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  • A wealthy man donates his money but a poor man can volunteer his time. I ran into a very nice male volunteer at the information desk at a large hospital the other day. A relative had a code blue situation and his wife said that there was a volunteer minister there at her side almost immediately. That is a positive ministry, by the way. I attended that manís funeral a few days later and heard him being eulogized for the service projects he was involved in with a Masonic group. That group raised money by doing weekly Bingo games and other projects. I know that a couple of years ago they sponsored a child from their area injured in a lawn mowing accident to the Masonic Hospital in St. Louis.

    There are lots of folks doing volunteer work with the DAR in the chapter I belong to. Some of our projects are making dignity shrouds for veterans who die at a local veteransí home, making up Christmas packages for the vets in that home, making up literacy and toy packets for children of military who pass through the USO and a few ladies just volunteer their service at the USO.

    I see others volunteering their time with local Senior groups and activities. Several of the retired nurses that I know volunteer at a local clinic that serves folks with little or no insurance and some work as volunteers at a hospital. Other ladies volunteer at schools in the area as reading aides and just helping kids with learning problems and others serve by making caps and blankets for kids in the childrensí hospitals in the area.

    I see more folks volunteering their time than I have ever witnessed the wealthy giving their money. But then I donít go to the charity parties and balls that take place in our county.
    Homo homini lupus

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    • Originally posted by Jannie View Post
      A wealthy man donates his money but a poor man can volunteer his time. I ran into a very nice male volunteer at the information desk at a large hospital the other day. A relative had a code blue situation and his wife said that there was a volunteer minister there at her side almost immediately. That is a positive ministry, by the way. I attended that manís funeral a few days later and heard him being eulogized for the service projects he was involved in with a Masonic group. That group raised money by doing weekly Bingo games and other projects. I know that a couple of years ago they sponsored a child from their area injured in a lawn mowing accident to the Masonic Hospital in St. Louis.

      There are lots of folks doing volunteer work with the DAR in the chapter I belong to. Some of our projects are making dignity shrouds for veterans who die at a local veteransí home, making up Christmas packages for the vets in that home, making up literacy and toy packets for children of military who pass through the USO and a few ladies just volunteer their service at the USO.

      I see others volunteering their time with local Senior groups and activities. Several of the retired nurses that I know volunteer at a local clinic that serves folks with little or no insurance and some work as volunteers at a hospital. Other ladies volunteer at schools in the area as reading aides and just helping kids with learning problems and others serve by making caps and blankets for kids in the childrensí hospitals in the area.

      I see more folks volunteering their time than I have ever witnessed the wealthy giving their money. But then I donít go to the charity parties and balls that take place in our county.
      Part of it is also that, unless the gift is being broadcast (which isn't exactly the "humble" way of giving you talked about in a previous post), it is much easier to see when people are performing acts of service than when they are writing a check or making an online donation to something. I see lots of both kinds of charity. Sadly, such things are not popular to show as part of the public face of the church, in favor of the judgment and castigation that vocal parts of it choose to level at their choice group of sinners.

      As you say, people volunteering time and effort is a very powerful form of charity. Funny enough, there are some churches and communities where THIS is where they struggle charitably--people all too willing to write a check, but unwilling to "get their hands dirty" and help people in the ways that are most needed.

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      • Iím not a church goer, so I am not familiar with what our local churches do, but the charitable actions that I have seen done by community groups are things that we Seniors can do and have a good time doing. Most of us just quietly go about doing a good works project or two as we have time and energy for and donít advertise them. The Folks who do Charity Balls get their pictures in a local slick magazine about our county and they do some high falutiní fund raising for Doctors Without Borders or such highly touted organizations. We old folks mostly work at taking care of local needs.
        Homo homini lupus

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        • Originally posted by Jannie View Post
          Iím not a church goer, so I am not familiar with what our local churches do, but the charitable actions that I have seen done by community groups are things that we Seniors can do and have a good time doing. Most of us just quietly go about doing a good works project or two as we have time and energy for and donít advertise them. The Folks who do Charity Balls get their pictures in a local slick magazine about our county and they do some high falutiní fund raising for Doctors Without Borders or such highly touted organizations. We old folks mostly work at taking care of local needs in the main.
          I hear you, and blessings on you (church goer or not ) for being willing to share your time in such a way. You set an example that a great many people, Christian or no, could benefit from following.

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          • Originally posted by jdkeyes1 View Post
            Sorry DoD, but I think you're still missing the point of the entire passage by focusing on the one single statement. The disciples' subsequent reaction to that statement and Christ's response to them are key to understanding the teaching here. There is no reason for the disciples to respond with "then who can be saved?" if this is a verse solely condemning wealth, as the answer would be obvious. Same with verse 26...if all it takes is for Christians to sacrifice their wealth, then why do they have need for Christ/God...getting to heaven wouldn't be "impossible" at all.

            It should also be noted that there IS an implication, however, that those who sacrifice much will be correspondingly rewarded for it in the end times.
            But I don't think the passage says that sacrificing wealth is enough to get into heaven, only that even if you're otherwise a good Christian being wealthy will prevent you from getting into heaven in the same way being an adulterer would - just putting a halt to your cheating isn't enough to get into heaven, but happily continuing to be an adulterer will keep you outside the pearly gates.

            From that reading, wealth is only a barrier and not a path to salvation.

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            • Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
              But I don't think the passage says that sacrificing wealth is enough to get into heaven, only that even if you're otherwise a good Christian being wealthy will prevent you from getting into heaven in the same way being an adulterer would - just putting a halt to your cheating isn't enough to get into heaven, but happily continuing to be an adulterer will keep you outside the pearly gates.

              From that reading, wealth is only a barrier and not a path to salvation.
              There is always something that will prevent us from getting into heaven on our own, which is the point that Christ is making. Here's a man who seemingly has done everything right, followed all the commandments, and is rich--supposedly a sign of God's favor upon his life--and yet even he still possesses flaws that prevent him from getting to heaven. No matter how many rules we follow, how generous we are with what we have, how compassionate we are with our kindness, time, and love, we are still flawed in ways that make heaven impossible.

              In many ways, I see this as the story that is directed at the people who say "I don't really need God/Jesus, I think if you just live a good life--I'm a good person--you will end up in heaven." The point being made in Matt 19 is that none of us are ever good enough to do that without Christ's intervention. For some, even many, their wealth/material possessions/greed WILL be that hurdle that they simply can't overcome.

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              • Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
                Isn't that part of the question itself? God says you can't get into heaven if you're wealthy
                No he didn't. You're the only one who said that.

                Jesus said it was HARD for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He didn't say impossible. This verse you are overanalyzing was an off the cuff remark he made after talking with a "rich young ruler". During the course of the conversation the ruler asked what he must do to be saved. Jesus told him to keep the commands which he said he did. Jesus then said "well if you want to be perfect, sell everything, give to the poor, and follow me". The rich man was disappointed because he had a lot of stuff. That's when Jesus made his remark. In context he was referring to this man's reluctance to give up his wealth.

                Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
                - so what does that mean? Do the top 50% of the worlds wealthy get automatically denied? The 1%? Is it solely relative to your locale - so a millionaire in Nigeria is denied but a millionaire in Hollywood is fine?
                It doesn't mean anything. You've overanalyzing an off the cuff remark. As Christians we are commanded to be generous. Jesus said to a rich young ruler that if he wanted to be PERFECT (emphasis mine) he should sell of his possessions, donate to the poor, and become his disciple. These were a set of very specific instructions for a very specific person. Neither you nor I are rich young rulers and even if we were, we are not THAT rich young ruler.

                I am presently moved to minister to Indian Christians and to help their kids get an education. I am not moved to bankrupt myself in the process, but rather to operate a sustainable personal economy from which to share my wealth with them. As of this post Jesus has not called me on the big red phone and informed me to deviate from this present course. You have suggested that I should do so but unless you have five very convincing scars and are capable of turning my Culligan cooler into Chateaux Nazareth, your bona fides are not in order for me to regard your opinions as gospel.

                Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
                Since the statement is clear in meaning but ambiguous in numbers, should Christians not be afraid that they're breaking gods will and denying themselves a chance at heaven without being aware of it?
                Nope. Like I said, you're overanalyzing an off the cuff remark. The Bible makes it clear that God judges the heart and does not turn away those who honestly seek him. I believe myself commanded to be generous but I see no evidence of an established wealth line that I need to place myself under. Jesus said love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. I strive to do that and leave the rest to him.

                Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
                Who knows - maybe as long as you're "relatively" very wealthy you're going to end up in hell like me.
                Perhaps, but not in the same region. When last I checked you declared for Father Nurgle whereas I have always been more of a Khorne man.
                A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by jdkeyes1 View Post
                  There is always something that will prevent us from getting into heaven on our own, which is the point that Christ is making. Here's a man who seemingly has done everything right, followed all the commandments, and is rich--supposedly a sign of God's favor upon his life--and yet even he still possesses flaws that prevent him from getting to heaven. No matter how many rules we follow, how generous we are with what we have, how compassionate we are with our kindness, time, and love, we are still flawed in ways that make heaven impossible.

                  In many ways, I see this as the story that is directed at the people who say "I don't really need God/Jesus, I think if you just live a good life--I'm a good person--you will end up in heaven." The point being made in Matt 19 is that none of us are ever good enough to do that without Christ's intervention. For some, even many, their wealth/material possessions/greed WILL be that hurdle that they simply can't overcome.
                  Agreed.
                  A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                  Comment


                  • Back to the decline of religion in America:

                    http://www.theamericanconservative.c...-and-covenant/

                    The above article suggests that we as a society, especially the younger folks, are not concerned with our spiritual life but rather the political and social aspects. I am speculating that as the political parties have put such an emphasis on religious aspects of politics or vice versa that they have stolen a lot of the thunder of religion itself. They have lessened and cheapened the meaning of religion and religious belief.
                    Homo homini lupus

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                    • Originally posted by Jannie View Post
                      Back to the decline of religion in America:

                      http://www.theamericanconservative.c...-and-covenant/

                      The above article suggests that we as a society, especially the younger folks, are not concerned with our spiritual life but rather the political and social aspects. I am speculating that as the political parties have put such an emphasis on religious aspects of politics or vice versa that they have stolen a lot of the thunder of religion itself. They have lessened and cheapened the meaning of religion and religious belief.
                      Politics and religion have always found ways to become intertwined though. That said, we probably are at a phase where American Christianity has gotten too focused on trying to accomplish goals through political means, at the cost of other aspects of the faith.

                      I think it has more to do with the current environment of instant gratification, self-absorption, and "me first" attitudes that seem to be the norm for our society. The "church jumping" talked about in the article is often a symptom of someone who is looking at the church solely in terms of what they can take away from it, how it makes them feel, and how it benefits their spiritual life. Now these concerns aren't bad, per se, but when we wholly focus on our own spiritual development to the detriment of the larger "body of Christ" and a specific church community, we're partially missing the point. As easy as it may be to satisfy the requirement to "believe," living a religious life also requires quite a bit of commitment, discipline, and work, with a payoff that may not be immediately seen for a person, if there ever is. I don't think that's something that is very often compatible with our culture.

                      On the flip side, younger generations seem to perhaps have a greater heart for the social justice aspects of Christianity, which is an incredibly encouraging development. Now whether that truly comes from selfless motivations and will be evidenced by any persistent life/attitude changes and commitment to serve and benefit others still remains to be seen.

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