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David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts, sent a surprising email to his employees Monday. It said that if President Barack Obama wins re-election and raises Siegel's taxes, he will have to lay off workers and downsize his company - or even shut it down.
"If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company," he wrote. "Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone."
In a version of Romney's "47 percent" remarks, Siegel added that "people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for."...
jpw wrote: got relativism? reminds me of a certain ruler in Luke 18. God knows who has taken from the poor or sickened the poor to gain their riches. It is not all relative to Him. God is not a progov democrat or a procorp republican....and He will judge rightly. reminds me of Prop 37. Companies are spending tens of millions to keep people from knowing their products (chemicals) are in their foods. would your conclusion then be that no one makes products that hurt the poor, or its all relative, is it the ends justifies the means, or who really cares, the poor will be poor, so who cares?
Of course God knows. But you don't, & that's a problem.
Again I ask you a simple, pertinent question: How do you know a given product hurts anybody? For example, does high fructose corn syrup hurt everybody? Does it even hurt one person? How do you know? Can you prove it categorically, or do you only have some examples? How do you infer the universal from the particular?
And why single out the poor? Don't you care about rich victims? They eat that stuff, too.
rhymnrzn wrote: The Bible says to avoid foolish questions, but I still shewed the wisdom which you neglect to fellowship with. I asked you more than one question as it pertains to the Lord's precepts, and it was like speaking into thin air.
I could only find ONE question among your preachy posts. I thought it was rhetorical; you didn't get around to complaining about that until now.
OK, here's my answer to, "is it God's will for men to ignore Christ, and strike up 10 and 20 year loans, and build lavish resorts and whatever, to depend on what they know not?"
Even though I am not obliged to answer a loaded question, it evidently is His sovereign will, for He creates even the wicked for the day of evil, Prov. 16:4. Or if you meant His declarative will, probably not; nonetheless, whether rich people make foolish choices isn't the issue here. They still have the political right to dispose of their own affairs w/o interference, which was my original point.
Neil wrote: It's sure easy to not answer my question. I want names, not soapbox speeches.
The Bible says to avoid foolish questions, but I still shewed the wisdom which you neglect to fellowship with. I asked you more than one question as it pertains to the Lord's precepts, and it was like speaking into thin air. And I will remember your word, that you count my conversation of subjection and godly fear for "soapbox speeches": but I have not defrauded the fellowship of the spirit.
Psalms 119:13 "With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth."
Yes. And Jesus said "it is difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven".
He told the wealthy man "go give away all you own" and the man went away troubled.
I guess all Jesus was saying was that if you have wealth, then it might be an obstacle to you following Him completely. He wasn't passing judgement on the poor or the rich. He was saying the poor have an advantage over the rich in being able to follow Him.
It bears to mention that God judges the poor too, as he looks upon the hearts:
Jeremiah 6:13 "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely."
But just as accumulation of wealth is not in and of itself evil, the word does instruct the man of God to be fully equipped that he may be blessed of God, that he may retain his wealth in the blessing. When busy about redeeming his poor brethren, and observing the release of debts upon the year of release, and likewise tithing of the increase, that the house of God (which we are ) may be sufficient for the service of the tabernacle which is pitched by the Lord, is all that the Lord command his blessing, as opposed to blowing upon his substance because his eye was not bountiful in the time of need. For all of this is to assure that the word of God's grace is taught, and received upon fertile grounds: for it is also written, and all men have heard that Christians are supposed to believe, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. They heard that Christians are supposed to believe that no man had ought of his own in the congregation of righteousness, but that all men had all things common.
Orlus wrote: 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." ---
Context. The young man of whom the comment was wrought had "great possessions"(v22) Jesus had told him sell what he had give it to the poor and follow him.
The reason it is impossible for a rich man, i.e. having great earthly possessions, to enter the kingdom of heaven, is not because he is simply rich, it's because he can't take any of it with him. Nothing of earthly wealth can enter in, for it has no place among the treasures of heaven. This young man was not criticized for being rich, but for covetousness, for holding temporal wealth to be of more worth than eternal "treasure in heaven."
Neil wrote: Hey rhymnrzn, put your cards on the table: can you supply any examples of evil wealthy merchants who are ostensible Christians? And I don't mean convicts like Abramoff or Martha the Inside Trader
It is so easy a question to answer, I am ashamed. Every one that perpetuates that gain is godliness, who are lined up in all manner of churches. Mind you, had they not found profit in it, and if they did not have their ranks lodged up in the lawfirms, courthouses, police precincts, military garrisons, share-holder investment firms, management and chiefs at company headquarters and storehouses, in the field, at the sea, in the air, then they would have left feigning words to make merchandise of all men, and gone straightway into slave driving and selling families openly. Since just about every book of the Holy Bible testifies against rigorous rulers of every type, and because Catholics and Protestants provide those types for our modern day, I am astonished that you act like everything is more excellent, as if it is not thinly veiled slavery seeing that if we do not participate in this economy, we are more or less cut off from rights to dwell in the cities of habitation.
Genesis 14 - 15. When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 1He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." He gave him a tenth of all.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself." 22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, `I have made Abram rich.' 24 "I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share." After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do R369 not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you.
Orlus wrote: 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.
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.
But even if I accept your reasoning, then we still should refrain from censuring modern rich people, unless we know FOR SURE that they are ungenerous, lest we transgress the 9th Commandment.
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.
Notlocked wrote: Abraham gave 10% of the spoils of war to Melchizadek. Voluntarily, without being taxed and Melchizidec didn't ask for a donation. He gave freely of his wealth.
He gave a tithe to a priest, which any reprobate (e.g. 1st Century Pharisee) can do; nothing is said about his generousity toward the poor, that I'm aware of. And he was even richer afterwards, since his net profit from the war was still 90%. And is there evidence Job was generous, or even tithed?
Neil wrote: You offer no Biblical evidence backing up this inference. Abraham was hospitable, true, but that's not necessarily the same thing, esp. since his visitors were destroying angels who were (we may presume) not poverty-stricken.
Abraham gave 10% of the spoils of war to Melchizadek. Voluntarily, without being taxed and Melchizidec didn't ask for a donation. He gave freely of his wealth.
The point is that giving from ones abundance, freely and voluntarily, shows a man to be unconstrained by the fear of losing his wealth and becoming poor. Man has a fleshly nature, this is the nature sin appeals to, there are dangers inherent in being wealthy - a man may become tempted by his wealth, become enslaved to his wealth, become fearful of losing his wealth to the Gospel message. The latter is less of a temptation now because the Evangelical / Charismatic church leaders have given the aquisition of wealth the full approval of God.
Jesus was not saying the poor are more worthy than the rich.
Orlus wrote: 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.
Even Puritan commentators do not necessarily get it right. It is not merely difficult for camels to thread a needle, it is IMPOSSIBLE. So what should we make of Abraham & Job? Whether they were generous or not makes no difference. The very extremity of his emphasis detracts from any attempt to make Him commend poverty as a spiritually more desirable condition, in itself. Is poverty really any less a hazard to faith than wealth? Not according to Solomon (a filthy rich king):
"...give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
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."
Neil wrote: I know that. But you twist the intent of His teaching into a commentary on the evils of wealth. It is not. We have no logical ground here to infer that it's any easier for a poor man. Neither the poor nor the rich can enter the Kingdom, save a miraculous work of God. Earthly blessings, such as wealth, imply nothing about Divine favor toward unworthy men, contrary to what, throughout history, is often believed.
I see what you are getting at. Wealth is not evil, abundance is not evil. It is mens hearts and minds that are evil toward the prospect of wealth. Wealthy people are at a disadvantage, in the area of wealth or poverty, because they have more to lose than the poor.
Neil wrote: It is claimed that lotteries hurt the poor. Perhaps, but as a Chinese coworker once cleverly argued, they are beneficial because they give them hope. It all depends on how one defines "hurt."
And defines "hope."
Lottery will not hurt the poor but the idolatry of covetousness will.