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  1. #41
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    Collectivism is the antithesis of the personally accountable moral understanding that Christians are called to have, and it's fundamentally incompatible with Christian thought, as I've pointed out several times before in other ways. You can't keep critiquing Christian values from a Collectivist standpoint and hope to convince anyone that there's an inconsistency in Christianity because it doesn't agree with those collectivist values. You're comparing two dissimilar and fundamentally incompatible things, as I've pointed out several times before.
    This is very bizarre to me. Could you explain it once more, please? Are you saying Christ didn't tell us to live together? To share and to love? Why do you think the feeding of the multitudes is repeated in the Bible?

    ---------- Post added at 12:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:18 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    This is a straw man, like the vast majority of your arguments have been. I never said or implied anything about judgement. All I said was that Christians have a different obligation toward people who are chronically dependent upon charity than simply giving them more handouts. The whole point of Jesus' message was that everyone should be taking responsibility for themselves and their actions and working to make the world a better place. If there is someone who is literally drinking his life away on a street corner, the moral thing to do for a Christian is not to simply throw a dollar bill in his cup or buy him a case of beer. It's not even just to give him food. It's to help him turn his life around so that he's not killing himself with alcohol. That's nothing that a person can simply fork over money to the state and expect that it will be done. Trust me on this one; I work in a state-run hospital, and we see more than our share of drug addicts and alcoholics. I don't judge them as people, but I can - and have a moral obligation to - tell them that what they are doing will kill them if they don't stop... and try to get them the help that they need..

    So, to disprove your straw man allegation, what do you do when that person refuses to get the help they need? Do you, let's say, require them to be drug tested to receive their food stamps? Does that sound very Christian? I seem to hear that as an idea often coming from the right.

    If he asks you to buy him a case of beer you can say, "hey, how about you come and have lunch with me instead?" But there's definitely no reason to deny him according to Christ, you give him what he asks for.

    ---------- Post added at 12:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:29 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post

    And while some of them are great, and that's good for people who don't have the ability to get out and do things anymore, a lot of those so-called "charities" (Goodwill comes to mind immediately) are anything but. There's a large number of charities who spend exorbitant amounts of money on executive salaries and other things not related to the cause they purport to uphold.
    That supports my point. That charities are not always better than government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    Also... that doesn't address my point. The personal decision to send money to a charity *is* a personally motivated action that has nothing to do with the coercion of the State. It is in no way equivalent to paying taxes because a) the person has a choice of which charities and causes to support and can stop supporting them if he doesn't like what they're doing, b) taxes aren't voluntary, and c) you don't have any say over what the State does with your money when they take it from you.

    In a democratic society that you are free to be a part of or leave? This isn't a feudal society, you don't belong to the lord and are attached to the land. Not only can you leave if you don't want you taxes supporting something, you can also change it by becoming involved. Unlike in Christ's time where the government belonged to a single person.

    If you donate o a charity and then find out you don't like what they are doing what do you do? Stop giving, right? But what about the money you've already given? You had no say in where that went.

    ---------- Post added at 12:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:38 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Should the government also conform with these teachings of His?

    Worship the Lord and serve him only. Mt 4:10
    Repent. Mt 4:17
    Follow me. Mt 4:19
    Pray. Mt 6:5
    Do God’s will. Mt 7:21
    Acknowledge Jesus before men. Mt 10:32
    Love God with all your heart, soul and mind. Mt 22:37
    Make disciples and baptize them. Mt 28:19

    Do you advocate having government follow Jesus in all those teachings?
    Possibly. Could you elaborate on how these relate to the original post?
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

  2. #42
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    If he asks you to buy him a case of beer you can say, "hey, how about you come and have lunch with me instead?" But there's definitely no reason to deny him according to Christ, you give him what he asks for.
    Hummm.. Christ who loves the soul should give (feed) the carnal mind what it asks for? I have to confess that’s an interesting perspective that I fail to see sound reasoning.

    So Christ's teachings, according to you, should give the cocaine user who has run out of cocaine but is asking for coc because he can’t afford it, more coc to feed his habit and make him happy.

    Or the porn addict who is depressed and lost because he can’t find new porn and is asking for more porn so he can be happy, Christ should give him more porn.

    Or the junk food addict who is very obese and is asking for junk food because he can’t buy it any more, Christ should give the obese person more junk food.

    Or the alcoholic who is down and out and asking for help to buy more alcohol so he won’t be so down and out, Christ should give the poor soul more alcohol and buy him a case a beer.

    With this reasoning Christ would have told the adulterous women, who was seeking help and shelter from being stoned to death for her habits and lifestyle:

    “It’s fine, it’s OK, if you want to continue your adulators lifestyle and be a prostitute and have sex with everyone in Jerusalem, no worries. If you are asking for my blessing for your lifestyle, you’ve got it. I might advise you, however, to get a body guard, your life is in danger because you are not living in an era of human rights. Now, as for all these very angry men who are standing in front of you and me at this moment, who are about to stone you to death, go ahead and make a run for it, I’ll try to distract them and give you cover. Oh ... and before you run off, let's meet later for lunch"

    BTW, that’s not what the passage teaches. John 8.

    Maybe this teaching can help balance out your reasoning, because I don’t understand your reasoning.

    “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." 1 John 5:14

    "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:3
    Last edited by eye4magic; October 6th, 2013 at 11:40 PM.
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  4. #43
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Possibly. Could you elaborate on how these relate to the original post?
    They relate in that they were also taught by Jesus. He taught many things to which we could make government conform. Are you choosing just one and excluding the others for your advocacy, or are you willing to accept all of them? If only the one, then why not the others?
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  5. #44
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    I think everyone has kind of lost sight of the importance and impact of the original post here. So let's take another look at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Luke 10:25-37
    New International Version (NIV)
    The Parable of the Good Samaritan

    25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

    28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

    37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
    Okay, so we have the parable. Now let's look at the original questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    So the Samaritan paid for the healthcare of the hated foreigner. What does this tell us about our society where we often hear complaining about "illegal aliens" showing up at our emergency rooms for care?
    It actually has little relation. If an illegal immigrant, or anyone, shows up to an emergency room looking for care, then in the context of the Samaritan story, those doctors/nurses, etc, would be encouraged to personally care for the individual and do so out of their own expenses if need be (as was the case with the Samaritan). See, Jesus doesn't tell us anything about the actual victim of the robbery other than that it was a man coming from Jerusalem to Jericho. Both cities within the nation of Israel. This would imply that the man is actually an Israelite. In this context, the Samaritan is actually the foreigner (of a sort) taking care of the native citizen. And doing so out of his own pocket. ANd this in light of the fact that Israelites were obligated (via the laws of Moses) to help one another. In this scenario, it isn't just that it's the lawful thing to do, but that it's the morally Just thing to do. And while the man's own kinsmen were abandoning him, it took a person the Israelites thought of as "dogs" to do the right thing.

    So we look back at the original question. We have an expert in the Law. The questioner is Hebrew. He knows the Laws of Moses. So right off the bat in this scenario, his familiarity with the Law is going to encourage him to suggest that the Samaritan is the righteous man in the example (though his bias shows when he won't even say Samaritan). Another major thing here is that Jesus breaks cultural boundaries in the parable by suggesting that kinsmenship isn't an issue of blood relation but rather of moral attitude. That the man with no blood relation who took care of the man is more a brother to him than the two men who were distant relatives that passed him over. THis then, goes back to explain what is meant when God handed the Law to Moses wherein we find "Love your neighbor as you would love yourself", and even the explanation is only really an emphasis point since much of the Law concerned how to treat foreigners and immigrants (often drawing on the Israelites own experiences as foreigners in Egypt).
    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Doesn't Jesus say we should take care of them?
    He says to care for them as we would ourselves. The basic logic here being that if we don't care for them, or love them, then we don't love or care for ourselves. But this is not a justification for a government healthcare system. THis is, more accurately, a calling of one's attention to the fact that if someone is sick, you're encouraged to take them to the hospital (if you can't care for them) and help (if not completely) cover their medical expenses out of your pocket. If the scenario were to unfold in America today, the Samaritan would've paid several thousand for the man's initial visit, and been paying several thousand more when the man was healed. Look back over the parable, the teaching absolutely ignores any and all government involvement. There's no reporting to guards who patrolled the roads, or town watch, nothing. The robbers are ignored, and the Samaritan takes it upon himself to cover every expenditure involved in getting this man back on his feet, and even determines to return and cover additional expenses while he checks up on this stranger.
    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    How about when people claim that constitutional rights do not apply to non-citizens? Is this true? Does morality stop at a borderline?
    Again, this parable has ZERO to do with governments, constitutions, etc. This story is exclusively about illustrating that someone being your brother/sister/father/mother/son/daughter is a moral attitude, not a genetic link.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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  7. #45
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Hummm.. Christ who loves the soul should give (feed) the carnal mind what it asks for? I have to confess that’s an interesting perspective that I fail to see sound reasoning.

    So Christ's teachings, according to you, should give the cocaine user who has run out of cocaine but is asking for coc because he can’t afford it, more coc to feed his habit and make him happy.

    Or the porn addict who is depressed and lost because he can’t find new porn and is asking for more porn so he can be happy, Christ should give him more porn.

    Or the junk food addict who is very obese and is asking for junk food because he can’t buy it any more, Christ should give the obese person more junk food.

    Or the alcoholic who is down and out and asking for help to buy more alcohol so he won’t be so down and out, Christ should give the poor soul more alcohol and buy him a case a beer.

    With this reasoning Christ would have told the adulterous women, who was seeking help and shelter from being stoned to death for her habits and lifestyle:

    “It’s fine, it’s OK, if you want to continue your adulators lifestyle and be a prostitute and have sex with everyone in Jerusalem, no worries. If you are asking for my blessing for your lifestyle, you’ve got it. I might advise you, however, to get a body guard, your life is in danger because you are not living in an era of human rights. Now, as for all these very angry men who are standing in front of you and me at this moment, who are about to stone you to death, go ahead and make a run for it, I’ll try to distract them and give you cover. Oh ... and before you run off, let's meet later for lunch"

    BTW, that’s not what the passage teaches. John 8.

    Maybe this teaching can help balance out your reasoning, because I don’t understand your reasoning.

    “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." 1 John 5:14

    "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:3

    Christ does not say those things are good, what is good is the that you give...everything. If you believe in the miraculous part of Jesus - that he could do anything..."magic" - why would he lie there and have the skin whipped from his body? Why be nailed onto a cross and hung in agony when he could just *poof* and jump down? Could YOU do that?

    Are those good things? Is it good that he allowed someone to do that to someone else?

    You give what the other person needs to the utmost of your ability and expect nothing in return.

    ---------- Post added at 12:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    They relate in that they were also taught by Jesus. He taught many things to which we could make government conform. Are you choosing just one and excluding the others for your advocacy, or are you willing to accept all of them? If only the one, then why not the others?
    As an elaboration, how do you think this teaching would be administered by government?

    Matthew 6:5
    The Lord’s Prayer
    5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. yTruly, I say to you, they have received their reward.


    For example, I take it to mean that when we do pray we should not be obnoxious about it. It doesn't say we must pray. Is that what you were getting at? A government forcing us to pray? How would they know if you did it or not? Jesus said to shut the door and do it in private.

    ---------- Post added at 01:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:53 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post

    Again, this parable has ZERO to do with governments, constitutions, etc. This story is exclusively about illustrating that someone being your brother/sister/father/mother/son/daughter is a moral attitude, not a genetic link.

    Indeed, for Christ wasn't interested in governments for the government of that time was the possession of one man. The problem we have is in translating his teachings into the present where we have the ability to shape the government as we would like it.

    Also, to the Samaritan the victim was certainly the foreigner. The concept of who was the foreigner in those times was more nuanced and less about lines on a map.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Indeed, for Christ wasn't interested in governments for the government of that time was the possession of one man. The problem we have is in translating his teachings into the present where we have the ability to shape the government as we would like it.
    I don't see how there's any real problem there. If we apply what scripture teaches us, then what the government does or how it functions ceases to be of concern to us. If I'm opting to pay for someone's medical bills, it doesn't really concern me how or what the government's role in the issue is (whether or not it provides healthcare). If I choose to feed, clothe, or offer room and board to someone in need, it doesn't matter to me what the government says or does on the issue. The only time it should be of concern to me is when the government enacts laws or statutes that actively impede my ability to follow Christ, in which case, like Daniel, I'm obligated to simply ignore those laws and accept the consequences.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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  10. #47
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Christ does not say those things are good, what is good is the that you give...everything.
    Visiting someone in prison, or helping someone who is who is sick or who is homeless, does mean the act of charity (love) feeds the alcoholic more alcohol or gives the drug addict more drugs.

    Extending love and compassion does not mean that if a person keeps doing the same destructive things in their life, they will get a different result. Christ is intelligent. Change means doing something different so that a different result is obtained.

    Do you observe Christ in the Gospels teaching that we love and help our neighbor by feeding them with the lusts and destructive habits of man?

    If you believe in the miraculous part of Jesus - that he could do anything..."magic" - why would he lie there and have the skin whipped from his body?
    You brought Christ into this thread. Why do you think he did this?

    Are those good things?
    Are what good things?

    Is it good that he allowed someone to do that to someone else?
    Who allowed what? Do what to someone else? Who’s done what to whom?

    You give what the other person needs to the utmost of your ability and expect nothing in return.
    The carnal mind thinks it needs a lot of things, and sometimes it can make a person homeless or very destitute. An alcoholic thinks they need more alcohol. A drug addict thinks they need more drugs. A homeless thief who is getting by on breaking into cars, thinks he needs one more car to break into. You and I feeding that need to the utmost of our ability is not love nor is it compassion.
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  11. #48
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    That supports my point. That charities are not always better than government.
    Who said anything about always? As a general good working model, though the purpose of charities around the world are wide in variety, for the most part, they are geared to help those in society who need help. This can include financial help, with food, shelter, medical services as well as providing emotional, mental, physical and spiritual support. That’s part of their model. Do they all work perfectly? No. But what's perfect? Can they work better, sure. That's doable.

    Government is designed to govern. It has an important role in helping to maintain the peace and order of the land as well as adjudicating our laws. However, government is not a charity, though it can certainly work and support the charity model whose main objective is to help support those in our society who need help.

    The problem we have is in translating his teachings into the present where we have the ability to shape the government as we would like it.
    It’s a noble idea to try to shape government to conform with Christ's teachings. But in a representative government, we can’t shape government into something, we, the people are not or have not taken the opportunity to practice or become. If we are not a society that conforms (lives) by the teachings of Christ, we will not be able to shape a government that conforms to the teachings of Christ. Our government is made up of us, of who we elect from the pool of you and me and everyone else.

    If the good Samaritan principle is not working as a norm with the people in the trenches of our society, it cannot work effectively as a norm with a representative government. Forcing morality doesn’t work. That’s why everything, real change, has to start at the individual level for real change to happen. We can not fix our social problems from the top down. We can not build a government that conforms to Christ's teachings, unless those Christ-like principles are already a norm in the people it governs. Our representative government reflects us. The good Samaritan principle has to first start and thrive with the people that the government represents and a government who is peopled by us. From the trenches of society, the principle can evolve into our representative government.

    So.... if the good Samaritan principle of your OP in our society is currently considered "special and something that does not happen often" this begs the question: Why and how can we fix this and make it a norm the individual level?
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I don't see how there's any real problem there. If we apply what scripture teaches us, then what the government does or how it functions ceases to be of concern to us. If I'm opting to pay for someone's medical bills, it doesn't really concern me how or what the government's role in the issue is (whether or not it provides healthcare). If I choose to feed, clothe, or offer room and board to someone in need, it doesn't matter to me what the government says or does on the issue. The only time it should be of concern to me is when the government enacts laws or statutes that actively impede my ability to follow Christ, in which case, like Daniel, I'm obligated to simply ignore those laws and accept the consequences.
    Right, but it doesn't preclude us setting up government to do those things either. Why not do both?

    The argument presented so far is that it is a "personal responsibility" and I have countered that a democratic government, unlike Caesar's, is an extension of you. I see no difference between that and between a preacher spreading the word over television. Unless the argument is that you must do charity directly, in person, face-to-face.

    ---------- Post added October 8th, 2013 at 12:27 AM ---------- Previous post was October 7th, 2013 at 11:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Visiting someone in prison, or helping someone who is who is sick or who is homeless, does mean the act of charity (love) feeds the alcoholic more alcohol or gives the drug addict more drugs.

    Extending love and compassion does not mean that if a person keeps doing the same destructive things in their life, they will get a different result. Christ is intelligent. Change means doing something different so that a different result is obtained.

    Do you observe Christ in the Gospels teaching that we love and help our neighbor by feeding them with the lusts and destructive habits of man?


    You brought Christ into this thread. Why do you think he did this?


    Are what good things?


    Who allowed what? Do what to someone else? Who’s done what to whom?


    The carnal mind thinks it needs a lot of things, and sometimes it can make a person homeless or very destitute. An alcoholic thinks they need more alcohol. A drug addict thinks they need more drugs. A homeless thief who is getting by on breaking into cars, thinks he needs one more car to break into. You and I feeding that need to the utmost of our ability is not love nor is it compassion.

    I'd say that allowing someone to torture and heinously murder another is destructive to that same person. To their soul, no? So why did Jesus allow it to happen? Why did God allow it to happen to his son? Could you have laid there and taken that abuse, then hung there on the cross, when with a thought you could've been out of there?

    Jesus did so to set the example and to show us what God wants...to give to each other everything in love. He loved those men whipping him and hanging him on the cross and forgave them. Could you?

    Now, how silly is it to deny someone who just wants a drink, or gets food stamps or to judge them. What do you know of their needs? Jesus says you don't need to, you just give.

    ---------- Post added at 12:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:27 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post

    It’s a noble idea to try to shape government to conform with Christ's teachings. But in a representative government, we can’t shape government into something, we, the people are not or have not taken the opportunity to practice or become. If we are not a society that conforms (lives) by the teachings of Christ, we will not be able to shape a government that conforms to the teachings of Christ. Our government is made up of us, of who we elect from the pool of you and me and everyone else.

    If the good Samaritan principle is not working as a norm with the people in the trenches of our society, it cannot work effectively as a norm with a representative government. Forcing morality doesn’t work. That’s why everything, real change, has to start at the individual level for real change to happen. We can not fix our social problems from the top down. We can not build a government that conforms to Christ's teachings, unless those Christ-like principles are already a norm in the people it governs. Our representative government reflects us. The good Samaritan principle has to first start and thrive with the people that the government represents and a government who is peopled by us. From the trenches of society, the principle can evolve into our representative government.

    So.... if the good Samaritan principle of your OP in our society is currently considered "special and something that does not happen often" this begs the question: Why and how can we fix this and make it a norm the individual level?

    Are you saying we can't make murder illegal until there are no more murders? We legislate morality all the time and those norms are transferred and learned from generation to generation...from the "top down" as you say, from teacher to student, parent to child, elder to juvenile, lord to peasant, priest to congregation, etc.
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Jesus did so to set the example and to show us what God wants...to give to each other everything in love. He loved those men whipping him and hanging him on the cross and forgave them. Could you?
    God loves the soul, not the sin. Jesus forgave his persecutors but that doesn’t mean there were no consequences for their actions. Just like we forgive and love our children despite some of the terrible things they may do. Our love doesn't mean there are no consequences to their actions. God's love for the soul does not mean the principle of causation is suspended. For every action, there is a corresponding reaction. We tend to reap what we sow. If we sow fruit, we bear fruit. If we sow thorny bushes, we get the like. We can’t escape this principle, but we can learn to work with it.

    Now, how are you relating your statement about Christ on the cross to the Good Samaritan?

    Now, how silly is it to deny someone who just wants a drink, or gets food stamps or to judge them.
    Who's judging? We’re talking about the good Samaritan and helping someone in need. Isn’t that what your OP is about? If you came across a drunkard or a drug addict wasted and lying on a street in your neighborhood, it seems you would help them by giving him a bottle of whiskey if they asked you for whiskey or a case of beer; or perhaps more meth if they asked you for meth and you had some.

    Personally, I think that would not only be silly but extremely irresponsible.

    What do you know of their needs?
    Common sense and basic reasoning would tell most people who might be good Samaritans that someone who is wasted and drunk and sprawled out on a sidewalk by where you are walking and asking for more alcohol that they has lost their sense of reasoning. What do we know of their needs? Simple reasoning would tell most good Samaritan's that they do not need more alcohol.

    Jesus says you don't need to, you just give.
    He also taught us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

    Are you saying we can't make murder illegal until there are no more murders?
    We can’t make people love their fellow neighbor or be their brother’s keeper. We can’t make people be compassionate and not-selfish. We can’t force people to help poor people. We can’t change someone’s hard heart. The Spirit of Christ has been trying to do this for over two thousand years and it's still a work in process.

    We legislate morality all the time and those norms are transferred and learned from generation to generation...
    We legislate the protection of our human rights. But even those laws can’t make someone not be want to be a liar or a hater or not want to kill. We can’t make a person not want to steal though we can throw them in jail for stealing. Jail does not necessarily change a person’s conscience or moral compass or will. We can’t make someone open up their hearts and love their neighbor as themselves. We can’t make someone will to be a good Samaritan who does not want to be good Samaritan. These changes have to happen at the individual level.

    Now ... Christ did have an answer to this dilemma. I think he called it rebirth.
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post

    Now, how are you relating your statement about Christ on the cross to the Good Samaritan?

    They both gave of themseleves, selflessly.

    ---------- Post added at 12:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post

    Who's judging? We’re talking about the good Samaritan and helping someone in need. Isn’t that what your OP is about? If you came across a drunkard or a drug addict wasted and lying on a street in your neighborhood, it seems you would help them by giving him a bottle of whiskey if they asked you for whiskey or a case of beer; or perhaps more meth if they asked you for meth and you had some.

    Personally, I think that would not only be silly but extremely irresponsible.

    In your hyperbolic examples, possibly.


    What if it was just a guy on the street. You see him one day, he's completely normal looking and comes up to you and asks for some money to get lunch. You give it to him but later see him go into a liquor store and come out with a bottle.

    Next week you see him again and he asks you again...what do you do?

    ---------- Post added at 12:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:07 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    He also taught us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

    That means you're to prepare and be ready for the persecution you are likely to receive as a follower of Christ, not that you're supposed to outsmart them. You're not to resist evil, rather let it pass through you.

    ---------- Post added at 12:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:12 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    We can’t make people love their fellow neighbor or be their brother’s keeper. We can’t make people be compassionate and not-selfish. We can’t force people to help poor people. We can’t change someone’s hard heart. The Spirit of Christ has been trying to do this for over two thousand years and it's still a work in process.

    We legislate the protection of our human rights. But even those laws can’t make someone not be want to be a liar or a hater or not want to kill. We can’t make a person not want to steal though we can throw them in jail for stealing. Jail does not necessarily change a person’s conscience or moral compass or will. We can’t make someone open up their hearts and love their neighbor as themselves. We can’t make someone will to be a good Samaritan who does not want to be good Samaritan. These changes have to happen at the individual level.

    Now ... Christ did have an answer to this dilemma. I think he called it rebirth.

    We can set an example and yes it can lead to rebirth.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    They both gave of themseleves, selflessly.
    We agree. The individual personally gave of himself just as Christ personally gave of himself. (individual responsibility)

    What if it was just a guy on the street. You see him one day, he's completely normal looking and comes up to you and asks for some money to get lunch. You give it to him but later see him go into a liquor store and come out with a bottle.

    Next week you see him again and he asks you again...what do you do?
    If he had a nice suit on, wearing a $200 watch, I might ask him to buy me lunch.

    If it appears he’s homeless, I would probably go buy him a sandwich, some chips, probably throw in an apple and a cookie, and I might even go get him a large caramel latte. Then I might say a heartfelt prayer for him that God give him the opportunity to come out of any negative circumstances he may be facing. If he seemed friendly and wanted to talk, I would talk with him.

    You're not to resist evil,
    That doesn’t mean we’re to feed or add to evil. When we do so, we can tie our self to it at some level by our action or sometimes even by our inaction. There’s enough evil in a day, whereby we are advised not to add to it. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34

    rather let it pass through you.
    I’m not sure about what you mean by passing through you. That might kill the average person or make him go crazy (psychotic). What we can do is: "Put on the whole armour of God, [so that we deflect evil] that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:11-17

    We can set an example and yes it can lead to rebirth.
    Right, individuals can set good examples. And that’s one of the beauties of our Constitution: it protects the right of this process through the protection of our right to religious/spiritual freedom.
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Right, but it doesn't preclude us setting up government to do those things either. Why not do both?

    The argument presented so far is that it is a "personal responsibility" and I have countered that a democratic government, unlike Caesar's, is an extension of you. I see no difference between that and between a preacher spreading the word over television. Unless the argument is that you must do charity directly, in person, face-to-face.
    We COULD set up a government like that, but it would, in effect, be a theocracy rather than a democracy. If we're setting up a government or injecting into a government, religious principles, then the jump isn't far from replacing congressmen with priests and the president with a pope.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX
    Right, but it doesn't preclude us setting up government to do those things either. Why not do both?

    The argument presented so far is that it is a "personal responsibility" and I have countered that a democratic government, unlike Caesar's, is an extension of you. I see no difference between that and between a preacher spreading the word over television. Unless the argument is that you must do charity directly, in person, face-to-face.

    Big problem with that logic.

    The government is not an extension of me. I can and do disagree very strongly with what my government does, which if it were merely an extension of me, then this would not be the case. I have the power to vote, but I do not have the power to make the government do whatever I want. Your claim is absurd. Was the government an extension of you when it was shutdown? When it went to war in Iraq? If you argument is true, then you my friend have personal responsibility for the war in Iraq, for the government shutdown, for every action the government has done. Do you not see how absolutely absurd your argument then is?

    Ironically, by your logic, corporations are also extensions of the people who own them. If you own stock in GE or GM, then they are an extension of you by your own argument. Somehow I doubt you are not so logically consistent, but that only reveals the absurdity of what you have claimed.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post



    Ironically, by your logic, corporations are also extensions of the people who own them. If you own stock in GE or GM, then they are an extension of you by your own argument. Somehow I doubt you are not so logically consistent, but that only reveals the absurdity of what you have claimed.

    To different degrees, yes, I would agree with that. If I own a controlling amount of stock in GE then yes, it is an extension of me.

    My family is an extension of me. How many of them do I have absolute control over to make do exactly what I want? None. If my spouse and kids want a different vacation destination than I, do I stop being a part of that family?

    I most certainly do have a personal responsibility for the war in Iraq. For each service person and every action they take. Most definitely.

    So also it is with government depending on how involved you are with it and on what level, local, county, state, federal.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    To different degrees, yes, I would agree with that. If I own a controlling amount of stock in GE then yes, it is an extension of me.

    My family is an extension of me. How many of them do I have absolute control over to make do exactly what I want? None. If my spouse and kids want a different vacation destination than I, do I stop being a part of that family?

    I most certainly do have a personal responsibility for the war in Iraq. For each service person and every action they take. Most definitely.

    So also it is with government depending on how involved you are with it and on what level, local, county, state, federal.
    While you have at least shown yourself to be logically consistent, you did not at all address my argument of why the government is not an extension of ourselves:

    The government is not an extension of me. I can and do disagree very strongly with what my government does, which if it were merely an extension of me, then this would not be the case. I have the power to vote, but I do not have the power to make the government do whatever I want.

    Something cannot be an extension of myself if I lack utter control over it and am at odds with it.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    While you have at least shown yourself to be logically consistent, you did not at all address my argument of why the government is not an extension of ourselves:

    The government is not an extension of me. I can and do disagree very strongly with what my government does, which if it were merely an extension of me, then this would not be the case. I have the power to vote, but I do not have the power to make the government do whatever I want.

    Something cannot be an extension of myself if I lack utter control over it and am at odds with it.

    The possibly that you might disagree with an outcome through the government is part of what you agreed to by being a member of this society.

    I disagree that you lack any type of control. If you feel that powerless and alienated why do you stay? It's like showing up at a party where you're clearly not wanted, no? Why would you stay and punish yourself?

    That you personally feel that you have no control I can't help you with. Run for office, get involved. Local school board is a good place to start.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    As an elaboration, how do you think this teaching would be administered by government?

    Matthew 6:5
    The Lord’s Prayer
    5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. yTruly, I say to you, they have received their reward.


    For example, I take it to mean that when we do pray we should not be obnoxious about it. It doesn't say we must pray. Is that what you were getting at? A government forcing us to pray? How would they know if you did it or not? Jesus said to shut the door and do it in private.
    The "how" is just a detail. The government could pay for public service announcements on tv, radio and the internet telling people how to pray, or it could hold community training classes, or pass actual legislation requiring or forbidding certain behavior. What form the "how" actually takes would be worked out by voters and legislators, if the "should" question is answered affirmatively. That is no different than the "how" of the healthcare/welfare you are advocating. On that issue you are arguing the "should" and not the "how". So be consistent and do the same with prayer, and say yes or no to the "should". What do you say? Should government follow that teaching of Jesus? Yes, or no?
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    The possibly that you might disagree with an outcome through the government is part of what you agreed to by being a member of this society.

    I disagree that you lack any type of control. If you feel that powerless and alienated why do you stay? It's like showing up at a party where you're clearly not wanted, no? Why would you stay and punish yourself?

    That you personally feel that you have no control I can't help you with. Run for office, get involved. Local school board is a good place to start.
    Since when is "dont like it, get out" a logical argument? You need to re-examine the basis of your argument which amounts to simply ignoring any rational counter-argument with obvious nonsense.

    We live in a Republic, as a result, all government is a compromise made between individuals of different values. The government cannot be an extension of myself or anybody because it consists of over 300 million souls who all also must have their say. For me to impose my will on others is tyranny, a concept you don't seem to get, given that you seem to insist on imposing your religious values on the nation as a whole.

    If I do not agree with how the government handles my money, then its not charity, nor is it an extension of myself.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    The "how" is just a detail. The government could pay for public service announcements on tv, radio and the internet telling people how to pray, or it could hold community training classes, or pass actual legislation requiring or forbidding certain behavior. What form the "how" actually takes would be worked out by voters and legislators, if the "should" question is answered affirmatively. That is no different than the "how" of the healthcare/welfare you are advocating. On that issue you are arguing the "should" and not the "how". So be consistent and do the same with prayer, and say yes or no to the "should". What do you say? Should government follow that teaching of Jesus? Yes, or no?
    Just for clarification before I answer, are you saying that Jesus said we must pray? I see an instruction on how to pray when we do, but I don't see any imperative such as, for example, 5 times a day.

    For argument let's say that there is, there still isn't any directive as to where and when. In a church? At night? On a certain day? As long as people have free time to pray (as they wish) then what would be needed from government?

    For example, at my current employer we have what is called a "quiet room". Little more than a closet with a lounge chair in it. People use it how they like on their breaks and I know for certain one of the managers (a church deacon) prays in there. They aren't forced but a provision has been made. The same way we make provisions for religious holidays.

    Or are you saying that the government would have us praying to a certain god, the god of the Bible for example?

    ---------- Post added at 01:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:12 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Since when is "dont like it, get out" a logical argument? You need to re-examine the basis of your argument which amounts to simply ignoring any rational counter-argument with obvious nonsense.

    We live in a Republic, as a result, all government is a compromise made between individuals of different values. The government cannot be an extension of myself or anybody because it consists of over 300 million souls who all also must have their say. For me to impose my will on others is tyranny, a concept you don't seem to get, given that you seem to insist on imposing your religious values on the nation as a whole.

    If I do not agree with how the government handles my money, then its not charity, nor is it an extension of myself.
    Well, I don't have time for a civics lesson. I just find it odd that you'd stay in a place where you have no connection to the people around you or any concern for them and where you feel completely alienated from the government, especially in one where the opportunities for participation are so vast. The world is so large there must be a place for you or you can try and get involved here and make a difference.

    It's no longer your money once you pay your taxes, it goes into a common pool. Everyone chips in the same as in a poker game or to buy pizza.
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

 

 
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