

And the 3rd is also an opinion from another seemingly lovely human being who also gives the correct interpretation. But the quote about the poor is the most famous verse in the Bible that Wallis always, without fail gets? Really? 

 

Mine wasn't an automatic defense, as you had spoken from your experience that you had heard this as the excuse, I simply gave my experience of over 20 years Catholic education, 12 years of teaching in Catholic schools and being raised Catholic - I had never heard this excuse or witnessed encountered actions based on this quote.

Se we have your experience (seemingly your sole experience for a lack of charity) and you didn't bother to give the proper interpretation and we have established that some others have the same experience - that it translates into many or most Christians using this quote is not the case. And there is still fault with your extreme positions.

So I already understood ..............without reference to google :+}  I do like the fact that you have had to 'back googled' to support your position.

Hey, are you actually using quotes now? I thought you didn't believe in them.

 

Oh dear, you really are getting in the way of yourself with your defensiveness, Thormas.  Evidence?  What 'evidence' do you think I am claiming, Thormas?  I am simply trying to show you that the concept of some Christians using Jesus' words as a defense for not doing more for the poor, is clearly not just my experience.  I lean toward 'many' but can't speak for others.  You on the other hand are blissfully ignorant of any Christians whatsoever using such reasoning around Jesus' words and the poor, so I just wanted to show you that it wasn't just my experience.

I'm sure the first writer referenced may be a lovely human being - yet they too clearly have had the experience I have had.  Well may the 2nd writer give a 'correct' interpretation - that's not my point - my point is that like me, they too have experienced Christians using Jesus' words a certain way top justify not doing more for the poor.  As for the 3rd, again with your correct interpretation - who cares!  That's not my point.  If you weren't so busy defending you would understand I have simply referenced these to show you that this view is not my own isolated one.  Further, it clearly demonstrates that many Christians DO use a decision making process when it comes to how much charity they can or can't afford to give (again, you are blissfully unaware of any Christians using some sort of decision making process to decide when they can or can't afford more charity).

Your defense is in the arguing that no Christians make conscious decisions about when to limit their charity.  That's pretty ludicrous in my opinion and I think articles like the ones a suggested go some way to showing you that there are many Christians who do limit their charity due to their interpretation of Jesus' words that the poor will always be with you (well, that's the experience of the provided authors anyway) , and that for most in general we do make conscious decisoons about what we can and what we can't contribute to charity.

Apologies for 'back googling' (is that another win for you?).  Perhaps I should have tried to help you understand a lot earlier on in the thread. My bad maybe.

Not sure about your question about not using quotes.  I believe people make quotes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Burl said:

Paul, what is your personal reading of this text?   You don’t have to agree with your reading.  Just post what you think the author(s) meant in this pericope about the apostles objecting to the anointment of Jesus. 

I think the author is probably trying to make a point that Jesus was special, that his impending death/sacrifice was more important than worldly things such as looking after others with what little contribution a single bottle of perfume might make.  The focus is about Jesus going to his death on people's behalf, so I don't think the author is trying to stake a position on how we should consider world poverty.

I can't be certain of any correct or proper interpretation but for me I don't think the author was trying to say limit your charity because you're never going to solve the problem anyway.

Do you make a conscious decision about when you may have to limit your charity, even if it is just to pay the bills or simply meet other necessary requirements?  I expect you do, as do I.  Of course that's not Thormas' experience with anybody, but how about you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, PaulS said:

I think the author is probably trying to make a point that Jesus was special, that his impending death/sacrifice was more important than worldly things such as looking after others with what little contribution a single bottle of perfume might make.  The focus is about Jesus going to his death on people's behalf, so I don't think the author is trying to stake a position on how we should consider world poverty.

I can't be certain of any correct or proper interpretation but for me I don't think the author was trying to say limit your charity because you're never going to solve the problem anyway.

Do you make a conscious decision about when you may have to limit your charity, even if it is just to pay the bills or simply meet other necessary requirements?  I expect you do, as do I.  Of course that's not Thormas' experience with anybody, but how about you?

The apostles walk in on Jesus getting a massage and accuse him of hypocrisy.   Jesus responds by explaining his time is short.  The mention of the poor is not a sermon and should not be read as such.

Personally I never leave the house without a few half-dollars, silver dollars and $2 bills and give to anyone who asks.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Burl said:

The apostles walk in on Jesus getting a massage and accuse him of hypocrisy.   Jesus responds by explaining his time is short.  The mention of the poor is not a sermon and should not be read as such.

Personally I never leave the house without a few half-dollars, silver dollars and $2 bills and give to anyone who asks.

I guess my intro wasn't about trying to correctly interpret this passage, but rather just identifying that many Christians (IMO) do make a judgement call about what they can and can't give and that in my experience, many do use this alleged quote from Jesus as justification for not doing more.  As I said, they draw a line in the sand (an analogy) as to when they determine they have contributed whatever they consider 'appropriate'.  There is a reason or a number of reasons  why you don't give 'all' of your money away, so to me that is a decision-making process based on what you consider important to the decision.  That's what I do too, as previously explained.  I am NOT saying you or Thormas use Jesus' words this way.

My personal experience was that many Christians justify not giving more by some reference to "the poor will always be with you".  I understand you and Thormas have never, ever heard that explanation, but I hope you both might understand that such an experience isn't limited to myself, hence why I provided some brief references to show that (late I agree, but I did suggest others look them up themselves a lot earlier on).  There was no point in further discussing that point of view though with either of you because you weren't familiar with it and it has never been your experience apparently, but I tried to further discuss the concept of 'limitations' on charity based on people's own decisions.  Again, this is something that Thormas denies people do, so the conversation wasn't really going anywhere.

I can imagine how he and others may feel attacked because I am calling into question the amount of Christian charity that some people do or don't provide.  I question for instance how some Christians can feel comfortable about say buying material items to make their life more comfortable whilst children in the world starve to death or die because they can't afford medications to otherwise simple, curable diseases.  This in the face of many Christians proclaiming Jesus to be the best example of what it is to be fully human and in my words, to be the epitome of love.  It's that discussion I'd like to have but we haven't been able to get there because up until now, nobody seems to think people withhold charity whatsoever, for any reason (they just 'do' without any thought according to Thormas).  I don't see that as reality but if others do, then there really is nowhere for this discussion to go.

Some people simply can't afford to give more in their lives because otherwise even their basic necessities in life would deteriorate to a point where they are then just as bad off.  But we all know there are plenty of Christians who do buy comfortable things in life (upgraded cars, toys for their kids, TV's, make-up, nice clothes, etc etc) and I am hoping to discuss how people think Jesus would react if he had a choice between say buying a new cologne or the latest iPhone compared to instead giving that money to feed a starving to death child or one that could be saved with medications that cost less than a years' subscription to Netflix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, PaulS said:

Oh dear, you really are getting in the way of yourself with your defensiveness, Thormas.  Evidence?  What 'evidence' do you think I am claiming, Thormas?  I am simply trying to show you that the concept of some Christians using Jesus' words as a defense for not doing more for the poor, is clearly not just my experience. 

I'm still getting over the fact that you actually gave some quotes (albeit from google and a bit late but you know what they say about "better late than ...." well, you have been there before) so let me get over that before we move to your 'evidence.'  I was at least hoping for a group picture of most or at least the many Christians you have mentioned - seems like we can go much, much smaller since now - with your change - it will only include 'some' Christians (probably where it would have been smart to start)............. or maybe we will only get your selfie.

 

"oh dear" is a nice touch, a bit out of character but nice:+}

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, PaulS said:

I'm sure the first writer referenced may be a lovely human being - yet they too clearly have had the experience I have had.  Well may the 2nd writer give a 'correct' interpretation - that's not my point - my point is that like me, they too have experienced Christians using Jesus' words a certain way top justify not doing more for the poor.  As for the 3rd, again with your correct interpretation - who cares!  That's not my point.  If you weren't so busy defending you would understand I have simply referenced these to show you that this view is not my own isolated one.  Further, it clearly demonstrates that many Christians DO use a decision making process when it comes to how much charity they can or can't afford to give (again, you are blissfully unaware of any Christians using some sort of decision making process to decide when they can or can't afford more charity).

 

Ah, back to the "I don't really like quotes" to make an argument. Especially when they actually give the correct interpretation of a text. But, hey, be selective. 

Hey, you have once again moved your position from some in the first paragraph back to many in the third paragraph. Will your next post get us closer to most or will you fall back to a few? Hey, are you making this stuff up?

Back googling is a bit tacky and I wasn't going for a win but thanks.

It is telling that you have never acknowledged that charity is more than giving money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PaulS said:

I guess my intro wasn't about trying to correctly interpret this passage, but rather just identifying that many Christians (IMO) do make a judgement call about what they can and can't give and that in my experience, many do use this alleged quote from Jesus as justification for not doing more.  As I said, they draw a line in the sand (an analogy) as to when they determine they have contributed whatever they consider 'appropriate'.  There is a reason or a number of reasons  why you don't give 'all' of your money away, so to me that is a decision-making process based on what you consider important to the decision.  That's what I do too, as previously explained.  I am NOT saying you or Thormas use Jesus' words this way.

My personal experience was that many Christians justify not giving more by some reference to "the poor will always be with you".  I understand you and Thormas have never, ever heard that explanation, but I hope you both might understand that such an experience isn't limited to myself, hence why I provided some brief references to show that (late I agree, but I did suggest others look them up themselves a lot earlier on).  There was no point in further discussing that point of view though with either of you because you weren't familiar with it and it has never been your experience apparently, but I tried to further discuss the concept of 'limitations' on charity based on people's own decisions.  Again, this is something that Thormas denies people do, so the conversation wasn't really going anywhere.

I can imagine how he and others may feel attacked because I am calling into question the amount of Christian charity that some people do or don't provide.  I question for instance how some Christians can feel comfortable about say buying material items to make their life more comfortable whilst children in the world starve to death or die because they can't afford medications to otherwise simple, curable diseases.  This in the face of many Christians proclaiming Jesus to be the best example of what it is to be fully human and in my words, to be the epitome of love.  It's that discussion I'd like to have but we haven't been able to get there because up until now, nobody seems to think people withhold charity whatsoever, for any reason (they just 'do' without any thought according to Thormas).  I don't see that as reality but if others do, then there really is nowhere for this discussion to go.

Some people simply can't afford to give more in their lives because otherwise even their basic necessities in life would deteriorate to a point where they are then just as bad off.  But we all know there are plenty of Christians who do buy comfortable things in life (upgraded cars, toys for their kids, TV's, make-up, nice clothes, etc etc) and I am hoping to discuss how people think Jesus would react if he had a choice between say buying a new cologne or the latest iPhone compared to instead giving that money to feed a starving to death child or one that could be saved with medications that cost less than a years' subscription to Netflix.

Hey, are you talking about me?

I never felt attacked because I have never been one of your few, some, many, most (which is it?) Christians who misuse the text in question or decide, as you have said, "enough, no more charity." I must admit I never, ever heard that and I was surrounded by Catholics - maybe it's a Catholic thing and there are many, many, many Catholics which means your number can't be many, might be some but probably just a few :+}

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, thormas said:

I'm still getting over the fact that you actually gave some quotes (albeit from google and a bit late but you know what they say about "better late than ...." well, you have been there before) so let me get over that before we move to your 'evidence.'  I was at least hoping for a group picture of most or at least the many Christians you have mentioned - seems like we can go much, much smaller since now - with your change - it will only include 'some' Christians (probably where it would have been smart to start)............. or maybe we will only get your selfie.

Not sure what your issue is with me and quotes, Thormas, but it's your issue, not mine.  I never said I was producing evidence of any sort other than list a couple of links to demonstrate that I am not the only person to experience "the poor will always be with you" as an argument for limiting Christian charity.  If you're happy to ignore that it exists - I don't care.

If you are defensive of my personal experience concerning 'many' Christians, again that is your issue.  Yours is 'zero' - I get that.  I thought if I reduce it to 'some' you might be a little moire able to discuss the matter.  Seems not.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, thormas said:

Ah, back to the "I don't really like quotes" to make an argument. Especially when they actually give the correct interpretation of a text. But, hey, be selective. 

What are you reading into those references, Thormas!  They are there just to demonstrate that I am not the only person who has heard Christians defend not doing more for the poor because of those words attributed to Jesus!  Those authors of those links have heard it to!  That's why they are arguing it is NOT a correct interpretation of the words.  I pretty much agree with them as I discussed with Burl!  Slow down - read what is getting written in this thread.

45 minutes ago, thormas said:

It is telling that you have never acknowledged that charity is more than giving money.

Again, please read the thread, Thormas.  How did I explain to Burl how I consider limits to my charity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...