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PaulS

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

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17 hours ago, PaulS said:

tarnished by you [thormas] ... arguing about stuff I haven't said.

Funnily enough I have noticed that too.

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18 hours ago, PaulS said:

Again, of course people are charitable in many ways.  You were the one that said I was referring to only financial charity when I had already outlined a broader scope.  Only you can explain why you overlooked those words of mine but I suspect it was because of your rush to defend what you thought I was attacking.  And one may still give some sort of charity (eg time) when they cannot in other ways (eg financial),  yet still, those people make a choice concerning how much of any charity they can give and most/many/probably all (but don't hold me to all), have limits they choose to impose for a number of reasons.  You were denying this.

Paul, it was clear that, based on your misunderstanding of Christianity and Jesus, you made a statement and then 'questioned' Christians.

I disagreed with the use of the Jesus quote as an excuse by many or most Christians  - however few or even some of the 2.5 Billion is acceptable, or at least some people you know and some in Cincy :+}. However, you simply cannot say that the many, i.e. majority of Christians, use this rationale to 'cop-out.'

I was also refuting your assumption and misunderstadning that Christians are commanded or expected to do "everything humanly possible"  and yet you pushed on with this misunderstanding  and went after Christians who are on the 'front-line' and should be more like Jesus and "put everything on the line"  - on this you are simply wrong. BTW, I do not give all of my money away or work myself to the bone with no time for myself or family or work or friends or responsibilities - because this is the wrong measurement of Christian charity - which you should know.

Furthermore, I was the one who mentioned decision making in my first post on this thread and I further said people continue to be charitable, even in tough times when money is not as readily available as it might be at other times. And I did answer your 'Why" question. When you said "Christianity justifies the existence of the poor as a reason for not doing everything possible to help them when many can actually do more.  My question is why do they do that?" I answer it in the very next post. Some might use the Jesus quote as an excuse but the reasons I gave are much more true to life and are (some of) the 'reasons' you sought for why people don't or can't do more.

Paul you were fixated on "people drawing a line' and you repeatedly tried to get others to use your terminology, however not all people think in those terms especially because a line is often something that is never stepped over; it has a finality to it (think of Trump's desire to draw a line and build an impenetrable wall). That finality was expressed in your own words, "I have done enough"  and also in people considering they "won't give any more." And you continue:  ".....most, if not all, say enough........point beyond which one will not go; a limit to what one will do or accept."  Such lines, limits and point (beyond which one will not go), for all intents and appearances, are final, charity is over. These statements leave no room for on-going charity. Thus your words created the impression of  'completely and forever'.  You words suggested that Christians end charity.

I disagreed: "I don't know people who think in terms of "I am doing enough'  - they simply do." Meaning there is not a finality,  they simply 'carry on,' they simply continue to do, to give, to be charitable as they are able and in different (non-financial) ways. Even if they have to halt or cut back temporally - and I was the first one to provide reasons for this -  there is no finality, no "Enough!" to their self giving. I think that charity is 'baked in" to being a Christian: by the fact that one is born into or chooses to be a Christian, they know that charity and the giving of self is part of the 'deal.' Some have excuses, some can (seemingly) do more but many simply do and give of money, possessions and self - in this there is no final line or it is literally in the sand and it vanishes.

18 hours ago, PaulS said:

You were the one that said I was referring to only financial charity when I had already outlined a broader scope.  Only you can explain why you overlooked those words of mine

Can you tell me exactly where those words are? I have found my words where I did provide specific examples of a broader scope and when asked late in this thread you volunteered two specifics that you were involved in but the only thing I found early on from you was a reference to financial giving, cutting back on that and continued giving to the local community. I didn't see a broader scope outlined and It was not clear that it referred to something other than financial since one can give to the larger Church or a St. Judes and can halt that but still give financially to their local community, such as rescue missions or shelters.

Perhaps I missed it but I can't find it. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Funnily enough I have noticed that too.

Rom,

Is that you? Is it time for another Sunday appearance?

Hey, have you been working on answers to the questions?

Funnily, I thought I might have missed them and I actually checked the other thread. I had high hopes but sadly they were dashed to the ground - still nothing, nada, no-go.

 

Hold it now, let us refresh our memories:

You said, "..... I have been conditioned to dislike. For example a 28 year-old having sex with a 14 year-old.

And I said, "So conditioning or not, you have just said that the 28/14 sex relationship is something to be disliked."

And you said, "I did not say that. I said my responses are a result of conditioning."  

 

We were talking about conditioning.........and about disliking and examples of disliking in this particular example.

Did you not say that 28/14 sex is an example of something (to be) disliked? Therefore, as the result of conditioning to dislike, you said 28/14 sex is an example. Is it not to be disliked?  So if the conditioning is removed would someone then like the 28/14 sex?  Or is it disliked 'conditioning or not?' And if someone liked it, is their conditioning faulty? If not, really(?), does someone really want to stick with it is liked?  Is 28/14 sex ever to be liked?

But then didn't you say something about "I choose?'  Ruh-Roh

Anywho...............we await not further questions or answers to these latest questions but actual answers to previous questions and I refer you back to the thread in question for those questions. See you next Sunday?

Edited by thormas

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On 11/15/2019 at 6:27 AM, PaulS said:

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.

Certainly, Jesus is not portrayed as one who would buy a new TV over giving his money to the poor though he also is recorded as allowing  expensive ointment for his feet rather than selling it and giving the money to the poor. And that is where it records him saying "the poor will always be with you " but i will not.

Now i am not saying that is a reason to not to give to those in need, i am just saying that each gives and lives a life according to the grace that is given them, whether it is in the name of Jesus or some other. If you feel that to "be a Christian" it is necessary to give all and have no worldly possessions then perhaps that is something for you  to thrive for or draw a line as you say you do? Personally i have found that i do not feel that way. For the past 39 years i have supported my family, more orphans that i can count on my fingers and still do on a monthly basis along with the less fortunate  elderly non related persons and i still am able to earn money not working to continue doing so which i could not have done by giving all my money and worldly possessions away and then having to depend on others for housing and food myself. 

As you know, i just got back from a luxury cruise which one could say i should have spent on the poor and suffering instead of my own personal pleasure. That was a viable  option. Does that make me  less a progressive Christian for not taking that option. I don't think so. I helped provide wages for service from Croatians, Ukrainians, Romanians, Italians, people from India, and a host of other poorer countries than ours that were part of the help on the cruise. Did i draw a line? Or is my prosperity and purchasing of what some consider luxury items for myself doing more  helping others less fortunate and allowing them the opportunity to help others through wages from their employment? I don't know the best answer except to say, i am confident that i am fulfilling that part of the the divine plan for the universe to unfold according to the grace given me.

Joseph

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14 hours ago, JosephM said:

Certainly, Jesus is not portrayed as one who would buy a new TV over giving his money to the poor though he also is recorded as allowing  expensive ointment for his feet rather than selling it and giving the money to the poor. And that is where it records him saying "the poor will always be with you " but i will not.

Now i am not saying that is a reason to not to give to those in need, i am just saying that each gives and lives a life according to the grace that is given them, whether it is in the name of Jesus or some other. If you feel that to "be a Christian" it is necessary to give all and have no worldly possessions then perhaps that is something for you  to thrive for or draw a line as you say you do? Personally i have found that i do not feel that way. For the past 39 years i have supported my family, more orphans that i can count on my fingers and still do on a monthly basis along with the less fortunate  elderly non related persons and i still am able to earn money not working to continue doing so which i could not have done by giving all my money and worldly possessions away and then having to depend on others for housing and food myself. 

As you know, i just got back from a luxury cruise which one could say i should have spent on the poor and suffering instead of my own personal pleasure. That was a viable  option. Does that make me  less a progressive Christian for not taking that option. I don't think so. I helped provide wages for service from Croatians, Ukrainians, Romanians, Italians, people from India, and a host of other poorer countries than ours that were part of the help on the cruise. Did i draw a line? Or is my prosperity and purchasing of what some consider luxury items for myself doing more  helping others less fortunate and allowing them the opportunity to help others through wages from their employment? I don't know the best answer except to say, i am confident that i am fulfilling that part of the the divine plan for the universe to unfold according to the grace given me.

Joseph

Thanks for the thoughtful response around the matter, Joseph.  

The 'line' was never meant to be such a divisive issue as I was only using it as an expression to say many Christians (i.e. a lot of, in my experience) make determinations about when they have given enough charity and when they may spend it on themselves instead (money and time).  I think your decision to spend your money on a cruise instead of giving it to the poor is an example of that.  And all power to you I say - I do the exact same thing - well, I've never gotten to a cruise yet but I'm not as old as you :), but I do limit my charity financially and as a time commitment because I choose to, for a number of reasons.  I don't just 'do' without the thought of recognizing what I think is 'enough'.

I personally think that the ointment story is misused by many Christians (i.e. a lot of , in my experience) and I personally think it is a misinterpretation when used as a reason for limiting charity.  I'm not against limiting charity - I just don't think that story is meant to support such a position.  Yet in my experience, many Christians (i.e. a lot of) do cite this verse as justification for not doing more for the poor when they in fact could.

I'm not so convinced that each person gives according to any grace 'given' to them, but largely suspect they give (and limit that giving) because of personal beliefs and decisions.  I don't think it is necessary to give everything away to be a Christian as evidenced by the many Christians (i.e. a lot of) who enjoy a much higher standard of living and comfort than the majority of the world (usually way in excess of mere survival).  But what I was trying to discuss was how a Christianity that says it worships Jesus and sees him as the greatest example of what it is to live a human life, then seems to conveniently overlook Jesus' focus on loving one another - to the extent that many (i.e. a lot of) limit charity when physically they probably don't need to, but choose to for various personal reasons.

I personally can't comprehend how loving one another can be interpreted into letting another die whilst another goes on a relaxing cruise instead.  That's not to have a shot at anyone for doing so but rather to demonstrate how many (i.e. a lot) make choices about charity and also to demonstrate that clearly some people draw a line when they think they have given enough.  Where it seems incongruous to me is that if one was a Christian who believed wholeheartedly that Jesus was God and that Jesus lived a sinless, model life for us humans, then to me, if one were to believe that then it seems incongruous to me that they would then overlook saving another's life to simply add physical and emotional contentment to their own.

I'm not trying to guilt anyone into anything either, just as an aside.  I'm just questioning how limiting charity to whatever degree sits with the majority of Christians who see Jesus as THE Son of God, sinless and an example of a perfect human life.  The phrase WWJD comes to mind and I just can't imagine, no matter how hard I try, the Jesus that Christianity largely portrays, as choosing a holiday over another's life.  So it's that which I am trying to understand.

I do recognize that many (i.e. a lot of) Progressive Christians look at Jesus a bit differently, so I can understand why they, and perhaps you, may feel a bit different about limiting charity, as do I.

 

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The world is not broken as it may appear. It is unfolding. The poor, the rich, givers, takers, the Christian, the agnostic, the atheist, the starving, etc. are all here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. Each one is important to that purpose or else it seems to me it would not be here at this moment in time. 

In my experience we have only been given the power to transform ourselves. In doing so it can and does influence change in others. While you may not be trying to guilt anyone and just trying to understand what you perceive from your view of reality, it may come across differently when you assume others are drawing a line with their beliefs as you say you are. Lines are inherently divisive by definition.  As i pointed out in my last post, whether one spends their wealth on themselves or directly on others it all goes toward making employment for others and an opportunity for many others to lift themselves and in turn, others up also. It seems to me you are affected emotionally and otherwise by what most consider the less fortunate in the world and the view you have of some but not all Christians, their perceived beliefs and charity. We all do what we do and it seems good to me not to look at it as a line or limit in ourself or the other.

Just my personal view.

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On 12/1/2019 at 10:05 PM, JosephM said:

While you may not be trying to guilt anyone and just trying to understand what you perceive from your view of reality, it may come across differently when you assume others are drawing a line with their beliefs as you say you are. Lines are inherently divisive by definition.  

But it is clear that people make choices about when to give to charity and when not to give.  They don't just 'do' without thought of when to 'not do'.  Clearly the phrase/idiom of drawing a line in the sand was a step too far for some which is why I tried to explain, several times over, that it is just a phrase to make the point that people make decisions about charity and those decisions include when to limit charity, for any number of reasons.  Although this was disputed, I think most people agree that people do make decisions about limiting their charity so in fact they do draw a line at some point - but I can see how it may be hard for some to acknowledge and hence they become defensive, rather than thoughtfully discuss the matter being raised.

On 12/1/2019 at 10:05 PM, JosephM said:

 As i pointed out in my last post, whether one spends their wealth on themselves or directly on others it all goes toward making employment for others and an opportunity for many others to lift themselves and in turn, others up also. It seems to me you are affected emotionally and otherwise by what most consider the less fortunate in the world and the view you have of some but not all Christians, their perceived beliefs and charity. We all do what we do and it seems good to me not to look at it as a line or limit in ourself or the other.

The heart of the issue I was trying to get to was when there are Christians who view Jesus as God, as Lord of their life, as the fullest expression of what it is to be a human being - how do those Christians reconcile that view with NOT doing their absolute all to help another simply stay alive by providing charity.  How do they make their decisions to go on a cruise or spend money on themselves outside of the bare necessities to maintain their own survival,  instead of feeding a starving child or helping provide life-saving medicine for what are otherwise simple, curable diseases in better off countries.  As I asked in one of my earliest posts in this thread - would Jesus be happier with Christians taking cruises and holidays or do you think he would prefer they stop a child starving to death?

Of course we all do what we do, but I was trying to discuss why some who say one thing, don't actually do another, or more accurately, why they impose limitations to their charity.  It is my direct experience that many (that is a lot of) Christians say one thing about Jesus but do another when it comes to doing, what I imagine Jesus would consider, enough to help others.  Is that a judgement?  It probably is, but I was open to discussing it and trying to better understand.  You have contributed somewhat, but any genuine discussion around the matter was too long in coming from others in this thread because of a perceived attack they imagined.  That was a shame really.

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

But it is clear that people make choices about when to give to charity and when not to give.  They don't just 'do' without thought of when to 'not do'.  Clearly the phrase/idiom of drawing a line in the sand was a step too far for some which is why I tried to explain, several times over, that it is just a phrase to make the point that people make decisions about charity and those decisions include when to limit charity, for any number of reasons.  Although this was disputed, I think most people agree that people do make decisions about limiting their charity so in fact they do draw a line at some point - but I can see how it may be hard for some to acknowledge and hence they become defensive, rather than thoughtfully discuss the matter being raised.

The heart of the issue I was trying to get to was when there are Christians who view Jesus as God, as Lord of their life, as the fullest expression of what it is to be a human being - how do those Christians reconcile that view with NOT doing their absolute all to help another simply stay alive by providing charity.  How do they make their decisions to go on a cruise or spend money on themselves outside of the bare necessities to maintain their own survival,  instead of feeding a starving child or helping provide life-saving medicine for what are otherwise simple, curable diseases in better off countries.  As I asked in one of my earliest posts in this thread - would Jesus be happier with Christians taking cruises and holidays or do you think he would prefer they stop a child starving to death?

Of course we all do what we do, but I was trying to discuss why some who say one thing, don't actually do another, or more accurately, why they impose limitations to their charity.  It is my direct experience that many (that is a lot of) Christians say one thing about Jesus but do another when it comes to doing, what I imagine Jesus would consider, enough to help others.  Is that a judgement?  It probably is, but I was open to discussing it and trying to better understand.  You have contributed somewhat, but any genuine discussion around the matter was too long in coming from others in this thread because of a perceived attack they imagined.  That was a shame really.

I really don't give  because of thought, as least not conscious thought although i will admit that thought and reason enters in and often tries to change my action. Thinking about it and finding reasons is what the mind seems to want to do. But giving doesn't have to come from thinking about it. The decision arises and 'feels' peaceful and right in the heart and then thoughts  arise to change or justify the decision that one knew was best in the first place.  At least that is the way i see it.

For your second paragraph. I don't view the man Jesus as God anymore than another though i might recognize the God in him so i can't comment on those that do. Also your last question in that paragraph, at least to me, is unanswerable. My best guess is that if Jesus was led to take the trip, he would and fate would be served. If led to stop a child from starving instead then that would have been his action. One can't say without knowing the will of God in a particular case for Jesus.

Third paragraph, yes,  that is in my view, a judgement. There is a diversity of those who call themselves Christians as you are well aware. Perceiving is what we humans do as sentient beings for the most part. So, it seems offences will come and intensify unless we are very vigilant to catch them early and change course before they develop and become unrepairable or non-contributory to our original purpose.

Just my personal thoughts. 

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On 12/7/2019 at 10:52 PM, JosephM said:

I really don't give  because of thought, as least not conscious thought although i will admit that thought and reason enters in and often tries to change my action. Thinking about it and finding reasons is what the mind seems to want to do. But giving doesn't have to come from thinking about it. The decision arises and 'feels' peaceful and right in the heart and then thoughts  arise to change or justify the decision that one knew was best in the first place.  At least that is the way i see it.

I suspect your mind would very quickly step in and limit your charity once it realized you wouldn't otherwise have enough money to pay your bills or have enough time to care for your family instead of giving a certain amount of time to help others.  My point isn't about the thought that goes into giving, but moreso the thought that goes into when to restrict that giving.  Most of us consciously and with intent decide when we will limit our giving any further (usually for good reasons) - it doesn't just 'happen' is my contention..

On 12/7/2019 at 10:52 PM, JosephM said:

For your second paragraph. I don't view the man Jesus as God anymore than another though i might recognize the God in him so i can't comment on those that do. Also your last question in that paragraph, at least to me, is unanswerable. My best guess is that if Jesus was led to take the trip, he would and fate would be served. If led to stop a child from starving instead then that would have been his action. One can't say without knowing the will of God in a particular case for Jesus.

I agree we can't know Jesus' precise will, and of course you are a different breed of Christian than typically those I am referring to in this thread.  In fact most on this Forum are a different breed of Christian altogether from those I had in mind when posting, but I thought that many of us (i.e. a lot of us) had experienced a more fundamental type of Christianity, if not directly at least indirectly, and so I thought we might be able to discuss somewhat.  Not now, but when I initially tried to discuss the matter.

On 12/7/2019 at 10:52 PM, JosephM said:

Third paragraph, yes,  that is in my view, a judgement. There is a diversity of those who call themselves Christians as you are well aware. Perceiving is what we humans do as sentient beings for the most part. So, it seems offences will come and intensify unless we are very vigilant to catch them early and change course before they develop and become unrepairable or non-contributory to our original purpose.

For me it wasn't any offense about Christians who limit their charity on the one hand whilst presenting a somewhat contrary version of Jesus on the other (probably less judgement and more an assessment, an observation) and wanting to initiate a discussion about 'why'.  I had genuine intentions for wanting to discuss the matter, but obviously others felt the need much less.

I appreciate your thoughtful response in trying to actually discuss the issues I raised.

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