Why wouldn't Jesus...

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Ravi, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    want us to structure our society to help the poor?

    Jesus preached that we should help the poor...that is indisputable.

    I often see self-described Christians arguing against social welfare, claiming that Jesus meant that we should help the poor individually.

    This makes no sense to me. If we have the power, as individuals, to collectively help the poor then IMO this is what Jesus would want us to do.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. KittenKoder
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    KittenKoder Senior Member

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    I can't answer those questions, no one really should think they could, even one who follows christianity.

    However, there is one serious problem with this line of questions, you must first define what you consider "help". There is the line "give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime". I believe in that myself, when I was in the "system" (that's what we called it in the shelters) they always gave us plenty of food, shelter, medical care, etc. but all the organizations that were geared toward actually helping us with things like jobs, education, etc. lost funding so they could give us more free shit. It sucks when you want to get somewhere and every time you ask for something that actually helps they look at you like you're insane. All I needed was a computer, that was it, a simple up to date computer. I had to save up my meager cash hiding it well (living in a shelter nothing is safe) and wasn't allowed to save it in the bank or I would lose my income. Once I got a laptop, I was able to work again.
     
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  3. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    I don't understand, KK...it sounds like you are a success story.

    But you are a little off topic...teaching "a man to fish" would fall under the umbrella of helping the poor so it doesn't change my question.
     
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  4. Smartt33
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    Smartt33 Senior Member

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    I think what Kitten was sayiong is that maybe the funding needs to be more for helping the poor get out of poverty than just helping them for one day at a time.

    Helping the poor, as Jesus was talking, was about the church. Unfortunately to little is being done by the church in many cases. I don't think Jesus was talking to the government, and telling them they need to feed the poor. Of course, they can help by helping orgsanizations with funding to reach out to the poor community.

    Helping them to improve their life status is the greater ministry. This is also something the government can help with, however, Jesus was addressing believers, and their calling to help the needy.
     
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  5. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    I agree that helping the poor shouldn't mean just handing money over to them.

    But I disagree that it can't mean the government...after all the government IS the people. I also don't think Jesus was talking about the church, as there was no "church" at the time.
     
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  6. logical4u
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    logical4u citizen

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    Any "society" that is structured to "help" the poor is wide open for abuse. You cannot legislate how people "choose" to live. You cannot legislate which skills an individual must use. You cannot give politicians control over massive amounts of funds and believe their interests will remain focused on the "poor". It becomes a program with little or no oversight that is used by people that really don't need the help taking advantage.

    Christian communities have always helped the poor (and still are). The help is in forms of shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, job training, hospitals, individual help on a case-by case basis, and more. American Christians ARE the most generous people on earth. They (along with other generous people) give whenever something touches their hearts and most give on a regular basis to charities.

    In the last few years, as media can research politicians easier, it has been uncovered that the politicians telling us how important it is to "help" are the ones that give less. For those that really want society to be more helpful, my question is: do you give to the charities that help "the poor"? Is it just important to you that the gov takes (legally steals) money off of those that "you" think have too much? Do you know that you can give more of your money to the gov when you pay your taxes? Do you know that you can give to just about any agency (gov) that offers help for the less fortunate? Why do you want to "mandate" charity? When the income tax was put in place, "the people" were promised it would be a tiny fraction of their income; now some people are paying over 50% (combined taxes). That means that someone making two hundred thousand dollars (sounds like a lot) can bring home less than one hundred thousand dollars (not nearly as rich as you would think). What makes you think the gov will do anything but abuse the power for its own interest? Legislating charity will make the politicians more powerful and will not reduce or eliminate the "poor".
     
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  7. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    Anything that is structured is subject to abuse so I'm not buying your argument.

    Can you imagine Jesus saying don't form a group to help the poor because someone might abuse the system? :doubt:
     
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  8. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Gold Member

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    You can't even imagine Jesus, Ravi. Who are you kidding ?
     
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  9. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Gold Member

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    Don't confuse jesus with the church or government

    jesus was a man (maybe) who believed in free will and individual choice

    church, government or whatever institution you want to use to enact the will of the people compels via threat of violence not individual choice.

    I find it hard to believe (literally since I am an atheist) that the jesus you speak of would condone a society that forced people to be charitable or suffer the consequences of some sort of legal retribution.
     
  10. Ravi
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    Ravi Gold Member

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    Are you saying Jesus was anti-church?

    I don't know if Jesus would want people to be forced to be charitable...after all, that wouldn't earn them any brownie points. But I don't think he would object to a government that is charitable or lose any sleep over the fact that some in the group were put out by the method of giving.

    The greater good, IMO, is what he would be looking for so I also don't buy your argument.
     

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