I agree that it's good to understand the spirit of the teachings. Many times, Jesus was giving a specific message to a specific audience. But he also meant it as a message that we can apply to our lives.windy wrote:
I think there may be a bit of legalism happening here. I agree that the word "our" is not found in the Luke 14:33 verse, but what we're trying to do is to understand the spirit of Jesus teachings. What is the purpose of Jesus asking people to forsake their attachments to materialism? It sounds like you've taken the "I do it in my heart approach" which could be fair enough. But what I've noticed is that the "in my heart" teaching seems to have become a loophole for millions of Christians which they use to avoid change. It's so easy to talk about theoretical spiritual discipline. I think this is why Jesus gave a command to actually do it.
But I think we have a fundamental disagreement as to what believers are supposed to do, if anything, regarding forsaking materialism. I would contend, that a good message we can take from Jesus' teachings to others, is that by the spirit of his teachings, we should not hold onto the things of this world, as if they were of greater importance than things that bring eternal rewards. And it seems that you and rain believe all material possessions are not something a believer should have, in any circumstance. I believe Jesus knew the hearts of those to whom he was speaking. In the case of the Rich Young Ruler, Jesus knew that the man's possessions were his god. But not all believers are the same. Money or mammon is not evil. The love of money or mammon, is the root of evil. There is a difference.
What do you want me to address about it? I have no issue with what Jesus said. My issue lies with your interpretation of what he said. You are assuming that all commands that Jesus gave, automatically apply to us.windy wrote:
You've not yet addressed the teaching where Jesus tells his disciples to go into all the world teaching other people to do as they themselves were taught to do. As for the forsaking of material possessions and living in community, we can see the disciples following Jesus' last instruction to them by teaching thousands of new Christians to forsake their material attachments and to share all things in common. Sharing is a fundamental value of the Kingdom of Heaven. Letting go is another.
And again, as far as forsaking material possessions, and living in a community, you haven't shown from proper interpretation of scripture, that it's what we should do.
And I agree that we should share what God has richly blessed us with. And I agree that we shouldn't hold onto possessions like the RYR did. But I don't take it to the extreme that you do. And like I said before, if you feel you are called to give away your possessions and live in a community somewhere, that's between you and God. But not all believers are called to do that.
Simply, don't serve two masters.RickD wrote:
If you want to take a message from that text, and apply it to us, the message would probably be to seek things of God first, and not be distracted by material possessions.
Thanks for sharing this. I've very happy to hear that you're willing to consider these teachings from a point of view which you'd normally not agree with. Could you please clarify for me what you think would constitute being "distracted by material possessions?" Thanks.
Again, it gets back to what seems like a fundamental disagreement to how or if forsaking materialism applies to us. I see that the love of money/mammon is the root of all evil. Money or mammon itself is not evil. It almost seems like by giving away all possessions, and commanding others to do so, means that you think either mammon itself is evil, or all believers would be tempted beyond reason, if we owned anything at all.Rick wrote:
So, the "whosoever" is the same in both verses. But the qualifier "you" or hymōn, is not found in John 3:16.
I think this could be another case of legalism rather than getting the spirit behind the teachings. In luke 14:33 the context is that Jesus was talking to a "great multitude". This could have been hundreds of people. The "you" is obviously plural in meaning. Using the example from the discussion rules I posted, the "you" is obviously not meant to be only for the people who happened to be reading the forum on that particular day when the rules were posted. It's a "you" meant for anyone who wants to participate in forum discussions here. It would be legalistic for a person to argue that the rules must be posted afresh for him each time he visits so that he can be certain the rule is meant for him.
I believe you are using a similar logic when it comes to Jesus' teachings on the root of all evil. It would be legalistic to expect Jesus to give a new personal revelation to each person in the world about forsaking materialism when he's already done so to his disciples whom he commanded to pass on the teaching to their disciples and their disciples pass the teaching on to their disciples etc.
I'm pretty sure I don't agree with what you think it means to forsake something.Forsaking all is also a consistent theme throughout the NT. There are so many verses which talk about it; not only possessions, but friends, family, respectability and even our own lives.
Sure. That's the duty of the church( all believers). It's the duty of believers to help those in need. And it can be accomplished, and is being accomplished without all believers living in Christian communities.Anyway, forsaking is a method for applying the golden rule (i.e. do to others what you'd have them do for you). For example, lets pretend that you need help, but you don't have the money to pay for that help. Wouldn't you be happy if the person decided to help you for free, just because you need the help? Now you can understand the position of the majority of the world.
Money also allows us the freedom to bless others in their time of need. And just because atheists have all they need to physically live, without needing to trust God, it doesn't logically follow that all believers don't trust in God, just because we have food on the table. I'm sure there are plenty of atheists or non Christians in Africa who don't have enough food to feed their families. So, that argument is moot.Or maybe you could argue that the example is flawed because you DO have the money to supply all your needs so you don't need to rely on charity from another person. But isn't that a problem, too? Money gives us the freedom to NOT rely on one another for help. I realize the average Christian probably doesn't think about it this way, but that's exactly what the atheist uses money for. He doesn't need faith. He doesn't need to be thankful for food, or rain, or sunshine or life. He's doesn't need to trust an invisible God for his daily bread. He's got money.
Maybe where you live, and in your experience. But, in my life, that's a crock of crap. You cannot tell me that I'm not thankful to God for everything He has blessed me with. And I know plenty of others who feel the same.When it comes to who we really trust for our daily bread there's not much practical difference between the 9-5 atheist and the 9-5 Christian.
That's fine. In that time and place, it worked. At least in America, it doesn't universally work that way. I'm starting to think you're forgetting who the most generous people in the world are. America has been richly blessed. And Americans are very generous.From what I can see, rain posted several verses from the NT about forsaking all. You commented on Luke 12:33 and Luke 14:33 basically saying you believe you are an exception to the teaching about dealing with materialism. What did you think about the examples from Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:34-37 which show the disciples teaching thousands of new Christians to forsake all?
What do you want me to comment on it? It's good advice. But being aware of greed doesn't mean sell everything, and move into a Christian Community.I quoted Luke 12:15 where Jesus warns his followers to beware of covetousness because life is more than the things we own. You didn't comment on that.
I see it more of a parable about a rich man who loves his money and possessions more than he loves his neighbor.There is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus; clearly a teaching about our relationship to money (Luke 16:19-30).
All good advice. Don't have two masters. Don't love money and possessions. It certainly doesn't mean sell everything we own, and move into a Christian Community.There is the parable about the sower; the seeds which fell in the thorns were choked by the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matthew 13:22).
Then there is the parable of the rich man who built bigger and bigger barns to store more of his wealth (Luke 12:18-21). God called him a fool.
In Matthew 6:19 Jesus says not to store treasure on earth, but rather treasure in Heaven. In Luke 12:33 he says we get treasure in Heaven by selling what we have and using it to help the poor. You say this teaching only applied to the disciples of Jesus' time, but you can't really on the same "you" argument that you do for Luke 14:33 because he doesn't say "you". In fact, the record shows that he's talking to an "innumerable" crowd in this context.
In John 6:27 Jesus admonished the people who came looking for him because they were only interested in the food rather than the truth. He tells them to stop working for the food that spoils, but rather to work the works of God. This is nearly identical to what he said in Matthew 6:24-34 where he tells his followers to stop working for money and the things money can buy (i.e. mammon) and to start working for the kingdom of Heaven first.
Yes, I agree. But having money and possessions, doesn't cause us to live like the world. Loving money and possessions may lead to us living like the world in that regard.He says we should not allow worry about food and clothing stop us from stepping out in faith. He says all the world seeks after these things, but that we should not be like them. We are called aside. Set apart. Born again. Transformed by the renewing of our minds. We are meant to be different. We can't do that when we continue living by all the same values of the world.
That's fine. They had a specific mission, at a specific time, in a specific place. Not everyone in all places, at all times, have that same mission to accomplish in that same way.This them carries on when, in Luke 10:4-7 he gives his followers instructions on how to apply these teachings about seeking God's Kingdom and God taking care of them. He tells them to take nothing for their journey, no food, not extra shoes or cloak etc and that they should eat whatever people share with them along the way. Later, in Luke 22:35 Jesus references this same situation by asking them, "when I sent you without anything, did you lack anything you needed"? and they answered, "nothing".
Sure. The love of money is the root of all evil. Owning possessions, and having money, is not evil.Anyway, I could carry on with dozens more examples of this theme about materialism but I hope by now you'd be willing to acknowledge that this issue of materialism IS a consistent theme throughout the new testament.
I think this is a good message for all of us, from Colossians 2:20-23
20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.