Author Topic: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?  (Read 604 times)

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Offline Volnutt

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Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« on: March 13, 2018, 01:30:28 AM »
So, I often hear the argument from cops and others that giving to beggars on the street does more harm than good as they'll likely just use it to buy alcohol or it will just encourage them not to better their lot.

Even assuming that's true, and I honestly don't know how often it is, does Scripture still command against it?

Quote from: 1 Corinthians 3:7
To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
I know the context here is about believer suing believer in a pagan court, but is there also a general principle at work? Might this even correspond to 1 Corinthians 13:7?
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Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?


Or is all of this in conflict with the exhortation to be "wise as serpents?" I honestly don't know.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 01:31:52 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 03:45:47 AM »
If the homeless use food money for their own physical harm, that's their problem, not ours. Our part is to feed the hungry, not to police them.

If we wish to encourage them to become autonomous people, why not let them at least handle their own money, trusting them with cash instead of exclusively buying stuff as we would for irresponsible children? Honestly, it sounds to me more like an extra step toward them becoming functional members of society than something that would make them even more dependent.

Once, I gave money to a homeless man who seemed to be on drugs and just kept walking uncaringly, since I was in a very dangerous spot and in these places it's wiser not to stop for anyone. He cried out he would rather get some food. The money was enough for him to buy some food, so I shrugged it off and kept walking. Later, I realised he probably didn't trust himself enough to grab this money and buy some food, but rather knew he'd just go to nearest crackland or liquour store. This was clearly an extremely heteronomous man, but this is not the case of all the homeless, probably not the case of most of them, so why should we accustom them to not be able to take their own decisions and then expect them to get a nice job? That's just ilogical. Not to mention how excruciatingly hard it is to just be employed with their background! There are even some of these people who do have jobs, but don't earn enough to afford any house, or just to afford daily tickets to their suburban areas and rather live in the streets part-time.

I really think this whole thing about not giving to beggars for X or Y is just greedy rhetorics pure and simple.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 03:50:12 AM by RaphaCam »
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 04:22:41 AM »
This quote comes to mind when considering this kind of question:

"The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard to the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of the good intention." (St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Chapters On Love, 1, 24)

I guess the catch is in the "according to their need" part, though frankly I've never been in a scenario where someone was asking for money and I knew their personal situation (as opposed to rumors) well enough to determine what their needs were or whether I would be harming them by giving a couple bucks. In this thread William brought up a quote by St. Basil (who was summarizing something another person said), basically to the effect that we should attempt to distinguish between those who truly are in need and those who aren't, but personally I'd only consider that a good approach if you're a clergyman or running a charitable group or something like that, and the person is requesting not insignificant resources.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 04:22:58 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 06:36:26 AM »
This quote comes to mind when considering this kind of question:

"The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard to the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of the good intention." (St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Chapters On Love, 1, 24)

I guess the catch is in the "according to their need" part, though frankly I've never been in a scenario where someone was asking for money and I knew their personal situation (as opposed to rumors) well enough to determine what their needs were or whether I would be harming them by giving a couple bucks. In this thread William brought up a quote by St. Basil (who was summarizing something another person said), basically to the effect that we should attempt to distinguish between those who truly are in need and those who aren't, but personally I'd only consider that a good approach if you're a clergyman or running a charitable group or something like that, and the person is requesting not insignificant resources.

Thanks for that link. I figured this topic has been covered on here before, but I wasn't sure how to search for it.

The hypothetical that most of the thread wound up revolving around, "What if we KNOW he's just going to buy alcohol?" is kind of alien to me, in most cases I think that's just judging people based on appearances. But based on a lot of the comments, I guess it does really happen. Shows how much I know.

I suppose Mor gave the best response to it overall (dzheremi's was also interesting):

If you KNOW they are just "milking" charity, it may be a problem...

I generally fall under the "give without presuming what they'll do with the money" category, but every so often I'll run into this. 

There's a lady I'm familiar with who "works" a certain NYC neighbourhood.  Her routine is always the same: she enters cafes and other food establishments and solicits donations from customers.  If you reject her without hesitation, she moves on without incident.  If you give money without hesitation, she'll thank you and move on.  But if you try to talk to her, she gets impatient, as if she'd like to move on, but feels pressured to stay, so she'll tell you a whole story about her grandchildren who are hungry and need something to eat, so she needs to get going, etc.  If you offer to buy a large pizza for her, she'll say one of them is lactose intolerant and another's a vegan or something.  If you offer to take her grocery shopping, or buy some stuff for her, etc., she'll reject all that too, but it doesn't seem to come from pride.  If you tell her that you offered all that because you have no cash to spare, but can use a credit card, that's not good enough.  When you find out through the chat that she's a RN at a local hospital and you ask why she's on the street begging if she's an employed health professional, you get several variations of F, MF, B, B, A, S, C, C, D, and a few other expletives hurled at you, along with curses upon your family (e.g., "I hope your MF mom gets hit by a bus because God hates cheap-A MF B's like you").  Then she'll move on to the next table as if nothing happened. 

It's a tough situation to negotiate.  I think, if you have little or no time, it is appropriate to give without hesitation, even if it is small.  But if you have even a little bit of time, it's worth it to try and get to know the person.  Sometimes you'll realise who's really in need versus who's using their free time to beg for supplementary income. 

Also, we should probably all keep this in mind, in the US at least.

In Pittsburgh they actually put up billboards and signs asking that people not give money to panhandlers but instead donate to the missions and soup kitchens in the city. This is probably the wisest course of action, your helping the poor and not enabling an addiction.

Deacon, there are many problems with that, that make it pretty far from the wisest course of action.  For one thing, the homeless who tend to need the most help are the same ones who tend to get themselves banned from pretty much every organization that helps the homeless.  And many organizations that help the homeless are quick to ban people from their premises because it improves their statistics, which helps them get grant money, and retain their current grants. 

In fact, I can think of one young woman who is homeless and was banned from all the properties of one organization that has housing (both temporary and permanent) and job placement services, in addition of course to providing food, because while she was staying there she tried to commit suicide.  Now, because they see her as a risk to themselves, she is forever barred from stepping foot on their property.

I also know a young man who was banned for half-a-year from another organization serving homeless youth because he was attacked by another of the youths there, and their policy is that if you are involved in a fight (even if that means you are being brutalized) on their premises, you are banned for 6 months. 

While the idea of donating to organizations that can help people is nice, the people who need the most help are the same people that almost all of the organizations won't deal with.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 06:38:40 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 09:33:55 AM »
I recall a recent study showing that the great majority of homeless spend the money on food and other necessities. A lot of the shelters actually charge for the night, so people who want to stay there do need to save money to get in. I think it is safest to take people at their word and give what you can.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 01:12:14 PM »
So, I often hear the argument from cops and others that giving to beggars on the street does more harm than good as they'll likely just use it to buy alcohol or it will just encourage them not to better their lot.

Even assuming that's true, and I honestly don't know how often it is, does Scripture still command against it?

Quote from: 1 Corinthians 3:7
To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
I know the context here is about believer suing believer in a pagan court, but is there also a general principle at work? Might this even correspond to 1 Corinthians 13:7?
Quote
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?


Or is all of this in conflict with the exhortation to be "wise as serpents?" I honestly don't know.

I think you may have overlooked the most foundational scripture on this subject, viz.:

"Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. ... Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

And I think to be parted from our natural avarice and material anxiety can be a gift to us, much like a fast.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 06:28:50 PM »
So, I often hear the argument from cops and others that giving to beggars on the street does more harm than good as they'll likely just use it to buy alcohol or it will just encourage them not to better their lot.

Even assuming that's true, and I honestly don't know how often it is, does Scripture still command against it?

Quote from: 1 Corinthians 3:7
To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
I know the context here is about believer suing believer in a pagan court, but is there also a general principle at work? Might this even correspond to 1 Corinthians 13:7?
Quote
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?


Or is all of this in conflict with the exhortation to be "wise as serpents?" I honestly don't know.

I think you may have overlooked the most foundational scripture on this subject, viz.:

"Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. ... Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

And I think to be parted from our natural avarice and material anxiety can be a gift to us, much like a fast.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. I'm just trying to also think in terms of wise stewardship and of not possibly furthering somebody's drug addiction, which would seem to be rather the opposite of helping them.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline biro

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 06:30:27 PM »
I guess it's a judgement call.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 06:31:47 PM »
I recall a recent study showing that the great majority of homeless spend the money on food and other necessities. A lot of the shelters actually charge for the night, so people who want to stay there do need to save money to get in. I think it is safest to take people at their word and give what you can.

Yes, and there was also the Michigan welfare drug tests of a couple of years ago that found zero drug users (the only problem there being small sample size, I think).
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Arachne

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 07:15:53 PM »
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?

Such money is charity, not investment. We don't need to check how it is used. We do our part, and allow them to do their own.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 07:37:35 PM »
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?

Such money is charity, not investment. We don't need to check how it is used. We do our part, and allow them to do their own.

I agree in likely 90% of cases. It's more the question of the drug addict or the alcoholic that would use the money to buy their addiction. In that case, it seems to me that giving them money is hurting rather than helping them, isn't it? But how do we tell the difference without just being judgmental bourgeois?

In that light, I admit that the title of this thread was probably a mistake.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2018, 07:41:58 PM »
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?

Such money is charity, not investment. We don't need to check how it is used. We do our part, and allow them to do their own.

I agree in likely 90% of cases. It's more the question of the drug addict or the alcoholic that would use the money to buy their addiction. In that case, it seems to me that giving them money is hurting rather than helping them, isn't it? But how do we tell the difference without just being judgmental bourgeois?

In that light, I admit that the title of this thread was probably a mistake.

I'm guessing the topic of good government in Scriptures and Fathers might fill out the picture. Personal sacrifice from love of God and neighbor is, yes, an "obligation" of the Christian's, but is not the entirety of God's will for the world.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2018, 08:34:29 PM »
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?

Such money is charity, not investment. We don't need to check how it is used. We do our part, and allow them to do their own.

I agree in likely 90% of cases. It's more the question of the drug addict or the alcoholic that would use the money to buy their addiction. In that case, it seems to me that giving them money is hurting rather than helping them, isn't it? But how do we tell the difference without just being judgmental bourgeois?

In that light, I admit that the title of this thread was probably a mistake.

Proverbs 31:6
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2018, 08:51:00 PM »
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?

Such money is charity, not investment. We don't need to check how it is used. We do our part, and allow them to do their own.

I agree in likely 90% of cases. It's more the question of the drug addict or the alcoholic that would use the money to buy their addiction. In that case, it seems to me that giving them money is hurting rather than helping them, isn't it? But how do we tell the difference without just being judgmental bourgeois?

In that light, I admit that the title of this thread was probably a mistake.

Proverbs 31:6

Yeah, that's always been one of the harder verses of Scripture for me to understand...
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2018, 08:59:08 PM »
Even if there is a chance that the homeless person will just misuse the money, should we still give to them hoping and believing that they won't?

Such money is charity, not investment. We don't need to check how it is used. We do our part, and allow them to do their own.

I agree in likely 90% of cases. It's more the question of the drug addict or the alcoholic that would use the money to buy their addiction. In that case, it seems to me that giving them money is hurting rather than helping them, isn't it? But how do we tell the difference without just being judgmental bourgeois?

In that light, I admit that the title of this thread was probably a mistake.

Proverbs 31:6

Yeah, that's always been one of the harder verses of Scripture for me to understand...

For what it's worth, my personal interpretation of the purpose of that part of Lemuel's mother's poem is to associate drunkenness with failure and deterioration in contrast to the association of sobriety with royal vigor. It is heightening imagery, in other words, such as Hebrew poetry often used. Which is not to wave away the undertone that the drunk deserves his shabby comfort; I grant that's pretty plain, regardless.
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Offline Antonis

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2018, 09:19:52 PM »
This account from the life of St. John the Merciful comes to mind when I hesitate. Maybe others will appreciate it:

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His generosity did draw censure at times. The Saint never refused suppliants. One day, when the Saint was visiting the sick, he met a beggar and commanded that he be given six silver coins. The beggar changed his clothes, ran on ahead of the Patriarch, and again asked for alms. Patriarch John gave him six more silver coins. When, however, the beggar sought charity a third time, and the servants began to chase the fellow away, the Patriarch ordered that he be given twelve pieces of silver, saying, “Perhaps he is Christ putting me to the test.”
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2015/11/saint-john-merciful-patriarch-of.html
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2018, 10:02:55 PM »
Listen,  give the begger some thunderbird wine and a smoke. God will bless you!

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2018, 10:15:16 PM »
Listen,  give the begger some thunderbird wine and a smoke. God will bless you!

Why should I give that to a beggar, when I'm not supposed to give that to a sober person?
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2018, 10:25:34 PM »
This account from the life of St. John the Merciful comes to mind when I hesitate. Maybe others will appreciate it:

Quote
His generosity did draw censure at times. The Saint never refused suppliants. One day, when the Saint was visiting the sick, he met a beggar and commanded that he be given six silver coins. The beggar changed his clothes, ran on ahead of the Patriarch, and again asked for alms. Patriarch John gave him six more silver coins. When, however, the beggar sought charity a third time, and the servants began to chase the fellow away, the Patriarch ordered that he be given twelve pieces of silver, saying, “Perhaps he is Christ putting me to the test.”
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2015/11/saint-john-merciful-patriarch-of.html

Wow. That is good food for thought.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 10:30:20 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2018, 10:29:44 PM »
Listen,  give the begger some thunderbird wine and a smoke. God will bless you!

Why should I give that to a beggar, when I'm not supposed to give that to a sober person?

You can give it to a sober person. It's arguably not best practices, sure. But neither is Orthodoxy Islam or Mormonism (or Seventh Day Adventism), where smoking and drinking are practically mortal sins, either.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline biro

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2018, 10:44:46 PM »
Listen,  give the begger some thunderbird wine and a smoke. God will bless you!

Why should I give that to a beggar, when I'm not supposed to give that to a sober person?

You can give it to a sober person. It's arguably not best practices, sure. But neither is Orthodoxy Islam or Mormonism (or Seventh Day Adventism), where smoking and drinking are practically mortal sins, either.

I don't understand.

But I don't want to repeat myself, so I'll stop.
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2018, 10:48:53 PM »
Listen,  give the begger some thunderbird wine and a smoke. God will bless you!

Why should I give that to a beggar, when I'm not supposed to give that to a sober person?

You can give it to a sober person. It's arguably not best practices, sure. But neither is Orthodoxy Islam or Mormonism (or Seventh Day Adventism), where smoking and drinking are practically mortal sins, either.

Sin in orthodoxy is when you take things to extreme.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2018, 11:01:02 PM »
Listen,  give the begger some thunderbird wine and a smoke. God will bless you!

Why should I give that to a beggar, when I'm not supposed to give that to a sober person?

You can give it to a sober person. It's arguably not best practices, sure. But neither is Orthodoxy Islam or Mormonism (or Seventh Day Adventism), where smoking and drinking are practically mortal sins, either.

I don't understand.

But I don't want to repeat myself, so I'll stop.

Smoking and drinking might not be good ideas in health terms. But they're not sins, either.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2018, 11:19:13 PM »
Proverbs 31:6

Yeah, that's always been one of the harder verses of Scripture for me to understand...
I'm being a tad mischievous.  The main point of v. 4-5 seems to be that the greater the responsibility, the greater the accountability and the higher the standard.  For ourselves, we do well to remember we are co-heirs with Christ, no matter our life's circumstances.  In v. 6-7, though, face-value pragmatism aside, I see a curb against judging others too harshly, particularly the downtrodden (i.e. those far from God).  Do we expect the sick to get well without a Physician?  Are we going to invite the beggar to live with us?  If we're not going to fix someone's life for or with them, what say do we have in how they cope?  I think it would be different if one were wittingly bankrolling someone's addiction.  To me, that's not the same as giving a few bucks to a random beggar, even if they're obviously drunk.

But alternately, giving food, service, or money to shelters and outreaches are all great things.  :)  I've never heard of an over-funded, overstocked, overstaffed outreach.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2018, 11:22:00 PM »
Proverbs 31:6

Yeah, that's always been one of the harder verses of Scripture for me to understand...
I'm being a tad mischievous.  The main point of v. 4-5 seems to be that the greater the responsibility, the greater the accountability and the higher the standard.  For ourselves, we do well to remember we are co-heirs with Christ, no matter our life's circumstances.  In v. 6-7, though, face-value pragmatism aside, I see a curb against judging others too harshly, particularly the downtrodden (i.e. those far from God).  Do we expect the sick to get well without a Physician?  Are we going to invite the beggar to live with us?  If we're not going to fix someone's life for or with them, what say do we have in how they cope?  I think it would be different if one were wittingly bankrolling someone's addiction.  To me, that's not the same as giving a few bucks to a random beggar, even if they're obviously drunk.

But alternately, giving food, service, or money to shelters and outreaches are all great things.  :)  I've never heard of an over-funded, overstocked, overstaffed outreach.

Well put.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Are we obligated to possibly get cheated?
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2018, 11:52:43 PM »
Proverbs 31:6

Yeah, that's always been one of the harder verses of Scripture for me to understand...
I'm being a tad mischievous.  The main point of v. 4-5 seems to be that the greater the responsibility, the greater the accountability and the higher the standard.  For ourselves, we do well to remember we are co-heirs with Christ, no matter our life's circumstances.  In v. 6-7, though, face-value pragmatism aside, I see a curb against judging others too harshly, particularly the downtrodden (i.e. those far from God).  Do we expect the sick to get well without a Physician?  Are we going to invite the beggar to live with us?  If we're not going to fix someone's life for or with them, what say do we have in how they cope?  I think it would be different if one were wittingly bankrolling someone's addiction.  To me, that's not the same as giving a few bucks to a random beggar, even if they're obviously drunk.

But alternately, giving food, service, or money to shelters and outreaches are all great things.  :)  I've never heard of an over-funded, overstocked, overstaffed outreach.

Interesting interpretation, makes a lot of sense. Thanks :)
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.