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Graybeard

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Commandment 2: You must sell everything
Matthew 19: 21-24 - Verse 21 does not say "If you want to go to heaven, " it says, "If you want to be perfect."  21-24 is the setup to Jesus' teaching. 

Thanks for the Word from Rome on these questions. I agree with your point about the military.

But you would be disappointed if I did not mildly disagree with your other interpretation. The rich young man was called out. He thought he could simply “be Christian” without further ado. Jesus challenges him to see how much he wanted to be Christian – apparently he did not want it as much as he wanted his money. So he is now roasting on the Devil’s spit, not because he was bad but because his parents were rich and he only knew that life. Perhaps he was rich but that's not a sin, but his love of money was greater than his love of God (If he had been smart, he would have replied, "I have no money of my own, it is all in a trust fund in Assyria set up by my father - I am destitute..."

Why would Jesus say such a thing? Well, his audience were poor, He was empowering them by disempowering the rich boy. – Rhetoric for rabble-rousing.

(Also it excuses popes and the like who live in opulence that they technically do not own.)

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Luke 14:33 - This verse is in the context of a passage about recognizing the potential costs/benefits of discipleship and recognizing it as an all-in or all-out proposition. […] He does not say each possession must be literally sold and/or given away.

Again we have the “willingness” to set God before worldly possessions but as an example to the man with dropsy[1] whilst in the Pharisee’s house.

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Matthew 6:19, 24 - Again, this verse is about priorities. Jesus is saying that God must come first, not that no possessions can be kept.  This is reiterated in verse 24, when Jesus says money should not be served as a "master."
and
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Luke 12:33 - Jesus is again talking about priorities, this time with respect to trusting God, as evidenced in verses 22-32, […] which of course is the moral to the parable cautioning against greed for Earthly possessions to the exclusion of God […]  Now, I won't accuse this verse of being "out of context," but I will say that it's impossible to understand this verse properly without recognizing the dependencies noted above, plus the verse after it, plus the second half of the verse (Marshall only quoted half).
In both of these, it is important to see whom Jesus is addressing: He is addressing common folk. Poor people. So when he says

“M't:6:19: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,”

Today, He might say, “Don’t have a Billionaire’s mansion and an Escalade, a yacht and a Lear Jet…” and his audience would say “Well, we wouldn’t, would we? It’s those rich bastards, we are better than them – we’ve got a head start, we don’t have to make those choices; they don’t apply to us – we’re headed for the Pearly Gates.”

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The point being, of course, that someone whose trust is in God does not need to worry about possessions,

This point is well made in the song "The Preacher and the Slave" with its chorus of “There’ll be Pie in the Sky when we die.”


This idea is the poor being OK when they're dead is so if, and only if, (i) there is a God, (ii) it’s the right God, (iii) you’re perfect and (iv) God capriciously thinks you are fitted for heaven… and this takes the shine off it.

My advice is to keep what you have and see if you can’t get a little more, wealth you might pass on to your children and ensure the satisfactory immortality of your genes, which is what we are here on earth for.

Or you can listen to Jesus and be dirt poor and ignorant all your life in the belief that being dead is good, and that you’ll get your own back in heaven. More to the point, Jesus (the all-knowing) says that there will always be poor people, and so, like any true capitalist, he lumps them together rather than doing something about them.
 1. Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease
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screwtape good post June 20, 2013, 12:44:29 PM
median Such an awesome song! June 20, 2013, 03:10:10 PM