He certainly affected the government and ultimately many subsequent governments for millennia... even today. But his 'task' was not to teach us how to run governments, but how to live as God's people.
Matt wrote:Have you ever worked with the poor?
I do work with the poor and that is exactly what they think.
Why do you think low-income Americans will often forsake essentials like health care in order to drive a nice car? Why do people often get their utilities shut off or get evicted from their homes while they are wearing designer clothes and sneakers? Because when they buy these things, they forget for a short time the shame of being poor.
Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
ScottBarger wrote:As soon as we take the conversation to the area of government and society we are talking about force. This is what government is, power. Government has nothing but power. Anything it gives away it has first taken by force. How many people write checks to the US Treasury voluntarily? So, I will not drop the whole "force thing" since the use of power is at the very heart of this discussion. For me the fundamental question is whether or not it is moral to force people to do the right thing.
Again here you are mistaken in your synopsis of my position. I am totally willing to help people around me, because I choose to. I choose to practice the teachings of Jesus. I would rather not help people because someone else MAKES me help them. Also, you are conflating the ideas of fools and "least of these" and most likely the ideas of "love" and "enabling." I do not think it is good to protect people from every consequence of their behavior. Do you? Jesus certainly did not.
Again you are misrepresenting biblical teaching and misapplying the idea of individualism and how it relates to charity. Jesus' teachings about cloaks and miles and cheeks were about how you should CHOOSE to respond to those who take advantage of you. This is not a teaching of how we should FORCE others to respond when people take advantage of them. Are you purposely being obtuse, or can you really not see the distinction? If someone takes advantage of me and I choose to respond with generosity I am practicing the virtues of grace, charity, and forgiveness. If someone takes advantage of me and someone else forces me to respond by giving even more to the one who takes advantage of me I am not practicing any virtue at all. I am being treated as a slave.
Keep The Reason wrote:Your "mandate" as a Christian is to do Christian things. Well, tell us Scott-- what is "a Christian thing"? If all people would do the "Christian thing" -- we wouldn't need government at all, would we? So there's no muddling of "mandates" here by me. Jesus is outlining a Utopian vision and he is specifically saying "If you want such, here's how to do it". Not "you HAVE" to do it-- but how it could be so if only you'd do it.
I am not sure I understand you here. Please restate?
False. Or should I ask, is it necessarily loving my neighbor to be forced to give them money? Or health care? Let me ask you this, should all members of society be forced to pay so that others do not ever have to pay the consequences of their bad decisions? I don't think so, and I don't think it's loving for us to do so. In my opinion, Christian love is defined as a self-sacrificial concerned for the well being of others. In some cases, this concern should motivate me to give a homeless person shelter. In other cases this concern should motivate me to let them stay homeless. In either case it is a virtue if I choose to do it, it is not if it is forced on me.
Yes, I believe he would. Like I said in the podcast, Jesus was concerned about the hearts of people as well as their actions. He would want us to do the right thing for the right reason. He would want us to become the kinds of people who choose to love our neighbors. Nowhere does he advocate a no-holds-barred charity towards all people regardless of what they've done. To the contrary, he often spoke of steep consequences. Furthermore, Paul applied restraining guidelines to the charity of the church because he wisely saw that some charity enables sinful behavior.
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Again, I think it comes down to force. For those who are followers of Jesus, yes we have a mandate from God to behave a certain way. But I certainly do not want to legislate all of this behavior. I do not want to impose a Christian version of Sharia on the rest of society.
Not really, because in most cases the government has power that you and I do not have.
I simply do not accept that I must be willing to legislate my convictions on the rest of society in order for me to honestly hold those convictions.
Keep The Reason wrote:The NT does say specific things aobut poverty, the poor, and how we are to treat them. This treatment of them translates into real-time behaviors, and real time behaviors translates into social models -- which is the engine which drives politics and government.
Really? You've never had anyone solicit donations to help someone else in need? Where's the United Way or the Red Cross down your way? Take a look at this: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/give/gik-oppshumanguy wrote:I've never heard anyone say that they view poverty as being any kind of an opportunity.
There's no reason why they should be grateful for that.That doesn't make it untrue though.I'm sure that the poor and suffering in this country are extremely grateful to you for acknowledging their significant contribution to society.
Matt wrote:Keep The Reason wrote:The NT does say specific things aobut poverty, the poor, and how we are to treat them. This treatment of them translates into real-time behaviors, and real time behaviors translates into social models -- which is the engine which drives politics and government.
I am not sure you understand my argument. For one thing, I am not arguing along the same lines as Scott.
Scott and I both recognize that Jesus called his followers to help the poor. That is not in dispute. Scott objects to people being compelled to help the poor. I don't have a problem with the government compelling people to do things.
My objection is that there are plenty of ways to help the poor, and government is not the best way. Emery notes in the podcast that the government can't discriminate in its helping the poor. It is for this very reason that it fails. The government does not treat the poor as capable human beings who possess the power to succeed, but rather as problems. In giving the poor unconditional handouts, it shames them.
I think Christians have a duty to help the poor. You argue that it is this individual duty that drive's society's duty, but I would counter that government is not the only social model. There are also families, churches, NGOs, neighborhoods, mosques, clubs, etc. The libertarian Christian argues that the duty to help the poor occurs at these levels, and not at the government level.
If you notice, that's exactly what I said. Of course we can't divorce our beliefs from our political influence, even when charged specifically with determining public policy.Keep The Reason wrote:This attempt by Christians to place a bubble of disconnection between their beliefs and political impact is disingenuous.
No I don't. I think Jesus' philosophy is better for me… not for you. I would feel a lot better if you just ignored what he said and didn't try to apply it to your life. But there's no reason I can see that a lesson on "how to be a better Christian," is directly applicable to "how to run a better government."On the one hand, you claim JC's philosophy is a superior one and the world would be better for adopting it, and on the other hand, it's somehow not applicable to every day living and social models?
You're right. It's about how we live here on Earth that matters. The false assumption would be that it applies to all people, all the time, and it simply does not.What does it mean "to live as god's people"? Where? In heaven, after you've died? What's the point of Jesus telling you any of these things if not to have practical applications here on earth while alive?
I don't know why you think that. Even looking at the US government, it's easy to see that what is good for one state is not necessarily good for all.This idea that you are supposed to live and operate a certain way -- but that is not somehow a socio-political model -- is literally absurd.
Yes, exactly right.It's not a notion that Jesus says anything about. Jesus talks about lots of chairty towards them, but nothing about remvoing their poverty. He extols rich people to adopt poverty in fact.
I'm all for it. It would be great to live in such a reality. But I wouldn't be a better person for it. I would not know the true meaning of love, sacrifice or thanksgiving.How about no poor and suffering and we still do good things for one another?
Keep The Reason wrote:Government that is not tyrannical only has the "force" granted to it by the people. You live in a country where the government is for, by, and of the PEOPLE.
Keep The Reason wrote:We all live in this society with an implicit agreement to adhere to certain rules and regulations. This I am not FORCED to do. I would not drive maniacally at 120 MPH not because I might get a ticket, but because I don't want to die in a fiery crash.
Keep The Reason wrote:You are conflating this into "force" because you don't get what government actually is. If you were a chimpanzee in a pod of chimps, you'd adhere to rules as well-- all gregarious social animals do this. They do it because it's a natural instinct to compete and cooperate. They aren't being "forced". Humans happen to have codified this tendency, and made it complex, but governance is not "force" unless you live in a totalitarian social construct (which you don't).
Keep The Reason wrote:And the irony here is that your GOD is the one telling you to be charitable-- and indeed ties it directly to eternal rewards -- and that you don't consider force! Even if it's implicit force (via an unspoken threat), it'd still a stick instead of a carrot. But that you don't see as force.
Keep The Reason wrote:You are certainly profiting over my higher taxes so your church can be tax free. Am I willing to pay it for religious freedom? Well, I'm not completely comfortable with it but I understand it. And the reason I'm not totally comfortable with it is because you religious exemption people were supposed to supply a shit load of Charity to the poor that most of you have defaulted on. That's why you got the exemptions-- to supply charity to the down and out, and to build hospitals and asylums and maintain them. Instead, most of you just pocket the cash and state things like, "I don't want to be FORCED to support the morons!"
Oh really? Then give up your tax-exemptions.
Keep The Reason wrote:Everything Jesus says in the NT about social structures (i.e., how we should treat one another) would, if followed by all people, result in a pretty decent world. As Emery points out, it's the sine qua non of Communism-- if everyone gives to everyone else all they have, then everyone winds up with an equal amount. your mandate, if you are a Christian -- is to do Christian things. Well, here's your Christ telling you what to do -- as an individual, and individuals make up governments. If you would DO what your Christ tells you to do -- rather than declaring how you DON'T want to do it for "morons" -- then Utopia would ensure. So why don't you just do it?
Keep The Reason wrote: Again with "force". You're being told by your god specifically what you need to do to create a heaven on Earth. No one is forcing you to do it.
Keep The Reason wrote: But just like you reap benefits from the government collecting taxes from me, then the less fortunate should reap benefits as well. You're getting all hot and bothered over me arguing that your Christ delineates a formula for a pretty good world-- and you're fighting it!
Keep The Reason wrote:Which is not surprising because your libertarianism is directly at odds with your Christianity. Because they contradict one another.
Keep The Reason wrote: He doesn't say, "This is sort of what I'd like you to CHOOSE to do" -- no, he says it directly, without qualification: "Do this!"
Keep The Reason wrote:And I submit that you have forgotten this as well. You see government as some Juggernaut entity that demands being fed; meanwhile, your entire life you have benefited from it in a myriad of ways.
yjoeyh wrote:humanguy wrote:I've never heard anyone say that they view poverty as being any kind of an opportunity.
Really? You've never had anyone solicit donations to help someone else in need? Where's the United Way or the Red Cross down your way? Take a look at this: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/give/gik-opps
yjoeyh wrote:humanguy wrote:I'm sure that the poor and suffering in this country are extremely grateful to you for acknowledging their significant contribution to society.
There's no reason why they should be grateful for that.
yjoeyh wrote:That doesn't make it untrue though.
I just gave you three examples of major organizations who say that.humanguy wrote:YES! Really! I've never heard anyone say that they view poverty as being any kind of an opportunity, not until you said it. "We need the poor to give us the opportunity to become better people," isn't that pretty much it? No, I've never heard anyone say that other than you.
The fact that the best qualities to be found in humanity is when people respond to people in dire need. That's not some intrinsic quality. It has to be learned by people getting their heads out of the clouds and seeing what the world is really like and becoming committed to making a difference.Doesn't make what untrue?
Emery wrote:Was Jesus a libertarian?
Emery wrote:Political views: you know you got 'em.
Emery wrote:Who's views are closest to Jesus in this podcast?
Emery wrote:Would Jesus have been for food stamps and Obamacare, or would he have left it to the private and corporate sectors to care for the poor?
yjoeyh wrote:I just gave you three examples of major organizations who say that.humanguy wrote:YES! Really! I've never heard anyone say that they view poverty as being any kind of an opportunity, not until you said it. "We need the poor to give us the opportunity to become better people," isn't that pretty much it? No, I've never heard anyone say that other than you.
ScottBarger wrote:alittler wrote:That aside, Christian Libertarianism? This is entirely contradictory. Christians should feel in their heart to help the poor, to solve healthcare problems? You guys have the money, your churches get out of paying taxes, you have your megachurches - if you really wanted to help anyone, you guys would.
It is not contradictory. Yes we ought to help the poor, but should we take from some individuals to help other individuals? Should we force people to help each other? Are people with resources less entitled to property than those without? Let's say you have a house, and Emery is homeless. Assuming I have sufficient power, is it right for me to FORCE you to share your house with Emery?alittler wrote:And taxes are stealing? What crap that is.
It depends on what your definition of theft is, doesn't it?
humanguy wrote:Look, are you understanding what this is about, what we're talking about here? It seems that whatever you say you come back later and try to make those words mean something else, either that or you just can't express in writing what it is you want to say.
Of course, but my point is the symbiosis between the two. We can't help people who don't need it.Can you understand the difference between helping the poor and needing the poor?
Yes. Do you disagree? If so, then how else can we possibly become as good as those people who choose to sacrifice their time, money, relationships, and lifelong dreams, to help people in desperate situations?That's what we're talking about here, based on what you said, that we need the poor to give us the opportunity to become better people. Do you believe that or not?
yjoeyh wrote:humanguy wrote:That's what we're talking about here, based on what you said, that we need the poor to give us the opportunity to become better people. Do you believe that or not?
Yes. Do you disagree? If so, then how else can we possibly become as good as those people who choose to sacrifice their time, money, relationships, and lifelong dreams, to help people in desperate situations?
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