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Author Topic:   Money Isn't a False God
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 36 of 150 (614814)
05-06-2011 7:28 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by purpledawn
05-06-2011 12:40 PM


In Regards to Motivating Impulses ..
Money isn't really similar to a false god.

I agree with this mostly, although I can see how someone might misconstrue what you've stated. It seems Joshua, and later Paul and other authors, addressed the actual motivating impulses of different behaviors where money played a role.

If the trust & reliance placed on money is seen as faith in, and so the substance and evidence of, a particular idol or God, then the money becomes simply a means by which the practitioner and the gods, or god (or God) accomplish their tasks together. This really appears to be at the crux of that seemingly prophetic tradition found in the 1st Timothy booklet.

In the verse it isn't money that is a false god, or even evil to speak, but rather it is love found wanting. Consider the statements which lead up to the infamous verse, while further considering the greek word employed for love has a connotation of avarice ..

av·a·rice[av-er-is]
noun
insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth.

".. men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.".

One is then challenged to consider how a relationship with money may become unhealthy in such a way that it could be responsible, from an ethical standpoint, for a majority of the evil/suffering in the world. This seems to be increasingly prophetic when juxtaposed against some of the more fantastic foundation myths found throughout the Garden.

Also, it seems interesting and worth mentioning we find this bit mixed in a chapter dealing with ecclesiastical instruction.

Edited by Bailey, : sp.


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by purpledawn, posted 05-06-2011 12:40 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by purpledawn, posted 05-07-2011 8:38 AM Bailey has responded

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 38 of 150 (614890)
05-08-2011 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by purpledawn
05-07-2011 8:38 AM


Re: Love of Money
Meaning #1 was the norm for gods. Meaning #3 is more in line with love of money.

While we use one word for these behaviors, the Bible uses different one. As you noted the Greek word for "love of money" deals with avarice and covetousness, which is closer to meaning #3. The Greek words for "worship" are more in line with meaning #1.

So while we can say that a person worships money and people worshiped gods, it isn't the same behavior.

Reasonably, that may depend on the expectations and the type of love one is attaching to the money. Biblically, one can't write a blank check statement declaring money as a false god, as it's a check that the Bank of Scripture won't cash.

One need only consider the Parable of the Minas; in the parable Joshua is depicted rendering the two servants who invested their portion of the estate as 'faithful' (rather then perhaps shrewd, effective, and/or profitable, etc. ), while the last servant is cast as 'wicked', 'lazy' and 'worthless', and ultimately ejected from the premises.

Yet, he is not addressed this way due to any loss of or failure to repay the capital as one may think could be reasonable, but rather for withholding the money and doing simply nothing with the potential but hoarding it.

The Judeo/Christian God does not require love in the 10 commandments, but does command that followers not bow down to other gods.

In Deuteronomy 6:5, God requires love also.

A strong case can be made apart from the ToRaH, within the Nevi'im alone, that the teachings - yes, all "365 restrictions and 248 positive commands", were intended to foster what would result in a loving society had it not been for those meddling youngsters. However, while money may indeed be playing a role there, it's likely fodder for another thread.

I don't feel that worshiping false gods is a good comparison to loving money.

There's a sense people tend to overgeneralize within the various traditions, perhaps due in part to pebbles of propaganda tossed long ago into a sea of theological discourse under which they still gently sink through the currents. Only now the rhetoric is generalized, less trivialized and so disconnected from what we find at calvin.edu.

Money as a god does not really work for the obvious reasons, one being there's no actual god assuming that name as far as can be told. Also, while we can consider whether mammon as a god works better as a simile or a metaphor, we may be as well off to simply accept its common status as a 'personification of wealth' when considering its place in literature.

(ie. 'You cannot serve The Father of Joshua and (or as), a Personification of Wealth and Avarice', etc.)

One could muse over the dollar's legitimacy as a talisman within occult magik, however it seems traditions centered around the likes of the roman god Dis Pater - roughly translated as "Rich Father", or the goddess Juno Moneta provide better examples of the worship of money as a god. However, these traditions are lost under layers and layers of dust.

Where these could serve as classic examples of your meaning #1 from above, meaning #3 does seem to align better with a 'personification of wealth' such as mammon.

Edited by Bailey, : sp.


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by purpledawn, posted 05-07-2011 8:38 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 42 of 150 (615032)
05-09-2011 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by crashfrog
05-08-2011 11:03 PM


Re: Mammon
So, I said that clearly "worshiping a false god" didn't have to mean prostrate worship, it had a more modern definition of simply "not letting material concerns... supersede more important spiritual concerns." You replied that it was appropriate to construe the admonition in that sense.

I may be mistaken, but the last statement in the above paragraph does not seem true.

Purpledawn's original reply (Message 27) appears to state that she felt her interpretation was appropriate, rather than being what you referred to as 'a pretty narrow way to construe it these days' (Message 26). You asked 'But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days?'.

Her answer was basically 'no'.

Purpledawn asserted she thought her understanding 'is an appropriate way to construe it', rather than the possiblity you presented. Her text doesn't appear in agreement with yours regarding what you consider to be a 'narrow' understanding.

That's what I'm seeing.


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by crashfrog, posted 05-08-2011 11:03 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2011 6:46 PM Bailey has responded

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 44 of 150 (615065)
05-09-2011 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by crashfrog
05-09-2011 6:46 PM


Re: Mammon
crash writes:

weary writes:

Purpledawn's original reply (Message 27) appears to state that she felt her interpretation was appropriate, rather than being what you referred to as 'a pretty narrow way to construe it these days' (Message 26).


Without reference to message 40, could you explain why you believe that to be the case?

I did explain w/o reference to message Message 40.

However, Message 42 basically resulted in what may as well be a condensed summary of that post.

Why would she tell me that she felt her own interpretation was accurate?

She seems to have been under the impression you were presenting a contrasting view to hers and she defended her own.

As I understood, you modified and expanded the plain meaning of the Yirmiyahu text as PD presented (ie. other gods of surrounding nations, etc.) - citing it as 'narrow', and presented a doctrinal extrapolation correlating to a more modern and contemporary apologetic view (ie. wealth, power, prestige, etc.).

I didn't ask her about whether she thought she agreed with herself ..

Yes, that's correct. I agree with you.

.. I asked her what she thought about the modern interpretation of "worshiping false gods" to mean "letting material concerns supersede spiritual ones."

This appears to be where the miscommunication resides - where did you ask her this? I ask because inquiring if one reading is more narrow than another is quite different than asking what one thinks regarding the legitimate "worshiping of false gods" as a correlation to "letting material concerns supersede spiritual ones."

She doesn't appear to have recognized you were asking her personal thoughts on the doctrine, but rather that you were asking her personal thoughts on whether her view was 'pretty narrow' when compared to the doctrinal extrapolations.

I didn't recognize you were seeking a validation of sorts for the doctrinal teaching when you inquired, 'But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days?'. However, I agree with you that PD's way of understanding the text is narrow. I also agree with her that it is an appropriate way to render the scripture.

Do you agree that she answered with "I think it is an appropriate way to construe it"?

I agree she replied in that manner, however to the question, 'But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days?', which you state was rhetorical in nature (even though it seems to be a fair and decent question).

And by pronoun rules isn't it most reasonable to interpret the antecedent of "it" to be the most recent plausible antecedent that fits the sentence?

Indeed, that is how I came to my conclusion.

The 'that' in your question ('But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days?') referred to PD's contention false gods were gods of surrounding nations, while the 'it' referred to the legitimate definition of "false gods".

This forms the question, "Do you not think (that supposing false gods were the gods of surrounding nations is) a pretty narrow way to construe (the legitimate definition of false gods) these days?".

And so - with this understanding, the first 'it' in PD's statement ('I think it is an appropriate way to construe it') refers to her plain understanding of Yirmyahu's use of the concept of "false gods" and the second 'it' refers a legitimate concept of false gods. Again, as I said in our first exchange, I may have misunderstood one of you, or the other or both.

Yet, I am making a concerted effort to understand the exchange between you both and maintain impartiality.

And if I misunderstood her, then why did she agree with me again in message 29?

She agreed "Worshipping Mammon" as a term does not refer to anything but letting the pursuit of wealth get in the way of spiritual concerns. That is different than asking for validation for contemporary doctrine, which she doesn't appear to have realized you were doing anyway.

It is also different then asking if a plain text reading was 'pretty narrow' compared to a doctrinal extrapolation, which is how I understood the question you posed (ie. But don't you think that's (the plain text reading) a pretty narrow way to construe it (a legitimate concept of false gods) these days? (when compared to modern apologetic doctrine)).

You asked 'But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days?'.

That question was clearly rhetorical and not what I was asking, obviously.

Please, don't be so quick to dismiss this lack of clarity as obvious. The question does not seem necessarily rhetorical and quite to the contrary I'd add. I think it's a fair - if not good, question. Especially if understood in the context of two contrasting interpretations competing for legitimacy: the first a plain text reading and the second a doctrinal extract.

If purpledawn had been replying to a rhetorical question she would have said so in a subsequent message since it was immediately obvious what I was understanding her to say.

I think it safe to say that she did not find the question rhetorical simply by identifying the fact she provided an answer.

PD supported the statement 'I think it is an appropriate way to construe it' by adding 'there are plenty of teachings concerning spiritual concerns without turning money into a false god'.

How exactly would the latter assertion she provided lend any support to your contention?

Her answer was basically 'no'.

But her answer was not "no", it was "yes."

Well, technically it was neither no or yes.

"I think it is an appropriate way to construe it" is a statement of assent, not denial.

I agree that it is, however you have to provide the other question you asked because all we have is this one:

'But don't you think that's a pretty narrow way to construe it these days?'

So far we have ..

purpledawn: A plain text rendering of Yirmiyahu is legit.
crashfrog: But don't you think it's narrow compared to all the modern doctrinal extrapolations?
purpledawn: I think a plain text rendering of Yirmiyahu is an appropriate way to construe it.

crashfrog: stalemate
purpledawn: stalemate

Until we have this other question of yours (which I likely overlooked), it is easy to perceive PD's statement of assent in correlation to her presented understanding of the scripture.

That's what I'm seeing.

Are you seeing that because that's what purpledawn said she meant, now that she's been caught up in a contradiction?

No, I don't think that's the case honestly. I noticed you two appeared to be talking past each other a bit or something and so I went back to the original exchange between PD and kbertsche which you piggy backed off of in Message 25 to get a better understanding of the dialogue. Then I tried earnestly to follow the discussion with the utmost neutrality.

Can you agree with me, at least, that there's another possible motive in her part than correcting a misunderstanding nearly a week after it was apparently made?

Absolutely.

I'm not vouching for anyone's motives, including my own


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2011 6:46 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2011 11:55 PM Bailey has not yet responded
 Message 46 by purpledawn, posted 05-10-2011 3:06 AM Bailey has not yet responded

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 77 of 150 (615514)
05-13-2011 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by purpledawn
05-12-2011 1:31 PM


Money Can Be A False God By Definition
quote:
But I still think you are taking the whole thing far too literally. Has anyone at all genuinely suggested that money is a god in the sense of being a supernatural entity directly comparable to, or in competitiopn with, Yahweh?
Not a deity, no. As I showed, they changed the definition of god to make it work.

Allowing a literal or narrow meaning of false gods, such as expressed in the booklet of Yirmiyahu, to indicate the gods and goddesses of the nations surrounding Yisrael seems an appropriate way to consider the concept of false gods.

Also, there appears to be genuine examples where money may be viewed as an idol - or a false god, and perhaps even as suggestive toward a notion money is in direct competition with, if not comparable to, the God of the Yuhdeans.

First, the idea that worship has different meanings was addressed in Message 36, Message 37, Message 38 and Message 70 by a variety of forum members. Later, in Message 65 and Message 69, PD provided various details showing where Luther could be seen fleshing out his protest doctrine suggesting money may act as a false god, or "one's god".

I disagree in a sense the definition of (false) god need be changed or modified in any regard to facilitate a more doctrinal approach to the concept of a false god. It isn't necessary to perform that way if one desire's to achieve such a result as other definitions, which will be examined below such as worship, allow for this dynamic within their natural context.

The capacity for worshipping money may be more easily viewed as that which is being directed towards a false god when considering money as an idol. At this point, it may be helpful to review the definition of idol and then the nature of money.

Directly below is an attempt to present a doctrinal approach demonstrating how money, in the traditional sense, could be viewed as alien to God. This will be followed by a more direct approach employing definitions less theologically freighted.

i·dol
n.
1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) a material object, esp a carved image, that is worshipped as a god
2. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity Judaism any being (other than the one God) to which divine honour is paid
3. a person who is revered, admired, or highly loved

[from Late Latin îdôlum, from Latin: image, from Greek eidôlon, from eidos shape, form]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

In these examples it may prove interesting to place the concept within a biblical and historical framework. In one corner, let's consider the God of the Yudeans; in the others, false gods are assigned. At the top of that list, Caesar is enthroned.

One can find him commanding the legal title Imperator before his name and modeling the coverings of a god, with the triumphant purple robe and laurel crown - reminiscent of the Kings. Also seeing to it an ivory statue in his likeness is paraded around at all public religious processions, while placing another in the temple of Quirinus with an inscription reading 'To the Invincible God'. Consider who this fellow Quirinus was.

To the roman people, he became the deified likeness of Romulus - Rome's first king and founder, and so, it is then easy to determine such an act would clearly identify Caesar not only on equal terms with the divine, but with the Kings as well. This notion becomes increasingly obvious when we learn another statue was erected alongside those of the seven Roman Kings, as well as Lucius Junius Brutus - a gentleman who originally led a revolt to expel them.

Finally, demonstrating what would appear to be the utmost scandalous behavior, Caesar commences the minting of new coins bearing an unique image and likeness and it's here you get one guess at who's and what it was ..

That's correct - this was the first time in roman history that a living human was prominently displayed on a coin. This golden calf act clearly placed Caesar not only above the God of the Yuhdeans, but well above the roman state and tradition.

Right around that time there's breaking dialogue concerning the Kingdom of God as described by Joshua, who's rumored to be next in line for the throne, and we learn it's coming. While many people are encouraged to pray for it to come (on earth as in heaven), we have Joshua on earth making it happen before people’s very eyes.

There is little doubt Herod would be angry if he caught wind of this Gospel. After all, he was King of the Yuhdeans and, as his luck would have it, rival claimants had a tendency to not live long as a result. With that said, it is a safe bet Caiaphas' motely crew and the Sadducees also understood this notion to present a challenge toward their power base - the Temple.

Finally, if Caesar heard, there's no doubt he would've been in similiar opposition as it may impede his pursuit of avarice.

Regardless, none of them were able to discern what even Joshuas’ closest associates had a certain difficulty
understanding and that was what kind of a challenge he intended to pose. That is, what sort of a Kingdom was Joshua advancing? And what kind of a King must he consider himself to be? Both answers begin to emerge as Joshua arrives in Yirusalem, symbolically purging the Temple and cleverly pointing ahead to its imminent 70 CE destruction.

We learn of a string of debates taking place a short time later and we find where Joshua's placed on virtual trial, like someone being interviewed by Fox news with the expressed understanding any minute a verbal slip may just prove fatal. In the booklet of Mark, chapter 11 and 12 offer a snapshot of such debates, most all of which are politically motivated.

At times, some are framed theologically as well and this is also where we find the trick question (and opaque answer), addressing Caesar and the God of the Yuhdeans with special regards to Caesar's gloriously magnificent coin o' tribute.

This is no isolated political comment in an otherwise nonpolitical sequence of events and thought, but to the contrary it's right at home. Which is to say, tax revolts against Rome were nothing new and if we consider a large-scale revolt of this nature taking place during Joshua's adolescence, we can then imagine it being crushed with typical Roman brutality.

So with no further ado, here is a crux in the matter:

Joshua was unwilling to respond by suggesting, ‘Yes, pay the tax’.

That would be as saying ‘I’m not really serious about my Father's Kingdom, but rather I'm the glutton for punishment type, so trust in Caesar'. Yet, to suggest that anyone should revolt in the traditional sense was likely to incur imminent wrath.

So, what does Joshua do? Requests his challenger conjur up a coin (indirectly causing admittance that the hated coinage was kept, indeed with its blasphemous inscription and its culturally illegal image of the portrait of Caesar himseslf, and all).

'Whose is it?', he asks.

'Caesar’s', they answer.

'Well then, you’d better pay back Caesar in his own coin - and pay God back in his own coin!'

Within these statements we learn of an early radical prophetic tradition which held distinction between the currency of the God of the Yuhdeans and Caesar the god as we encounter a variant leaving the idol fashioned in Caesar's image without place in the economy of the Kingdom. The one who trusts in Caesar will collect his coins, thus supporting his economy.

Transactions made within the realm of the Kingdom of Heaven appear to be done without the employ of traditional roman coinage; coin that's little more than a carved idol, bedded in the worship of Caesar and the vision of his terrorist empire.

i·dol
n.
1.
a. An image used as an object of worship.
b. A false god.
2. One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.
3. Something visible but without substance.

[Middle English, from Old French idole, from Late Latin dlum, from Greek eidlon, phantom, idol, from eidos, form; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

While it's true the dollar is a currency whose value may experience relative stability and gold is a commodity whose value may display great variance, it's also true they cannot reasonably be termed with intrinsic value in the absolute sense. The fact is, money is little more than a symbol of faith in the value of an economic system (ie. visible but without substance).

It also seems safe to say money has indeed been, and is still at times, adored and often blindly; even to excess.

Additionally, we learn an idol can be a false god. When we examine the meaning of idol, we find that money seems to apply well in many instances, as it has been demonstrated money can be viewed as an image used as an object of worship without the meaning of (false) god being modified, providing one allows for a broad context defining worship.

Thus, if money is one's idol, it may also - by definition, be considered one's god or false god.

Edited by Bailey, : sp.


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by purpledawn, posted 05-12-2011 1:31 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 8:44 AM Bailey has responded
 Message 95 by purpledawn, posted 05-15-2011 8:07 AM Bailey has responded

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 91 of 150 (615604)
05-14-2011 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 8:44 AM


Re: Money Can Be A False God By Definition
quote:
That's correct - this was the first time in roman history that a living human was prominently displayed on a coin. This golden calf act clearly placed Caesar not only above the God of the Yuhdeans, but well above the roman state and tradition.

Interesting. That may give a new insight to the teaching concerning two masters. Can't serve God and money. Money may have been an overt way of referring to Caesar since avarice was associated with Caesar.

Just an interesting thought. I'll have to do more research.

That's an interesting line of reason appearing worthy of further pursuit. Here's a thought ..

Perhaps money or 'mammon' was an overt way of referencing avarice, considering the latter ties them all together?

Caesar’s general downplays throughout latter testaments gives me the sense this was more of an indirect way of referring to him as he was simply another false god, although a figurehead of roman terrorism. I’d agree money, and the tribute coin specifically, appeared easy to view as a symbol of avarice (an actual adversary), rather than Caesar or wealth in general. I’ll touch on this below, yet in this sense Caesar seems to have further personified the symbol through his coin/idol stunt.

However, just as this coin overtly represented Caesar as an idol, I may suggest, money was an overtly direct way of referring to that which Caesar represented. That’s to say - not only avarice, but the vehicles accomodating it's pursuit: political and social policies of Rome, with an emphasis on economic policies they facilitate and especially all policies lying in contrast to the ideals within the Kingdom of Heaven. I feel there’s an important distinction between wealth and avarice.

I think you’ve dealt with the issue to some degree. If they are not the same, then the definition of mammon as a ‘personification of wealth’ needs to be refined, as it will continue to cause confusion while misleading folks in their studies.

Mammon as a false god refers to the pursuit of avarice, which is often facilitated with tools of economy such as money.

However, it has been pointed out, as in the Parable of the Minas, honorable pursuits may also be facilitated through economical means. Mammon as a false god speaks to 'a personification of avarice', rather than referencing any honest pursuit of investment and wealth in general; for if your intentions are to expend the vastness of your invested sums of wealth servings all the maimed, the poor, the sick and the widowed for no reward or any other reason than their need ..

How have you served a false god? I contend you haven't.

(unless the needs of the maimed, the poor, the sick and the widowed may be deemed false gods as Luther's protest doctrine holds)

On a side note, I’m coming to the conclusion much of what passes for apologetic doctrine appears to be the result of a depoliticization of Joshua’s circumstance, which is not to say apologetics and doctrinal extrapolates are without value. I’d suggest there’s no detriment found in deferring apologies while isolating any variant doctrine(s) rooted in these teachings.

After all, identifying where grafting takes place doesn't discount a vine's been rooted. Rather than offending the doctrine, I’d suggest an identification process simply offers more contextual insights such as those you’ve expressed above.

Our teaching on serving two masters seems more natural in even a roughly contemporary framework. Perhaps we're inclined to struggle as though walking in the dark when attempting to grasp the original teachings outside of such terms.

Edited by Bailey, : sp.

Edited by Bailey, : sp.

Edited by Bailey, : grammar


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 8:44 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 7:52 PM Bailey has responded

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 93 of 150 (615624)
05-14-2011 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 7:52 PM


Re: Money Can Be A False God By Definition
purpledawn writes:

quote:
(unless the needs of the maimed, the poor, the sick and the widowed may be deemed false gods as Luther's protest doctrine holds)
Another interesting thought.

If a false god is that which we turn to or rely upon instead of God as some have mentioned, then by creating and supporting charities we create something the poor can to turn to or rely on instead of God.

Did God really instruct us to do something that could potentially cause someone to stumble?

Immediately after suggesting they weren’t required to oblige the Temple tax, Joshua once had Peter snatch a couple bits out of a fish head to toss in the collection plate. So I’d say no, not everyone. Only apologists are instructed to do that.

For it is precept by precept, precept by precept, line by line, line by line; here a little, there a little. For with stammering lips and with a strange tongue shall it be spoken to this people; To whom it was said: 'This is the rest, give ye rest to the weary; and this is the refreshing'; yet they would not hear.

And so the word of God is unto them precept by precept, precept by precept, line by line, line by line; here a little, there a little; that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken ...

Edited by Bailey, : abe ..


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 7:52 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 94 of 150 (615637)
05-15-2011 7:45 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 7:52 PM


Regarding Charity as a Sin ..
purpledawn writes:

quote:
(unless the needs of the maimed, the poor, the sick and the widowed may be deemed false gods as Luther's protest doctrine holds)
Another interesting thought.

If a false god is that which we turn to or rely upon instead of God as some have mentioned, then by creating and supporting charities we create something the poor can to turn to or rely on instead of God.

Did God really instruct us to do something that could potentially cause someone to stumble?

Of course, but was Able responsible for Cain’s unwillingness to master what was crouching at the door?

Likewise, if God instructs us to another means of provision which we decline for tradition, has he tripped us?

Consider the keyword’s ‘instead of’ within your inquiry.

Now, does someone seek the charity in place of God or do they seek the charity in His provision?

If the former, have they relied on His teaching? If the latter, have they relied on the charity?

Edited by Bailey, : grammar


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 7:52 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 3264 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 100 of 150 (615661)
05-15-2011 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by purpledawn
05-15-2011 8:07 AM


Re: Money Can Be A False God By Definition
Thanks for taking the time pd,

Hope things are well ..

purpledawn writes:

quote:
While it's true the dollar is a currency whose value may experience relative stability and gold is a commodity whose value may display great variance, it's also true they cannot reasonably be termed with intrinsic value in the absolute sense. The fact is, money is little more than a symbol of faith in the value of an economic system (ie. visible but without substance).

It also seems safe to say money has indeed been, and is still at times, adored and often blindly; even to excess.

Additionally, we learn an idol can be a false god. When we examine the meaning of idol, we find that money seems to apply well in many instances, as it has been demonstrated money can be viewed as an image used as an object of worship without the meaning of (false) god being modified, providing one allows for a broad context defining worship.

Thus, if money is one's idol, it may also - by definition, be considered one's god or false god.


I didn't have time to address this earlier.

The broader meanings of idol (adoring a person) and worship (excessive adoration) are attested to the late 1500's.

For an argument of this nature to hold water, one would first have to nullify scripture, archeology and history in general, in favor of etymonline.com. Your insights in Message 83 concerning the teaching on Two Masters seem to support this also.

Message 77 provides a strong historical framework in support of a context allowing the meanings of idol, as adoring a person or the image of a person, and worship in the sense of excessive adoration to be viewed quite plainly in a biblical sense, at least in regards to the latter testaments from which these biblical and historical concepts are being drawn.

We cannot say the same, or one way or the other, for many instances of false gods in the original testaments.

As it is lost to history, there simply is not enough information available.

I don't feel that having faith in an economic system is the same as choosing another god over God. We simply trust that every day things function the way they are supposed to.

In a general sense I agree with this sentiment and I'll expand below.

Message 38 offered an example where the basic functions of economy can be harnessed in a positive sense, as well as displaying how they may be taken for granted. Isn't it when we have faith in an economy (or social and political policy) in support of God's opposition and the creation (maintenance, etc.) of a destructive society that is the issue?

When you take the later broad meaning of worship, many things can become false gods.

By the 'later' meaning excessive adoration is implied and that is correct; things such as avarice, Emperors and Kings - all biblical concepts of false gods, can become such through this understanding (ie. excessive adoration) of worship.

While I disagee the definition of worship cannot biblically withstand the notion of 'excessive adoration', I agree a less encompassing definition of worship creates confusion concerning what a false god consisted of in certain biblical epochs.

It doesn't really reflect the Bibles issue with false gods.

Sure it does and there is support of this position above. The bible does not have simply one issue with false gods.

It's much easier to suggest 'excessive adoration' is a definition arriving late to the the bible party when one ignores historical information such as Caesar's attempt at deification, insatiable pursuit of avarice, his idol/tribute coin, etc..

Then again, manipulating the political landscape is how apologetics - and religion in general, are shaped to a large degree.

I will agree that the issues dealt with in the latter testament offer more specific insights which seem in contrast to the original testament examples in Yirmiyahu. The issue is we don't know how comparable they are without recovering more information concerning the false gods you've provided in examples such as those found in Yirmi's booklet.

As I've pointed out before, paying homage to idols in the Bible isn't about excessive adoration. Also the articles I've linked to aren't really talking about excessive adoration except when the love of money is thrown in.

I think I've shown where paying homage to idols in the Bible can sustain the notion of excessive adoration in regards to biblical worship. Perhaps if you demonstrate how paying tribute to Caesar and pursuing his lifestyle of avarice does not relate to biblical concepts of false gods, such as idols or Mammom, you'll be in a better position to support your case.

The issue seems to be the idea that we have chosen these every day things to sustain us instead of God. They liken it to the Hebrews feeling deserted by their God and turning to other gods.

I'm pretty sure I get where you're coming from and I agree scriptures are taken out of context resulting in false doctrine. To be sure, the fact there's no consistent or monolithic concept of false gods throughout scripture lends to the phenomena.

On the other hand, considering we have inspirations such as the Pope (ie. inquisitions, etc.), Luther (ie. On Jews and Their Lies, etc.), and Calvin (ie. burnig Servetus alive, etc.) there may be some truth to people deserting contemporary models of god due to a feeling of abandonment. Yet, I think our point is the model of god abandoned is commonly a model established through contemporary doctrine (perhaps false), rather than the plain historical teachings.

If my house is burning, I'm going to call the fire department. I'm not going to pray to God to put the fire out. A religious person may do both, but they will call the fire department. Adding a prayer to God doesn't change the fact that we trust that the fire department will come to our aid.

I don't feel that God, Jesus, or Paul were trying to tell us not to rely on everyday things or systems to function as they are supposed to.

That's reasonable and I don't feel they were not suggesting we might examine whether certain 'things or systems' were working properly.

Then, rather than subsidize them if they weren't, perhaps consider no longer continuing to use them simply because they're convenient or traditional.

God literally did not want his people to bow down to the gods of other nations.

It is deeper than that pd and I dare say a simple prostrate bow is a shallow understanding, perhaps fit for children.

God also literally didn't want His people sharing the destructive traditions within surrounding cultures (ie. taking up bribery and extortion is financially bowing to foreign nations and false gods, etc.). Again, the bible seems to support these views.

Yet, the information gathered from a purely canonical view, discounting any veracity towards archeological and historical findings, offers more or less ambiguity concerning a clear understanding of economic, social and political factors in relation to even simple themes such as Kingship, and much less false gods, throughout the original testaments.

This conclusion, coupled with our ambiguity, hardly supports any triumphalist use of the term.

To be fair, it's not entirely our fault we're being ambiguous as we haven't much to draw from.

Perhaps it's worth noting the time during and after Babylonian exile corresponds with the period setting the tone for the latter testaments, which proves to be a truly formative period for Yuhdean political thought in both a biblical and historical sense. Remember, Cyrus the Persian pagan can be found as God's anointed, ready and willing to rescue the exiles and send them home and Yirmiyahu then urges those in exile to seek Babylon's welfare, even praying to the Father for it.

Yirmi made the case that the Father had raised up a servant - a fell'r by the name of Nebuchadnezzar who happened to be the king of Babylon. Accordingly, Yirmi's God had given him authority over all the nations, and in this sense he was not viewed as a false god. That is, if you trusted Yirmi's word over that of the Levite priestcraft occupying the first Temple at the time. Nevertheless, despite some prophetic hopes, no Davidic king emerges to create a new, independent kingdom, and so, Yirusalem and the Temple are simply rebuilt by the exiles under ambivalent auspices of pagan rulers.

Granted, we have Daniel's booklet relaying stories about Yuhdeans refusing to compromise with paganism; yet, as the Father vindicates them, they're simply promoted to positions of service within the pagan kingdom like Joseph under Pharaoh. The Wisdom of Solomon then explains pagan kings and rulers have been appointed to their high office by the living God, with the understanding He will judge them for what they do and fail to do.

Therefore, Wisdom, who's seen as active throughout Yisrael’s traditions and more or less an alter ego for the Father, is needed. And this Wisdom which speaks of God is in stark contrast to others. I think you'll agree the guiding, judging, living, rescuing, wise God of the biblical tradition has little in common with the absentee god of enlightenment deism found dividing the world between right vs. left and authority vs. revolution, which leaves Yuhdean writers to their device ..

Wrestling with the ambiguities of living as God’s people under non-Yuhdean rule from the exile to Joshua and beyond. We come to learn the Kingdom of Heaven is manifest as policies recorded in the teachings are implemented, consequently transforming and ultimately replacing manifestations such as the Legions, the Roman Empire and its holy terrorist regime by incinerating them with the flames of justice and forging the tempered remains.

Trying to associate the things we rely on in our society as false gods is just a way to manipulate people IMO.

At times it certainly is, but I don't think a blank check statement written in this vein will cash. We do not have enough information concerning any monolithic concept of false god in old Yisreal. Additionally, there are objective examples which seem to support various association's with a certain degree of validity (ie. a negative aspect of wealth as avarice, etc.).

Whether concerning the Levite priests who opposed Yirmiyahu or contemporary apologetics, albeit both manipulative, the association processes are those of identification, with certain expectations attached. If you can demonstrate how Joshua and Paul explained traditional social constructs and religious systems should be taken for granted without evaluation or show where that view can be found in the Nevi’im, and anywhere else in a canon, you will have a stronger case.

One Love

Edited by Bailey, : sp.

Edited by Bailey, : grammar

Edited by Bailey, : grammar


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by purpledawn, posted 05-15-2011 8:07 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
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