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Yoda

"Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor"

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17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, 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.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Bible commentators point out that this isn't a universal command, but was directed solely to the rich young ruler. This man wanted to be one of the Lord's disciples, but was turned away because he was unwilling to give up all of his money. Rather, the point is that Christians must be willing to sacrifice anything and everything they have that's demanded of them if they wish for salvation, which is greater than any temporary earthly pleasure (i.e. Matthew 13:44-46). This could be possessions, and/or sinful desires or practices which are condemned in scripture.

But hypothetically, if God spoke to you today and said "You must sell everything you own and give all the money to the poor" what would you do? Assume for the sake of this thread that God definitely spoke those words to you (i.e. don't say "I'd assume it was all in my head"). Or even if it wasn't "sell everything and give all the money to the poor" but rather "Sell all your personal belongings and give to the poor, and donate three quarters of your money, but you may keep your house?"

I would hope to love and fear the Lord more than anything, but I'd be unsure as to what to do in the first example. Because after you sell and give away everything, are you supposed to just live on the street and beg for money for the rest of your life? Nevertheless, I would feel I had to do something to meet the command because we need to obey God. :unsure:

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I am not so willing as some biblical commentators to take these passages out of the context of Jesus' ministry. It is true that Jesus gave this rich man a specific commandment to sell all that he owns and give it to the poor, and that it is not intended to be a general commandment for all Christians. However, it is one part of a broader topsy-turvy narrative of Jesus siding with the weak and the poor against rich and powerful.

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I could get rid of the vast majority of my 'earthly goods' and be perfectly happy. I'm moving out of my apartment this week and have simply been overwhelmed by the amount of stuff! My only problem would be giving away my computer and my phone but other than that? I think I could sell everything without too much fuss.

Now the call to actually live in poverty would be a bit more of a challenge.

I've stayed with religious sister's living a vow of poverty (they basically only live off donations and lead very very simple lives) and found it really beautiful but I think I would have a hard time with it personally. Physical objects mean only so much to me, but the ability to travel? To meet people? To try new things? That would be really hard. The idea of giving up my truck bothers me a little but its not because I would hesitate to sell the truck itself (gah! with gas as high as it is and a 36gallon tank please, take it lord!) but it would bother me to give up that mobility, the ability to just get up and drive when I want to go somewhere. Same basic premise with my laptop and iphone, they connect me to things I wouldn't be able to be connected to otherwise (friends, information, whatever) and while I wouldn't have a problem losing the item itself the decrease in ability, or at least ease of ability, would bug me.

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What I'm about to say is neither profound and I'm sure is well understood, but it's of my desire to make it known regardless.

Although the question at hand is regarding whether or not we would part with our earthly posessions, it's essentially a personalized story of the same thing you see over and over again in Matthew regarding what the Kingdom of God is like.

The point is not that we live in poverty or we live in excess, but that above all we see Jesus as sufficient, King, Lord, and ruler of our hearts and lives. That beyond our cars, clothes, jobs, books, diplomas, and education, that we see Jesus as greater and as our true prize, posession, and treasure.

This is not profound, but this is essential. It is hard for us to imagine a world where we would revert to homelessness but we're simply taking the point too far. It's not that we spend forever not making money, as we're designed to labor, but the essence of that Jesus is greater than anything we have.

This world is so fragile, so small, and so temporary. It's pleasures are fleeting. God is infinite and God is eternal, and difficult as it would be to practically imagine a life where we have sold all of our posessions, the joy of following, communing, and knowing Christ is infinitely greater.

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Nevertheless, I would feel I had to do something to meet the command because we need to obey God. :unsure:

This passage from Mark shows us that knowledge and love of God are rooted in a response to our Lord's call.

St Teresa of Avila uses this episode to explain how to become closer to God in her classic spiritual guide, Interior Castle. "If we turn our back on him and go away sorrowful like the young man in the Gospel whose face fell when he heard what had to be done in order to be good and inherit life, what can His majesty do? He rewards us for the love we have for Him. This love is shown not in thoughts and words, but in deeds; not that He has need of our good works and deeds, but He wants us to be resolute."

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What I'm about to say is neither profound and I'm sure is well understood, but it's of my desire to make it known regardless.

Although the question at hand is regarding whether or not we would part with our earthly posessions, it's essentially a personalized story of the same thing you see over and over again in Matthew regarding what the Kingdom of God is like.

The point is not that we live in poverty or we live in excess, but that above all we see Jesus as sufficient, King, Lord, and ruler of our hearts and lives. That beyond our cars, clothes, jobs, books, diplomas, and education, that we see Jesus as greater and as our true prize, posession, and treasure.

This is not profound, but this is essential. It is hard for us to imagine a world where we would revert to homelessness but we're simply taking the point too far. It's not that we spend forever not making money, as we're designed to labor, but the essence of that Jesus is greater than anything we have.

This world is so fragile, so small, and so temporary. It's pleasures are fleeting. God is infinite and God is eternal, and difficult as it would be to practically imagine a life where we have sold all of our posessions, the joy of following, communing, and knowing Christ is infinitely greater.

Though, I do not exactly doubt what you are saying, the danger I find in such a statement is that it encourages a disconnect from the physical world. Perhaps it is merely because I have panentheistic leanings, but I believe we should find God in the world around us, in the trees, in the hustle and bustle of life, in the faces of people we love, etc. My signature quote by Slavoj Žižek puts it more poetically. I believe that God is here, and I am satisfied with this existence and this experience of the Sacred.

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Bible commentators point out that this isn't a universal command, but was directed solely to the rich young ruler. This man wanted to be one of the Lord's disciples, but was turned away because he was unwilling to give up all of his money. Rather, the point is that Christians must be willing to sacrifice anything and everything they have that's demanded of them if they wish for salvation, which is greater than any temporary earthly pleasure (i.e. Matthew 13:44-46). This could be possessions, and/or sinful desires or practices which are condemned in scripture.

But hypothetically, if God spoke to you today and said "You must sell everything you own and give all the money to the poor" what would you do? Assume for the sake of this thread that God definitely spoke those words to you (i.e. don't say "I'd assume it was all in my head"). Or even if it wasn't "sell everything and give all the money to the poor" but rather "Sell all your personal belongings and give to the poor, and donate three quarters of your money, but you may keep your house?"

I would hope to love and fear the Lord more than anything, but I'd be unsure as to what to do in the first example. Because after you sell and give away everything, are you supposed to just live on the street and beg for money for the rest of your life? Nevertheless, I would feel I had to do something to meet the command because we need to obey God. :unsure:

The command had more to do with rewards in heaven than salvation. That is why it says "and you will receive treasure". And yeah I think that would apply to any of us, if we did such an action. We would receive huge rewards in heaven. I don't think that's a great reason for doing so, however. I also think it would matter the individual circumstances of who does it. If a man struggling to support a family gave away everything and can't feed his family for it, I think it would be sinful.

But to the original question: I would love to think that I would follow God's direction and do exactly as he said. But I don't think I would ever know for certain what I would actually do unless I found myself in those circumstances.

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But to the original question: I would love to think that I would follow God's direction and do exactly as he said. But I don't think I would ever know for certain what I would actually do unless I found myself in those circumstances.
The line between hallucination and vision is also very thin. Pat Robertson thinks he talks to God, and he is off his rocker. I would have to judge whatever alternate-state of consciousness I experienced, without accepting it outright. I am a skeptic at heart.

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Though, I do not exactly doubt what you are saying, the danger I find in such a statement is that it encourages a disconnect from the physical world. Perhaps it is merely because I have panentheistic leanings, but I believe we should find God in the world around us, in the trees, in the hustle and bustle of life, in the faces of people we love, etc. My signature quote by Slavoj Žižek puts it more poetically. I believe that God is here, and I am satisfied with this existence and this experience of the Sacred.

Not that I like throwing the word "heresy" around, but that's heresy I'm beyond uncomfortable with.

Such things exist to show us God and to magnify God and display God's wonder and majesty and even bring glory to God. But to seek to find God within such things is wrong.

The more detached one is from the things of this world and the more focused we become with the person, nature, and character of Jesus and the future kingdom there is to inherit, the better we will be. Do not long to savor this crooked and corrupt world, long to be released from it.

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The command had more to do with rewards in heaven than salvation. That is why it says "and you will receive treasure". And yeah I think that would apply to any of us, if we did such an action. We would receive huge rewards in heaven. I don't think that's a great reason for doing so, however. I also think it would matter the individual circumstances of who does it. If a man struggling to support a family gave away everything and can't feed his family for it, I think it would be sinful.

But that ignores the fact the rich man asked "what must I do to inherit eternal life," not how he can obtain rewards in heaven. Additionally, after the rich man declined the Lord's request, He said "how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" It's clear that He was referring to salvation.

Not that I like throwing the word "heresy" around, but that's heresy I'm beyond uncomfortable with.

Such things exist to show us God and to magnify God and display God's wonder and majesty and even bring glory to God. But to seek to find God within such things is wrong.

The more detached one is from the things of this world and the more focused we become with the person, nature, and character of Jesus and the future kingdom there is to inherit, the better we will be. Do not long to savor this crooked and corrupt world, long to be released from it.

QFT.

This is not profound, but this is essential. It is hard for us to imagine a world where we would revert to homelessness but we're simply taking the point too far. It's not that we spend forever not making money, as we're designed to labor, but the essence of that Jesus is greater than anything we have.

This world is so fragile, so small, and so temporary. It's pleasures are fleeting. God is infinite and God is eternal, and difficult as it would be to practically imagine a life where we have sold all of our posessions, the joy of following, communing, and knowing Christ is infinitely greater.

I'm interested in hearing your answer to the actual question though. :P But I'd think you'd say "yes."

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Yoda,

It would surely be difficult in some respects, but I would do it if it were asked of me.

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Not that I like throwing the word "heresy" around, but that's heresy I'm beyond uncomfortable with.
No worries. I consider your boy, Piper, is a heretic, so we are even. :)
Such things exist to show us God and to magnify God and display God's wonder and majesty and even bring glory to God. But to seek to find God within such things is wrong.
I understand the world to have objective value, beyond just as a representation of God's glory. The reformed tradition, in general, is fixated/obsessed with this artificial concept of "God's glory," and tend to have a masochistic/sadistic attitude to everything else. I find this unhealthy. It is shame, in certain ways, that we live in the wake of the Enlightenment. In the pre-enlightenment era, if I am not mistaken, Christians and religious people in general (which was just about everyone) thought more panentheistically.
The more detached one is from the things of this world and the more focused we become with the person, nature, and character of Jesus and the future kingdom there is to inherit, the better we will be. Do not long to savor this crooked and corrupt world, long to be released from it.
I would not make a good gnostic.

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I understand the world to have objective value, beyond just as a representation of God's glory. The reformed tradition, in general, is fixated/obsessed with this artificial concept of "God's glory," and tend to have a masochistic/sadistic attitude to everything else. I find this unhealthy. It is shame, in certain ways, that we live in the wake of the Enlightenment. In the pre-enlightenment era, if I am not mistaken, Christians and religious people in general (which was just about everyone) thought more panentheistically.

I agree whole-heartedly with you. I am quite Panentheistic myself, though more often I tend to associate with Transcendentalism. I believe that not only do we observe God's glory and power in nature, but that by becoming closer to nature, we become closer to God. All things are an extension of the father, therefore in aligning with nature and appreciating its majesty, we glorify God himself. People are corrupt, not the planet. The world itself is a beautiful and perfect creation, not something to resist and abhor.

Plus, I'm already a heretic to the Catholic church so I may as well tack on some more heretical beliefs...

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I agree whole-heartedly with you. I am quite Panentheistic myself, though more often I tend to associate with Transcendentalism. I believe that not only do we observe God's glory and power in nature, but that by becoming closer to nature, we become closer to God. All things are an extension of the father, therefore in aligning with nature and appreciating its majesty, we glorify God himself. People are corrupt, not the planet. The world itself is a beautiful and perfect creation, not something to resist and abhor.

Plus, I'm already a heretic to the Catholic church so I may as well tack on some more heretical beliefs...

Panentheism is not heretical to Christianity, and I understand no conflict with my Catholic faith. Roman/Eastern Catholicism is a two-millenium-old faith, and is not synonymous with what the Roman Curia and the Magisterium decide. Catholicism is very oriented to the other and the world, in general. The Eucharist carries with it a message to identify with all suffering in the world and a commandment to feed the sheep, heal the sick and liberate those in bondage. Catholicism is naturally social. It does not believe this world is something which should merely be thrown into the fire.

Too much of Protestantism has been poisoned by the reformed tradition, if you ask me. Reformed theology is a weird and anti-humanist, masochistic branch of the faith. Masochistic is the best word I could think to describe the reformed view of humankind. It denies any intrinsic worth in humankind, and turns existence into one gigantic drama created by God, who really find no worth in humankind either. Those who operate in the reformed tradition try to disguise this fact with subterfuge, but it all there. It is how theologians, such as Piper, justify their hatred of this world.

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Panentheism is not heretical to Christianity, and I understand no conflict with my Catholic faith. Roman/Eastern Catholicism is a two-millenium-old faith, and is not synonymous with what the Roman Curia and the Magisterium decide. Catholicism is very oriented to the other and the world, in general. The Eucharist carries with it a message to identify with all suffering in the world and a commandment to feed the sheep, heal the sick and liberate those in bondage. Catholicism is naturally social. It does not believe this world is something which should merely be thrown into the fire.

Too much of Protestantism has been poisoned by the reformed tradition, if you ask me. Reformed theology is a weird and anti-humanist, masochistic branch of the faith. Masochistic is the best word I could think to describe the reformed view of humankind. It denies any intrinsic worth in humankind, and turns existence into one gigantic drama created by God, who really find no worth in humankind either. Those who operate in the reformed tradition try to disguise this fact with subterfuge, but it all there. It is how theologians, such as Piper, justify their hatred of this world.

Sorry. I thought Yoda called you out, not Jakob. However, I am still a heretic to the Catholic church due to my belief in the Oneness of God. I guess my Panentheistic/Transcendentalist views just add heresy against the Reformed to my tab.

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Not that I like throwing the word "heresy" around, but that's heresy I'm beyond uncomfortable with.

Such things exist to show us God and to magnify God and display God's wonder and majesty and even bring glory to God. But to seek to find God within such things is wrong.

The more detached one is from the things of this world and the more focused we become with the person, nature, and character of Jesus and the future kingdom there is to inherit, the better we will be. Do not long to savor this crooked and corrupt world, long to be released from it.

Yes. QFT

I would like to say that I'd do what the Lord asked of me. However, I don't think anyone can be sure of how they would respond until faced with the situation.

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No worries. I consider your boy, Piper, is a heretic, so we are even. :)

I understand the world to have objective value, beyond just as a representation of God's glory. The reformed tradition, in general, is fixated/obsessed with this artificial concept of "God's glory," and tend to have a masochistic/sadistic attitude to everything else. I find this unhealthy. It is shame, in certain ways, that we live in the wake of the Enlightenment. In the pre-enlightenment era, if I am not mistaken, Christians and religious people in general (which was just about everyone) thought more panentheistically.

I would not make a good gnostic.

For some reason God keeps telling me not to tell you what I really think. I've wanted to at least twelve times now and it just keeps being prevented.

So once again I'll continue to bite my tongue and ignore you.

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For some reason God keeps telling me not to tell you what I really think. I've wanted to at least twelve times now and it just keeps being prevented.

So once again I'll continue to bite my tongue and ignore you.

You are more than welcome to, if you want to. As someone who loves queer theology, and believes St. Paul taught apocatastasis/universal reconciliation, I am used to being called a heretic. Let me just note, that I am not speaking from a position of ignorance. I am by no means an expert of the Reformed Tradition, but I have listened to/read reformed theologians from John MacArthur to R.C. Sproul (watched at least 20 of his online lectures). The above is my honest reaction/opinion of reformed theology. Though, I am not certain I would quite label reformed theology/calvinism a heresy. I do not like throwing that word around, because it is liable to fall victim to the No True Scotsman fallacy. I merely said that in reaction to your accusation of me being a heretic.

That being said, I do not want to compel you to speak, if you do not want to.

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In answer to the OP, I'd like to say that when my God commands me to do something, I do so, but I know that that is not always the case. So, in this instance, I think I'll say that I would like to follow his command, but know it would be difficult, because "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

The above is my honest reaction/opinion of reformed theology.

Sometimes, John, I worry that your views of Protestantism are constructed out of misconception. But, that is another debate, for another time.

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Sometimes, John, I worry that your views of Protestantism are constructed out of misconception. But, that is another debate, for another time.
I am sorry, but while I have great respect for the Anglican Communion, I have very little respect for Calvinism.

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If God asked me to do that then He obviously has a reason for it and His reason wouldn't be bad or cause me to suffer because...it's God :P so after dancing around because God had definitely spoken to me, I would happily sell my stuff and give away my money.

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