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Old 11-07-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,303 posts, read 5,503,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
Some people fail to understand that often the help God(swt) gives us is that which we can provide to ourselves and others.

Prayer does not remove our responsibility to physically do what we can for our fellow travelers on this planet.

There is the story of the deeply pious man who lived in a cabin deep in the woods. He knew God(swt) would provide for his needs and keep him from harm.

One day a it began to rain and the river near him began to rise. He prayed for protection. A game warden came by in a jeep and told the man to leave before the river flooded. The man stayed and prayed all the stonger. The water kept coming and a Red cross worker came by in a boat and told him to get in. He refused and said he trusted in the Lord(swt) and knew his prayers would save him.

The water got deeper he climbed up on the roof of his cabin and prayed more. A rescue helicopter came by and he refused to leave saying he knew God(swt) Would protect him.

He drowned.

He asked God(swt) why weren't his prayers answered and God(swt) let him drown.

His answer was "I sent you a jeep, a boat and even a helicopter. You refused my help."

MORAL: Even Noah had to build the ark by hand.

REMINDER: We our self may sometimes be the answer to another person's prayer, let us all be mindful to do what we can for those we can help. God(swt) does answer prayers but often that answer will be in the hands of our Brothers and sisters.

From the word's of Muhammad(saws): "Trust in Allah(swt), but remember to tie up your camel."
Beautiful response. It reminds me of a poem that I read in college and have searched for again and again but have been unable to find. It is about how we incorrectly make assumptions about people without seeing the larger picture. I can't quote it, it was free form, but the message is something like the following:
-------
Folks say he never did profess a God. On Sunday he would take his fishing pole and go to sit along the river, never heeding the hymns that flowed across the fields from the old church.

But I have seen him walk miles to carry a lost puppy back to a little boy, and carry water across those same fields to livestock when God had not seen fit to send rain.

I look at all these things and wonder.
------

Wish I could find the exact words because it was a perfect example of how God is in the doing, not in the words.

Those who cannot see God except by words will be the same ones that protest on that Day of Judgment, " '------Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatsoever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matt 25:44b-46 NIV).

I would rather chance feeding a crook than turning away my Lord when He was in disguise.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,204 posts, read 54,662,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expatCA View Post
Balance is required so that resources are not wasted. We have this command for those not needy.

KJV 2 Thess 3: 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
He's talking to the people in a church, not about the needy in general.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,204 posts, read 54,662,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
And this is SO why I know longer attend church. The belief that every man but me is nothing but a thief.

I would rather have a few steal from me in order to feed the truly hungry rather than be a jackal and let the many starve in order to keep a few thieves away.

People can read about Jesus' life---the only people He ever criticized were the most religious of His day--and then because they twisted scripture for their own selfish purposes.
Serious question--did you really find a lot of people in your church that believed that? Not saying you didn't, but it's not been my experience.

I agree with your last sentence 100%.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:27 PM
Status: "6' - 220" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
25,873 posts, read 13,445,735 times
Reputation: 11694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
Beautiful response. It reminds me of a poem that I read in college and have searched for again and again but have been unable to find. It is about how we incorrectly make assumptions about people without seeing the larger picture. I can't quote it, it was free form, but the message is something like the following:
-------
Folks say he never did profess a God. On Sunday he would take his fishing pole and go to sit along the river, never heeding the hymns that flowed across the fields from the old church.

But I have seen him walk miles to carry a lost puppy back to a little boy, and carry water across those same fields to livestock when God had not seen fit to send rain.

I look at all these things and wonder.
------

Wish I could find the exact words because it was a perfect example of how God is in the doing, not in the words.

Those who cannot see God except by words will be the same ones that protest on that Day of Judgment, " '------Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatsoever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matt 25:44b-46 NIV).

I would rather chance feeding a crook than turning away my Lord when He was in disguise.
Fine post.

(Too soon to...etc.)
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:52 PM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,690,959 times
Reputation: 32349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Beautifully stated, Dew. Unfortunately, I couldn't rep you yet. Your thoughts on Jesus not making you psychic really hit home with me. So anyway, I'm going to do something I almost never do on this forum. I'm going to post from the Book of Mormon -- from one of my favorite parts. These few verses, from Mosiah 4:16-23, more or less sum up my feelings on this subject:
Thanks for posting that. The LDS attitude towards charity is something I admire.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,403 posts, read 59,899,964 times
Reputation: 54053
Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
All I know is that lots of people pick up their free food from the food pantry or check out of Walmart with their food from their SNAP cards and take it home in a car. Sorry, but if you can afford a car, I don't see why a person needs help with food. Cars are a luxury.
Not if you need one to get to work. Not if you need one to get to WalMart to buy food with your SNAP card. Not everyone lives on a bus line, or within walking distance of a grocery store.

This is how food insecurity works: You have a job. Maybe your spouse has a job, too. You're living pretty much paycheck to paycheck, providing for your family. Maybe you don't have health insurance, or your health insurance is limited. Then ... The car you need to get to work breaks down. Or your child or spouse becomes ill and insurance doesn't cover all the expenses. Or your furnace burns out and needs replacing. What do you do? Do you pay the medical bills to the best of your ability, or do you buy food for your family? Do you fix the car you need to get to work, or do you provide food for your family?

I thank God that there are organizations like the Salvation Army, food pantries, and other organizations that offer assistance without judgement. You ought to thank God that you do not find yourself in a situation of needing this assistance.

Someone mentioned upthread that no one is offering to switch places with people who receive SNAP benefits, bags of groceries from food pantries, or other help. Are you willing to switch places?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
Read this page for more information on what the Bible says about laziness:
You're assuming that everyone who receives assistance is lazy?
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:46 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,891 posts, read 3,979,660 times
Reputation: 4138
To Rep and address Warden and Woodrow
I have spoken of a phenomenon all too common in American Christianity which I refer to as "social Loafing", which is basically finding any religious scriptural or social excuse NOT to do anything to help one's fellow man or to do anything to make the world a better place.
Basically, it comes out of selfishness, pure and simple. It is a selfishness bred in self hate and misanthropy in general. Somehow, certain religious types will use this to no ends as an excuse not to help others. As one person told me, "What you are doing with charity is great if you are trying to create a utopia on earth, but that will never happen until Jesus returns. Why not just wait and let Him handle it?" I think this is a point I would like to add to both of your most excellent posts.


Well, several reasons. One, Jesus is never returning. At least according to my beliefs. Second, Unlike Jesus, Suffering is Real. Pain, hunger, sadness, all the things which the Christian concept of a deity as manifested in Jesus SHOULD be seeking to alleviate, are going unconcerned by Jesus' supposed followers. Real problems require real solutions. Not myths and not wishes and not hope of some long dead prophet.
It is human efforts which always have, throughout history, saved humanity. Some people say "Well, my church does not donate money but we pray for people" Keep in mind, two hands at work are always more productive than a thousand joined in prayer. Which means my paycheck, which thanks to my hard work can go to buy extra groceries for a local food bank. It means I can help others. And why not? I make more than I need.
See, I go out and work. I don't waste time whining, crying, or complaining, although I do spend too much time trying to talk sense into some people on this forum.
I do not tithe. I do not give money to churches. I give food to pantries at churches, but with one exception, not cash. And the cash I give to the one church is earmarked for community meals for the needy.

So what does this mean? It means that I go out and do my part to make the world a little better. I do not do it because I have to, I do it because I want to. I have heard the phrase from so many people, many in churches of "I don't have to do that" Well guess what? I don;t have to either. I choose to. Not become of some reward in the afterlife, which no one has yet proven or even given any half credible evidence; nor for fear of some non-existent hell, which I believe not. rather, I believe in doing anything I can to alleviate any human suffering. And I do not have or need a religion for that.

What gets me is that so many Christians use whatever excuse they can invent or find NOT to help out anyone, when what it comes down to, underneath it all, is that these people really do not like anyone else. They probably loathe themselves as well. But underneath all the excuses, there is a hatred for humanity And that does not make a good selling point for their religion. They do not care if others are hungry, cold, sick, so long as it does not happen to them. They don't want to share a few cents to the donation box to help feed someone who needs it. "Oh wait I give my tithe and that is all I am obligated to do" Well, love concern caring are not an obligation, they are a choice.
And clearly, many Christians have voiced their choice very loudly. So much for "love thy neighbor"....of course, these people don't even love themselves, so how could they love others?

Now if you will excuse me, we have a food drive in one week. I am going to decide what to buy to donate, what would best help the greatest number of needy people in our community. And those people, those humans, that humanity, I do care about.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,303 posts, read 5,503,380 times
Reputation: 4052
Default Good post

Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
To Rep and address Warden and Woodrow
I have spoken of a phenomenon all too common in American Christianity which I refer to as "social Loafing", which is basically finding any religious scriptural or social excuse NOT to do anything to help one's fellow man or to do anything to make the world a better place.
Basically, it comes out of selfishness, pure and simple. It is a selfishness bred in self hate and misanthropy in general. Somehow, certain religious types will use this to no ends as an excuse not to help others. As one person told me, "What you are doing with charity is great if you are trying to create a utopia on earth, but that will never happen until Jesus returns. Why not just wait and let Him handle it?" I think this is a point I would like to add to both of your most excellent posts.


Well, several reasons. One, Jesus is never returning. At least according to my beliefs. Second, Unlike Jesus, Suffering is Real. Pain, hunger, sadness, all the things which the Christian concept of a deity as manifested in Jesus SHOULD be seeking to alleviate, are going unconcerned by Jesus' supposed followers. Real problems require real solutions. Not myths and not wishes and not hope of some long dead prophet.
It is human efforts which always have, throughout history, saved humanity. Some people say "Well, my church does not donate money but we pray for people" Keep in mind, two hands at work are always more productive than a thousand joined in prayer. Which means my paycheck, which thanks to my hard work can go to buy extra groceries for a local food bank. It means I can help others. And why not? I make more than I need.
See, I go out and work. I don't waste time whining, crying, or complaining, although I do spend too much time trying to talk sense into some people on this forum.
I do not tithe. I do not give money to churches. I give food to pantries at churches, but with one exception, not cash. And the cash I give to the one church is earmarked for community meals for the needy.

So what does this mean? It means that I go out and do my part to make the world a little better. I do not do it because I have to, I do it because I want to. I have heard the phrase from so many people, many in churches of "I don't have to do that" Well guess what? I don;t have to either. I choose to. Not become of some reward in the afterlife, which no one has yet proven or even given any half credible evidence; nor for fear of some non-existent hell, which I believe not. rather, I believe in doing anything I can to alleviate any human suffering. And I do not have or need a religion for that.

What gets me is that so many Christians use whatever excuse they can invent or find NOT to help out anyone, when what it comes down to, underneath it all, is that these people really do not like anyone else. They probably loathe themselves as well. But underneath all the excuses, there is a hatred for humanity And that does not make a good selling point for their religion. They do not care if others are hungry, cold, sick, so long as it does not happen to them. They don't want to share a few cents to the donation box to help feed someone who needs it. "Oh wait I give my tithe and that is all I am obligated to do" Well, love concern caring are not an obligation, they are a choice.
And clearly, many Christians have voiced their choice very loudly. So much for "love thy neighbor"....of course, these people don't even love themselves, so how could they love others?

Now if you will excuse me, we have a food drive in one week. I am going to decide what to buy to donate, what would best help the greatest number of needy people in our community. And those people, those humans, that humanity, I do care about.
M. Ghandi once said "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

I so often see people who do God's will turned off by people who claim God's name. To me a brother or sister is one who DOES God's will--and I thank you for being one.
New International Version
Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

New Living Translation
Anyone who does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

English Standard Version
For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Many who claim Christ's name are simply another version of the Pharisees who claimed what they possessed had been devoted to God and couldn't even be used to benefit their parents.
As Jesus said:
New Living Translation
But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, 'Sorry, I can't help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.'

This is basically what "Christians" are saying to the hungry and destitute. "Sorry, but I know among the hundred of you gathered for a "free" sandwich, that several of you are freeloaders. Therefore I pledge my worship of God to go in tithe to my church to help it build a new auditorium or a recreational center, and I have nothing for you. I will pray for you that God will send a job your way."

I hope they pray that this verse be equally followed by their Lord.
Jesus said:
New International Version
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

New Living Translation
For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.


A number of years ago I heard a story about a religious young man who had gone to visit his uncle, a farmer in another state. The young man sat on the back porch with his uncle and looked out of the fields of wheat growing on acres and acres of land. "Uncle," he said, "you must be pleased with how God has blessed you by filling your fields with all this wheat."

"Aye," replied the Uncle, "but you should have seen what it looked like before I decided to give Him a hand."

The poor and the destitute are barren fields, and unless Christian men in women, by their actions, are willing to give a hand to see some fruitful growth, there will be no harvest. We have an opportunity to give Him a hand.

Thank you for teaching Christians what it means to BE a Christian.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,204 posts, read 54,662,203 times
Reputation: 66691
Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
To Rep and address Warden and Woodrow
I have spoken of a phenomenon all too common in American Christianity which I refer to as "social Loafing", which is basically finding any religious scriptural or social excuse NOT to do anything to help one's fellow man or to do anything to make the world a better place.
Basically, it comes out of selfishness, pure and simple. It is a selfishness bred in self hate and misanthropy in general. Somehow, certain religious types will use this to no ends as an excuse not to help others. As one person told me, "What you are doing with charity is great if you are trying to create a utopia on earth, but that will never happen until Jesus returns. Why not just wait and let Him handle it?" I think this is a point I would like to add to both of your most excellent posts.


Well, several reasons. One, Jesus is never returning. At least according to my beliefs. Second, Unlike Jesus, Suffering is Real. Pain, hunger, sadness, all the things which the Christian concept of a deity as manifested in Jesus SHOULD be seeking to alleviate, are going unconcerned by Jesus' supposed followers. Real problems require real solutions. Not myths and not wishes and not hope of some long dead prophet.
It is human efforts which always have, throughout history, saved humanity. Some people say "Well, my church does not donate money but we pray for people" Keep in mind, two hands at work are always more productive than a thousand joined in prayer. Which means my paycheck, which thanks to my hard work can go to buy extra groceries for a local food bank. It means I can help others. And why not? I make more than I need.
See, I go out and work. I don't waste time whining, crying, or complaining, although I do spend too much time trying to talk sense into some people on this forum.
I do not tithe. I do not give money to churches. I give food to pantries at churches, but with one exception, not cash. And the cash I give to the one church is earmarked for community meals for the needy.

So what does this mean? It means that I go out and do my part to make the world a little better. I do not do it because I have to, I do it because I want to. I have heard the phrase from so many people, many in churches of "I don't have to do that" Well guess what? I don;t have to either. I choose to. Not become of some reward in the afterlife, which no one has yet proven or even given any half credible evidence; nor for fear of some non-existent hell, which I believe not. rather, I believe in doing anything I can to alleviate any human suffering. And I do not have or need a religion for that.

What gets me is that so many Christians use whatever excuse they can invent or find NOT to help out anyone, when what it comes down to, underneath it all, is that these people really do not like anyone else. They probably loathe themselves as well. But underneath all the excuses, there is a hatred for humanity And that does not make a good selling point for their religion. They do not care if others are hungry, cold, sick, so long as it does not happen to them. They don't want to share a few cents to the donation box to help feed someone who needs it. "Oh wait I give my tithe and that is all I am obligated to do" Well, love concern caring are not an obligation, they are a choice.
And clearly, many Christians have voiced their choice very loudly. So much for "love thy neighbor"....of course, these people don't even love themselves, so how could they love others?

Now if you will excuse me, we have a food drive in one week. I am going to decide what to buy to donate, what would best help the greatest number of needy people in our community. And those people, those humans, that humanity, I do care about.
You make excellent points, and I feel as you do--yea though I am one of those idiots who believes in God--to do what we can to alleviate the suffering we see and to fight for social justice, and feeding people is my main focus, too. We have a lot of need near where I live, and I personally have never missed a meal, so this is an obligation I feel strongly about.

But the things I bolded...really? Do you really know people who actually SAID such things or are these "church legends" or second-hand stories? It's an honest question. There's no way I'm calling you a liar, because I know you aren't the sort of poster who comes on here and just makes stuff up, but I have never heard anyone in the church say such things, and I would be appalled to hear it.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:03 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,891 posts, read 3,979,660 times
Reputation: 4138
No I did hear this firsthand

When I lived in Texas, I volunteered at a local ecumenical food pantry/assistance group. What someone got the brilliant idea to do was that instead of every church trying to run a food bank and run a charity closet, why not pool all the resources....money, food volunteers and set up a central local for everyone. We were staffed by volunteers and the food pantry was stuffed by donations from churches, individuals and local grocery stores.

A person or family would come ot the office and be interviewed by a volunteer intake counselor. Then if they needed food, they were sent to the pantry to get a few bags for a few days. It was a temporary assistance because along with the food, we offered classes and advice on job search, planning etc. Members churches ho supported the operation, and included local Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Bible and Lutheran congregations would offer a food drive once a year, so that over the course of 12 months we had piles of food coming in because one church (at least) was having a food drive that month.
The commentary came when I tried to help network with some of the local churches.
We never got a response from the local Church of Christ, and after months I got someone to answer the phone therein who said "No, you people are doing the devil's work"
One pastor told me that his church was small, poor, and he probably had more people who could be clients than supporters. He offered that his church would pray for us, and I believe he meant well, but he was not part of a congregation interested in making money. He said that his congregation was very poor. I believe him.
However, I heard the following from another "church member" -- "Wouldn't you rather just pray for those people instead " and one I remember vividly (I even remember the name who said it"I am not going to waste my hard earned money to help people like that out" That one came sadly from the church I attended at the time.

Those two left a mark on me, because they seemed to echo a sentiment that accompanied many people's lack of concern.

The first came from a fundamentalist I spoke with about a year ago. I mentioned Charitable works, that was his respond. The other sadly, is a close friend who truly believes that Jesus is going to return "any minute now" and therefore her efforts to improve life on earth would be so futile that "Why bother?" This is a person whom I truly love, although we have no religious philosophy in common. (She is a fellow artist)

Here is one that the OP Probably would not like.
Two or more people are going around in this here part of Florida each December and doing something odd. One, like in other parts of the nation, is walking into stores like Kmart and paying off other people's layaways at random.
While no one knows who this is, as it is being done anonymously, it is probable that the funds are coming from a lottery winner, as such a person would have extra cash and looking at the demographics of lottery players, likely shopped on layaway at Kmart and perhaps once struggled to provide gifts for family.

The other, more mysterious, is walking up to people at random in malls, handing them Christmas cards, then disappearing. Whoever did this hit three different malls here in Tampa last year. Nothing odd, but when the person opens the card, there is either a $50 or $100 bill in it, or a $100 Gift Card.
They have no idea who is behind that (And no it is not us, but we are getting ideas.........)

The hunger and food issue is most important to me.
When I was growing up, I went to bed hungry many times, and I vowed not only to never do it as an adult (And I have not) but never to let it happen to my kids either. Now my family was not poor, they were just dysfunctional. My sister had an eating disorder (weighed over 300# in high school) ate constantly, my parents, too neglectful to intervene or care.
So often, there was no food in our house. Thanks to her, food was not the human necessity that it is, but a weapon, a source of fighting and guilt.

I had a client coming off our service last year who told me that he had not eaten in two days, they were out of food and out of money. I was on the phone before I left his house and food was on it's way. I take that seriously. And I always willl find a way to get a person fed. This country has plenty of food to go around. I think it is a great that so many people care enough about those who are in need to drown out the negative voices of the selfish and insecure.
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