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Featured Giving up everything you own

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Vouthon, May 5, 2018.

  1. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Well, the verse is certainly not limited to mere possession of tangible property. As I explained to both @Sunstone and @It Aint Necessarily So the Gospel of Matthew interprets this command as referring to 'poverty of spirit,' a mental attitude or state of mind; whereas the more socially-conscious Gospel of Luke goes for the literal, materialist application.

    Both perspectives are, therefore, scriptural and binding for Christians: which is why it has resulted in both mysticism and social activism, throughout the church's history. It really depends upon which perspective you place the greater emphasis upon.

    Jesus did say, to connect it with your interpretation, that "no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish" (Luke 5:36). This is a commonsense, folk piece of wisdom which, in the words of one prominent New Testament scholar: "pits Jesus's own, new way against the old way of the Pharisees and their scribes." (Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, Eerdmans, 1997).

    To join the Jesus movement, you had to be baptized in water and arise as a "new person", putting behind old ways of thinking - if I may reference another book of the New Testament:

    You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its cravings, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4: 22-24)​

    So, I definitely think your interpretation has merit and is part of the equation - although there's more to it, namely the importance placed upon detachment/non-attachment (as in Buddhism and other Dharmic religions) plus the explicit social dimension in relation to the poor and deprived members of society.
     
  2. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    What I was think was like this, but a little more on the lines of Buddhist teachings, that clinging creates suffering. Do we own our possessions, or do our possessions own us? If we define ourselves by the objects in our lives, be that our wonderful personalities, our good looks and charming wits, our social status, the admiring eyes of other who make us feel like we are something special, the mountain of our wealth as a symbol of our great successes, and so forth, then indeed, we are not a disciple of Jesus. "You already have your reward," Jesus might quip! :)

    That "God within" is found in self-surrender. The true Self is found by emptying ourselves of all these things we look to to define our small s self. The ego is like that camel which cannot fit through the eye of the needle, as Jesus pointed out to the rich man attached to his wealth, unwilling to let go of seeking to find truth and meaning in these things prone to corruption, theft, and decay. All his teachings point to seeking your treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt. In other words, the problem isn't these things, it's how we turn to them, look to them, and to use the Buddhist term, cling to them. It is in sacrificing our clinging, that we find we are not a prisoner to them.

    Now, as far as Luke talking about the early church taking this injunction very literally, while I do see the value of a socialist structure in the way described, as we can see the extreme expressions of capitalism and wealth inequality is in fact a human disease on earth, it may also be like those who took other teachings of Jesus in similar vein such as, "those who lay down their lives for my sake will take them up again," and they happily put themselves in front of lions to be eaten alive as a quick pass on to God.

    I'll say this about that, they didn't get it. That took it literally. It was above their heads. And what would you expect? People who are not yet ready for deeper meanings to teaching, become fanatics, taking shortcuts to nirvana, just follow this guru, jump up and down on one foot, and heaven awaits! And then these people teach others, and the blind lead the blind and both fall into the ditch, as Jesus also taught about these unenlightened spiritual teachers.
     
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  3. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    IMHO. This means to give up the idea that you own anything.
    Advaitha instructs: Don't even say "I want God"
    a) Cross the "I", because that's only ego
    b) Cross the "want", because that's desire
    Result = God
     
    #23 stvdv, May 5, 2018
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  4. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    you mean capitalism. capitalism is against jesus.
     
  5. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

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    Anyone looking to give their stuff away, especially money, drop me a pm. :)
     
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  6. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    The words say, "So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions." If that's not what they mean, why speak (or write) them if it means something else that almost nobody will glean from them? If that's not what the words mean, it seems irresponsible to me to write them given that they would surely be taken literally in most cases.

    The other scriptures you cited don't change the meaning of the one in question.

    It's my opinion that if one approaches the Bible with the conviction that it is divine in nature and therefore its words must be wise, that is what one will see. Words that appear otherwise will be transformed in meaning to something else.

    Absent such a faith based confirmation bias, the worlds simply mean what they say. There is no reason to believe that they were not meant literally - no sign that they weren't.
     
  7. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Have I denied that the early church mandated a primitive form of socialism (even if voluntaristic and non-state based)?

    Quite the contrary, I've demonstrated from the start of this thread that, while the verse in question did not refer solely to physical possessions (you can possess, or cling, to outmoded ways of thought and intangible things as well), the early church understood this as an injunction to relinquish private ownership of property in favour of a communalized ecclesiastical ownership dependent upon need.

    Church doctrine in later years, while adapting it pragmatically to fit changed circumstances and prevailing social structures, retained this fundamental idea in its natural law doctrine through preaching that in time of grave need, all property becomes common again; such that if the poor succour their needs from the superabundance of the rich, it isn't considered to be the sin of theft because its owed to them by divine law.

    The church has always, therefore, denied that private property is an absolute, unconditional right.

    I don't see where I'm contradicting myself here. :confused:

    One of the main reasons I created this thread in the first place was precisely to make the point that this scriptural verse sets a colossally high standard which we Christians cannot ignore but must grapple with.

    No, but they do significantly deepen and broaden it.

    Nobody reads any portion of a text in isolation from the rest of it.

    To understand what Luke is communicating in his gospel, you need to interpret it in its entirety. Wouldn't you agree?

    In terms of the "family-hating" verse, however, everything I told you above is derived from New Testament scholarship by the likes of Marcus Borg, Larry Siedentop, Walter Wink and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (of Harvard Divinity school), among many others. There's research to back up my claims.

    His words were directed against the patriarchal family unit of the ancient world. This is made clear if you consider it in the context of other verses.

    Jesus is reported to have said:


    " And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven...The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted." (Matthew 23:9, 10-12).​


    This text from the Gospel of Mark is especially instructive:

    Jesus said, “ Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields" (Mark 10:29-30)​


    A careful exegete will notice that the second half of the sentence omits "fathers" - mentioned in the first segment as one of the things his disciples must abandon for the kingdom - from the new family of the church. Consider the earlier passage I quoted in my previous reply: "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.(Matthew 12:50).

    Again, no "fathers". Only brothers, sisters and mothers in Jesus' new community. The continual omission is for a reason.

    The omission is significant: fathers “represent patriarchy, the old society in which the man alone ruled and decided. In the new family of Jesus into which the disciples are to grow there can no longer be anyone who dominates others.” (Gerhard Lohfink 2014). In their analysis of Mark 10:29–30, Osiek and Balch conclude, “The old family included a patriarchal father; the new one does not, since God is the only Father.” Elisabeth Fiorenza says that, in the answer of Jesus, “fathers” are among those to be left behind; “fathers” are not included in the new kinship to which the disciples aspire. For Fiorenza this is an implicit rejection of the power and status of all patriarchal structures in the messianic community.

    This, of course, fits in perfectly with the social ethic outlined elsewhere, in which all hierarchical relationships are to be transcended in a spirit of mutual service and equality of status.

    The ancient family was an obstacle to the realization of this aim. The family unit he was criticizing is not the modern, nurturing nuclear family but the ancient, patriarchal, enclosed and nepotistic tribal unit.

    He wanted to break it up and scholars universally recognize that this was a socially subversive doctrine which went completely against conventional Graeco-Roman norms and values, or indeed Jewish ones in the Torah. Deliberately so.
     
    #27 Vouthon, May 5, 2018
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  8. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Just a pm or also their $$$?;)
     
  9. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Do you believe the above?
    If so, what have you done about it?

    Although I am a minimalist I don't give Luke's gospel full credit, although I accept what he copied from G-Mark, and so I don't believe that Jesus meant what you are proposing, I think he meant that his followers had to ditch all possessions in order to be free enough to make a combined stand against the corrupt, greedy, hypocritical, quisling priesthood for the return of ALL the OT laws except for the sacrificial laws. He didn't have me in mind.............. but I do accept that the less you have so the more free that you are. :)
     
  10. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    You didn´t share the English translation you were using for your quotation from Luke. There is a vast difference between ¨give up¨ and ¨forsake¨
     
  11. Zindik

    Zindik New Member

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    Muslim Tsalaf saying "Everything belong to Aallah SWT only , we do not have everything of our own ."

    That's that .
     
  12. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

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    Well....goes without saying. :D The former necessitates the latter.
     
  13. RESOLUTION

    RESOLUTION Active Member

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    Luke 14:33 King James Version (KJV)
    33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

    To be honest, just what did they have to forsake? Following Christ needs to be more important than anything you possess or own. I am not sure why the material automatically become the sense of what Christ is saying. Surely the way of life and all you all dear no longer takes pride of place and possession?
     
  14. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    communalism was being practiced by the native americans.

    hutterites, mennonites, and the amish practice it as well


    Christian communism - Wikipedia
     
  15. outlawState

    outlawState Deism is dead

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    The "poor and deprived" part is greatly over-played in "Christian" circles, many of which are essentially communist, but masquerade under the Christian label. In ancient Israel, a theocracy had been established, and everyone was bound by a law tending to promote mutual societal welfare and the honor of God, if not salvation itself. It was permissible to see the poor as being part of that theocracy.

    In this day and age, there is no theocracy. The "poor" are not part of any theocracy. Indeed there have been many cases of the unsaved poor exploiting charity, defauding the state of welfare payments, abusing, even killing their benefactors. Many are poor through sloth, immorality and criminality, or being obese.

    Many so-termed poor are organized into criminal fraternities, gangs, sub-cultures, and whom despise other members of society.

    There can be no connection between Jesus command to "forsake all" and handing over cents or dollars to such unbelievers. It is clear that Christian charity should be largely determined by the faith of the recipient.

    An interesting point lies in Matt 19;27.

    27“Look, Peter replied, “we have left everything to follow You. What then will there be for us?”

    Yet after Christ had been crucified, Peter went back to his home, and his fishing boats, and his possessions. He may have "forsaken" them to follow Christ, but he did not make himself destitute.

    Thus the interpretation is putting Christ first, which does not require giving up possessions that are essential for life, welfare & work, which would be tantamount to suicide, and might even be a cause of sin. I think always of a person I once knew a long time ago who frankly did not have the relevant level of understanding to be an evangelist, and who gave up his job to sponge off others, (i.e. presuming to "forsake all"), whilst teaching some bizarre cultic-like things. Christianity is not a cult. Cultism is never honoring to God. If you aren't extremely proficient in theology and learning, there is no call to give up one's day job.
     
    #35 outlawState, May 6, 2018
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  16. Faithofchristian

    Faithofchristian Well-Known Member

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    What your doing is taking what Jesus said out of context.

    Jesus said --"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsake not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple" Luke 14:33

    You actually believe that Jesus wants people to give up all that they have.

    What Jesus Truely wants is a person's commitment to him.
    Jesus wants to see what is more important to you, does what ever you have is it more important to you, Than your love for him.

    Had you read Verses 34 & 35, they would explain verse 33.

    Verse 34--"Salt is good, but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned"

    Therefore if you gained the whole world, but lost your soul in the process, What did you gain, Therefore if you cannot forsake the things of the world, For your love of Jesus.
    How much would you forsake for your child ?
    Does your love for your child mean more to you, than what you gain of worldly things ?

    Verse 35--"It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill, but men cast it out,
    He that has ears to hear, let him hear"

    Do you hear to understand what Jesus is actually saying ?

    So what manner of man would be willing to give up all he has for the love of
    Jesus Christ ?

    Love of Jesus Christ
    Or
    Your love for worldly things ?
     
  17. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    I got good inspiration for divesting myself of personal possessions last year when my home fell under a category 2 evacuation notice due to forest fires...i had to consider what was important and I had little room to bring stuff as I left my home. Turns out I was ready to give up a lot.
     
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  18. Sleeppy

    Sleeppy Fatalist. Christian. Pacifist.

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    It's not an impossibility, or even a hard thing to do. Jesus didn't say these things to deter any of you, or to keep you from gratification.

    DO NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF ANYTHING ON THE EARTH, NOT EVEN YOURSELVES -- Unless you will be deluded.

    GOD IS GOD; HE CANNOT BE SUBVERTED. Those of you who believe in free will, have already been deluded, and self-righteousness (greed, injustice, etc) is the result of that.
     
  19. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    I agreed until you said this... as apparently it was not an obstacle for the people in Acts who sold their property or houses for money - suggesting that a consumerist, competitive economy was not an especial obstacle.
     
  20. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Also he plainly said "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees you will not enter the kingdom of God," yet few if any study what was righteous about the Pharisees. I hear many denounce them, because it is convenient to take Jesus rebukes to some as a definition of what Pharisees are. Naturally the kingdom of God has not appeared on Earth 'As it is in heaven' On the other hand maybe the 12 got their act together and did exceed that righteousness, but clearly few modern Christians do. I also must question whether monks and nuns do since they go unmarried. Pharisees always get married. Therefore to exceed their righteousness one should at least attempt it.
     
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