Forsaking All

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PaulSacramento
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Re: Forsaking All

Postby PaulSacramento » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:27 am

rain wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:There is a passage in which Jesus is asked EXPLICITLY what works we are to do that are pleasing to God, ) so that we may work the works of God.Jesus replies explicitly also:
John 6:

Words to the People
26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” 28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”


An explicit question of what works we should do is answered by an explicit reply so that none should be confused:

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”


Hi Paul,

Thanks for bringing up a bible reference, however, the verse you highlighted doesn't contradict what Windy and I have been saying about forsaking all. You see, we believe that to believe in Jesus means to actually believe what he says. We're asking the question how can you say you believe in Jesus, yet not do the things that he says? Jesus himself asked this question in Luke 6:36, where he says, ''Why do you call me Lord Lord, yet refuse to do what I say?''.

Again, what we are looking for are verses that support yours (and others) interpretation that the same teachings he gave to his disciples back then are not applicable to modern day Christians.Thanks.


You've been presented with verses and counter-verses and facts.
What you choose to do with them is up to you.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:28 am

Melanie wrote:So this isn't referring to shared treasure here on earth just individual treasures?
As long as affluence and worldly desires are desired communally then it's okay?


No, even in a communal setting it's not okay to be greedy. The "forsake all" teaching is designed to deal with our greed. The point rain was making is that the forsake all teaching is not a teaching against using material things, but rather, against forming attachments to material things. People say they forsake materialism in their heart, but the heart is deceitful above all things and Jesus knows our hearts better than we do. His solution for dealing with the root of all evil was to forsake it, not play around with it in our heart.

Melanie wrote:Is not a family a commune of sorts, just a little smaller


It can be, but whether it is a "Christian" community will depend on how the members of that community respond to Jesus' teachings.

Melanie wrote:Are you sure that you're not using scripture to fit in with your circumstance? Whilst suggesting others are doing the same


Yeah, I am sure I am not using scripture to fit with my circumstances. That's why rain and I posted heaps of scriptural references to show the context of the teachings. I think the two of us are still waiting for others to post their scriptural references for why Jesus did not expect some Christians to follow his teachings on how to deal with materialism.

I look forward to your response.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:40 am

Rick wrote: Just like the verses in Luke 14:26-27, shouldn't be interpreted literally?


Hi Rick. You've brought this up a few times now so I'll try to give you a satisfying response. It's another of those "get the spirit of the teaching" verses. Yes, we should be prepared to literally hate our family. But of course there is context. I don't think Jesus wants us to hate the people but that he does want us to hate any relationship which could be used to turn us away from God.

Now imagine a guy who feels God is leading him to literally apply this teaching about forsaking all. He feels it in his conscience and he's committed. What would his kids say? What would his parents say? Almost certainly they would try to talk him out of it, perhaps even using all the various arguments which people have used here on this forum. "You can't work your way to Heaven". "You can't survive without money". "Jesus already did it all on the cross". "That teaching was only meant for the other guys. You live richly in the US where such teachings won't work anyway".

Some family members have been known to become extremely agitated, even threatening their loved ones or accusing them of hating them. The emotional pressure family members can apply in opposition to the extreme life style changes demanded by Jesus' teachings can sometimes become quite overwhelming. If a person were to allow those emotional arguments to stop them from following their conscience then I think that would be going against what Jesus taught about hating our family. We should hate anything which tempts us away from obedience to God but when it comes to our family (or people in general) that hatred can take such a benign form as simply shaking the dust off our feet at them.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:50 am

Rick wrote:Just as we don't take Luke 14:26-27 literally, we don't take Luke 14:33 literally.

These verses talk about a willingness for those who want to be disciples. This is a message to the disciples, and for us, that we should be willing to forsake our families, or our possessions, if it comes to that.


Ah ah ah Rick. You've just added the word "willingness" to the Luke 14:33 verse. Remember earlier when you said we shouldn't add anything to the verses? Besides, if you really were willing, then why all this argument about how the teaching isn't meant for us anyway. Or, are you saying that, for the disciples of Jesus' time it was literal, but for modern day disciples it's only a "willingness" rather than action which Jesus wants from us?

Again, I really think you need to start basing your arguments on scriptural support rather than your personal opinion about which teachings should apply to the past and which teachings should apply now. I was about to say you're decsions on which is which are quite arbitrary, but they are not. The key factor seems to be the concept of "cost". If acting on a teaching costs you something it suddenly becomes a "heart" issue where you say, "I've done it in my heart" and therefore you avoid the cost.

But imagine is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego bowed down to the golden statue while, "in their heart" they were really bowing down to the God of Abraham. They could have the same luxury so many Christians have now where they claim the reward (eternal life) while side-stepping the cost (everything you have, including your life).

How terribly convenient the heart becomes!

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby melanie » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:51 am

My Mum pretty much has forsaken wordly desires.
It is possible, and she is very happy and content.
She doesn't have a car, a mobile phone, a computer or iPad, she doesn't watch TV but she has one there for when family visit, she owns not one piece of jewellery, she keeps her clothes very basic, no radio, she doesn't read the newspaper or concern herself with wordly issues. She lives for God and not for the material. It's pretty inspirational.
She is extremely kind, loving and generous.
She recently got some inheritance and she gave it all away. I was a little annoyed because I thought it was financial security for her but she said all she needed was God.
She never tells others how they should be living and says it is her path.
She hasn't done it because she thinks she should but because her heart is with God, and those things hold no importance to her.
She doesn't think she's got it right and others aren't just quite getting it, she is humble.
We talk about God all the time and she never tells me how I should be living but to simply love God and trust in Him.
She is the least judgmental person I have ever known.

I would never say that forsaking all for God is not His plan for some of His flock, my Mum hasn't always been this way but she is the most happiest she has ever been. She radiates joy.
She shares this joy and love and generosity with everyone she comes in contact with, it's not reserved for the select or just believers. She just pours that kindness on everyone because she full and content with Christ.
It took her over 50 years to get there.
We can't run before we can walk.
As we grow and trust more, our hearts are transformed maybe not like my Mum, and I don't think it has to manifest itself in that way every time but as our hearts are transformed we let go of the world, bit by bit, in different ways for everyone. It is our love for God which inspires the changes, not that we have too but we truly want to.

Christians do not have to live in a commune sharing their goods to walk the path that God has set for us, I'm not saying they can't but I'm saying just because they do doesn't mean that firstly others have too or that they have any higher, more scriptural or more rightoues claim on 'forsaking' that the rest of us.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:53 am

Rick wrote:But then, you mentioned the gospel, and how it's for all people. Are you saying that forsaking material things, as what you believe is a command from God, is part of the gospel? In other words, just as we all must believe in Christ, we all must forsake material things?


In order for me to answer your question properly I need to know if we're using the same terms. Do you think a Disciple is a Christian?

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby RickD » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:58 am

windywherever wrote:
Rick wrote:But then, you mentioned the gospel, and how it's for all people. Are you saying that forsaking material things, as what you believe is a command from God, is part of the gospel? In other words, just as we all must believe in Christ, we all must forsake material things?


In order for me to answer your question properly I need to know if we're using the same terms. Do you think a Disciple is a Christian?

As far as I know, in scripture, all who were called disciples, were believers. So yes, a disciple is a Christian.
1 Corinthians 1:9
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Re: Forsaking All

Postby melanie » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:01 am

Windy as far as I see it, your sitting in your comfy chair, enjoying the luxury of a computer with first world access to the Internet preaching to others about sacrifice. I think it's a pretty big error to think that because you threw it all in a bucket and divvied it out amongst yourselves that you have forsaken all attachment to material things.
The heart as you said can be very deceitful

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby rain » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:07 am

rain wrote:
This is the closest you have come to answering the above question, yet you still side step it. The issue is not whether Jesus told his disciples to do as he commanded them to do, but whether Jesus told his disciples to teach OTHERS to do as he commanded THEM to do. Can you see the difference? It would be good to hear your thoughts on that


Rick wrote:
Ok. I see what you're saying, and why you think I'm avoiding your question. I apologize. I wasn't avoiding. Yes, Jesus told his disciples to teach others to do as he commanded. I have no problem with that. I have a problem with what you choose to believe Jesus commanded his disciples to teach others. Specifically, the idea that we are commanded to abandon all money and possessions, and go live in a commune somewhere.


Hi Rick,

Okay, so we're in agreement that Jesus commanded his disciples to teach others to do as he commanded them. So, what's your struggle with applying that to Luke 14:33? Jesus clearly taught his disciples to do this. We see them doing it in Acts, so where's the problem?

You say your problem is with me choosing what to believe Jesus commanded his disciples to teach others, but I'm just choosing to believe what Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, i.e. choosing to DO what he commanded his disciples to do. My argument is; Jesus taught his disciples to do this, he told them to teach others to do what he taught then to do, I choose to believe that he meant this. You however, read Jesus saying ''teach others to obey all things that I have commanded you'', and choose to believe that Jesus did not mean all things. Please provide some teachings from Jesus that suggest that we can pick and choose what to do from the things he taught/commanded? Thanks.

So, if I'm understanding you correctly, you are saying that I and others here, are choosing which commands to follow. And you ARE NOT choosing which commands to follow, because you follow all the commands that Jesus gave his disciples? Is that accurate?


Aren't you (and others) choosing which commands he gave to follow?

In response to your question, based on what I have shared in my posts, what commands that Jesus gave his disciples do you think I chose to not try to follow?

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:08 am

Melanie wrote:As we grow and trust more, our hearts are transformed maybe not like my Mum, and I don't think it has to manifest itself in that way every time but as our hearts are transformed we let go of the world, bit by bit


Hi Melanie. Thanks for sharing that testimony. Your mum sounds like quite a pleasant woman to have around. However, I don't understand why your lesson is that getting to her state should happen bit by bit. I get that we're all on a journey and sometimes our learning process can be very slow. But if you were to ask your mum, "if you knew then what you know now, do you think it would still have taken you 50 years to get to your present attitude on material possessions"?

I'm almost certain she would say no, that the process would be much quicker. In essence, what you seem to be saying is that people should be allowed to go slow on how they deal with their greed. If that works for you, then that's fine. Even going slow is still progress. But I think it's worth noting that "going slow" is NOT the standard Jesus taught. We won't always live up to Jesus' standard. In many circumstances we will fail and fail hard. But those failures should not cause us to compromise on the standards. When we do that we reject Jesus' authority as the cornerstone, the boss who has the right to set standards for his followers and expect his followers to follow those standards.

If we're apply his teachings "bit-by-bit" because bit by bit is the best we can do, I think God will recognize that sincerity. However, if we're doing "bit by bit" as a way of avoiding taking responsibility for what Jesus told us to do then God will also recognize that as the opposite of sincerity.

Melanie wrote:Christians do not have to live in a commune sharing their goods to walk the path that God has set for us, I'm not saying they can't but I'm saying just because they do doesn't mean that firstly others have too or that they have any higher, more scriptural or more righteous claim on 'forsaking' that the rest of us.


It's true that there is no teaching from Jesus where he specifically commands his followers to live communally. However, we see that Jesus and his followers did live communally. Thousands of Christians in the early church lived communally. So, while it's true that we are not commanded to do so, the real question is, why would you choose not to live communally with other Christians? Generally speaking the most common reason (from my experience of this topic) is that people are too selfish to live with others. They want their own space. They want to be able to do as they please with their own material possessions and spend their money in any way they want with no accountability. They want to be able to spend their time in any way they want rather than to submit all these things to a bigger picture of group unity for the Kingdom of Heaven.

We're called on to lay our lives down and yet the church world as a whole can't even let go of their freedom to buy a cheesburger whenever they want just because they want.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby windywherever » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:16 am

Rick wrote:As far as I know, in scripture, all who were called disciples, were believers. So yes, a disciple is a Christian.


Hi Rick. Thanks for clarifying that. So, what I can see from scripture is that, yes, Jesus did actually command anyone who would be his disciple to literally forsake all. Luke 14:33 .

I think you and rain have reached agreement that Jesus taught his followers to teach others to do what Jesus told them to do, which, of course, includes all his various teachings about forsaking materialism, selling what we have and using it to help the poor etc.

That whole, "but he sad 'you' so he was only talking to that one specific great multitude when he said to forsake all" simply doesn't hold water. I get it, though. You said in all the 5 years you've been here you've never heard this teaching before. But isn't that what Jesus said would happen? It's a narrow way. Very few people in the world right now would seriously consider such a teaching. It's just too unpopular and extreme. Go against the system? Bite the hand that feeds us?

We're taught from the time we're born that the system provides our daily bread through our service to money and the things money can buy. These teachings from Jesus, attacking the root of all that, of course they will appear as extreme and radical. But that's exactly because they are extreme and radical. Born again. Learning to live by a completely new set of values. It's not just a cliche. It's not just some "spiritual condition". It's a real, literal process one goes through by applying the teachings of Jesus.

I look forward to your response.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby RickD » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:21 am

windy wrote:
Rick wrote:
Just like the verses in Luke 14:26-27, shouldn't be interpreted literally?


windy wrote:
Hi Rick. You've brought this up a few times now so I'll try to give you a satisfying response. It's another of those "get the spirit of the teaching" verses. Yes, we should be prepared to literally hate our family. But of course there is context. I don't think Jesus wants us to hate the people but that he does want us to hate any relationship which could be used to turn us away from God.

So you agree with me, that we shouldn't take Luke 14:26-27 literally. Because the verses don't say to hate relationships that could turn us from God. The verses say, if taken literally, that we should hate our parents, wives, brothers, sisters, and children, if we are going to be Christ's disciple.

So again I ask, If you don't take verses 26-27 literally, what basis do you have to take Luke 14:33 literally?

Windy wrote:
Some family members have been known to become extremely agitated, even threatening their loved ones or accusing them of hating them. The emotional pressure family members can apply in opposition to the extreme life style changes demanded by Jesus' teachings can sometimes become quite overwhelming. If a person were to allow those emotional arguments to stop them from following their conscience then I think that would be going against what Jesus taught about hating our family. We should hate anything which tempts us away from obedience to God but when it comes to our family (or people in general) that hatred can take such a benign form as simply shaking the dust off our feet at them.

Windy,

How can one follow your interpretation, leave his family, sell all he owns, and move into a commune, and yet still hold that 1 Timothy 5:8 is still scripture, inspired by God, to be obeyed?
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

If we are to provide for our household, we have to have a household. We can't have a household if we sell out house and move into a commune. How can we be told to provide for our own, if we can't work, and if we hate our family, and move away from them to live in a commune?
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


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Re: Forsaking All

Postby rain » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:28 am

melanie wrote:Windy as far as I see it, your sitting in your comfy chair, enjoying the luxury of a computer with first world access to the Internet preaching to others about sacrifice. I think it's a pretty big error to think that because you threw it all in a bucket and divvied it out amongst yourselves that you have forsaken all attachment to material things.
The heart as you said can be very deceitful


Hi Melanie,

Hopefully Windy doesn't mind me responding for him. Sitting in a chair and using the Internet does not negate a message about sacrifice. You can imagine whatever context you want around that, but using both is not incongruent with the message we're preaching from the life and example of Jesus and his disciples.

I too think it's a pretty big error for someone to think that just because they put all they had into a common purse and share all things in common, that they have forsaken all attachment to material things. But that's not what we have been saying is it? What we have been saying is that Jesus' command that ''whosoever of you that does not forsake all that he owns cannot be my disciples'' is an important step in freeing ourselves from mammon, the love or money, and material attachment. No where have we said, that as soon as you forsake everything you own, you will never encounter attachment to material things again.

Why do you think we are saying something that we are not? Perhaps you have some quotes from us where we are saying this, if so, please provide them. Thanks.

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby RickD » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:34 am

windy,

for the sake of brevity, my responses are in blue.


windywherever wrote:
Rick wrote:As far as I know, in scripture, all who were called disciples, were believers. So yes, a disciple is a Christian.


Hi Rick. Thanks for clarifying that. So, what I can see from scripture is that, yes, Jesus did actually command anyone who would be his disciple to literally forsake all. Luke 14:33 .I agree with what Jesus said. I don't agree with your literal interpretation.

I think you and rain have reached agreement that Jesus taught his followers to teach others to do what Jesus told them to do, which, of course, includes all his various teachings about forsaking materialism, selling what we have and using it to help the poor etc.I have no problem with the idea that it's a good idea to use what we have been blessed with, to help the poor and needy. But I'm not in agreement with you and rain, about the extreme view you both have, that you think we all need to follow.

That whole, "but he sad 'you' so he was only talking to that one specific great multitude when he said to forsake all" simply doesn't hold water. I get it, though. You said in all the 5 years you've been here you've never heard this teaching before. But isn't that what Jesus said would happen? It's a narrow way. Very few people in the world right now would seriously consider such a teaching. It's just too unpopular and extreme. Go against the system? Bite the hand that feeds us?I'd venture a guess that most believers don't forsake all, in the interpretation you use, because it's an extreme stretch to interpret scripture in the way you do, to believe that .

We're taught from the time we're born that the system provides our daily bread through our service to money and the things money can buy. These teachings from Jesus, attacking the root of all that, of course they will appear as extreme and radical. But that's exactly because they are extreme and radical. Born again. Learning to live by a completely new set of values. It's not just a cliche. It's not just some "spiritual condition". It's a real, literal process one goes through by applying the teachings of Jesus.
And just because we don't take the extreme position that all believers should sell everything, leave their families, and move into a commune, it doesn't mean we aren't in the process of being radically transformed by the HS.
I look forward to your response.

Other than misinterpreting what I said and believe, after I clarified, you still didn't answer my question. I'm asking you if what you believe about forsaking, is part of the gospel, and on the same level as believing in Christ for salvation:
Rick wrote:
But then, you mentioned the gospel, and how it's for all people. Are you saying that forsaking material things, as what you believe is a command from God, is part of the gospel? In other words, just as we all must believe in Christ, we all must forsake material things?
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Forsaking All

Postby RickD » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:41 am

windywherever wrote:
Rick wrote:Just as we don't take Luke 14:26-27 literally, we don't take Luke 14:33 literally.

These verses talk about a willingness for those who want to be disciples. This is a message to the disciples, and for us, that we should be willing to forsake our families, or our possessions, if it comes to that.


Ah ah ah Rick. You've just added the word "willingness" to the Luke 14:33 verse. Remember earlier when you said we shouldn't add anything to the verses? Besides, if you really were willing, then why all this argument about how the teaching isn't meant for us anyway. Or, are you saying that, for the disciples of Jesus' time it was literal, but for modern day disciples it's only a "willingness" rather than action which Jesus wants from us?

Again, I really think you need to start basing your arguments on scriptural support rather than your personal opinion about which teachings should apply to the past and which teachings should apply now. I was about to say you're decsions on which is which are quite arbitrary, but they are not. The key factor seems to be the concept of "cost". If acting on a teaching costs you something it suddenly becomes a "heart" issue where you say, "I've done it in my heart" and therefore you avoid the cost.

But imagine is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego bowed down to the golden statue while, "in their heart" they were really bowing down to the God of Abraham. They could have the same luxury so many Christians have now where they claim the reward (eternal life) while side-stepping the cost (everything you have, including your life).

How terribly convenient the heart becomes!

Windy,

I'm saying what I've been saying. The verses in Luke about forsaking, were not to us. They were to the disciples to whom Jesus was speaking. And they weren't meant for them to take as you think. And, the message is for us. But, it's still, in no way, to be taken literally, or as you propose.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony


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