Monday, November 9, 2009

Some thoughts on money

. Jesus taught more about our relationship to money than about heaven and hell put together.
. Giving is the only antidote to materialism
. Heaven, not earth is my home
. God prospers me not to raise my standard of living but to raise my standard of giving
2. Cor (9:10-11)
. Show me your year end bank statement and I’ll show you where your heart is.

14 comments:

Gandolf said...

Hi Mak i do understand why its so easy to kind of like much of the persona of the Jesus depicted in the bible.
And i personally agree with lots of the attractive parts displayed within his character.

But sadly the trouble is Jesus is always connected to god/s which are then connected to the faiths and the religious beliefs.They cannot be separate,its the father the son and the spirit.Its always one.

Sadly these beliefs DO often split and divide people and our societys and countrys and are often the cause of bigotry and disharmony and war.And so are much of the (base) of the actual sadnesses we see on our planet.

When families and societies etc are split and divided and torn over faith belief,people are less able to cope being no longer quite so together as they once were before god beliefs started to divide.More and more theiving and violence,rapes and prostitution etc will all naturally follow and start to occur.As the community and family breakdown happens there soon is orphans and people suffering.Its all bound to happen.As human tribal values for each other move more further and further apart.

Exactly the same type thing im discribing even happens in groups of animals,once separated into two or more groups, soon they dont care and may even dislike those who once used to belong to their very own group.The bond is lost!,and the caring attitude goes with it.

Humans need to have a strong family based commuinity based society.This is what needs to become most important once again.This then will more likely lead to better realations too between countries.

The last thing we need is bigotry and division over god/s and faith beliefs.

God beliefs have divided our familys and communities.

God beliefs have divided many of our countries too ...Muslim -christianity (for instance)

What good is jesus a person who supposedly cares for all, when he`s tied in with some god belief that in its selfrighteious attitude splts and divides as it trys to claim rights to being top dog.

The world would be such a better place without god beliefs Mak,religious bigotry is even partly behind all the troubles in many places like the Palistines and Israels of this world.God beliefs are behind the killings in places like Fort Hood.

They didnt write it in the bible that jesus would divide like a sword for no good reason at all Mak.

They simply wrote it because it was common sense and could "already" be "seen"!! (even way back then) that these god beliefs (WERE) dividing folks.

It would have been stupidity and the end of the belief!!, to try deny it! and say it wasnt going to divide people!,(because time would have proved) that (idea was unfactual and wrong and complete lies) more and more.

The best and (only) thing they had left they could actually choose to do, was run with it!,and lie!! and suggest it was something their (dreamed up god had supposedly said was supposed to happen).

They may have been ancient humans back then long ago Mak...But they would have still known how to fib a little here and there and easily pull the wool over folks eyes.

Hell even some kids know how to master those type tricks pretty well.

feeno said...

Gandopolis

No sir, it's you that can't separate Jesus and religion. You and Jesus actually have a lot in common, He wasn't in to religion either. Jesus picked a group of 12 dudes who weren't religious. He ate and drank with people, that the religious looked down on. His friends were prostitutes and thieves, He worked on Sunday. He
ate and drank what he felt like. He told people not to make a show out of their prayers. He mocked the religious who would follow strict rules and yet find time to take old folks money and houses. when true "religion" is taking care of those very same people.

Gandy, don't feel bad about not being able to separate Jesus and religion. It's not easy, I've gone to church with many, many people who can't do it either. And I myself have come a long way to try to break certain religious habits.

Having a relationship with Jesus doesn't mean we have to hate, belittle, be bigoted toward, or separate ourselves from others.

I really can only speak for myself, but there is nothing my kids could ever do (even leaving Christianity) that would make me love them any less. It would break my heart, I'd lose sleep praying for them, but I'd only love them more. And as far as our relationships goes, nothing would change.

And those orphans that are left behind from split families, many of which are Christians kids are examples of what religion does. Jesus had to tell his disciples to chill out and let the little ones come to him. And James does say true religion is taking care of orphans. So creating orphans is not a Christian doctrine.

I do things "religiously" go to church, read my bible, pray, but realize it's all in vain without love. That's what Jesus' message is.

Late, feen

tinkbell13 said...

Interesting that you would post this.

The Atlantic Monthly just posted an interesting article about a new generation of materialistic Christians. To blame them for the crash, is perhaps extreme. That belongs to Wall Street. However, this should illuminate you as to what Christian Charity means today.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912/rosin-prosperity-gospel

Makarios said...

Tinker, the balancing of our relationship with God and money has been an issue since day one. Caine murdered his brother Able over an act of worship because it was going to take away from his income to "outdo" his brother.

Gandhi: A lot of what you say is correct. The error however is in thinking that this divide in human relationships is unique to religion. Our sinful nature is always prompting us to see what’s wrong in the world and then causing us to blame those problems on what we think “isn’t right” in other people. This human flaw shows up in:
You don’t go to the right school,
Wear the right clothes,
Vote for the right political party,
Live in the right neighbourhood,
Cheer the right team,
Have the right number of children,
Eat the right kind of food,
Hold to the right convictions,
Speak the right language,
Adhere to the right customs,
Have the right colour skin,
Support the right cause, worship The right god(s) and on and on.

Jesus came to change those tendencies in us and for us to not see that happening in people is perhaps being rather selective in information gathering. It is part of the human condition that everything we touch turns to crap, Christianity included. But this is the fault of us, not of Jesus.
=================

“What good is jesus a person who supposedly cares for all, when he`s tied in with some god belief that in its selfrighteious attitude splts and divides as it trys to claim rights to being top dog.”

Again, you’re describing human nature, not a Christ driven nature. What good is Jesus? Not only does our world need Him corporately. We need Him individually. I know of no other method of character change (and I’m certified in a mit full of change methodologies) as profound, as dynamic and as dramatic as that brought about by Jesus in individuals who have given themselves heart, soul and mind to His Way.

tinkbell13 said...

Okay, so what is the focus of this discussion. Money, as projected by Christianity some 2000 years ago, or the way that money is being displayed by Christians now, in modern times? Because, if you had read the article, you would see that the way that personal wealth is manifested within that community is a little at odds with what you are suggesting. Are you criticizing current Christians for their materialism? Are you claiming to be more in tune with the original doctrine? Because, I highly doubt that. Put it out there- disclose how much money you annually give to charity. Disclose how many volunteer hours you have given this year.... If you do it, I will. Lay it on the line, I dare you.

If Christianity is about promoting the words of Jesus Christ, you all need to really be clear about how you model your life in his image.

Makarios said...

Dear Tinkerbell - you make me smile -

“Okay, so what is the focus of this discussion.”

You’re just a little Terrier aren’t you?

The focus, like the title says is, “Some thoughts on money.” It’s a collection of statements, one of which is a Biblical quote, none from any one source, that had been gathering dust. I decided to throw them together and publish. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I couldn’t agree with you more than when you say that we, as Christians, have a very unChrist-like relationship to money and possessions. Jesus showed great distain for money. When we look at it’s potential to destroy our souls, what other attitude could He have.
=================
“Are you claiming to be more in tune with the original doctrine?”

Absolutely not. And for you to suggest that this amount or that amount of money given to charity would actually prove something shows that you don’t get it either.

How many hours do I volunteer? That’s funny. My wife and I retired in 2001 when we were 50 and 51 years old respectively. We spent winters in warm places. We did what we wanted and went where we wanted. And now, because we were called by Jesus to do so, we’re volunteering 24/7 for the next thirty years to raising five brain damaged children. These are adopted children. Our care for them is not funded in any way. I do pro bono counselling that ranges between 3 and 15 hours a week. We give around 15% - 20% of our take-home income although we only keep track of 10% for tax receiptable purposes.

I find writing this down disgusting. Which means that I have no interest in knowing how much or to where you give your time and money.

tinkbell13 said...

You may be disgusted, but you still did. Yes, Terrier is good. I am an owner of a Jack Russell Terrier, and they say that we choose pets similar to our own temperaments.

You are rare, and your charitable donations are commendable. You are a rare example of a Christian who is able to give back to those who are less fortunate than you. You are a minority.

I have donated a full work week (40 hours) this year. I teach classes with addicts in treatments, that is my pro bono. I have only donated 5% of my income this year because my father lost his job in this recession three years from retirement. I have been financially contributing to taking care of my baby sister to help him out. There it is, despite you not wanting it. You just want to leave it as your contributions, never acknowledging that there are many of us who willingly donate without encouragement of religion. Sheerly out of human charity.

The reason that I pursued this line of argument with you is to illuminate you to your use of blanket generalizations- Atheists this, atheists that. I was actually trying to pinpoint that you share a similar criticism that I have- what Christianity should be and what it is are two totally different things. Money being the hotspot.

Makarios said...

“I am an owner of a Jack Russell Terrier”

:-)
===========
“You are a minority.”

Well, adopting children is rare I guess, but I know many in our community, Christian and non Christian alike who give an enormous amount back.
===========
“my father lost his job in this recession three years from retirement.”

Oh no! Boy, life can change in a blink.
===========
“You just want to leave it as your contributions, never acknowledging that there are many of us who willingly donate without encouragement of religion. Sheerly out of human charity.”

I have NEVER said that. We Christians should be better people, but I’m afraid that in many cases reality rules that out.

I've learned that we aren’t necessarily better people than any given atheist, we’re just better people than we were before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily more intelligent than an atheist, we just have more wisdom and insight than we did before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily less hypocritical than an atheist, we’re just less hypocritical than we were before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily less bigoted than an atheist, we’re just less bigoted than we were before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily less of a liar than an atheist, we just lie less than we did before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily less intolerant than an atheist, we’re just less intolerant than we were before we met Jesus.

In my own particular case, I’m not necessarily less angry than an atheist, I’m just less angry than I used to be before I met Jesus.
==================

“what Christianity should be and what it is are two totally different things.”

Truer words were never spoken, but that’s not Jesus’ fault.
================
“Money being the hotspot.”

Well, Christians fall short in every possible manner, but sure, money is one of them.

Gandolf said...

Hi Mak thats massive doing what you and your wife do and i realize lots of people do this.People who do these things are the real heros in life.Both faithful and nonfaithful do these wonderful things,statistics means there is still "higher numbers" of "god believers" so naturally that reflects on the numbers but thats only connected to stats of number nothing to do with who`s better or worse.

This is a very very Special case with these five children at Maks place,of course.But still maybe quite often the biggest "answer" for lots of these problems actually lays more in the root!,not in trying to later patch up the fruit like we tend to.

When mostly concentrating on simply patching the fruit,it becomes a never ending battle! as more and more fruit that also need patching keep multiplying.

The only chance we will ever have to ever even think of starting to get on top of some of these problems,is to work more on fixing the root base problem of whats the cause,its more final!.Its much better than only ever being another and another and another patch up job.

Mak you say.."that this divide in human relationships is unique to religion. Our sinful nature is always prompting us to see what’s wrong in the world and then causing us to blame those problems on what we think "

Mak no!, im not at all arguing it is "unique" to religion,i would really need to be totally stupid to try and argue that Mak.Atheist now are amongst these bad fruit that need patching up,they too are a product of the tyranny!, this unrestrained exercise of power using freedom of religious god belief clauses in law that has allowed such abuse of humanity to take place.

My arguement is more that religion and god belief systems of ancient god/s is at the very ('root") of some of these problems we see.The different God and deity beliefs have always been at the "root" of the problem thats so often split and divided us humans and made us war and hate and even kill for as far back as even our history books can even remember.We have always split and divided most every time too.Faith beliefs have often been the mother of all bigotry and division.

We can deny and deny it.But if its the truth thats being denied then things will only ever get worse.And it has been getting worse.

But many more folks are now starting to recognize it.Specially the young people!.But its becoming plain to see.The kids see all the hate,and what direction where its most often coming from.

Its stupid to think beliefs that divide folk,wont some day leave a split and divided nation that has orphans prostitutes theifs,rapists,murders.etc,etc,etc

Why?..well.. why would we be expecting to have bred a loving caring type of human?...when beliefs have been teaching them for years and years to separate and divide and even despise from each other and not care.

Not a good recipe.

Gandolf said...

The Feenologist inteligantus say..." Gandopolis

No sir, it's you that can't separate Jesus and religion. You and Jesus actually have a lot in common, He wasn't in to religion either"

What??.. What??... feenologist my homie friend ..... Do you realize, (i have) actually separated Jesus so much from any "religion" or "god belief" of mine,that i havent even been visiting more than one or two churches for over 32years now!.How much more can one separate from religion and a god belief?.

Your answer argument seems to be to try to just simply toss the problem back on people like me.Thats crap..You have supplied no reason,just asserted quote.."it's you that can't"

This problem goes far deeper than just being something to do with a "few people" like me.And i think its rather dishonest to even suggest just such a thing,specially if its no real fact.


Not that im under any delusions that faithful folk dont often make unfair judgements,hell church folk in my life taught me very well what to expect about the widespread unfairness of faith judgements.

Still cant see how people can try to argue/assert this only the problem of a few non believers not separating jesus from the religious god belief.What a joke.

My homie feenonlogist friend,your argument is like: ciggy smokers all dieing of lung cancer, arguing its no problem of the smoking.Its the non smokers who just forget to separate the nicotine from the smoke.

Only the real ostrich type smoker likely argue, that these days cuz

Its the religious for sure who connect the two together JESUS-GOD-BELIEF and many then use it to divide with bigotry and nastiness and confusion which even causes war mongers to be voted into power.Jesus IS connected to the nasty devisive god "depicted" in the bible like glue sticks to a blanket,which simply is why folks of faith have ALWAYS devided over it.That why we even have so many differing churches!,simply because of the diviseness of god beliefs!


Why even bother saying such a thing that it the fault of non believers?...Hoping somehow heaps of folks just havent seen the god devisions?..Its a meme of hope?


The image the feenologist used to judge and convict me, saying it just my problem of not separating jesus from the god belief.Doesnt (account) for whats happening everywhere over the (whole wider picture).Its a false argument.

It doesnt account for the many familys split and divided over the many many years (by god beliefs) which then breed out into society as a split and divided our people and societys and countrys.It doesnt account for nasty wars fought by people fully thinking "their" god is the "one" and "only god" and he is right there "with them" fighting "with them" "against" a enemy who only has a (idol god) boooo!!.It doesnt accout for the ONGOING cost of many many of these things at all.

The feenologists of life will naturally always rather try to keep blaming us FEW non believers for these problems of theirs!,because thats what faith has always done!!.

They mean well and sure mean to be honest when they say they love us etc,but they been indoctrinated to learn to love their belief more and even let it blind their judgements.Its traditional.

Even the narrow judgments flicked about often with little deep thought used,are just traditional things these folks do.You become so used to thinking folks who dont believe are always "gotta be bad",it soon become easy to simply suggest they "are" all the time.Use it for a excuse,cracker trick everytime!.Answer for everything.

Even though the problem is so obvious far more widespread,the faithful think ...hey! maybe we can just keep saying its all cause of the non believers...Tweedle dee dee ..ho hum ! ..Weeeeeeee meme`s are great!.... :)

Lucky ive had lots and lots of experience with what lovely folks of faith are often like, and know about what they likely think and what they call whats loving etc.

So it dont ever surprise me much.Ahhhh dear...it lucky i love comedy too

Gandy.

Gandolf said...

tinkbell13 said... "I am an owner of a Jack Russell Terrier, and they say that we choose pets similar to our own temperaments."

Hi Tinkbell they are great little dogs with a huge heart that mostly are fitter than a fiddle,and far more braver than many other bigger dogs are.

You said."The reason that I pursued this line of argument with you is to illuminate you to your use of blanket generalizations- Atheists this, atheists that."

I understand what you are saying here Tinkbell.It has just traditionally been thought lack of a god belief = lack of being good and moral .. Its just indoctrination and propaganda though.

Oh and that link you gave about the prosperity-gospel was interesting thanks...There is little doubt the many god/s have always motivated people,they have been the father ever present with the follower when in war doing battle killing people.They were those who hated others,and as with Moses allowed the seas to roll back in and drown the ENEMY .If the follower believe "the" god was on his side,he could not be wrong.And making money is no different,the followers god/s want him/her to make money even if it means they gotta fleece that money off others.Even if it mean they need to be businessmen so they can learn how to dodge tax or take in cash payment or something.Gods bent to the morals of people,because people always only ever made them god/s up in the first place anyway

Gandy

Makarios said...

Atheist 1- I don’t like the term atheist so much. It’s become too negative. That’s why I belong to the Humanist society.

A2 - Oh, to me, humanist is too old. The word smells like a basement in an old building. I prefer to call myself a Scientific Materialist.

A3 - I don’t find anything wrong with humanist, except that I think even spiritual people could be humanists. That’s why I make it clear that I’m a Secular Humanist.

A4 - Bah humbug! Call me a good old Sceptic. That’s what I am.

A5 - Well, I think the third atheist is the most correct. But it’s a little too general to just say that I’m a spiritual person. The fact is, while I am an atheist, I’m specifically a Buddhist. Last fall I even had Buddha rays come out my nose on three consecutive days.

A6 - All of you clowns are a bunch of cowards. We’re all atheists and our biggest enemy is religion. If we don’t show the world a unified front of Anti-Theists like me, then how are we ever supposed to nail down definitions for important things like whether we’re people who deny that god exists, or people who are non believers in god? This is crucial to our cause folks. Somebody get me a drink.

A7 - Yes, there’s truth in what all of you are saying. Well, I’m not saying that truth actually exists. It’s just that none of those other atheist denominations really express what’s most important to me and that’s that I and people like me are Free Thinkers. If that’s not the part of us that we define clearly for seekers, then people will just think that we are atheists because our parents were atheists. And even though my parents were atheists, denying god’s existence is my own idea. No really! It is! That’s why it’s important to me to show exactly who I am, a free thinker.

A8 - You see, that’s what I can’t stand about those of us who are atheists. I don’t believe in Creator God, as the Christians do. But I can’t rule out the mysterious either. That’s why I’m a Pantheist. And don’t even start with me about how pantheism goes against all that we know scientifically, at least regarding origins. So does all the rest of our atheist dogma. I like to take a little bit from the free thinkers and that means that I’m free to believe what I want about the universe and damn the scientific evidence. As long as I deny that God exists I can come up with anything else that I want to believe in. Give me back my teddy-bear.

A9 - I’d like to know from the second atheist what’s wrong with old. We Marxists had it right way back when. And I say that if something was true then, it’s still true now. That doesn’t count for religious truth, of course, but it sure is correct for Marxist truth.

A10 - I’m sure all you people mean well, but most of you have taken what seems to me to be positions that are too confrontational. The group that I belong to simply identifies ourselves as Non Theists. We aren’t anything regarding religion or God. We’re just, you know, not theists.

This of course hasn't even entered into the accomodationists and New Atheists and Old Atheists. It is just blind, blind, blind to think that it is religion and not human nature that leads to divisions.

Gandolf said...

mak said.."It is just blind, blind, blind to think that it is religion and not human nature that leads to divisions."

Mak in my opinion you still misjudge matters just a little.Your analogy isnt so honestly comparable.

Take humanist for instance.We have humanists,we dont have that many different types of humanist.They dont split and divide from each other.They dont even often shun or not socialize with each other.They dont even often shun or separate from people who are not humanists either.

When we start actually having baptist humanist ,catholic humanist,methodist humanist,Open brethen humanist,closed brethren humanist,pentecostal humanist,Jehovah witness humanist,johnstown suicidalist humanist,Assemblies of Yahweh humanist,Church of the Universal and Triumphant humanist,Church of the Living Word Fellowship humanist ,Children of God humanist,Christadelphians humanist ,Missionary Church of the Disciples of Jesus Christ humanist, New Covenant Church of God humanist,Kingdom of Heaven humanist,Destiny church humanist,salvation army humanist,orthadox humanist.

To only mention just a very very few of them! ..This doesnt even scratch the surface of just how very very many separate little god belief groups there is.

Mak there is literally (hundreds and thousands) of all these groups and little splinter groups that often have their little separatist beliefs they adhere to!.Just only within christianity!.

And often all specially go out of their way! to specially not to mix in so well with certain other people with one thing or the other.For one special reason or this or that or some other special religious reason!.Some translation,new light!.They even do it amongst themselves,and even familys feud over translations,or what supposedlys evil or hellbound etc.Even your beloved Jesus tells you in the bible that it will be so Mak.Yet you still try and tell me it isnt so.


If this wasnt so!,then there would never be no reason to split and devide quite the way that they DO .There would be NO need for all the pitiful childish separate (religious names ) that they all seem to need to have to call their many different chuches and god belief groups etc.

Personally i still dont see how your analogy is such a very fair reasonable and honest comparison.It suggests some people always have little differences,it doesnt prove them needing to divide shun and separate over them.

Where as Christianity quite often finds a need to devide!,and if it was not true we wouldnt have all the special christian groups that we do have.

Mak ..We do sadly have HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of christian groups!.We even have hundreds of even newer ones! (forming each and every year).

We dont have hundreds and thousands of humanist groups.They dont often sub devide that often either.

If you thought up all the different people of non belief.Like humanists ,Atheists,New Atheist,Anti-Theists ,agnostic,Marxists,Pantheist,Free thinker,Sceptic and who ever else.

You would still not have anything that comes even slightly close to matching all the devisions within the christian and god faiths of this earth....Not any where near it!

tinkbell13 said...

Well, I think that if you do not want to have a confrontational discussion, then you need to be more clear about your position. Blanket generalizations, static evaluations, and the use of stereotypes causes confrontation. Period.