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11

Let's go back and re-read the incident that prompted Jesus' teaching: And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit ...


10

Kind of depends on your definition of charity. I consider 100% of my donations to my parish and diocese to be charitable donations. 100% of them go to building upkeep, promoting and sustaining religious vocations, proclaiming the gospel, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, prison ministry, running hospitals, schools and catechism programs. ...


10

Um, it's not just Mormons. Hate to break this to you, but all Christians are supposed to be sharing their wealth with the poor. Deuteronomy 24 tells the Jews to sell 10% of what they have and share it with everybody on a feast. Jesus says in Luke 3:11 that whoever has two cloaks should share with him who has none. Acts 4 says that they Christians held ...


8

The question as posed contains an implicit assumption that needs to be challenged -- or at least teased out into the open. It is this: that numerical represention of character types in Jesus' parables ought to reflect the proportion of attention Jesus gave to them outside the parables. This is important for the the particular case of "wealthy vs. poor" ...


7

TL;DR We're not commanded to give to The Church. Giving to the poor is giving to God. Giving is about demonstrating our thanks to God for providing for us in the past and our trust in God to provide for us in the future. In what way are we commanded (or even urged) to give? I don't see a command in the NT mandating details (quantity, timing, etc.) of ...


6

Hmm, how do you get from "it is hard for the rich to enter Heaven" to "a Christian shouldn't buy any luxuries"? I think you need to present some logical argument why that follows. In practical terms, what do you define as "luxury"? You could survive with some basic food and shelter from the elements. Everything beyond that could be considered "luxuries". ...


6

As we wait for perhaps more clarification on the question, I'll attempt an answer anyway and edit later if need be: No, it can't be said so broadly that "Mormons are socialists," but yes, they do "give their money to poor ones." You might as well be asking, "Is the Red Cross socialist?" "Is the United Way socialist?" "Is the Ronald McDonald House ...


5

I don't have any single resource to cite, at the moment. But, I can offer the general understanding that I've gotten listening to Catholic sermons over time. Consider the verse in its context. 27 “But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 To the ...


5

I don't see that there's a definitive answer to this. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of consensus on this one. Even the major commentaries, which usually find some common ground, disagree. A few examples: Clarke's Commentary on the Bible (This agrees with the teachings I've heard on this verse.) Ask them not again - Or, Do not beg them ...


5

According to The Economist, the Catholic church spent $171.6 billion in 2010. I haven't read the whole thing, but it seems to be a rather one-sided article, and little information is given about how they calculated the figure of $171.6bn, other than this: The sexual-abuse scandals of the past 20 years have brought shame to the church around the world. ...


5

Actually, this verse says that faith without love (agape) is dead, and it says the same of gifts of the Spirit and works exercised without agape love. Therefore, reading this to imply that works are necessary for salvation is bad hermeneutics. Now, James, on the other hand has some clear things to say about faith without works: James 2:14-26 (ESV) ...


5

The KJV is in the minority, if not unique, in its use of "charity" as opposed to "love" in its translation of that passage. In particular there are two forms of love being talked about here; in verse one the Amplified Version defines it as "that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us" and in the latter ...


5

Attending to the interest in "what any scholar has to say" about teaching on poverty (and, necessarily I suppose, wealth -- the two themes tend to come together) in Luke... For general context, see Martin Hengel, Property and Riches in the Early Church: Aspects of a Social History of Early Christianity (Fortress, 1998). Hengel was one of the foremost ...


4

Jesus' first person speech is almost entirely inside the gospels. The stated purpose of the gospel of John is that it is written to convince people to believe in him (John 20:30-31). It intentionally deals primarily with who Jesus was rather than primarily with Jesus' teaching. Mark is much shorter than the other gospels and may not include additional ...


4

This answer is necessarily a bit long, because it requires some background. Skip ahead to "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" to skip the background. It is not exactly charity that perfects the virtues into the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit Who gives the Gifts to those who are disposed to receive them. Some background Aquinas essentially assumes ...


4

The book of 1 Corinthians is written to address issues in the church at Corinth, so it deals with Christian living rather than salvation. Paul is telling Christians, "Hey, if you do all the right things but aren't loving, you're completely missing the boat." Jesus' first and second commands are to love God and to love people. That doesn't mention ...


4

Paul wrote in 1 Timothy: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy ...


3

Christians have a bigger obligation, than just giving a tenth to the Church Absolutely! The point of Jesus' message is that the Pharisees were giving a tenth of their earthly goods (perhaps just those spices, since they could possibly be considered "extravagances" where a 10% gift would not be missed) but neglecting real needs of others. His last ...


3

We are commanded to be generous--not impoverished. The Question Your assumption seems tenuous. "Since it's hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, but it's not impossible since nothing is impossible with God, how can any Christian ever buy anything that benefits only themselves? Jesus never said "Don't buy anything unless it benefits someone ...


3

To me it appears as though you're insisting on a critical scholarly approach to an elementary subject. The scriptures themselves seem to answer your original question of why there are more sayings about rich people than poor people: "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men ...


2

One consistent theme of the Gospels is the superiority of "spiritual wealth" (meaning the "richness* of a life lived in connection with God) over material wealth. This theme is exemplified in the Parable of the Rich Fool, Luke 12:16-21, and in Matthew 6:19-21: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where ...


2

wouldn't God rather have us take that money and buy a pallet of food for the local food pantry? Not neccessarily. I think it helps to be mindful of the Chinese proverb: Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. And in this respect, many Christians are employed as social workers and at food panties and ...


2

Jesus knew the general effects wealth has on people. Many will do evil to retain or avoid material loss as it cuts down their status. Many business owners will find invisible ways of deliberately causing problems to tarnish the image of their competitors, they say that is how the game is played. They will create world wars just to profit from sale of ...


1

The larger message here is a rejection of the Pharisees' belief that they could be righteous in a quantitative, mechanical, rule-based manner. Their belief was that if you followed the letter of the law, and gave ten percent, you were a good person by definition. Jesus' quote rejects this logic, demanding that the Pharisees engage with the moral ...



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