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Thread: Money and Debt

  1. #31
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    OK after getting all what-not over hermeneutics I have to confess that I'm biased against a strict view of tithing because I believe those that I've known that have taught the strict view had alterer motives. [cough]Jerry Falwell[/cough]
    Honestly, me too. [cough]Assemblies of God[/cough] It's just that having been in Christian circles for awhile, I've learned that there are multiple ways that intelligent, knowledgeable, good people who love Jesus can view a lot of different theological topics so even if I favor a particular one myself, I can see how other folks came to different conclusions.

    Right now I'm working more from a wild guess at what it takes to run the church I go to divided by the number of regularly attending families and try to pay our share, for lack of a better term. I'm at peace with that for now even though it's not the 'tithes and offering' teaching I was brought up with. If other folks want to pay 10% and more, I believe God will bless their faith as well.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #32
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I believe if you look at examples of giving in the New Testament you will actually find that 10% is a pretty small amount.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    In other parts of the bible you can make a case for objective interpretations. I don't think anyone is going to debate what "Jesus wept" means.
    Objective interpretation? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    I don't think anyone interprets the verse "Jesus wept". I think they take it literally.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #34
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Objective interpretation? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    I don't think anyone interprets the verse "Jesus wept". I think they take it literally.
    Yeah, you're basically right. You used the terms objective and interpretation, but looking back over the post I see they weren't actually used together.

    I don't know that much about linguistics, but it seems to me anytime someone reads something there is interpretation occurring. I tend to stay away from the term "literally" because people misuse it when referring to the Bible.

    I guess my point is that when reading the bible my goal is to be interpreting it in a way that is as close as possible to the objective truth within the bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe
    Right now I'm working more from a wild guess at what it takes to run the church I go to divided by the number of regularly attending families and try to pay our share, for lack of a better term.

    They don't publish the budget? I don't think I would feel comfortable attending a church where they don't make the budget known to the congregation.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe
    It's just that having been in Christian circles for awhile, I've learned that there are multiple ways that intelligent, knowledgeable, good people who love Jesus can view a lot of different theological topics so even if I favor a particular one myself, I can see how other folks came to different conclusions.
    I think that's true to an extent. From my experience most people's opinions (mine included) are largely determined by there relationships.

    My problem with much of protestantism is that they totally miss what I see as really fundamental things... like the importance of the OT. I'm not going to beat anyone up for disagreeing with me on baptism, tongues, communion, or tithing. Unless they're way out on the outer rim of those issues... like arguing that you aren't saved unless you do any of those four things.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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    So you can let go when you give it

  5. #35
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I believe if you look at examples of giving in the New Testament you will actually find that 10% is a pretty small amount.
    Maybe, but you have to remember that they were living a agrarian society. Today in a modern capitalist society I can probably help my community more by spending a $100k opening a small grocery store than I can by donating $100k worth of food to the homeless and poor.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  6. #36
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Maybe, but you have to remember that they were living a agrarian society. Today in a modern capitalist society I can probably help my community more by spending a $100k opening a small grocery store than I can by donating $100k worth of food to the homeless and poor.
    Yeah, but there are stories of people selling off their lands and giving away the money. Zacchaeus was a tax collector (not a farmer) and gave a huge chunk of his money away. Jesus asked a rich young ruler to give all of his possessions to the poor.

    I could go on. Even by the standards of their culture the examples of giving shown in the New Testament make 10% seem like a very small amount.
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  7. #37
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Yeah, you're basically right. You used the terms objective and interpretation, but looking back over the post I see they weren't actually used together.

    I don't know that much about linguistics, but it seems to me anytime someone reads something there is interpretation occurring. I tend to stay away from the term "literally" because people misuse it when referring to the Bible.
    I suppose the brain does some translation, though I'm not expert on the subject. You have to admit there is a big difference between how people view the verse "Jesus wept" and how they view some of the verses in Revelation.

    I guess my point is that when reading the bible my goal is to be interpreting it in a way that is as close as possible to the objective truth within the bible.
    What objective truth are you talking about?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #38
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Paul seemed to think so. He spent a good amount of time writing about it.

    The New Testament is constantly making reference to the old testament. Without understanding the old testament you have no frame of reference. You're like a child that wonders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...
    I dont agree.

    It only has revelence in that there are important passages in it which prefigure and are used to support or evidence the devinity and messiahship of JC, some of the wisdom, precepts and history is relevent as context but that's it, otherwise you are jewish and not Christian. Nothing wrong with that but perspective and context is important, there's not equal weight to attribute to each.

    Likewise there are many, including the Gideon bibles, which omit important books of the old testament altogether because of the politics of the schism with the RCC. How can you consider the old testament to be still relevent when its not even complete?

  9. #39
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Just to add:

    "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Mathew 19:24

    Jesus suggests here that not only that money corrupts but also that that a higher standard of behaviour is expected of the wealthy (ie. they have no excuses) and/or that the wealthy must work harder to be righteous.
    There is a possible literal explanation for that as in there was an entrance to a city which was called "the eye of the needle" through which a camel which had no burden could pass but through which it couldnt if it was loaded up with things on its back.

    There's a fair bit to suggest that Jesus considered wealth a burden and distraction from the good spiritual life, most of his message is about creation could very easily be heaven for everyone but instead they cause it to become hell for themselves and their neighbours.

    So it isnt so much that wealth will make you evil but that it is a case of forging your own chains, this is illustrated by another story in which Jesus asks a rich young man to leave his possessions and follow him, the rich young man cant, now he doesnt say that the man in question is evil or wrong but that he did himself no favours.

    There's only two instances which I can think of when Jesus actually attacks wealthy people, one is the money changers who he drove from the temple because he more or less considered that a defilement, the other is the parable or story of the rich man and poor woman in the temple, one contributes a lot to the collection, one very little but its obvious to Jesus that the one which contributed little had less to give and so made the greater sacrifice in giving. Which is something for all those who resist progressive taxation to consider.

    Modern day examples of the Christian message about wealth could be someone telling you that you've won the lottery or you've won a holiday but you have to go to a collection point at a precise time that day and you choose not to because of a neurotic need to comply with an earlier routine or plan, like trimming the hedge or washing the car or not wishing to fall out with your boss. There's so many ways that people behave compulsively and cut themselves off from the good life which is their birthright.

  10. #40
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post

    They don't publish the budget? I don't think I would feel comfortable attending a church where they don't make the budget known to the congregation.
    I'm sure they publish a budget, but I am . . . well, pretty burned out with church in general and at this point I'm just really happy and thankful I've found one that I can tolerate for an hour and a half each week. Eventually I might be willing to become more involved but I'm not there yet. I've known the pastor since I attended his youth group in the late eighties and I trust him. He's the kind of person that would be a decent person whatever religion he was or even if he wasn't religious at all. I don't feel compelled to know the details. It's not that much money and I'm giving it to God more than the church, really.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I think that's true to an extent. From my experience most people's opinions (mine included) are largely determined by there relationships.

    My problem with much of protestantism is that they totally miss what I see as really fundamental things... like the importance of the OT. I'm not going to beat anyone up for disagreeing with me on baptism, tongues, communion, or tithing. Unless they're way out on the outer rim of those issues... like arguing that you aren't saved unless you do any of those four things.
    I don't disagree with your opinion about the importance of the OT. Without it you miss an amazing amount of important context. Pentateuch was actually my favorite Bible college class.

    As far as getting worked up about what I'd consider theological non-essentials, I just don't. I've been the subject of that kind of thing too many times to want to do a lot of dishing it out to anyone else. I am still trying to come to terms with being the family black sheep because I play World of Warcraft and voted for Obama.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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