From an essay written by me twenty years ago:

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Waterfall

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Likely a bit of both.
Maybe instead of telling the rich person to sell all his worldly goods and feed the poor....it would have been more productive to tell the man to continue to use his talents but this time also feed the poor. Some people are just smarter or more inclined than others when it comes to handling money or creating jobs.
 

Mendalla

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There's a big difference between having enough money and being obscenely rich.
The problem is that no one seems to know where the line is. Socialists and social democrats usually set it unrealistically low, putting people as "obscenely rich" who really are not (to be clear, I think raging about the "1%" puts the bar too low for Canada and have long advocated worrying about .01% or somewhere thereabouts) and capitalists deny that "obscenely rich" is even a category. Someone with a fairly modest income who does a good job of saving gets branded as "obscenely rich" by some standards and that is highly unfair.

It is, I guess, an area where Jesus and I have to part company. I have no problem with wealth in and of itself. If someone has put out an innovative or creative product or has worked hard to make things happen, I won't begrudge them getting rich off of that.

I do have a problem with wealth that just exists to earn more wealth or that was "earned" without producing anything or helping anyone, just by shuffling money around (hedge fund traders, corporate raiders, companies that just go around buying and selling IP without generating any of their own, that sort of thing). So I think I would say "the attitude" to this question from @Waterfall:

Is it the amount of money or the attitude?

Money is not the problem. It is how we use it and earn it, the role we let it play in our lives. I have seen people who were poor in terms of the actual amount of money they had who let the desire for more money dominate their lives and I have seen rich people who cared not a fig for the money, only for what they could do with it. I would say the former are actually more controlled by wealth than the latter.

Money is a means of exchange and a tool for accomplishing things. When it becomes a thing in and of itself, when the goal of spending money is just to earn more money, that's where I think we are into a problem.
 

Mendalla

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Incidentally, and this may earn me some frowns on here, "power" is the same. There is always power in the world, and always will be. It is the ability to make things happen, pure and simple. It is what we use our power for, and how we share that power with others, that determines if power is a good or a bad thing. So having power is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. But how we use that power could be.
 

Mendalla

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So, back to George's OP.

The things which are affecting human being in nature with strong negative force today are the result of decisions made yesterday. The things which will come tomorrow will largely be the result of decisions made today. Would it not be wise to look closely at the principles which govern human being and submit our desire to them?

I 100% agree with this statement. The problem is that the decisions made today are at least somewhat constrained by those past decisions. We do not live in a present where all possibilities exist, no matter what the New Age gurus may tell you. The present is a product of the past and we cannot easily break out of the consequences, both good and ill, of that past without breaking things, and breaking thing usually goes badly. What we can do is be conscious of that past (yes, the whole learn from history thing) and how it constrains things and try to steer things in a new direction with our constrained decisions. We may not be able to pull a 180, or even 90, degree turn, but we could make a few 10 or 20 degree ones that will eventually add up (but, of course, we have to be careful or we may just pull a 360 and end up back where we started, something that happens all too often in history). But if we are not conscious of, and responsive to, the impact of the past on the present, we cannot hope to have a positive impact on the future. And, further, we cannot throw babies out with the bathwater. When we are trying to turn away from the negative decisions of the past, we need to look at whether something positive also came out of those decisions that could be lost.
 
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Waterfall

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The problem is that no one seems to know where the line is. Socialists and social democrats usually set it unrealistically low, putting people as "obscenely rich" who really are not (to be clear, I think raging about the "1%" puts the bar too low for Canada and have long advocated worrying about .01% or somewhere thereabouts) and capitalists deny that "obscenely rich" is even a category. Someone with a fairly modest income who does a good job of saving gets branded as "obscenely rich" by some standards and that is highly unfair.

It is, I guess, an area where Jesus and I have to part company. I have no problem with wealth in and of itself. If someone has put out an innovative or creative product or has worked hard to make things happen, I won't begrudge them getting rich off of that.

I do have a problem with wealth that just exists to earn more wealth or that was "earned" without producing anything or helping anyone, just by shuffling money around (hedge fund traders, corporate raiders, companies that just go around buying and selling IP without generating any of their own, that sort of thing). So I think I would say "the attitude" to this question from @Waterfall:



Money is not the problem. It is how we use it and earn it, the role we let it play in our lives. I have seen people who were poor in terms of the actual amount of money they had who let the desire for more money dominate their lives and I have seen rich people who cared not a fig for the money, only for what they could do with it. I would say the former are actually more controlled by wealth than the latter.

Money is a means of exchange and a tool for accomplishing things. When it becomes a thing in and of itself, when the goal of spending money is just to earn more money, that's where I think we are into a problem.
We cannot be "poor in spirit" and be effective.....a healthy spirit gives permission for anyone, rich or poor, to be effective IMO.
 

Luce NDs

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Imagine such an attribute of humility that would cause low*rd spirit to be drawn well ... thus the abstract thread and considerable weaving and warping in balance with the twill!

As Churchill was rumoured to say: "If there's a will there's a way ... and I wish to be there!" On an altered way ...
 

Waterfall

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We cannot be "poor in spirit" and be effective.....a healthy spirit gives permission for anyone, rich or poor, to be effective IMO.
I'm going to correct myself here......poor in spirit according to Jesus is much the same as being humble and those who are poor in spirit are promised the Kingdom of heaven.
I believe I was thinking poor in spirit meant lacking guidance from the Holy Spirit.
and maybe that's true if we don't learn to be humble when giving.
 
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Mendalla

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To have and employ money is good. To live for the acquisition of money, at the expense of the natural order, leads to social decay and collapse; which is now in view.
From now on, I will employ you to write my posts. That's exactly what I said but much more concisely and beautifully.(y)
 
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A rich fellow asked Jesus what he should do to be saved. Jesus suggested he sell all his worldly goods and feed the poor. This disappointed the rich man and he turned away from Jesus.

Truly I say to you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.
Is that what Jesus suggested? Not really!

And who was Jesus talking to? A rich man?
Or you and me?

Jesus told Judas to hurry up and betray him. Was that meant for Judas? Or you and me?

Again the story is not about money, it’s about Jesus.

This particular rich man first called Jesus good, and Jesus said why do you call me good? There is only one who is good.

This particular rich man then lied to Jesus, no, I’m good.

Then Jesus, points to the First commandment, You shall have no other gods before me. Because money was this particular rich man’s god.

This particular rich man could not part with his god (repent) and then the most important part of the story- and follow me (turn to the real God)

You need to forget about money, it is only barely relevant to the story. It didn’t have to be a rich man, it could have been a Baal worshipper or an unrepentant adulterer.

The main thing is repent and follow Jesus.

There are rich people who are not slaves to money.

Forget the sin, concentrate on the saviour.

 

GeoFee

I am who I am becoming...
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Thanks for the Pink Floyd clip. They were influential in my formative days. Along with other remarkable poetic persons.

My understanding, which is open to transformation, leads me to take it that there is a choice between the way of God and the way of Money. I have chosen the way of God and employ money in service to the coming reign of God.

That said, I am well aware that Money is the god of this world. Those who follow the way of Money are destined for a rude awakening. This includes the millionaire evangelicals who deceive multitudes in service to their temple economies.
 
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GeoFee

I am who I am becoming...
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And who was Jesus talking to? A rich man?
Or you and me?
Reading any text I listen to the voice of the Spirit. Jesus tells stories to permit insight. The story of the rich man, who was attached to his wealth, and so did not choose the way of Jesus, makes clear that material attachment prevents spiritual experience. This is confirmed by the teaching of the Buddha, a teacher I value more highly than the teachers of modernity. I have often wondered why persons gag on Buddhism and swallow Capitalism whole.

This in contrast to the teaching of doctrine and dogma. The bottom line for such teachers being that they alone are going to heaven. All others are going to hell.
 

GeoFee

I am who I am becoming...
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Is that what Jesus suggested? Not really!

And who was Jesus talking to? A rich man?
Or you and me?

Jesus told Judas to hurry up and betray him. Was that meant for Judas? Or you and me?

Again the story is not about money, it’s about Jesus.

This particular rich man first called Jesus good, and Jesus said why do you call me good? There is only one who is good.

This particular rich man then lied to Jesus, no, I’m good.

Then Jesus, points to the First commandment, You shall have no other gods before me. Because money was this particular rich man’s god.

This particular rich man could not part with his god (repent) and then the most important part of the story- and follow me (turn to the real God)

You need to forget about money, it is only barely relevant to the story. It didn’t have to be a rich man, it could have been a Baal worshipper or an unrepentant adulterer.

The main thing is repent and follow Jesus.

There are rich people who are not slaves to money.

Forget the sin, concentrate on the saviour.

A bit more Pink Floyd:

 

GeoFee

I am who I am becoming...
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One more Pink Floyd song. Quite a contrast between the man made world and the natural world.

 

GeoFee

I am who I am becoming...
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The main thing is repent and follow Jesus.
What does following Jesus suggest to you?

I take it to mean counting the cost and taking up the cross. This includes us in the mission of Jesus, which is clearly stated in Luke’s gospel. The Spirit anoints Jesus to a purpose. That purpose deeply rooted in the Hebrew prophets.
 
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