Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Jan 26, 2020.
IMHO, sacrifice is when you want something in return. Charity is with no expectation of return.
There's the story of Father Maxmillian Kolbe, a Catholic saint who died in Auschewitz. After a person escaped from the camp, the commander chose ten prisoners to be executed as a reprisal.
One of them had a wife and children, so Kolbe volunteered to die in his place, and was executed in place of the other prisoner.
Was it sacrifice or charity?
My interest in what denominations in their various religions side tracked into charity and sacrifice.
I heard stories from a couple of different Muslims about this. My favorite sacrifice story Was a kid during Ramadan, who is working irrigating the fields. Ramadan that year fell in the middle of the summer, and he was living in the Middle East. His job and it was the walk-on along the ditch Banks and open the gates to let the Canal flood the fields. The sun beating down on him and not allowed to drink water till sundown. All alone with only God above. He said that was one of his biggest fasting challenges. Sounds like a sacrifice to me.
In charity, I was led to understand. That Muslims give a certain percentage. Of their wealth every once a year. Not their income. But their wealth, their Holdings. And that the rule was first give to family. , then extended family , then your neighbors, then your Village, then your state , then your country , then the world. With the idea that each group you assist first Will become better off and will have the ability to assist others.
I like the potential Snowball Effect of that. In general in regards to a religions I like their ideas. But what I see and practice isn't always the same.
You were told correctly - it is 2.5% of ones excess earnings - it is called Zakaah from a root meaning "purity", "growth" & "increase".
It is common for Muslims to say "My reward is with Allah" when giving charity - expecting no worldly gain or praise.
Here are some words from Quran about charity.
“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain of corn, which grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whomever He pleases. Allah is All-Sufficient, All-Knowing.”
Voluntary charity is called Sadaqah - from a root meaning "kindness", "benevolence" & "friendship".
“Surely the men who give sadaqah and the women who give sadaqah and have advanced a good loan to Allah; for them it will be multiplied and for them there is a noble reward.”
Giving charity in secret.
“If you disclose your sadaqah, it is well; but if you conceal it and give it to the poor, that is better for you.”
Perfect example. Then there's the issue of humility or fear of God? Can true sacrifice be coerced or should it be voluntary? But sorry to go off topic ...
How about this: Charity (as love) is the compelling force, while sacrifice is the action driven by love.
To Wil, concerning the OP: I started out as a fundamental Christian (southern baptist), but at some point became, or am becoming, nothing. I say I am a Christian and I believe in God, but perhaps "nothing" best defines where I am at now, or so it feels.
What worth is any sacrifice if not freely given out of love? The term "fear of God" portrays a negative image of God when in actuality; the fear of God indicates respect and reverence to God.
God has many traits, but His love is the greatest.
True, all is nothing and nothing is all. You mentioned Southern Baptist, are you from South of the Mason Dixon Line?
I grew up Southern Baptist, I'm American Baptist now, I'm not fond of structured religion or church in general, however I support the church even though it's not for me. Not hypocritical, my relationship to God does not depend on church or reading the bible. God provides everything all of the time, therefore within Him & Him in me I don't have a need for constant guidance from the church or from reading the bible.
I am glad and lucky to have a church to go to. I am blessed. Without it my life would be so much emptier -- and without the monks who keep it alive the church would not be there for me. I am so grateful to them.
They are the keepers of the flame. But when it becomes an obligation, my own need is to back off from the repetition and ritual religion with all the vows, etc.
In the Quran God says He chose Mercy as His chief attribute.
6:12 - Say: 'To whom belongs what is in the heavens and in the earth?' Say: 'It is God's. He has prescribed for Himself mercy.
Does it say 'as His chief attribute'?
I guess not, but it doesn't say he prescribed Himself any other attribute iirc.
It is repeated in;
6:54 - And when those who believe in Our signs come to thee, say, 'Peace be upon you. Your Lord has prescribed for Himself mercy. Whosoever of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and makes amends, He is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.'
The most important thing of all is "The ONENESS of God"..
It is a major sin to ascribe partners to God. This is because it decreases His authority.
i.e. God's guidance becomes obscure, leading to sin
The Mercy of God, the Most High, cannot reach a person who turns away from truth .. not until they return to Him alone, in any case.
NB. Jesus, peace be with him, referred to "Israel" [ the Jews ]
Yes, born and raised. Lived here all my life.
Yes, I support the church structure as well. There was a brief time that I bore some animosity toward it, when I found myself a part of what used to be called "the emerging church conversation", but that time passed. I no longer feel that and am certainly no rebel against anything these days. It can be tough at times not having a "group" to belong to, but there's no getting around the fact that I don't belong anywhere and can't.
Yes the first commandment comes even before the second: to love your neighbour as yourself.
Mark 12:28-31 New International Version (NIV)
The Greatest Commandment
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Which goes back to the essence of sacrifice?
I think he is quoting the words of the First Commandment as given to Moses, directly from the Jewish scripture?
'Love your neighbor as yourself' is not actually one of the 10 given to Moses.
Christ makes it the second great commandment, I think?
The Ten Commandments:
Exodus 20:1-17 kjv
And God spake all these words, saying,
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
1 You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 You shall make no idols.
3 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4 Keep the Sabbath day holy.
5 Honour your father and your mother.
6 You shall not murder.
7 You shall not commit adultery.
8 You shall not steal.
9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 You shall not covet.
What denomination or sect are you?
None, thank God There is no one in the way, no gatekeeper, between me and God. This relationship is our birthright and we intuitively perceive and know it without any need for the books, concepts, beliefs, or organizations which Man and Thought have edificated. All these things we have created are products of Thought, therefore limited. What is limited can not grasp the unlimited.
The one who says he is a Tibetan Buddhist, and the one who says he is a Christian, or scientologist, they have stopped seeking truth in order to fit into a group, into a nice little box.
Why do they limit themselves so severely? Why do they tie themselves down to one group? Because of the conditioning set in place.
Brave person, like the Commander and the band players of Titanic, giving their life for someone else. Gift, call it what you will, Sacrifice or Charity. (Added later: Like soldiers dying in a war so that others could live). Fulfilling their 'Dharma', duty. Like King Shivi who gave his flesh to the eagle for saving a pigeon, or King Prithu who agreed to be the food of a lion to save a cow, or Pabuji who agreed to be bitten by a cobra to save a cow. These are mythologies (which also guide our actions), but Kolbe or brave Titanic crew who did not survive are facts.
I did not find even God there.
Yeah, Why?? Probably because of existence of such groups.
True! we are able to comprehend that there is "an entity" responsible for all that we see.
Sometimes. G-d knows best why we claim to be [ insert your label here ]
Not so much conditioning .. more for social reasons, probably.
Some people are happy in their community and are sincere. Others might have an underlying "not so noble" motive.
Take the plotting of the Pharisees against Jesus, peace be with him..
Hardly noble, clearly!
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