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debrand

Why Do Those On The Right Ignore Mathew 25

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debrand

I was a weird Christian. The most beautiful verses to me were not the ones that describe how Christ saved me but ones like these in Mathew 25. Verses like these are part of the reason that I still have respect for Christianity.

 

Many years ago, I asked several people why our Independent Baptist Church never did anything to help those in poverty. You would have thought that I had asked people to eat poop. Repeatedly I was warned against putting works first. This confused me because Jesus plainly said to help the poor, love others, turn the cheek and not judge. Eventually I discovered that my fellow Christians were holding Paul's words in more regard than the founder of our faith. Being saved by grace to them, meant ignoring what Jesus commanded.

 

Mathew 25

Quote
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

 

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.â€

 

So for those of you that are so far to the right that you believe that welfare should be ended, I ask why you don't follow Jesus' words. He very clearly states that you end up in hell for not feeding the poor or visiting the sick. Shouldn't Christians be pushing that the rich pay their fair share of taxes?

 

How can people who read their bibles and claim to love Jesus not follow his words?

Edited by OnceUponATime
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Jessica

I posted that picture of Colbert that says "If we want to be a Christian nation that doesn't help others..." on FB and I got someone telling me America is already too giving because too many people use welfare as a crutch. Ugh.

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emmiedahl

Most people who use a crutch don't do so because they want to, but because they need something to lean on.

So the right actually does not think through their own analogies.

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debrand
I posted that picture of Colbert that says "If we want to be a Christian nation that doesn't help others..." on FB and I got someone telling me America is already too giving because too many people use welfare as a crutch. Ugh.

Jesus never said anything about judging who was deserving of welfare. He just said to help.

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MrsYoungie

I'm not a Christian, but I'd rather risk giving to someone who doesn't deserve it than risk not giving to someone genuinely in need.

My fave comedian, Rob Pue, has a routine about a homeless guy. He was with a friend and he saw a homeless guy and gave him a dollar. His friend yelled at him "what'd you do that for? he's just going to buy drugs and liquor!" Rob says "He is? WHERE??? I want part of that deal". Of course he's going to buy liquor. I dont' think he's going to have some entrepreneurial ephiphany "I think I'll take this dollar and invest it in mutual funds!"

And that sums it up for me.

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debrand

My husband is a Christian and a moderate Republican. For some odd reason, he is the one that is always asked for spare change and when he has money, he gives it. When I asked him if he was worried about the person wasting the money, he said that he couldn't risk that they needed it and he refused them. Honestly, I think that he is a rarity among Republican Christians.

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slh12280

I think this might tie into the whole Protestant work ethic thing. I learned a bit about this in a class. At the time that Calvinism was popular wealth was seen as a sign of God's favor, so if someone was poor it was because God has not blessed them so there was no need to help them as their poverty was the will of God. The one's with money were God's special hard working people.

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debrand
I think this might tie into the whole Protestant work ethic thing. I learned a bit about this in a class. At the time that Calvinism was popular wealth was seen as a sign of God's favor, so if someone was poor it was because God has not blessed them so there was no need to help them as their poverty was the will of God. The one's with money were God's special hard working people.

Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think that the New Testament promises that anyone will have a good life if they follow god and work hard.

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slh12280

Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think that the New Testament promises that anyone will have a good life if they follow god and work hard.

No, I agree with you, this is just what I learned and I thought it was interesting that this mindset was so prevalent.

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mirele

The rationale for why Matthew 25 is played down is because it's about works, ya see, and we're in the era of grace. You're saved by grace! None of those messy works needed, wanted or desired by God. Besides, Catholics call the items listed in Matthew 25 the "corporal works of mercy" and if the Catholics like it, then it must be bad. (Seriously, there's still an underground anti-Catholic vibe among fundies.)

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debrand

No, I agree with you, this is just what I learned and I thought it was interesting that this mindset was so prevalent.

I knew you weren't disagreeing with me. I used your statement as a jumping off point for mine. Sorry, I should have been more clear. :oops:

Some of my religious friends express to me the belief that following the rules and believing in god will lead them to eventually prosper in life. They don't follow the prosperty gospel but they do believe that god wants them to be succesful and financially comfortable.

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debrand
The rationale for why Matthew 25 is played down is because it's about works, ya see, and we're in the era of grace. You're saved by grace! None of those messy works needed, wanted or desired by God. Besides, Catholics call the items listed in Matthew 25 the "corporal works of mercy" and if the Catholics like it, then it must be bad. (Seriously, there's still an underground anti-Catholic vibe among fundies.)

Although I know this is true, it is sad. There is so much in the bible that is violent and cruel. The verses in which their god shows compassion and kindness are downplayed as not applying to them. Yet, Jesus specifically said, he wouldn't know anyone who didn't feed the poor or clothe the naked.

Sometimes I believe that some Christians worship Paul over Jesus. It makes me wonder why they don't rename their faith, Paulinity

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emmiedahl

We still are living in an era of social darwinism. It has left a huge mark on the way we view the needy.

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Austin
Many years ago, I asked several people why our Independent Baptist Church never did anything to help those in poverty. You would have thought that I had asked people to eat poop. Repeatedly I was warned against putting works first.

Too bad they didn't give any weight to the writings of James, an actual apostle (and brother) of Jesus:

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,†but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. - James 2:14-17

Faith without works is dead (useless).

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emmiedahl

Don't forget the idea that helping others with government assistance is communism. Communism makes fundies sad.

commie_hunter.jpg

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CC3

I only know what I see in my community and as a conservative Christian, but I absolutely believe in and act on Matthew 25. Serving is a must if you are able in Christianity. You share what you have whether it is time or money or both. As far as fundies go, the ones I know are so poor from having large families that they can't even feed themselves properly and end up turning to other churches in the Christian community for help.

I wouldn't even know where to start as far as welfare goes. I see a lot of abuse of the system where I live and from those I serve. I also lived in another state where there wasn't a safety net other than food stamps and unchurched people in the community did come to Christian churches for help. We had free clothing and some food. The Lord said the poor will always be with us. I think it takes everyone from both the left and right to meet the needs. At this time, I work at the soup kitchen, homeless shelter and with addicts. We are always looking for more help. I was even thinking of starting some couponing to donate supplies for the day program at the homeless shelter. I watched extreme couponing and my mind went wild with the possibilities. :D

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DistantStar

My church (which is largely populated with people who have a hell of a lot more money than I do) has several active funds to help anybody in the community, plus is one of the driving forces behind the local food bank and the women's shelter. (Small town, we're talking one of each.) And I have gotten help from them with my rent before. I would ask again, if I truly needed it. I nearly needed to for some car repairs. At least I know I'd be treated with respect. Handled well, I think churches can really help fill some gaps. Note: some gaps. I don't mind paying tax money if it goes to help people, and I am disturbed by the idea that government assistance is somehow a bad thing. It has been badly handled in some times and places, but the concept is sound.

Man, for all of my skepticism despite my being in the choir, I do love these Episcopalians. They walk the walk.

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Three and Done

My children and I are VERY thankful to our local Catholic Charities - they paid our rent for a month when FEMA basically told us to go piss up a rope. We are not Catholic, but they helped us anyway... pretty amazing, if you ask me!

We lost our home in the flood that hit our area of upstate NY in September of last year, and we did get some help from FEMA, but it wasn't enough. I did find another place for us to live in temporarily, but since the homeowner is a friend and is charging me less rent than I was previously paying, I was told we didn't qualify for any additional assistance beyond the original amount they gave us right after the flood. Never mind the fact that we lost almost everything on the first floor of our house (including all of my kids shoes).

I love me some ebil Catholics!

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valsa
My children and I are VERY thankful to our local Catholic Charities - they paid our rent for a month when FEMA basically told us to go piss up a rope. We are not Catholic, but they helped us anyway... pretty amazing, if you ask me!

We lost our home in the flood that hit our area of upstate NY in September of last year, and we did get some help from FEMA, but it wasn't enough. I did find another place for us to live in temporarily, but since the homeowner is a friend and is charging me less rent than I was previously paying, I was told we didn't qualify for any additional assistance beyond the original amount they gave us right after the flood. Never mind the fact that we lost almost everything on the first floor of our house (including all of my kids shoes).

I love me some ebil Catholics!

I lost whatever respect I had for Catholic Charities when they decided they'd rather stop all their adoptions services than allow icky gay people to adopt.

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FJismyheadship

I agree about helping overs being something we should do. There are several churches i will donate to when i get rich and famous. I already help when i can on my measly monthly check. Usually i font ask for anything in return either. However i an also of the opinion that you shouldnt brag about your home deeds either. I was flipping through some teem magazine and they showed a picture of big time rush holding pumpkin pie looking all glamourous and perfect in their aprons and hair nets. It said they served food to the homeless on thanksgiving... And while that is great and all, the picture just rubbed of the wrong way. You couldnt tell if they were doing it because they wanted to or because they wanted the publicity. If it were me, if rather not even say attention to cameras and be caught with no makeup and my clothes maybe splattered with food because i an a clumsy person and would rather help because i wanted to not because it would be great for other people to see. Does that make sense? So basically i want to help people but not have everyone fawning over of for doing it. A few days ago i was moving some stuff and my bags split open. I say people at the fundie church... And the lead songstress of the church helped of take it good. She said she youkent be a very good christian if she stood on stage singing about god and them not help of out... Because god wants his people to help and commands it.

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Conuly
Many years ago, I asked several people why our Independent Baptist Church never did anything to help those in poverty. You would have thought that I had asked people to eat poop. Repeatedly I was warned against putting works first.

So, what, in order to prove that they don't put works FIRST, they decide not to do any good works AT ALL? Is that it?

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debrand

So, what, in order to prove that they don't put works FIRST, they decide not to do any good works AT ALL? Is that it?

I think that is it. It was strange because many of these were sweet people who would have as individuals helped others. However, they didn't really see the need for their church to encourage people to help others. One woman did tell me that giving food to the poor was good if it was a way to get people to accept Christ.

In that church I rarely heard anything preached from the gospels. It was almost always about Paul and the Old Testament.

There was a lot of emphasis on telling people how to become the right kind of Christian though.

I don't think that there has to be a conflict between faith and works. However some Christians really do act as if discussing how to help others is too much emphasis on works.

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reds

I think this is what being a christian should be about. If i had the money that I didnt have to work for a living, I would a big part of Habitat for Humanity and the Soup kitchen. I want to help people. I volunteer for all kinds of things and my husband doesnt understand why. If someone asks... then i do it. I will help until help is no longer needed. When my kids are old enough to help as well, then i will do more.

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Hane

Jesus never said anything about judging who was deserving of welfare. He just said to help.

This. And I remember a line from a late 19th century novel, "A Traveler from Altruria.". A character quoted the Bible verse about "the poor always being with us.". The rejoinder was, "Do you think that it meant that the poor MUST always be with us?"--a jab at those who do nothing to help abolish poverty.

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deborahlynn1979

Most of the really religious, right-wing people I know say that this verse should not apply to the government, but to individual people and to the church. THAT is how they get around wanting to abolish welfare, etc.

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