OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 25, 2014, 07:21:04 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Discussion regarding the Orthodox view of owning personal property and wealth  (Read 3012 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Orthoconvert71
Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity/transition between jurisdictions
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Transition between jurisdictions
Posts: 22


Newbie-convert


WWW
« on: May 20, 2011, 12:30:38 PM »

Greetings to all in Christ Jesus:

I have a question that has been on my mind for quite sometime now.  It really transcends denominational/church boundaries since it doesn't matter if you are an Eastern Christian or Western Christian (though most Protestant churches wouldn't count in regards to this particular discussion):  Can a layperson who is not a monastic own personal property and not be poor?
Logged

In Christ,
Joe Bettencourt
Orthoconvert71
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 12:56:10 PM »

Greetings to all in Christ Jesus:

I have a question that has been on my mind for quite sometime now.  It really transcends denominational/church boundaries since it doesn't matter if you are an Eastern Christian or Western Christian (though most Protestant churches wouldn't count in regards to this particular discussion):  Can a layperson who is not a monastic own personal property and not be poor?


Of course. What makes you question this? There are rich people and poor people and middle class people who live according to Christ's commandments and others who don't. Rich saints are not attached to their wealth and are not obsessed with getting more, and poor saints are thankful for what they do have and are not envious of what others have been given.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,121


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 07:24:28 PM »

St. Nicholas was very wealthy.  I'm sure St. Justinian had more than a few gold coins in his pocket at any given point.

Being rich does not mean one is to be dragged to hell when they die.  Being poor does not mean one is to be pulled up to heaven when they die.  Rather, it is how you use your wealth that matters.  If you are rich, you should be generous with your money and not hoard it up (more specifically, don't be rich simply because you have continuously lived in a one room shack and had no electricity and donated to nothing, but have worked your way up to a bank account with $5 million).  If you are poor, don't be jealous of those who have more than you, and don't do whatever you possibly can to get more money.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Orthoconvert71
Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity/transition between jurisdictions
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Transition between jurisdictions
Posts: 22


Newbie-convert


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 08:42:08 PM »

Greetings in Christ:

It just seems to me that if poverty and suffering are the problems in society, then unless one is happy being poor (a monastic is supposed to be such a person) then the only way one can better their life is to acquire wealth and own property.

I bring this subject up because, online anyways, I have run across what seems to me to be implied anyways, that everyone has to be poor and not own property, at least some monks would seem to imply this...just my opinion or perhaps I misunderstood the monks???


Being rich does not mean one is to be dragged to hell when they die.  Being poor does not mean one is to be pulled up to heaven when they die.  Rather, it is how you use your wealth that matters.  If you are rich, you should be generous with your money and not hoard it up (more specifically, don't be rich simply because you have continuously lived in a one room shack and had no electricity and donated to nothing, but have worked your way up to a bank account with $5 million).  If you are poor, don't be jealous of those who have more than you, and don't do whatever you possibly can to get more money.
[/quote]
Logged

In Christ,
Joe Bettencourt
Orthoconvert71
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 12:40:26 AM »

As in how much money one makes or how much money one holds onto?
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
Orthoconvert71
Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity/transition between jurisdictions
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Transition between jurisdictions
Posts: 22


Newbie-convert


WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 07:03:14 AM »

I like the idea that if someone makes a lot of money, they are supposed take some of that money and share it with the poor and needy.  Huh 

Perhaps both?  I mean at seems like the best goal is to be "Middle Class" although this concept developed very late in history and it just seems to me that if the lay people who are not monastics can't own property and can't be prosperous, then the Church is teaching poverty to all.  It just seems to me that this is IMPLIED, not that this is what the Church teaches...just something I have noticed and since I am a NEWBIE, maybe if someone could help me better understand it if they could confirm with me that not all monks require lay people to give up their property and be voluntarily poor.

As in how much money one makes or how much money one holds onto?
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 07:05:35 AM by Orthoconvert71 » Logged

In Christ,
Joe Bettencourt
Orthoconvert71
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,415


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 08:39:18 AM »

For early Christians it was never about wealth or money.  The practices of charity and giving were much stronger.

Doesn't matter that St. Nicholas had money, early Christians often gave it away to people in need.  As did St. Nicholas.

The question exists around the life of Nicholas, and if he lived a ritzy lifestyle or not.  If he was simplistic and content and had tons of money and gave it away, that would be early Christian values.   If he lived it up in a mansion and his gifts were generous but he "did better for himself than he did unto others", that would not be early Christian values.  I know he helped people in need, but I don't know much about his life or how rich he lived for himself.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
David 2007
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 197



« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 01:58:20 PM »

Orthoconvert, you seem to be asking one question to justify a different position.

In terms of what Jesus wants, he clearly advises not to be obsessed with money and not to store up riches.

Can I ask which country do you come from? This might understand the cultural background of the question.
Logged
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 02:27:23 PM »

I like the idea that if someone makes a lot of money, they are supposed take some of that money and share it with the poor and needy.  Huh 

Charity is a virtue, it is also part of fulfilling the Lord's commandment to love one another. That said, it is not about income redistribution, but about supplying for needs. If I am rich and simply give money to poor people, what does that really do? Does it address the causes of his poverty--joblessness, sickness, lack of education, lack of motivation, etc.? Not really. Giving money may assuage my conscience as a rich man, but it can create more problems, as well as leave other, more pressing needs, left unmet. So, it's not about money. Money is a tool, but not a panacea.

Perhaps both?  I mean at seems like the best goal is to be "Middle Class" although this concept developed very late in history and it just seems to me that if the lay people who are not monastics can't own property and can't be prosperous, then the Church is teaching poverty to all.  It just seems to me that this is IMPLIED, not that this is what the Church teaches...just something I have noticed and since I am a NEWBIE, maybe if someone could help me better understand it if they could confirm with me that not all monks require lay people to give up their property and be voluntarily poor.

No. There is some misunderstanding here, either on your part or on those you are hearing or reading.

First, monks, as such, are not in a position to require anything of anyone. Monks and laymen have on master, Christ, and one mother, the Church. They both strive to follow Christ's commandments, which are given to all, not just one or the other.

Second, voluntary poverty is just that--voluntary. It cannot be forced on anyone or else there is no virtue in it. It goes along with sacrificial love. For love of God and neighbor, for example, one may give a tithe or more to the parish or a charity, or directly to someone in need. Out of the same love, one may fast and pray, or one may teach Church school or chant. Of course, all these things can be done without love, in which case they are not so profitable.

The Lord did not say that money itself or the having of money was evil, but that "the love of money is the root of all evil," that is, that desire for more and the attachment to money an things of this world--something which people of all classes and economic states can suffer from.

Maybe the confusion here is that you are reading monastic texts speaking of voluntary poverty in a monastic context. Be careful not to apply these to a non-monastic context.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
David 2007
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 197



« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 04:05:11 PM »

Jesus made it very clear when he said it was harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, than a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

The more wealth and possessions we have, the more worry we have (this is discussed in Ecclesiastes).

There is a pagan God of wealth called Mammon. Jesus clearly says we cannot serve two masters, money or God.

This is why the saints have shunned material wealth. 
Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,121


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 05:10:42 PM »

Just one point, the "it's harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven..." line most likely refers to a very low gate outside Jerusalem.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,415


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 05:39:45 AM »

Just one point, the "it's harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven..." line most likely refers to a very low gate outside Jerusalem.

I've heard this before and the explanation.  This however is not the belief of many in the early church.  Nor do I believe that Jesus was addressing the rich man specifically just for it to be twisted into the gate that a camel passes through in Jerusalem that they called "the eye of a needle".

I believe Yeshua was directly addressing wealth. 
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,121


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 09:02:52 AM »

And you are so infinitely wise as to know this, how?

Also, can you point to anything that backs up your believe that many in the early Church taught that wealth was bad?  The fact that many saints have been very wealthy would seem to suggest you are wrong.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 09:13:10 AM »

Clement of Alexandria's On the Rich Man's Salvation is helpful here.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 09:20:07 AM »

I should say, he basically says that the Lord's commandments re giving were premised on a situation of some people being "haves" and others being "have-nots", ie: there can be no giving if one has nothing to give.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Agabus
The user formerly known as Agabus.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Pan-American Colloquial Convert Hybrid Orthodoxy.
Jurisdiction: We are all uncanonical now.
Posts: 2,408



« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2011, 09:51:39 AM »

Wealth, in and of itself, is not evil, though my observation has been that Capital corrupts even at the middle class level... But I do not presume to know the heart of the wealthy, and I can certainly think of rich people who are holier than I.

My personal ethic falls with John Chrysostom:

“The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”

And:

"Not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth, but theirs."

His work On Wealth and Poverty is helpful, and is available from SVS here: http://www.amazon.com/Wealth-Poverty-Saint-John-Chrysostom/dp/088141039X
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 09:52:58 AM by Agabus » Logged

Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH
Poppy
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Muslim
Jurisdiction: Hanbali fiqh
Posts: 1,030

onlytwatsusetwitter
WWW
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2011, 09:59:58 AM »

Quote
It just seems to me that if poverty and suffering are the problems in society,

This is a rli good discussion!!! I think poverty and suffering isn't about money or property its more than material things. Someone can suffer when they are rich because of all sorts of things and they can be poor when they are rich as well because of the limits in their mind and personality. Or they might be sick.

People who have shed loads financially can lose it all because they cant shake off a poor mind set and so their poverty is all in their head. The same way that ppl can be poor materially and that doesn't limit them at all.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 10:00:27 AM by Poppy » Logged
augustin717
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: The other ROC
Posts: 5,635



« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2011, 10:24:07 AM »

No one can be rich without exploiting others. There is infinitely more human dignity in being among the exploited than among the exploiters/capitalists.
Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,121


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2011, 11:00:59 AM »

Care to give evidence?
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Poppy
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Muslim
Jurisdiction: Hanbali fiqh
Posts: 1,030

onlytwatsusetwitter
WWW
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2011, 11:18:17 AM »

No one can be rich without exploiting others. There is infinitely more human dignity in being among the exploited than among the exploiters/capitalists.
Well that depends on what you mean by "rich". Ppl can be materially rich by all sorts of ways that don't involve exploitation. And crikey!! There is more human dignity among the exploited??? really??? There's not just the exploited and the exploiters in the world.... there's a whole lots else inbetween as well. If that's how you see the world that narrow and black and white....then the probability of you being both of those things at some points thoughout the whole entirity of your life is quite high.... you think???
Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,613



« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2011, 11:20:17 AM »

Just one point, the "it's harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven..." line most likely refers to a very low gate outside Jerusalem.

Whatever it takes for you to fall asleep at night.  Wink
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,613



« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2011, 11:21:58 AM »

And you are so infinitely wise as to know this, how?

Also, can you point to anything that backs up your believe that many in the early Church taught that wealth was bad?  The fact that many saints have been very wealthy would seem to suggest you are wrong.

You have that whole two people getting killed over not properly filling their taxes with St. Peter or something. I don't read the Bible much, so I could be off here.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Agabus
The user formerly known as Agabus.
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Pan-American Colloquial Convert Hybrid Orthodoxy.
Jurisdiction: We are all uncanonical now.
Posts: 2,408



« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2011, 11:59:38 AM »

There's not just the exploited and the exploiters in the world....there's a whole lots else inbetween as well. If that's how you see the world that narrow and black and white...then the probability of you being both of those things at some points thoughout the whole entirity of your life is quite high.... you think???
Shades of gray do not disprove the dialectic.
Logged

Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH
Cognomen
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Phyletism Rules, OK
Posts: 1,968


Ungrateful Biped


« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2011, 12:04:22 PM »

Just one point, the "it's harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven..." line most likely refers to a very low gate outside Jerusalem.

Sorry to add to the critique of this, but even if Christ was referring to a gate, he obviously uses figurative language.  I hate the idea that He was actually just giving a random warning about a small gate, and that this was deemed worthy to be written and accepted as scripture.

Additionally (pointed out to me by the OSB notes), it's clear what he means by the disciples' immediate response: "Who then can be saved?" not, "well how can we get our gear through the gate?  Is there perhaps an an alternative entrance with a wider opening?"

I agree very much with your point that the rich are not prevented from entering heaven, while the poor are automatically given a spot.  That said, as Agabus referenced, St. John Chrysostom's writings, including On Wealth and Poverty, can be pretty challenging towards being overly comfortable with riches.
Logged

North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,613



« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2011, 12:12:17 PM »

Just one point, the "it's harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven..." line most likely refers to a very low gate outside Jerusalem.

Sorry to add to the critique of this, but even if Christ was referring to a gate, he obviously uses figurative language.  I hate the idea that He was actually just giving a random warning about a small gate, and that this was deemed worthy to be written and accepted as scripture.

Let's not forget the rest of the story here. The issue of wealth and entering the Kingdom of God is made even more pointed in light of the disciples groans and then Christ offers his teaching.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 12:12:50 PM by orthonorm » Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,121


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2011, 12:17:40 PM »

Orthonorm, I don't need to believe the wealthy aren't at serious risk of damnation simply because they have money.  My family has always been very far from wealthy, and while I do have a good deal more than I need, I would not be called wealthy by almost any American.

And as for Ananias and Sapphira, they were struck down by the Holy Spirit for lying to the Body of Christ, for lying to the Spirit of Truth.  Peter even tells Ananias "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?  While it remained, was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?  You have not lied to men but to God."  Ananias and Sapphira had essentially pledged a piece of land to the Church, and when they sold it decided that they would - rather than giving all of what they had essentially pledged - attempted to deceive the Apostle Peter, the Church, and God Himself by keeping back a portion of the price they received.  That was their sin - not in wanting property for their own.  Peter says that it was theirs before they sold it and does not suggest that it was wrong for it to have belonged to them, rather he says that they have lied to God, and then they were struck down.

Cognomen, I would certainly agree that Christ meant it is very difficult to get to heaven with lots of stuff.  But that is just it, I don't think he was saying merely having money or a high net worth is a sin and will keep you from heaven.  Rather, I think he was suggesting that those who are attached to their money and their stuff, those who refuse to give up anything, are very unlikely to be saved.  This is reflected in a quote of St. John of Kronstadt "How destructive to the heart is even momentary attachment for anything earthly."  People who have a lot of money and a lot of stuff are likely to have a significant amount of attachment to earthly things because when you buy a lot of stuff that is completely unneeded it tends to be either to fill a hole in yourself that only God can fill, or it is because you are very concerned with the opinions of others about you, or you are jealous of other people having something you don't.  If you have a lot of money, and not so much stuff, it tends to be because you are either horribly afraid the Lord won't provide for you or because you actually love money itself.  This is different from a man who is wealthy because he owns a successful business (or several of them) and lives in a nice house, but one that isn't three times as big as he needs for his family, and who donates money to the poor and to groups like Habitat for Humanity.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Poppy
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Muslim
Jurisdiction: Hanbali fiqh
Posts: 1,030

onlytwatsusetwitter
WWW
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2011, 04:05:02 PM »

Quote
while the poor are automatically given a spot.


Why?? You can't just say "poor" because there is different types of poor and people can't just simply mean the poor materially because some people can be really proud of their poverty and have a real attitude about it looking down on the seeminly "rich" people. I think your over simplifying it and that its more to do with peoples attitude to what they have got and not got.
Logged
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,121


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2011, 04:31:09 PM »

Poppy, might I recommend reading the whole sentence, in the future?

You see, if you add the first half of that it becomes "I agree very much with your point that the rich are not prevented from entering heaven, while the poor are automatically given a spot." which would mean the rich are NOT automotically admitted to heaven.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Cognomen
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Phyletism Rules, OK
Posts: 1,968


Ungrateful Biped


« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2011, 04:49:01 PM »

^ Cheers.  

Poppy, as James explained, my point was that being rich or poor (however God may classify us), without considering other factors, does not seem to solely determine our fate.

James, agreed with your longer explanation above (#27), and thanks for the St. John of Kronstadt quote.  I think it gets to the root of the issue.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 04:49:50 PM by Cognomen » Logged

North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).
David 2007
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 197



« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2011, 09:39:13 PM »

Just one point, the "it's harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven..." line most likely refers to a very low gate outside Jerusalem.

Sorry to add to the critique of this, but even if Christ was referring to a gate, he obviously uses figurative language.  I hate the idea that He was actually just giving a random warning about a small gate, and that this was deemed worthy to be written and accepted as scripture.

Additionally (pointed out to me by the OSB notes), it's clear what he means by the disciples' immediate response: "Who then can be saved?" not, "well how can we get our gear through the gate?  Is there perhaps an an alternative entrance with a wider opening?"

I agree very much with your point that the rich are not prevented from entering heaven, while the poor are automatically given a spot.  That said, as Agabus referenced, St. John Chrysostom's writings, including On Wealth and Poverty, can be pretty challenging towards being overly comfortable with riches.

THIS!

/thread
Logged
Poppy
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Muslim
Jurisdiction: Hanbali fiqh
Posts: 1,030

onlytwatsusetwitter
WWW
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2011, 12:19:31 PM »

Poppy, might I recommend reading the whole sentence, in the future?

You see, if you add the first half of that it becomes "I agree very much with your point that the rich are not prevented from entering heaven, while the poor are automatically given a spot." which would mean the rich are NOT automotically admitted to heaven.

I did read the whole sentence....but i might have misunderstood sorry. Maybe i put my question rli badley.
Its seemed a bit weird that the (materially) poor are automatically given a place that's all.

Quote
Poppy, as James explained, my point was that being rich or poor (however God may classify us), without considering other factors, does not seem to solely determine our fate.

Ok cognoman if its up to God to classify who is poor then it might not be to do with just material riches. Because somewhere else it also talks about spiritually poor as well?? I can't remember where.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 12:22:15 PM by Poppy » Logged
Orthoconvert71
Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity/transition between jurisdictions
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Transition between jurisdictions
Posts: 22


Newbie-convert


WWW
« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2011, 02:58:02 PM »

Orthoconvert, you seem to be asking one question to justify a different position.

In terms of what Jesus wants, he clearly advises not to be obsessed with money and not to store up riches.

Can I ask which country do you come from? This might understand the cultural background of the question.

Greetings from the U.S.A., California:  My apologies for not replying sooner.  I get busy so I'm not always online.  I'm new to all of this so please forgive me, perhaps I'm just misunderstanding or as it has been pointed out, since I do on occasion read some monastic writings, I think maybe that contributes to the misunderstanding on my end since as a layperson, I need to make the distinction between what Monastics will write that applies to other monastics and how I, a layperson, must approach such writings.  I am new and learning.  Thank you all for your patience. 
Logged

In Christ,
Joe Bettencourt
Orthoconvert71
Orthoconvert71
Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity/transition between jurisdictions
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Transition between jurisdictions
Posts: 22


Newbie-convert


WWW
« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2011, 03:06:31 PM »

Jesus made it very clear when he said it was harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, than a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

The more wealth and possessions we have, the more worry we have (this is discussed in Ecclesiastes).

There is a pagan God of wealth called Mammon. Jesus clearly says we cannot serve two masters, money or God.

This is why the saints have shunned material wealth. 

And here is where I am confused.  Please, I ask for your patience.  Was Solomon of the Old Testament, or Abraham or King David any less Saints since they had wealth and owned personal property?  Why does the Church own personal property and wealth?  If my goal is to be poor and own nothing and what I do have I give to the Church, then the altar and gold crosses or icons I see---aren't those personal possessions that belong to the Church?  If the Church is a poor Church, then shouldn't it be made of clay and straw instead of it being beautifully adorned and have a monetary value to it's Temple/building?  Why does the Church own property and have wealth but some lay people and especially monastics can't have personal property and wealth?   Isn't this a form of exploitation?  If you can't have wealth and personal property, then how will you ever have your needs met?  How will you ever have a better quality of life?  Every human being has the same needs:  Food, shelter,clothing.  If I am told," You can't own personal property," then what about the clothes you wear?  That's personal property to wear clothes?  You don't share you clothes with others, do you?  Confused---Orthodxonvert71
Logged

In Christ,
Joe Bettencourt
Orthoconvert71
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,613



« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2011, 03:12:34 PM »

There are probably no other passages in the Gospel that people will attempt to apologize for with more twist and contortion than a Cirque du Soleil act than the passages on poverty and wealth.

Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Orthoconvert71
Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity/transition between jurisdictions
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Transition between jurisdictions
Posts: 22


Newbie-convert


WWW
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2011, 04:13:04 PM »

There are probably no other passages in the Gospel that people will attempt to apologize for with more twist and contortion than a Cirque du Soleil act than the passages on poverty and wealth.


Oh I agree with you there!  Hence why I wanted to start this thread (aren't a stinky to bring this one up?).  So...did Jesus Christ start a monastic religion of human sacrifce 2,000 years ago?  That the goal is to become A LITERAL HUMAN SACRIFICE?  Hence why you see those passages that, as you point out, can't really be apologized for?  They say what they say:  That you can't have a better quality of life in this life.  You are supposed to suffer instead?
Logged

In Christ,
Joe Bettencourt
Orthoconvert71
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2011, 04:38:05 PM »

The Spirit is descended!
And you are so infinitely wise as to know this, how?

Also, can you point to anything that backs up your believe that many in the early Church taught that wealth was bad?  The fact that many saints have been very wealthy would seem to suggest you are wrong.
The gate thesis is extremely recent, something the evangelical Protestants dreamt up (and bereft of evidence, I might add). There is a play on words in Aramaic on "camel" and "rope," which plays into the metaphor of trying to thread a rope.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2011, 04:39:51 PM »

The Spirit is descened!
Care to give evidence?
augustin doesn't "need no stinkin'" evidence. LOL.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,613



« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2011, 04:44:12 PM »

The Spirit is descened!
Care to give evidence?
augustin doesn't "need no stinkin'" evidence. LOL.

I like to think you and augustin take brunch together every Saturday.

Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,613



« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2011, 04:50:50 PM »

There are probably no other passages in the Gospel that people will attempt to apologize for with more twist and contortion than a Cirque du Soleil act than the passages on poverty and wealth.


Oh I agree with you there!  Hence why I wanted to start this thread (aren't a stinky to bring this one up?).  So...did Jesus Christ start a monastic religion of human sacrifce 2,000 years ago?  That the goal is to become A LITERAL HUMAN SACRIFICE?  Hence why you see those passages that, as you point out, can't really be apologized for?  They say what they say:  That you can't have a better quality of life in this life.  You are supposed to suffer instead?

I'm not quite sure what you are going on about here in all, but who says suffering cannot lead a "better quality of life" (to use those perhaps unfortunate words)? Seems to be a clear message of the Gospel.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
David 2007
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 197



« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2011, 12:24:44 PM »

Orthoconvert, I think most of us have a similar conception of the Kingdom of Heaven, regardless of our differences in politics or culture...

So I'm not sure what your conundrum is, or how to address it.

Perhaps you could tell us what you think it all means, and then people can comment?
Logged
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,415


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2011, 09:55:15 PM »

Wasn't it St. John Crysostom that said "If you have two shirts in your closet, the other one belongs to somebody else".

it really doesn't fall in line with those saying basically "sure you can have stuff/wealth".
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
Shiny
Site Supporter
Moderated
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2013, 05:49:44 PM »

I don't need to believe the wealthy aren't at serious risk of damnation simply because they have money.
Sorry for the thread bump, but I was trying to do some thread searching on a topic that has been on my mind recently.

I believe there are good NT verses and teaching from Christ that indicate a much more severe judgement of the rich than the poor. The rich man did not end up in Abraham's bosom nor would I imagine those who could have been good samaritans.

Having an excess of money seems counter to the actual Gospel.

EDIT:
There are probably no other passages in the Gospel that people will attempt to apologize for with more twist and contortion than a Cirque du Soleil act than the passages on poverty and wealth.
Just saw this and boy do I have a story for that one. I had one guy do the craziest gymnastics at work once over the whole rich man needle of an eye verse. I was literally at a loss for words he could rationalize it just so he could be greedy and be fine with having riches. It was a terrible night at work, everybody joined the conversation...

Anyway, yes the passages on poverty/wealth are the clearest. I got to start watching more of these prosperity preachers and see how they hurdle over it. I mean people come in by the droves and pack into stadiums to hear about how they can be super rich, while dismissing a large part of Christ's teaching.

I think if you are wealthy, how much harder salvation will be.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 05:55:27 PM by Shiny » Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
Tags: wealth property ownership poverty 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.125 seconds with 70 queries.