Neil wrote: That's none of your business, since it's logically irrelevant, but I'll indulge you anyway since it suggests a good question: I don't know, since rich is a highly relative term. I have no idea what you mean by it. Am I rich in the sense Jesus intended
Thats a cop out! Everybody in your town can work out who is rich and who is poor probably from something as simple as your address. But you're still defending the wealth group so I'll have to make my own mind up there. As for Jesus words and teachings at that part of Scripture, he was an unemployed carpenter with no house of His own. That identifies His status and absolutely identified the status of the rich man. All it takes is to look at the local community with your eyes open.
Remember Jesus' warning Neil. 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. And; 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Neil wrote: Irrelevant; they were still rich, & Jesus didn't qualify it the way you do, that generousity makes it less impossible to enter the Kingdom. You're adding to Christ's teaching. ... then we still should refrain from censuring modern rich people....
No it is not "irrelevant" it is specifically pertinent to the very condition which Jesus Himself brings out.
BTW Are you a rich man? is that why you are defending the "wealthy" as a group?
Neil wrote: So what should we make of Abraham & Job? Whether they were generous or not makes no difference.
Abraham and Job had such faith as to have ordained them to absolute trust in God. Thus without doubt (no speculation) they would have been excellent stewards of God's providence unto them. All that they owned would have belonged to God in their eyes. Therefore they literally possessed no wealth on earth. Their "generosity" would have been from the Spirit and not from any claim held by them to life or possessions.
Job's words; Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Neil wrote: But you twist the intent of His teaching into a commentary on the evils of wealth. It is not
Matt 19:24 "I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
Matthew Henry Commentary; (Matt 19) "This is vehemently asserted by our Saviour, v. 23, 24. He said this to his disciples, who were poor, and had but little in the world, to reconcile them to their condition with this, that the less they had of worldly wealth, the less hindrance they had in the way to heaven. Note, It should be a satisfaction to them who are in a low condition, that they are not exposed to the temptations of a high and prosperous condition: If they live more hardy in this world than the rich, yet, if withal they get more easily to a better world, they have no reason to complain. This saying is ratified, v. 23. Verily I say unto you. He that has reason to know what the way to heaven is, for he has laid it open, he tells us that this is one of the greatest difficulties in that way. It is repeated, v. 24. Again I say unto you. Thus he speaks once, yea, twice that which man is loth to perceive and more loth to believe."