Can You Be Rich and Be a Christian?

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Waterfall

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It's time to notice that we live in a world run by the wealthy to benefit the wealthy. That's been true for thousands of years. While the U.S. now has millions serving in the deepest poverty, the American wealthy are still making huge profits. Hitoricallly, the same has been true in the past for Britain, France, Belgium...
This goes back to the early days of trival chiefs, then of Kings and emperors, And now of the super wealthy. That's why so much of humanity has suffered dreadful poverty. And the appearance of Christianity has not many any dent in that.
The only function of most of us has been to work on the cheap, nd to die in the wars that benefit only the very rich. (yes. that includes W1, 2, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guatemala and all the ones we heard little about. When Americans return from each slaughter, they are cheered in the streets and by the political leaders.
I don't think Jesus would be in the cheering crowd.
We are now preparing for what could be the final war. And the only people it will benefit are the super rich - if they are among the few survivors.
Christianity has not made the slightest dent in that. (World War 2 often featured Christians on both sides.)

Animals don't slaughter on anything close to the scale we do. It's a human characteristic.

As I write this, millions of Americans are being turned onto the streets and poverty. The wealthy? They run the U.S. - and one reason so many Americans, including children, are dying of hunger is because the rich are so very well fed.

As it is, the whole U.S. (and much of Canada) is a denial of Christianity. That particularly includes evangelicals who think that all Christianity is about is getting them into heaven while all others go to hell. Seeing that, we should remember that they are major forces creating hell on earth.
Graeme, I personally think we should be careful when we condemn the wealthy. Afterall Jesus did rely on the rich to support his ministry at times. If we ourselves are born into poverty, do we hope the same for our children or even ourselves to remain so? Sure excess of wealth ,begs us to ask the question, how much is too much? But we have been told, it's not how much we have but whether we love money above all else. Charity is essential for those who are blessed(cursed?) with such a responsibility.
We should call out the atrocities created from wealth and greed but we should also acknowledge it's not true in all cases.
 
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I think Jesus wanted them to give up their money and follow him. It was a test or challenge to the rich man to see where their loyalties were. He wanted them to be loyal to the cause, which was him and what he stood for - to follow a modest and gracious path into a better new world (which involves serving the poor - if one is extremely rich, the poor serve them. The rich would be nowhere without people to climb past, exploit for their own benefit, and to build their empires up.) He wanted a different kind of world for humanity, which is and has always been around the corner as we've evolved - and I don't think we need to take every story literally to see what he was conveying.
 
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Luce NDs

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Graeme, I personally think we should be careful when we condemn the wealthy. Afterall Jesus did rely on the rich to support his ministry at times. If we ourselves are born into poverty, do we hope the same for our children or even ourselves to remain so? Sure excess of wealth ,begs us to ask the question, how much is too much? But we have been told, it's not how much we have but whether we love money above all else. Charity is essential for those who are blessed(cursed?) with such a responsibility.
We should call out the atrocities created from wealth and greed but we should also acknowledge it's not true in all cases.
The wealthy should be forgiven for they too do not know by large laws that state knowing is bad ... knowing will bother and cause worry ... thus burros and satyr's where one can stick their heads and cackle ... my R's you say?

Blind holes ...
 

Waterfall

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I think Jesus wanted them to give up their money and follow him. It was a test or challenge to the rich man to see where their loyalties were. He wanted them to be loyal to the cause, which was him and what he stood for - to follow a modest and gracious path into a better new world (which involves serving the poor - if one is extremely rich, the poor serve them. The rich would be nowhere without people to climb past, exploit for their own benefit, and to build their empires up.) He wanted a different kind of world for humanity, which is and has always been around the corner as we've evolved - and I don't think we need to take every story literally to see what he was conveying.
The Poverty Gospel (where you believe you will earn Gods favour by being/becoming poor and give up all things) is just as wrong as the Prosperity Gospel. You can be rich and still follow God/Jesus as it is written in scripture.
 

Mendalla

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You can be rich and still follow God/Jesus as it is written in scripture.
At the same time, rich people do seem to be much less inclined to sacrifice or give up things. They seem to always find ways of following their chosen path that doesn't involve giving away/up their lavish lifestyles. And that's where I see the problem with wealth. All too often, it gets used to either generate more wealth without adding anything to society or the economy (eg. corporate raiders who do nothing but tear down companies to make money off the assets or investors who short sell, trying to make money when the markets fail rather than succeed) or feed a socially and environmentally unfriendly lifestyle (jet-setting, lavish housing and parties, etc.). And I think that's what Jesus had in mind. It wasn't wealth itself that made it difficult to get into the kingdom, but the attitude towards that wealth. Telling them to give up their wealth is really about detaching from it, making it just a thing rather than central to their identity and lifestyle.
 

Waterfall

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At the same time, rich people do seem to be much less inclined to sacrifice or give up things. They seem to always find ways of following their chosen path that doesn't involve giving away/up their lavish lifestyles. And that's where I see the problem with wealth. All too often, it gets used to either generate more wealth without adding anything to society or the economy (eg. corporate raiders who do nothing but tear down companies to make money off the assets or investors who short sell, trying to make money when the markets fail rather than succeed) or feed a socially and environmentally unfriendly lifestyle (jet-setting, lavish housing and parties, etc.). And I think that's what Jesus had in mind. It wasn't wealth itself that made it difficult to get into the kingdom, but the attitude towards that wealth. Telling them to give up their wealth is really about detaching from it, making it just a thing rather than central to their identity and lifestyle.
I wouldn't be so fast to condemn all or even most "rich people" because Jesus doesn't.
 

Mendalla

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I wouldn't be so fast to condemn all or even most "rich people" because Jesus doesn't.
And, really, if you read carefully, I never said that. I suggested that wealth comes with spiritual issues, not that all rich people have them. My ultimately employer is a very well-heeled London family who are also a very down-to-Earth, caring family so I know that wealth =/= a**holes. However, I think that wealthy a**holes can do more damage to both themselves and society than poor ones and that wealth and, perhaps more pointedly, the attitude that wealth makes one "special" does tend to generate a certain kind of asshattery that poverty does not. An expectation that one will get ones way simply by spending, or even just showing, enough of that wealth being a big part of that. Elon Musk has been illustrating this in spades of late and the whole existence of the Kardashian/Jenner clan fits in there, too.
 

Mendalla

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Can we move this and other related posts to another thread?....I don't know about you but I'm finding this topic fascinating. I will post a thread in religion and respond to you there.
Yeah, we are kind of moving off of WE, aren't we?
 

Waterfall

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Is it possible to be rich or even extremely rich to be a Christian?
I think we've all heard it's not money that's evil but the love of money above all else including God, but how do you decide whether someones wealth is being used the right way according to scripture?
Are the poor closer to God than the rich IYO?
 

Luce NDs

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Poor people distribute beta ... and rich folk do avoid dis position ... if you prize position ... you may be a polar bureaucrat!

In commissioning protocol if bureaucrats same monis they get it (commissions) even if it doesn;t make common sense!

Thus wandering common wealth that popped up on Aus/OZ ... primarily ironic? It is railroaded out to the north ...

Could it cause demagnetizing of the southern regions just for a wrinkle?
 

Waterfall

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Paul tells us that he had learned to be content whether poor or living in prosperity and states he can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
 

Luce NDs

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Imagine the worry of a rich man over the choice of knowledge or a worried wealth! It is almost biblical if you took it as literal ...
 

Luce NDs

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Paul tells us that he had learned to be content whether poor or living in prosperity and states he can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
One has to get this through the impossible ... said to be a sol that is not there ... only incarnate ... or perhaps apparent vision!
 

Mendalla

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The Poverty Gospel (where you believe you will earn Gods favour by being/becoming poor and give up all things) is just as wrong as the Prosperity Gospel. You can be rich and still follow God/Jesus as it is written in scripture.
I think this post actually says a lot. Both wealth and poverty can become barriers to following Jesus. How? If we make them a benchmark for how we treat/judge other people and/or we use those a bases for puffing ourselves up and drawing attention to ourselves, then we are definitely not following Jesus (or Buddha, or any number of other spiritual teachers). Wealth or lack thereof (and poverty is really the absence of wealth) is something we need to detach from, to not make central to our identity or (especially) our spirituality.
 

Waterfall

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And, really, if you read carefully, I never said that. I suggested that wealth comes with spiritual issues, not that all rich people have them. My ultimately employer is a very well-heeled London family who are also a very down-to-Earth, caring family so I know that wealth =/= a**holes. However, I think that wealthy a**holes can do more damage to both themselves and society than poor ones and that wealth and, perhaps more pointedly, the attitude that wealth makes one "special" does tend to generate a certain kind of asshattery that poverty does not. An expectation that one will get ones way simply by spending, or even just showing, enough of that wealth being a big part of that. Elon Musk has been illustrating this in spades of late and the whole existence of the Kardashian/Jenner clan fits in there, too.
And there in lies the dilemma, what are the signs that could point to someone who is well off doing it right? I'd like to add that part of the reason that prompted me to respond on the WE thread was that Justin seems to be taking a hit not only for his mistakes but also a slighted condemnation for his wealth.
 

Waterfall

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I think this post actually says a lot. Both wealth and poverty can become barriers to following Jesus. How? If we make them a benchmark for how we treat/judge other people and/or we use those a bases for puffing ourselves up and drawing attention to ourselves, then we are definitely not following Jesus (or Buddha, or any number of other spiritual teachers). Wealth or lack thereof (and poverty is really the absence of wealth) is something we need to detach from, to not make central to our identity or (especially) our spirituality.
Yes and thank you for pointing out how this could apply to other faiths.
 

Luce NDs

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Yet, the poor seems to look up for easing ... far more than the people of hubris! Thus the stuff falls ... Neigh MS? Te lady of the shadow ... as in John Lewis funeral ... It Must Be Cold There in My Shadow! Imagine he black pools ... and the stillness!
 

Mendalla

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And there in lies the dilemma, what are the signs that could point to someone who is well off doing it right? I'd like to add that part of the reason that prompted me to respond on the WE thread was that Justin seems to be taking a hit not only for his mistakes but also a slighted condemnation for his wealth.
The problem with Justin and wealth is that we've never really seen any sign of him doing anything socially useful with it. We see a guy who could easily have done a lot of things with his life but has kind of slouched along from degree to degree and job to job and somehow convinced a party and nation that made him eligible to lead. He would not be able to live like that, or probably be PM, without that inherited wealth. Where are the lavish charitable donations? Where is the foundation supporting important work like eliminating malaria or supporting educational causes or whatever? Where has he ever worked to earn that wealth or show leadership?

All he has ever shown us is a playboy millionaire turned political leader. Frankly, Morneau should be living in Rideau Cottage, not Justin. He has inherited wealth, too, but he also worked for his family's businesses and built experience as a leader in the business world. But he lacks the charisma to be a 21st century leader and that, plus having money to throw around, seems to be more important than actual competence or experience as a leader.

Back on topic (this post feels like it should over in the WE thread but whatever), the problem is not, then, Justin's wealth. Bill Morneau is likely richer but would probably make a better PM. And I am sure that Chrystia Freeland, who really should be leading that party, isn't exactly living on Skid Row. Wealth should not invalidate one as a leader anymore than it should invalidate one as a Christian. But it should not be what makes one a leader, either. Showing leadership and competence should make one a leader and I'm not seeing that here.

In the Christian context, think back to the days when a rich person could make big donations to the church and get a special pew and name on a plaque and stuff (maybe it still happens). They probably even had a say in choosing the minister whether they were on the board and/or search committee or not. Were those rich members better Christians for throwing that wealth at the church? Or was it just another way of showing off their wealth? Why not make those donations quietly and sit further back, which is more in keeping with what Jesus taught about giving?
 

Luce NDs

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Rich people ... set upon pedestals for icons of pedestrian observation ... pedia Tricks! Pedantry ... or stuff hanging in the altar tree ... knowledgeable and denied ... at least by those to busy with wealth to give it a second of reconsideration.

After that it gets conflicted and complex ... denied by the simply fixed ... Din Aries? Extreme light can be dissonant to those living there ... as Eris! Up chi gomes ... Gomorrah? Close to gonads ... a big one in the sculling ... sculleries?
 

Waterfall

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The tenth commandment tells us not to covet which would include not showing animosity or jealously even towards those with great wealth.....could they have been entrusted with this by God to do good?

And on the other end of the spectrum would we criticize a poor person for cursing God about his poverty and thinking Jesus' teachings are bulls**t?
 
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