Saturday, November 29, 2008

CHRISTMAS

A mob of stampeding bargain hunters trampled a Wal-Mart employee to death in a rush to be the first to purchase discounted merchandise most of them didn't need. The materialism that grips America, particularly around the holidays, is disgusting in light of the poverty that grips much of the rest of the world. It is ironic that America celebrates a holiday ostensibly dedicated to a man who led a humble life dedicated to serving the poor by spending money on things no one needs. Whenever I see a hummer with a Jesus bumper sticker or hear of people detailing their "Christmas shopping" I recall one of my favorite Bible stories, the one of Jesus telling a rich man that he must give his wealth to the poor before he could become a follower.

6 comments:

Andrew C said...

Jesus never told that to a rich man. In fact, Jesus encouraged people to make money. He also encouraged charity, but He believed that anyone who followed His teachings would come around to His views on charity. Forcing someone to give something up so they could attend a sermon or follow His teachings is not something Jesus did, or would do.

young_activist said...

Mark 10:17-25
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Bar Kochba said...

Yet Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were extremely wealthy. Wealth is no wrong per say. If one uses it for good, then it is a tool of G-dliness.

young_activist said...

Bar, neither of us are Christians so I'm not sure why we should be debating Christian theology. I was simply saying that I admire Jesus's philosophy. You are right, the issue is not with wealth, it is with decadence, the wasting of wealth on oneself.

Andrew C said...

Jesus said that to make a point. It was not an order. Nor was it to be taken literally. The meaning is, whatever treasure you have here on Earth, if you lead a good life, your treasure in the afterlife will dwarf it a thousandfold.

young_activist said...

Ah, the fundamentalist arguing NOT to take some literally! First you said that this wasn’t in the Bible, which is curious that you wouldn’t know what was in the Bible since you appear to be so devoted to it, and now you argue that this passage shouldn’t be taken literally! This seems to me to be one of the most straightforward parts of the Bible, but I guess the underlying principle must be to interpret something as you would like it to read irrespective of what it actually says.

Like Shakespeare said even the Devil can cite Scripture for his purposes.