freeman3 wrote:Governor John Kasich accepts Medicaid expansion for Ohio due to "Christian compassion" for the poor.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/us/me ... .html?_r=0
If he acted out of Christian compassion, I applaud him for it. Of course, I am an atheist and I am an atheist because there is no convincing evidence that God exists. Still Jesus Christ's teachings about concerns for others, particularly for those less fortunate, will always have resonance. What is so disappointing is that in this country a devout Christian is more likely to be a Republican, a member of a party not particularly sympathetic to the problems of the poor. Not that I am a big fan of Governor Kasich, but in this instance I believe he acted based on a concern for the poor.
Now, I understand that talking religion in a political thread can cause problems (especially when an atheist suggests that Christians are acting in an unChristian manner). So perhaps we can take the sting out of the pro/anti Obamacare side of things and look at the question of whether compassion for the poor is something that Jesus and/or God held and wanted us to hold.
Perhaps we can start with the post where DF responds to a few pieces of Biblical evidence:
My 'opinion'? It's what is written the the Bible, in the New Testament. Are you telling me he did not heal the sick, or help the poor? That he never criticised the rich? or said any of the things I quoted below?Doctor Fate wrote:danivon wrote:But hey, what would we non-believers understand about the teachings of Christ, a man who went around healing the sick (and not asking for payment), criticized the rich, helped the poor, said things like:
And, this is YOUR opinion. If you really want to go there, standby.
Of course, it's a matter of 'opinion' whether the Bible is true or not, and it may or may not be. But if someone claims to believe it is true, it seems odd for them to deny the bits that make them feel uncomfortable.
It was not to 'one man'. Luke 12 32 is "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."Doctor Fate wrote:danivon wrote:"Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys." (Luke 12 33)
Was this a generic command or was it in regard to one man who claimed to have obeyed the commandments perfectly?
He was talking to his disciples (Luke 12 22). I'll let you decide whether that was intended as something that was for Christians to take heed of, or not.
The context is that Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee. The Pharisees were a 'party' - a faction in Judean politics from the times of the Hasmoneans up to the fall of the Second Temple. They opposed the 'High Priest' Sadducees and were popularly supported by many of the lay population.Doctor Fate wrote:danivon wrote:"When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14 12-14)
Does this apply to the government or is it about how the rich should treat the poor voluntarily? If the latter, it is a fine instruction. If the former, then you don't understand the context.
It is about what people are supposed to do 'voluntarily', but of course it's about what you should do if you want to be rewarded at Judgment. The alternative to reward is, I understand, damnation and oblivion, there's not much of a halfway house as far as this is concerned.
My point is in accord with this - Jesus is saying people should act with compassion for the poor. Even prominent politicians (like a Pharisee was, and Kasich is)
Which 'rich young ruler'? The two bits above refer to the disciples and to a Pharisee. I will assume the first (as it seems you mistook that for Luke 12 33). However, you are quite right to ask for context. So yes, the guy says if I do follow all the Commandments, is that enough, and Jesus says no, sell your possessions, give to the poor and follow me.Doctor Fate wrote:danivon wrote:The young man said to Him, "All these commands I have kept; what am I still lacking?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19 20)
This is the rich young ruler. Review what I said above.
And after the man leaves, sad that he's so rich (and presumably doesn't want to lose his possessions in the material world), what does Jesus do?
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19 23-24)
That looks generic to me.
Well, I see now that it is not the words of Christ, but of 'James' (whoever the author is, one of the disciples or another 'James'). But is is an epistle. He doesn't say "Come now, you greedy" though, does he? He says "rich". If you can show that the translations that I am reading that use that word are incorrect (the NIV, KJV, ESV, 1599 Geneva, NASB, NRSV...), then go ahead.Doctor Fate wrote:danivon wrote:" Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. ...Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and with you have withheld, cries out against you; and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbath. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. " (James 5 1-6)
I agree entirely. Again, is this about individuals or the government? Is it a sweeping condemnation of riches, or a sweeping condemnation of greed?
Now, I can see you looking at James 5 3, and interpreting that as greed. Another way of looking at it is Capitalism - you pay labourers to do work, but profit from their efforts, getting rich on their back. Now, some rich people don't do that, but many do (or just inherit wealth from others who do, or just invest money into enterprises that do).
Looks like both to me. The people who didn't are on his left, and get damned, don't they? And that happens because of the 'true condition' of their hearts, as revealed by their actions in life.Doctor Fate wrote:danivon wrote:"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left.
Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
Then they themselves will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'
Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 31-46)
Do you mean to say that Jesus taught eternal life is available to the rich if they do these things? Is that His point? Or, was He saying that failing to do these things reveals the true condition of your heart?
Well, the OT was not all a theocracy - for quite some time Kings ruled, not Priests, and every now and then a prophet would emerge to point out that these Kings (or others) were failing to uphold the Law and rebuke them.Doctor Fate wrote:danivon wrote:Now these seem fairly easy to understand, as with some of the Old Testament stuff like Deuteronomy 15 7 and 26 12, Proverbs 31, Isiah 58 66....
OT was a theocracy--the Law of God was the Law of the land. I'm sure you'd like to see that reinstated.
Now, what happened to the Law of God - does it no longer apply? Do parts of it apply still and others not?
It's not entirely clear to me (mainly because it seems to be a matter of considerable theological debate) where the lines are drawn, and that's why I only really mentioned them in passing - the key areas I was referring to are in the New Testament, because that is clearly applicable to Christianity and Christians in full.