Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Leaving all to follow Jesus

I was reading in Luke yesterday concerning the rich young ruler who couldn't walk away from his dough.  As Stephen King observed a few months back, rich folks like him like to hold on to their dough.

Well, I perceived reading this story that  I'm not better than that rich young ruler.  And as I reckoned with this, I considered it not coincidental that this account immediately follows the Pharisee and the tax gatherer praying in the temple.

Jesus told the rich young ruler that to inherit eternal life he had to part with his dough.  But the tax gatherer went down to his house justified, without walking away from his dough.  He walked away from his spiritual pride.

It occurs to me that until you're ready to walk away from your pride, you can't expect the power from God to walk away from anything else.  It's better to be a tax gatherer, enslaved to money, than a Pharisee, enslaved to self-righteousness.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not understand why you deleted my comment from this thread.

7/23/2012 3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK I will restate my earlier post:
My father is not a rich man. This is what he says about giving away all of your money. You can not give away all of your money because you never know when you might need it. I think that is inspired wisdom.

7/23/2012 8:46 AM  
Blogger Peter Attwood said...

You earlier comment appeared to be spam promoting a commercial product, which I will not allow here. You can interact with me or the material anyway you want. Your latest shows that you get this, so it stays.

7/23/2012 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Curtis Kastens said...

So I was watching this US Army General addressing a large audiance of civilian members of the military industrial complex the other day.
He said that the purpose of his address was to explain the mission of the Installation Management Command.
Well I could not watch it to the end because it was just to painful. What I did watch was a long story about a converstion that he had with a supirior about how he came to be appointed to head the IMC. He really had the crowd of mostly old people on the edge of their seats with his witty story. Then he went on the talk about his family. Especially his sons who are now or were recently company commanders and were currenly servering in or recently returned from Afgahnistan after having served many tours of duty in the region, like 5 tours of duty.
It is claimed that God is all powrful but could an understanding of truth and justice ever pierce the brains of this family? Or are we to conclude that they are doing Gods work?
Even more importanly what if one of these sons were to come to the conclusion that he has been doing Satans work. Does he then owe any loyalty to his biological father?
Can he just resign and go take a Post Office job and live happily ever after after what he has done?
Is not some penance due? If one of these sons were to save 5 Hail Mary's and Five Our Fathers can he then go about his business as if he has done nothing wrong?
Could it be said that I am being self rightous for even raising these questions?
Now most fathers love their sons and respect them to a point. Would it not be unreasonable to assume that a son who had followed in his fathers foot steps would have some form of influence over his father? So could a son that has served Satan but come to understand the error of his ways just walk away without trying to get his father to undertand that he has spent his life serving Satan?
Vengence is in the hands of the Lord say Christians but most Christians are not pacifists?
So if the Father continues to serve Satan as the institution continues supporting unjust tensions or possibly even war against Iran does the son have to continue to support his father and his country even when they are wrong? What I am getting to here is a violent response as part of a larger struggle justified?
If the US or its Israeli mercinearies attacks Iran
is the son morally justified in killing his father, who is after all a very high ranking legal combatant engaged in waging a murderous war of aggression?
Of course such sons are far to
conditioned to fall close to the tree to be faced with such thoughts. So this is clearly just a theoretical theological question.

8/07/2012 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Curt Kastens said...

Also concerning self rightessneous;
Take two men and put them on a bench.
Both are potential murders. One man would murder you for 5 different reasons. The other man would murder you for a 100 different reasons.
Are both men to be judged equally as potential murderers??
Is the first man not allowed to call the second one a cold blooded barbaric killer?? What if the first one had actully been in a situation where the second man had murdered someone and had chosen not to murder under the same circumstances shall he refrain from judging the second man?

8/08/2012 7:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Attwood said...

A couple observations for Curt.

"Do not follow a multitude to do evil," so we have no duty to follow our fathers or nations in doing. People like Hendrik Veerwoerd's grandson, or Jonathan Ben Artzi, the nephew of Bibi Netanyahu, do exist.

We have to judge a lot of practicalities in life, such as whether to entrust responsibility to someone, or whethere to deter someone's injustice and how. But who is the worse murderer when I don't need to know that in order to do justice is a question devoid of value and therefore with no right answer.

8/08/2012 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Curt said...

The thing that I was really trying to get across with the two potential murders on the bench example is can one sinner conduct a "ciitizens arrest" of another sinner?
You brought up the subject of not judging others but we judge others all of the time. It seems to me to be inescapable. A used car salesman sells a car that he knows needs 3000 dollars in repairs to an unsuspecting customer. A man comes to repair your dryer and chargers you 100 dollars for something that really took two minutes and 2 dollars in materials. The manager of a leather coat factory does not turn on his factories wstercleaning system to save money becasue he is afraid that he will lose his customers to a factory in India that does not even have a water cleaning system. A company board decides to produces a posisonous chemical so that it gain get government payments for destroying the chemicals that they recently produced.
How can the world get better unless some of the smaller sinners get together and start kicking some peoples asses? It takes a judgement to decide whose ass to kick. That means someone like you deciding to who your worst enemy is and to start to attack them. In your case I imagine that would be Priests, Ministers, Rabbis, and Muslim clerics who misguide their flocks.

8/11/2012 1:55 PM  

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