Almsgiving

Nick_A

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Matthew 6

Giving to the Needy

1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
This is meaningless to secularism. Almsgiving is for the needy and what difference does it make what the hands know? Yet for a Christian it's caution has a specific meaning. Have you ever wondered what it is?
 
perhaps because the "intentions" arent for gving to the needy , purely for self glorification.....
no one likes a show off.
imo

But what difference does that make? Who cares if they want to show off if they are almsgiving? Isn't The important thing the fact that they are giving rather then worrying about what hand knows what?
 
Ummmmmmmm, I really dont have the words, (lack of such a quality education as yourself.) lol.

I can answer you simply as, "therein lies your problem, NickA"
 
But what difference does that make? Who cares if they want to show off if they are almsgiving? Isn't The important thing the fact that they are giving rather then worrying about what hand knows what?
The answer is to do with the psychological process, as Greymare points out. In fact, I'm surprised you've missed it.

One the one hand, almsgiving to relieve the suffering of another is an act of charity; almsgiving so one can fell good in oneself, or be seen to be good in the eyes of others, is an act of hypocrisy.

Thomas
 
thanks Thomas, thats what i meant to say. lol

Why pick on those in need? I imagine you would also object when they have a fund raiser for a cause as with Katrina for example and famous people perform and are praised so as to raise money for the needy. You would call it hypocrisy but why does it matter if so many are helped? Does it really matter to you if those performing hold the microphone with their right or left hand?
 
I love these threads that have an agenda.

Instead of saying, I think this about that. What do you think?

They start out like a 3rd grade teacher. Now class what did Charles Dickens imply in David Copperfield about Uriah Heap in the following paragraph...

No Johnny that isn't right.

No Thomas that is wrong.

Yes, Simone, you've got it exactly. Now everyone listen to Simone.
 
lol, im so stupid to have fallen for it , yet again..........

aaarrrggghhhh, NickA for someone who is educated you really are not very smart, are you?
I mean, I know Im not a genius, but i dont try to screw every word everyone else says ... and your reasons are beyond me......
oh bugger, once again I have fallen to your depths............
 
I love these threads that have an agenda.

Instead of saying, I think this about that. What do you think?

They start out like a 3rd grade teacher. Now class what did Charles Dickens imply in David Copperfield about Uriah Heap in the following paragraph...

No Johnny that isn't right.

No Thomas that is wrong.

Yes, Simone, you've got it exactly. Now everyone listen to Simone.

Simone is full of *blankety blank*
 
lol, im so stupid to have fallen for it , yet again..........

aaarrrggghhhh, NickA for someone who is educated you really are not very smart, are you?
I mean, I know Im not a genius, but i dont try to screw every word everyone else says ... and your reasons are beyond me......
oh bugger, once again I have fallen to your depths............

Is it really that much of a crime to ask people to actually think about what Jesus said? What is bad about hypocrisy as long as the good is done? What does it matter what one hand knows about another? These should be questions we are open to.

The point is that Jesus is referring to the inner man. The right hand refers to the inner man and the left, refers to our personality. Modern theory understands this as our right brain/left brain relationship. We are hypocrits but Jesus is suggesting how to deal with it so as to acquire a human perspective which is more then the results of a reactive personality.

Christianity is profound. It includes the most beneficial psychology we've ever known once we appreciate that psychology is more then conditioning behavior but rather allows us to connect the higher and lower within us for the sake of our budding soul.

If all we do is read Jesus as a misguided secular Jewish Rabbi with political interests who got strung up, then we'll never be open to appreciate what he allowed us to awaken to which is the sacred part of our being that is covered over by our conditioned personality but yet is our essential selves..
3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The question then is how not to confuse the two but allow the sacred within us to remain sacred so as to receive help from above.
 
oh so NOW you are religious, now that it suits you????

Why does this surprise you? I'm the one daring to defend Kierkegaard's qualitative distinction between Christianity and Christendom. Secularism looks at it all as the same and just differing expressions of opinion. Secularism has no interest in experiencing objective quality so is content with considring quality like beauty as only in the eye of the beholder.

I am attracted to Christianity making me one with religious interests distinct from secular religious interpretation.
 
Why pick on those in need? I imagine you would also object when they have a fund raiser for a cause as with Katrina for example and famous people perform and are praised so as to raise money for the needy.
If they are there to raise money for the needy, then OK.

If they are there to raise their profile and thus boost the sales of their next album, then that is hypocrisy.

Nick — by this very discussion is another evidence you really don't understand what Christianity is.

You would call it hypocrisy but why does it matter if so many are helped?
Because the question is not about who is helped, the question addresses one motivation.

Does it really matter to you if those performing hold the microphone with their right or left hand?
No. You need to learn to focus on the question, and not on the unimportant stuff round the edges.

You keep referring to the material and the peripheral, what you would call the exoteric, whereas everyone else is talking about what motivates the heart, the esoteric.

Thomas
 
If they are there to raise money for the needy, then OK.

If they are there to raise their profile and thus boost the sales of their next album, then that is hypocrisy.

Mate... We talking about like a christian band or something here? Raising funds for the needy... Or boosting their sales.... Which ever... Makes them no different to churches lol.....

Nick — by this very discussion is another evidence you really don't understand what Christianity is.

A bunch of people selling you a bs insurance policy?
 
mate, No one is "picking on those in need". Get your facts straight..
i was "picking on" the ones who were offering the need out of their own self gratification, not the actual need.
(speaks slowly...) now ... do ... you... understand...?
 
Thomas

You describe rather well one reason why Christianity so easily devolves into Christendom. You believe that, even though you are right in the middle of Plato's cave, you know what the "important stuff" is. You just follow your conditioning where ever it leads.

You don't want to appreciate that what makes the Bible capable of Art is that it is constructed on layers of meaning bringing new light to unimportnt stuff..

This is so obvious that it is only your combative nature that denies you.

There is a forever debate on "faith vs. works." You use the word "motivation" as though it means something. Yet to understand it in context refers directly to the faith vs. works debate.

You take Christianity far too superficially and for you it has become this power trip that defined Christendom. It is like a person that knows music and what it means to play the piano but cannot play beyond a beginners level. The first step is to experience that we can't play. The first step in Christianity is realizing that we are not Christian.

Only then can the question of motivation have any real meaning and a person can stop defending what they don't have and consequently become open to preserving the real inner experience and benefit of Christianity when it comes.
 
You take Christianity far too superficially and for you it has become this power trip that defined Christendom. It is like a person that knows music and what it means to play the piano but cannot play beyond a beginners level. The first step is to experience that we can't play. The first step in Christianity is realizing that we are not Christian.
Namaste Nick,

Seems in order to continue to converse on the same page we need some of your definitions, and the specific differences between them.

Christanity -

Christendom -

Christian -
 
Hi Wil

I don't write these things from any antagonism to Christianity. After all, I am related to an archbishop. I write these things because I do respect Christianity.

Christianity is the means for actualizing Jesus' intent to provide either the Kingdom or salvation for those capable of them. One means for doing so is through consciously abandoning the illusion of power.

Christendom consists of the man made interpretations of Christianity designed to acquire power. Those like Simone Weil and Kierkegaard have recognized what has happened to Christianity.

Simone Weil (Bauer) - CESNUR 2002

5. In Simone Weil's life, religion played a dominant role in the years following the mystical epiphanies she experienced in 1938. Long before, however, her wish to partake in the suffering of the distressed led her to a life-style of extreme austerity. It was under these circumstances that, in 1937, Simone Weil became increasingly attracted to Christianity, a religion she considered to be in its true essence a religion of slaves, and therefore in utter contradiction to the actual form it had taken in history. On this assumption, Simone Weil objected against Catholicism -- the denomination she knew best and respected the most --[21] that it had ended by perverting itself for the sake of power. The historical "double stain" on the Church that Simone Weil denounces originates in the fact that Israel imposed on Christian believers the acceptance of the Old Testament and its almighty God, and that Rome chose Christianity as the religion of the Empire.[22] Despite its universal redemptive mission, the Church became from its very beginnings heir of Jewish nationalism and of the totalitarianism inherent in Imperial Rome. As the spiritual locus in which both traditions of power displaced the religion of powerless slaves, Christianity became the actual negation of its own foundational leitmotiv: the self-annulment of divine omnipotence by the godly act of kenosis or self-abasement.

Kierkegaard introduced the expression "Christendom." He says basically the same.

http://jmm.absalom.biz/2008/02/20882/

The Christianity of the New Testament simply does not exist. Here there is nothing to reform; what has to be done is to throw light upon a criminal offence against Christianity, prolonged through centuries, perpetuated by millions (more or less guilty), whereby they have cunningly, under the guise of perfecting Christianity, sought little by little to cheat God out of Christianity, and have succeeded in making Christianity exactly the opposite of what it is in the New Testament. pp. 32-33

… industrial priests have invented under the name of Christianity a sweetmeat which has a delicious taste, for which men hand out their money with delight. p. 47

Wil, I know this is rough stuff but I bring it up because I know there are those that can profit from Christianity but are turned off to Christendom.
A Christian then has to be more then asserting oneself as Christian but rather having the ability to be Christian. Esoteric Christianity understands this well:

Evagrius Ponticus lived and wrote during the fourth century

Evagrius defines prayer as the communion of spirit and mind with God.11 In his system, there are three levels of the mind. The lowest as we discussed before is pathos. These are uninformed cravings and obsessive patterns that facilitate our logismos. Thoughts of this nature will not bring us to a state where we can be open to God. A step in the right direction would be to achieve dianoia. Dianoia is discursive thinking that involves a higher form of reason. The first transition we make in order to become closer to God, is to abandon our uninformed thoughts, and move towards the rational state of dianoia. The highest level of mind is nous. We define nous as intuition, or an immediate communion with objects. One thing that is important to understand is that nous is not mediated by thoughts. An easier way to visualize what Evagrius is trying to say by establishing these three levels of mind is to take it out of a theological context. I think that the easiest way to visualize what Evagrius means is to imagine a piano player. When you first start playing the piano, before any lessons, you are just banging on the keys making random noise. This is a state of pathos. Then you start to take lessons, and after a while you learn lots of theory and technique. But your playing is not quite complete because it is dominated by logic and reason. This is dianoia. Finally after years of play, a good musician forms a bond with his instrument. It becomes an extension of his body; an open channel where emotion can flow. This is nous; the musician moves past all that technique and establishes a deeper connection with the piano. It is no different with God. We start with obsessive cravings and habits guided by no reason. We then move towards a life of reason and contemplation. And finally we move onto a life of intuition, and hopefully establish a deeper connection with God.

A Christian then has "nous." He is able to be Christian. Dianoia is pre-Christian and Pathos is non-Christian
 
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