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The impossible ethic

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by tremble, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Boidae

    Boidae Senior Veteran

    +362
    United States
    Lutheran
    Divorced
    US-Others
    My wife and I do not own much and much of what we do have was given to us. Our only material debt is our car for which we are making payments on. We needed a newer vehicle this year since our two cars were 19 years old and were starting to fall apart. With my wife having one doctor appointment or another at least once a week and not living near a mass transit stop, a car is a necessity. Not to mention my photography assignments and pet sitting which pays my child support each month required a vehicle that was great on gas.

    I was given my PS3 by my step-dad when I had gone in for hand surgery as a get well gift. Our TV we saved up for back in 2011 and besides the car is the most expensive thing we own. My computer is from 2008 and is from a tax refund.

    We are not out to accumulate stuff as we don't have multiples of things. I am content in where we are at and other than this possible house from Habitat for Humanity, we don't even on plan accumulating more debt. With the house it will get us out of a bad neighborhood where we do not feel safe. The have been gunshots here, murder, a meth lab and other criminal activity. Even the woman at Habitat for Humanity knew of our apartment complex because her daughter had a I-phone stolen and when they used the locater app, it lead them to this complex. Cops are here just about every other day. We had our windshield chipped and cracked by someone here. This house if it happens will be a blessing and prayers answered.

    We see everything that we have as a blessing from God since all things are his anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  2. Angelquill

    Angelquill Bard of Angels

    +94
    Christian
    I could try to explain to you what lasagna tastes like...or what a lilac smells like...or what it feels like when my little grandson hugs me.
    I could try, but I don't think it would do much good.
    It would be easier to make you a pan of lasagna, or to give you a lilac to smell, or to introduce you to my little grandson, who hugs everyone... However, only God can convict you in your heart. You will know if He does...

    I seriously doubt that Michael or anyone else could tell you what that conviction in our hearts feels like...it is intensely personal, or what might trigger it, or how people respond to it, if they do. These are things that you simply have to experience yourself, like tasting lasagna, or the scent of lilacs, or the feel of a child's hug...
     
  3. BryanW92

    BryanW92 Hey look, it's a squirrel!

    +731
    Calvinist
    Married
    US-Others
    You're fortunate. I was blessed with health and a successful career as an industrial electrician, so I enjoy a solid middle class lifestyle. No McMansions or fancy cars, but we are comfortable and secure.

    I guess I received my reward on earth instead of in heaven.
     
  4. Boidae

    Boidae Senior Veteran

    +362
    United States
    Lutheran
    Divorced
    US-Others
    Bryan, you will not only be rewarded here on Earth, but in Heaven for your good works done through faith in Him.

    While I do not believe in the prosperity gospel, I do believe and have faith in God wanting to give us good things if we ask (and sometimes we do not need to ask) because of His love for us.

    Read Matthew chapter 7 verse 11 to see what I mean.
     
  5. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

    +5,583
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    You keep talking about "following his teachings", but you don't say anything about "knowing him" or "loving him". Now, before you write a knee-jerk response of "How can we say we know and love him if we don't follow his teachings?", you need to first consider that a person knows and loves first. We have to be born again into God's kingdom to be able to do this. Simply following teachings like it's a rule book doesn't give us life.
     
  6. BryanW92

    BryanW92 Hey look, it's a squirrel!

    +731
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    That's the thing. I didn't ask for anything I have. I learned a set of skills and knowledge and have worked with them for 34 years. For more than 20 of those years, I was an atheist and was doing great.

    In the meantime, you have your situation and I'm sure that you didn't ask for that either.

    So God doled out prosperity to me and gunfire and broken car windows to you. On one of the Jesus Christian web sites, there is an article (that has been plagiarized in posts here recently) that asks why people will face a gun or fight a fire with courage, but the fear of poverty cripples them. I wouldn't willingly swap homes with you, so that means that I am the one who has to walk away from Jesus with sadness.

    Since becoming a Christian, I have literally given enough money to the church to pay off my house, yet it is meaningless because of the money I kept (and the house itself). Are the churches that teach grace and faith intentionally misleading the people because the truth that anything less than 100% is worthless is too much for people to handle?
     
  7. Alithis

    Alithis Disciple of Jesus .

    +2,127
    New Zealand
    Christian
    Married
    right you are :thumbsup:
     
  8. Alithis

    Alithis Disciple of Jesus .

    +2,127
    New Zealand
    Christian
    Married
    I think perhaps it has a lot to do with what we consider to be :GOOD THINGS lol ..

    I have recently recovered from a most unpleasant stomach ailment ... im healed praise God ..
    so for me .. "that is a good and prosperous thing .

    I said to my wife a week ago .. if you were only able to ask God for one single thing for yourself (in this life -ie other then salvation etc)
    what would it be... for me it would be "good health " while upon this earth .That to me is a "good THING " lol .other things are meaningless without it ,..for me :)
     
  9. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    I've always felt the same way after getting over an illness. There's nothing quite like getting sick or injured to make us appreciate how important our health is.

    Michael--Glad to hear you're feeling better!
     
  10. Angelquill

    Angelquill Bard of Angels

    +94
    Christian
    It's funny that you should mention tummy troubles...my little grand daughter passed her stomach virus to me (again), and it is taking hold of me as we speak.
    :|Ugh!!!:|

     
  11. Alithis

    Alithis Disciple of Jesus .

    +2,127
    New Zealand
    Christian
    Married
    ouhh no, God bless you and bring you swift recovery :groupray:
     
  12. Norah63

    Norah63 Newbie

    +413
    Non-Denom
    Married
    When I see this thread has migrated to the top again I check it out. Reminds me of the Martha and Mary scripture. Martha was complaining to the Lord, about what she didn't see Mary doing. Did she think it was the Lord's fault that Mary wasn't in the kitchen with her? who knows. Yet the Lord said that Mary has chosen the better part. Yet we worry over who is doing what in what manner for our dear Lord Jesus. Some give up money while not having the power gifts in use. Others have a good worship experience and love there fellowman as best they know how. Oh I know we all do our best at this.
    Anyway that scripture just came to mind this morning about this thread.....
     
  13. Rubiks

    Rubiks armchair linguist

    +2,105
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    I think God has been convicting me for a long time regarding these verses. I've decided its best for me to give up most of my possessions except for some bare essentials we need, like food and clothing, some blankets, and some extra money. I personally would find it joyful to share all I have and live communally within a Christian community. I personally don't think the "Sell all" applies to everyone the same way, nor do I think Jesus wants us to live an ascetic lifestyle. For the 12 apostles it was largely a one time deal in order to spread the word. In Acts, the only example is in Acts 2 & 4, yet they still kept things like houses. Many disciples later in the book of Acts still owned houses. Even Jesus was a carpenter before his ministry. Paul was a tent maker for the rest of his life. God knows material things are a regular part of life. Paul even says in 1 Timothy that every created by God is good and is meant to be enjoyed. I'm not exactly sure the point Jesus is making here, so I'm not sure where exactly to go with it, but that's fine. As long as you make effort towards your honest interpretation, I believe that is repentance in God's eyes. We are justified by seeing ourselves as a terribly broken sinner, and trusting in Jesus' sacrifice to bridge the gap. God ensures all who do that will gravitate towards godliness.

    Praise God, for he is glorious!
     
  14. tremble

    tremble ^.^/

    685
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    Hi rubiks. Thanks for sharing this. I found it to be an encouraging post.

    It only takes 2 to have a Christian community. Do you have any friends or family who would be willing to experiment with you on these teachings?

    I think it's helpful to understand the reason for the sell all/ forsake all teaching. For example, look at your explanation about the 12 disciples doing it to spread the word. Is the same true for us today? If it worked for them then it should work for us, too. After all, Jesus told them to teach to others the same teachings he gave to them.

    Okay, so Jesus did it, and all the disciples did it and it's mentioned twice in acts where thousands of people did it. How many different examples do we need before we will understand it to be an important value of the Kingdom of heaven?

    There is a difference between being learning carpentry and using carpentry to make money. We don't even know for sure that Jesus was a carpenter. Many people assume this because he grew up in a household where the the head of the house was a carpenter.

    But, even if he did use carpentry to make money that was before his ministry started, as you've suggested in your post. That time is long gone.

    For the rest of his life? There is only one reference in all of the Bible about Paul making tents. You can find it in Acts 18:1-5. The context is that Paul was travelling alone at the time when he arrived in Corinth. He had more problems with this church than he did with any of the other churches he visited.

    He was worried about the Corinthians becoming confused over giving him food and shelter. He didn't want anything to distract them away from what he was teaching and accepting their material goods was likely to do that. So, he decided that he would try to provide for himself by making tents rather than put himself in a compromising situation by depending on the charity of a church he was having difficulty with at the time.

    A couple verses later, Timothy and Silas show up and the text says Paul was "pricked in his conscience" or "pressed in the spirit" and then gave his whole time to preaching the gospel. He later writes to the church at Corinth and says, "The only way I treated you differently from any other church was that I didn't rely on you to support me. Forgive me this wrong." (2 Cor 12:13 )

    He realized that he should not have let his concern about material provision from the Corinthians stop him from dealing with them as he would any of the other churches.

    Which is why he never said it is wrong to use (or even to enjoy) material things. The lesson is about our attitudes towards these material goods. We were not created to work for stuff; not even basic stuff like food and clothing. We are created to work for love. God will provide the things we need but we will never be able to see that until we stop acting in fear.

    I think God knows better than anyone just how imperfect we are when it comes to our efforts to serve him and I like that you've talked about making effort. I think that's what God wants to see, too. He knows we won't get it exactly right the first time, or the second time or the millionth time, but he wants to see that we will keep trying and trying and trying to move closer to values.

    Amen. ^.^
     
  15. tremble

    tremble ^.^/

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    Hi Bryan. I think you've misunderstood the lesson. This isn't a rule against using material goods. It's a lesson about confronting materialism. It's not a command to forsake any use of material goods, but to forsake private ownership in favour of sharing what we have with others.

    So you have a group of Christians who have decided to share all things in common. If they need a car, they should use a car. If they need a computer, they should use a computer. If they need a place to stay, they should find shelter, etc.

    But no one person can say, "this is mine and I can do whatever I want with it". Decisions are made as a group about what is needed, how to spend group funds, or how to use group resources.

    I don't want to assume that I know what you mean. Can you give a practical example of someone who can't change?

    And can you give a practical example of someone who won't change?

    And can you give a practical example of someone who is willing to change?

    I don't think you can produce any evidence that this is consistent with what God wants from us. Have you ever read the first 3 chapters of the Revelation? Those chapters contain letters to 7 churches. What I find most inspiring is that at the end of each church letter, there is an encouragement from Jesus about how he will reward those who overcome. He says much the same thing on a few occasions in the gospels, specifically using the word "overcome".

    God understands that we will fail in our attempts to grow closer to him. That's where grace comes in. We have a reason to keep trying because we know that God is willing to forgive us when we fail.

    You only need at least 1 other christian to have a church. Start simple with anyone you can find who's shares your ideals and grow from there. Don't give up.

    The rich man could have been a part of the kingdom, but he decided that his stuff was more important. We all deal with those kind of decisions every day. It's why Jesus said, "what does it profit to gain the whole world, yet lose your soul"?

    On the other hand, we don't know that he didn't later feel convicted and repent. The record isn't there for us to judge his salvation, but rather to illustrate the lesson of how NOT to respond when Jesus calls.d
     
  16. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    Ok, so it sounds like you're saying that Christians are supposed to live in a commune-type of living arrangement. Why didn't you tell us this before?

    John 16:33--"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

    I believe that if we accept Jesus' gift of salvation and His Holy Spirit, we have already overcome the world.


    Very true!
     
  17. Alithis

    Alithis Disciple of Jesus .

    +2,127
    New Zealand
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    one problem with communes... if they are salt .it is piled in one spot.
    have you seen what salt piled in one spot does to the earth?
     
  18. Angelquill

    Angelquill Bard of Angels

    +94
    Christian
    I have actually lived in Christian communes. Remember, I am 63 years old, soon to be 64...born in the fall of 1950, I am an original 60s Flower Child...one of those who, back then, was called a "Jesus Freak".

    A few of those commune experiences were glorious. Everyone shared everything in common, and everyone had more than they needed. Even our children were considered children of the community, and everyone cared for them. That is Christianity at it's best.

    However, at least in my experience, that sort of thing is very rare. Most of the time, it doesn't last too long. As Peter could probably tell us...

    Most of the time, however, those commune experiences did not work out so well. Usually you had one or two people who wanted to be "in charge" and make decisions for everyone else. The commune had become more "commun-ism"...there was no freedom at all. Needless to say, these sorts of arrangements soon broke up, often leaving those who had been involved broke and disillusioned.

    If you can find a group that can truly share all things in common, may God bless you.
    However, I wouldn't hold my breath. Remember, we are all sinners. Fighting our sin, yes...nevertheless, we still encounter sin in ourselves and in others. There is bound to be some jealousy, some greed, some bad feelings sooner or later in any such group. There will be scam artists seeking to take advantage of the more gullible in such a group. It is almost inevitable.

    I wish it could be different. As I said, when it is good, the experience is glorious. It is as close to Heaven, I think, as we can get in this nasty ol' world of ours.
    However, it's almost certain to come to a bad end. We live in a fallen world, with sin forever at the gate.

    I guess what I am saying is just this.

    Please, be careful about getting involved in such a community. It might sound good, but in the end, it is liable to leave you destitute and heart broken....
     
  19. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    That's a very interesting experience you have shared with us, with lessons to be learned. Thank you for sharing!

    I think the larger group of people you have in such a situation, the more likely it is that you'll see it fall apart due to abuse, jealousy, or other sin. If everyone is conditioned to trust everyone else, it becomes very easy for one person to take advantage of the rest.

    Look at the old Soviet Union. That's about as big as a communist situation as you can get, and it fell apart. I know that's not a Christian-type situation, but it has the same goal of everyone chipping in and sharing. Those at the top sure were abusive, and under that system were able to control the rest easily.
     
  20. tremble

    tremble ^.^/

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    You really just don't get it, do you? I can't believe it. Follow the example of Jesus and his disciples. Were they "salt piled in one spot"? No, they travelled around all over the place teaching other people to follow their example. Why is that so difficult for you to appreciate?

    I mean really, who ever said that as Christians we should all stay in one spot and never leave? Where did you get that idea from? Certainly not the example of Jesus and his followers. If you're not listening to their example, then where are you getting your ideas from?

    I think you've really messed yourself up with this whole, "we're not meant to follow a book" theory. It's like you can't even see the good in Jesus' example anymore, you just see it as a book that we should not follow. It seems to be some kind of hyper-fear that you've been indulging for so long that you auto-reject anything that sounds even slightly radical.

    What's worse is that it's not just your own fear you are indulging; you're here on a forum representing Christianity in general and teaching this kind of fear as normal Christian behaviour.
     
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