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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Kerygmania: Does the bible have anything to say about the poor? (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Kerygmania: Does the bible have anything to say about the poor?
Anglican_Brat
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# 12349

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Mudfrog,

What of the Incarnation, when God the Word entered into our world as a vulnerable poor baby?

You still haven't answered my question. Do you believe that God rules or owns all creation? I assume you do. If you do believe this, then how can you reconcile owning property?

Is God Lord of all, except regarding our bank accounts?

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

Posts: 4332 | From: Vancouver | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
grumpyoldman
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The debate has formed the basis of a philosophical quest for some time. A helpful insight is provided by Georgio Agamben in The Highest Poverty: Monastic Rules and Form-of-Life.
This is his 4th book (published in 2011) in his Homer Sacer series.
He makes a strong analysis of monastic rule, particularly the Franciscan rule.

Agamben draws out the distinction between life as appropriation and life as something for common use. The latter seems to be the way sought by Francis and is presented as the way in which people (christians and others) might live out the "highest poverty". (This is a poor summary of a very complex book!)

There are pockets of the Kingdom where human beings live out their lives, with or without a Rule, in ways which are about life as something which is used for our common good. There are small ways in which very many people can and do reflect that approach, even though it can be overshadowed by life as appropriation. This might apply to most of us struggling with this question.
Those who live life as appropriation cannot recognise the other way as life. Jesus's confrontational ministry was often when he came up against the appropriators. His affirmative ministry is generally seen when he deals with the marginalised and encounters life for common use.

So there is a higher poverty which transcends individualism, power seeking and appropriation to which followers of Christ (and Francis) can move as best they can. In the world but not of it. Not seeking to appropriate, whether goods, property, wealth, power, or experiences and Facebook friends, is a way of being for others; which is the way of Christ.

I recommend reading the book by Agamben because it has become apparent that this site is not really the place for complex theses but for a different kind of debate.

Incidentally, the focus on "church" is unhelpful, as is a focus on disciples. The church didn't exist in Jesus' time (ekklesia does not mean "church" in those texts) and barely existed in Matthew's time (and if it did we wouldn't recognise it). As for the disciples, they were confused, bumbling, self-seeking and ultimately obstructive lot who did not understand the thrust of Jesus' mission.

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The Gospel is the same for everybody. However, the poor hear it as a promise; the rich hear it as a threat.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Mudfrog,

What of the Incarnation, when God the Word entered into our world as a vulnerable poor baby?

You still haven't answered my question. Do you believe that God rules or owns all creation? I assume you do. If you do believe this, then how can you reconcile owning property?

Is God Lord of all, except regarding our bank accounts?

Indeed, Jesus did become 'poor' by becoming human in comparison to the glory of his heavenly glory; but that's not the poverty we're talking about.

And yes, of course the earth is the Lord's and everything in it. But that doesn't mean to say we cannot have possessions. What a ridiculous assertion.


[Roll Eyes]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 8237 | From: North Yorkshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Gildas:
So Jesus wasn't "voluntarily poor"?

No. What evidence do you have for this alleged 'voluntary poverty'?

Apart from 'the Son of Man having nowhere to lay his head' (basically he was out travelling the roads at the time), what example of voluntary poverty can you give? What form did it take?

He and 99% of his countrymen were poor anyway!

It's mentioned on a number of occasions in Karl Marx's "Das Kapital".

Wait a minute! That can't be right! I'm quoting a post of that learned Doctor of the Church, the Blessed and Infallible St. Mudfrog of the Trombones. I quote:

quote:
Just look at Christ. He was voluntarily poor
Not Marx. Mudfrog. If you think that assertions are unreasonable and sensational then it helps not to assert them.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 9757 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mudfrog
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Oh dear LOL [Hot and Hormonal]
How do I get out of that one?

In the context of the assertion that all Christians, in order to be Godly should be poor, I would suggest that in the case of Christ the 'voluntary' poverty was situational and not his permanent state - after all, he did have a family at home and a business to return to. It wasn't denied him had he wanted to return to it. His poverty was of the moment (as I said, the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head at the time).

Yes Jesus was without immediate personal means during his ministry but he was not without recourse to funds -the disciples had a treasurer after all, and the women funded his ministry.

To use this as justification that owning anything or possessing wealth is sinful is tenuous in the extreme.

That's the best I can do [Biased]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 8237 | From: North Yorkshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I would suggest that in the case of Christ the 'voluntary' poverty was situational and not his permanent state - after all, he did have a family at home and a business to return to. It wasn't denied him had he wanted to return to it. His poverty was of the moment (as I said, the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head at the time).


I wouldn't bet on that at all--he had at least four brothers who doubtless took over the family business when he left, and I can't see any chance of them letting him back in had he changed his mind. As for having a home, same issue--I can't imagine they left Mary to live alone, not just because grandmas are valuable babysitters, but because houses are hard to come by. Doubtless one of the kids was living with her.

And the concept of Jesus taking his brothers to court is so mind-boggling that I think we can safely ignore it.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I would suggest that in the case of Christ the 'voluntary' poverty was situational and not his permanent state - after all, he did have a family at home and a business to return to. It wasn't denied him had he wanted to return to it. His poverty was of the moment (as I said, the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head at the time).


I wouldn't bet on that at all--he had at least four brothers who doubtless took over the family business when he left, and I can't see any chance of them letting him back in had he changed his mind. As for having a home, same issue--I can't imagine they left Mary to live alone, not just because grandmas are valuable babysitters, but because houses are hard to come by. Doubtless one of the kids was living with her.

And the concept of Jesus taking his brothers to court is so mind-boggling that I think we can safely ignore it.

You might be forgetting the time when they actually came for him in order to do just that - they wanted him home.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 8237 | From: North Yorkshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by Nigel M:
[3] Jesus said “You will always have the poor with you” (John 12:8), which means that he wanted his followers to focus not on issues of economy, but on loyalty to him.

[/QB][/QUOTE]

Interestingly enough (and I'm sure you already knew it, I learnt it the other day) the phrase appears twice (in English at least) but in both cases the context is subverted.

Deut 15:11, it is preceded in verse 4 by the exact opposite statement as a promise if they obey the Lords commands. quite how the relation holds I'm not sure, but clearly some is implied*.

Whether Jesus is referencing that or not, (it's a natural sentence, but Jesus was also well aware of the scriptures). However then again his statement is followed by a reason why this is an exception 'you will not always have me', unless you have a depressing plan for the afterlife now is probably outside that exception (despite 'I am with you').

*one option would be god accepting a constant supply of new poor, and making arrangements for them constantly being taken out of poverty, by the god loving nation making the right sort of loans and then not getting the money back.
though the non-stopesque version has narrative merits
"I've got it all worked out, if you just obey me once they'll be no poor among you, if you just..., this isn't going to happen is it"

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
And yes, of course the earth is the Lord's and everything in it. But that doesn't mean to say we cannot have possessions. What a ridiculous assertion.

This strikes me as very similar to saying, Of course I live in a building owned by a landlord, but that doesn't mean I can't own my flat.

Yes it does. That's what it means for the building to be owned by the landlord. He owns it. You don't. That's what "ownership" IS. At most you rent your flat. We are caretakers of the Lord's property, not owners of our own. As Chrysostom (or Basil the Great or someone like that) said, the unused coat in your closet constitutes theft from the poor.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
In the context of the assertion that all Christians, in order to be Godly should be poor, I would suggest that in the case of Christ the 'voluntary' poverty was situational and not his permanent state - after all, he did have a family at home and a business to return to. It wasn't denied him had he wanted to return to it.

How the stink do you know that? Talk about eisegesis.

Even if that's true, which you have no way of knowing, having a home to go back to and not going back to it rather part of his poverty being voluntary, innit? I think the more natural reading is that his poverty was voluntary because he was God. If he knew that he could leap from the temple and have angels bear him up, then he conceivably could have had angels rassle up a meal or two.

I note that it was only AFTER his resurrection that we see him feeding the apostles. After he had given up the involuntary poverty and claimed what was his all along.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I would suggest that in the case of Christ the 'voluntary' poverty was situational and not his permanent state - after all, he did have a family at home and a business to return to. It wasn't denied him had he wanted to return to it. His poverty was of the moment (as I said, the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head at the time).


I wouldn't bet on that at all--he had at least four brothers who doubtless took over the family business when he left, and I can't see any chance of them letting him back in had he changed his mind. As for having a home, same issue--I can't imagine they left Mary to live alone, not just because grandmas are valuable babysitters, but because houses are hard to come by. Doubtless one of the kids was living with her.

And the concept of Jesus taking his brothers to court is so mind-boggling that I think we can safely ignore it.

You might be forgetting the time when they actually came for him in order to do just that - they wanted him home.
Not to work and not to head the household--"he is out of his mind," they said.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged



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