Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

David Bokovoy

The Sermon on the Mount and the LofC

Recommended Posts

Have you thought about this seriously mercy? I'd invite you to do so. If you gave all of your surplus wealth, above subsistence needs, to the poor, you could do this once, at which point you would immediately become poor yourself, and in need of support from someone else who had the economic means (capital) to support you. If this conduct spread throughout en entire society, until there was no more excess capital (the evil 'profit"), the entire economy would shrink to an economy of minimal living standards, and there would be no excess anymore to bring to the Bishop's storehouse. The storehouse shelves would feature little.

What then?

So me having money sit in my bank account or acquiring stockpiles of goods in my cellar furthers the purposes of God how?

Why do you presume that sharing with others will make me stop working or will encourage others to stop working?

Share this post


Link to post

Why do you presume that my decision to charitably give impedes someone else from working toward self-reliance?

You pose a false dilemma, Droopy.

Where did I presume this? I'm just pointing out that the UO is not founded on the redistribution of wealth. A form of redistribution does take place, but this is nothing like that imagined in socialistic or "communitarian" philosophies.

The problem I see with your view of giving all of your surplus (whatever this means) away is that, at that point, you yourself become dependent upon the Bishop's storehouse, and a further burden, indeed, a willing burden on the greater community.

How does the destruction of your own wealth, which is inextricably linked to your ability to create more, alleviate poverty among a larger community?

Share this post


Link to post

Droopy,

I do find it very, very interesting, that you concern yourself primarily with scriptural analysis, while assiduously avoiding confrontation with your longstanding Achilles heel here,

which is and continues to be that no body of modern teaching by the contemporary living oracles in our day supports your contentions here, and much of it is in clear contradiction to your core thesis regarding the UO and the scriptures teachings on the nature of poverty and its place in LDS theology.

Nonsense! I haven

Share this post


Link to post

So me having money sit in my bank account or acquiring stockpiles of goods in my cellar furthers the purposes of God how?

Why do you presume that sharing with others will make me stop working or will encourage others to stop working?

1. Your money doesn't sit in your bank account. Most if not all of my and your money is loaned out by the bank to entrepreneurs, one of whose primary function within society, as entrepreneurs, is the creation of jobs, opportunity, and upward mobility out of poverty for others.

Are you against this?

2. Please read my argument carefully. Sharing will not cause you to stop working. Giving away everything you have beyond subsistence needs will impoverish you and make you one of the poor you are attempting to help. You will then become, yourself, dependent upon the economic help of the community. If everyone followed this same path, economic activity would collapse to a very low level of complexity and productivity.

If businesses, companies, and corporations gave away all of their after tax profits to the poor, they would quickly cease to exist.

Where then, would the economic means to help the poor be found?

Share this post


Link to post

David,

I had some more thoughts on spiritual and temporal consecration today and wanted to get them down before I get too distracted and forget.

In Matt 18, the Lord presents the parable of the unmerciful servant. He sums it up with these words:

What caught my eye is that the the unforgiving are relegated to a telestial glory in the spirit world. We see the unmerciful are handed over to the tormentors (our accuser, Satan) until their debt is satisfied. D&C 76:106 outlines this as the path of telestial beings - they suffer in hell and are the last redeemed. D&C 19:17 obviously applies also.

Now go to Luke 16:23-24 - the parable of Lazarus and the rich man - similar language is used.

So The rich man who refused to deal mercifully with Lazarus is in hell.

Now Revelation 18 where the destruction of Babylon is described.

vs 7 "lived deliciously" refers to living in a luxurious manner per my GR translation software.

Babylon is also cast into hell (vs 10 "torment").

So if the celestial law is complete consecration, both spiritual and temporal, then the telestial law is obviously to live without mercy (and gratitude as those virtues are inexorably bound) since these are they (the unforgiving, the rich man who ignores Lazarus, and those who live luxuriously among other sins) who are cast into hell prior to redemption.

It's also interesting to note that when Babylon is cast down, she suffers famine and her mighty city is burned. In other words, she becomes hungry and impoverished. Going back to Luke 16, this is exactly what is foretold of the rich who succor not the poor - the poor (Lazarus) live comfortably and the rich can not quench their own thirst.

Hope that makes some sense to you. I'm typing while I'm cooking dinner and feeding the kiddos before heading off to a fireside... :P

Outstanding. Thank you for sharing. I've added these views to my scriptural notes.

Best,

--DB

Share this post


Link to post

Translation: "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Unless of course you believe the person doesn't meet certain conditions" (Matthew 5:42; revised version)

God will give and/or withhold his blessings in accordance with his infinite love/wisdom. As illustrated, however, by D&C 64, without such love/wisdom, humanity must live a different standard:

"I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men" (v. 10).

So you would be perfectly comfortable giving money to someone who asked you if you were pretty certain based on past behaviour that they would spend the money on drugs or alcohol or some other destructive behaviour? (serious question with the purpose of clarifying exactly what is your position on how we choose to give/help, not a criticism hidden as a question).

Why isn't it okay to use the wisdom God gave us to help others in the way that will best help them rather than just acquiescing to whatever they request of you?

I have been told I have no right to make that decision for someone else (not by you, but by someone else), that I should just give them whatever they ask and leave it up to them to do the right or wrong thing with it, but I have two very big problems with that....

First and foremost, 'no man is an island'....if I help someone to hurt himself, then I am not just contributing to his selfdetriment, but to others who are affected by his behaviour, whether it's family or friends who love him or someone who may be injured by his increase of self-destructive behaviour.

Second, this is not yet a Zion society where I don't have to be concerned about resource limits where if I can't help someone else because I've helped one person, I know that someone will step in to cover for me. So if I am presented with a case where I am not sure the person really needs the type of help she is requesting from me, if I make a sincere effort to find out if that is true or not, I don't feel I've done wrong saying 'no' so I can say 'yes' to someone who has demonstrated to me a real and actual need that I can meet by answering her request. That doesn't mean I then just ignore the original individual, just that I try to find a more fruitful way of helping her.

For me when I say meet certain conditions, it is not about someone earning the right to ask for help, but rather he being prepared enough to actually be able to do something with that help in a positive way so that I know that my help isn't actually a burden to him or to others around him.

For example, in Russia the gypsies were a criminal organization that employed children in abusive situations for begging. We chose not to give them money because this did not reward the children in any way, but instead increased the abuse because the adults would push for more the more success that was demonstrated. Then there were the men that would beg for change right next to one of the kiosks that sold vodak by the jello cup, surrounded by others of his kind, some passed out in their own piss. I did not feel guilty that I wasn't contributing to their daily self-abuse. Money, no matter how much we could give, was not going to help in either of those situations. OTOH, when we saw a family or individual that looked like they could use help, we gave them money when we were able to whether they asked for it or not. Each time we were rewarded with tears of gratitude rather than given an automatic, empty thank you or even being spat upon because we hadn't given as much as they expected rich Westerners should, confirming to us these were people in real need of what we could give them.

Do you think any part of this an inappropriate approach to charity or helping those in need?

Share this post


Link to post

If you continue to have stewardship then you haven't really given a gift, you've made a loan.

I phrased that badly, I meant once we've made the decision to share our wealth, we need to find a good way to do so, not just leave it on the sidewalk for anyone to pick up who cares to or feel that it sufficient to turn our excess over to someone else and then be satisfied that we have done all that is necessary (even if that organization we have given our excess to is the fast offering or other humanitarian project of the Church, for example). "Freely giving" means to me that not only do we give without attachment to what we have given, but that we continually look for ways we can give to the best of our abilities and not just limit it to our financial excess or something else that is obvious. "Freely giving" may mean for one person simply listening without worrying about the clock to someone who needs an ear.

Pretty much what you mean, if I read you rightly, by the "right gift".

Share this post


Link to post

Droopy,

Nonsense! I haven

Share this post


Link to post

So you would be perfectly comfortable giving money to someone who asked you if you were pretty certain based on past behaviour that they would spend the money on drugs or alcohol or some other destructive behaviour?...Do you think any part of this an inappropriate approach to charity or helping those in need?

I certainly agree with you that there are some individuals to whom simply handing over money is not the best way to assist the beggar. In such cases, no doubt offering to purchase food, shelter, clothing, etc. would be the best way to address their needs. I cannot, however, imagine one trying to follow the teachings of Christ simply refusing to offer assistance to the beggar if the "disciple" had the means to give.

Share this post


Link to post

I certainly agree with you that there are some individuals to whom simply handing over money is not the best way to assist the beggar. In such cases, no doubt offering to purchase food, shelter, clothing, etc. would be the best way to address their needs. I cannot, however, imagine one trying to follow the teachings of Christ simply refusing to offer assistance to the beggar if the "disciple" had the means to give.

My only "condition" on charity is that we do it wisely so that we know we are actually helping, rather than hurting.

Now to some people that may mean that one is cautious about giving because it interferes with others' progress toward self-reliance. Not so much to me, there are other things in life that are equally important as self-reliance and that includes establishing connections with others, actually increasing dependence in certain ways in the sense of providing people with love and a sense of stability and refuge from fear and loneliness.

For me, I look at things in a concrete way...I have limited resources (very limited in some areas) and there are limitless opportunities to serve, so I have no fear of finding ways to freely impart all that I have to give. Given that, I do decide who I will give to and who I will not, not with the intent of condemning the person I choose not to give to, but rather to maximize the help I can give while minimizing any harm I may cause (I think the doctor's oath of 'first do no harm' would be well applied to all areas of our lives).

In a Zion society, these concerns would be pretty much unnecessary given that all are working toward the same goal of lightening others' burdens, blessing their lives with richness and warmth. I look forward to that day when I can give freely without thought of not having enough for the next opportunity since at that time if I lack the ability, my part will simply be to point out to another the need to know that it will be met by someone able to do so.

Share this post


Link to post

Calmoriah is exactly correct in his concerns and brings to the fore the really deep moral and philosophical problems that have plagued the "Tragedy of American Compassion", to quote the title of Marvin Olasky's seminal study of the matter, as well as U.K. and European forms.

Charity cannot come, and the Church does not teach, that it can come, as a mindless, Kantian maxim-like gift irregardless of the consequences of that gift.

The primary difference between American charity in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, before the onset of the New Deal and then the Great Society, was precisely that it was local, personal, and came with certain requirements, such as work, attendance of religious services, and clear attempts to improve one's own condition through individual effort and motivation.

Among these were real efforts to remove from oneself behaviors and attitudes that are the primary elements by which poverty becomes entrenched as a way of life, such as alcohol or drug use, gambling, attitudes or behavioral characteristics that make one difficult to get alone with, and poor work habits.

Self help, in the pre-War on Poverty age, was inextricably linked with actual financial assistance, save for those who actually could not work to support themselves.

David, as so many leftist moral utopians before him, has a great deal of concern for "the poor" in the abstract, but his great swelling plans for the "eradication" of poverty have already been attempted with the greatest intensity.

The results are places like South Central Los Angeles.

The fact of the matter is that, within the Church, there is a concept of the "worthy poor", and this concept places upon them, regardless of their economic position, the same requirements for salvation and exaltation as those placed upon Donald Trump.

Share this post


Link to post

If you gave all of your surplus wealth, above subsistence needs, to the poor, you could do this once, at which point you would immediately become poor yourself,

A person is not poor, that has their needs and (judicious)wants met. However, they do become vulnerable to catastrophic events since then now longer have the personal stockpile to weather the storm, or in other words, to "self-insure". Dependence on another to bear us up then becomes a necessity.

But then again, that appears to be the theme of the Gospel!

Share this post


Link to post

How does the destruction of your own wealth, which is inextricably linked to your ability to create more, alleviate poverty among a larger community?

So you're telling me that if I spend my surplus buying my sister groceries, there's a bonfire held at the local Wal-Mart and they burn the cash I just paid them?

'Cause if not, then the wealth isn't destroyed. It still passes through the hands of merchants and farmers and manufacturers and truckers just as if I'd spent the money on myself. And it circulates just the same if I've hired my sister and paid her the money as a wage. She still has to buy groceries and pay rent and utilities.

Share this post


Link to post

A person is not poor, that has their needs and (judicious)wants met.

So the term "poor" has no clear definition?

Define "needs and wants". Are the Bushmen of the Kalahari "poor"? Are you "rich" by comparison? Or are you "poor" by another standard? The Bushmen may be fairly affluent by Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon stadards.

How is the standard defined?

However, they do become vulnerable to catastrophic events since then now longer have the personal stockpile to weather the storm, or in other words, to "self-insure". Dependence on another to bear us up then becomes a necessity.

This would appear to be the case only if poverty becomes ingrained and entranced in one's life, and this is another kind of "poverty" entirely than the phases of life many people go through in which they find themselves "poor" for a period of time.

Is dependence as a manner of life your ideal, or economic independence?

Share this post


Link to post

Have you thought about this seriously mercy? I'd invite you to do so. If you gave all of your surplus wealth, above subsistence needs, to the poor, you could do this once, at which point you would immediately become poor yourself, and in need of support from someone else who had the economic means (capital) to support you. If this conduct spread throughout an entire society, until there was no more excess capital (the evil 'profit"), the entire economy would shrink to an economy of minimal living standards, and there would be no excess anymore to bring to the Bishop's storehouse. The storehouse shelves would feature little.

What then?

You and I clearly have a different definition of "surplus". I never said anything about impoverishing yourself to meet the needs of another. King Benjamin addresses that specifically. You give what you are able.

Frankly, the way I see it, Droopy, you keep addressing arguments no one is making. I never said to give all above subsistence needs - those are your words. I even specifically allowed that "the right gift" is not always a cash handout - sometimes it is a job (specifically said this also). But you keep arguing against Marx's ghost in spite of the fact that he isn't posting here and I'm not his follower. Using loaded words and phrases like "evil profit". Where have I said profit was evil? Profit is great - it's the same as surplus, which we are supposed to use for good.

Seriously, if you would quit reducing me to a caricature, we could probably stop butting heads.

Share this post


Link to post

Elder Pace was a member of the Seventy. He is not a part of that core of "special witnesses" comprising the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve that we sustain as "prophets, seers and revelators" in a unique and binding manner for the Church as a whole.

His talk was presented to the Church via General Conference and passed through Correlation. Moreover, at the time he delivered those inspired words, i.e. 1990, Elder Glenn L. Pace was 2nd Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, with a special apostolic commission to oversee the Church

Share this post


Link to post

So the term "poor" has no clear definition?

Yes, it is a relative term. However, David did offer some insightful scriptural use of the term.

Is dependence as a manner of life your ideal, or economic independence?

I only find the notion of economic independece in scripture, to be in relation to the body, or Zion; not individual.

It appears that both temporally(economic) and spirtutually, we are to be a dependent people....upon the Lord.

Share this post


Link to post

Why do you presume that my decision to charitably give impedes someone else from working toward self-reliance?

Have you never met someone who doesn't care a bit about becoming self reliant?

Share this post


Link to post

You and I clearly have a different definition of "surplus". I never said anything about impoverishing yourself to meet the needs of another. King Benjamin addresses that specifically. You give what you are able.

Here is what you said:

Personal, voluntary, redistribution of wealth already happens in the church. We call it fast offering. Now imagine if we all gave all, by choice and by covenant, our surplus. Perhaps there would be no poor among us and the Lord would call us Zion.

It is that to which I have been responding. Perhaps you should define, as you say, "surplus" as well as "poor" and "rich".

But a problem still remains, and it is the same problem David faces: the idea that an expanding and never ending redistribution of wealth is somehow the solution to the human problem of poverty, and not productive work.

The gospel nowhere teaches this.

Nowhere.

Frankly, the way I see it, Droopy, you keep addressing arguments no one is making. I never said to give all above subsistence needs - those are your words.

Yes you did, as I posted above.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, it is a relative term. However, David did offer some insightful scriptural use of the term.

I only find the notion of economic independence in scripture, to be in relation to the body, or Zion; not individual.

Then you and I are reading different scriptures my friend. Zion is a community, but it is not communitarian.

It appears that both temporally(economic) and spiritually, we are to be a dependent people....upon the Lord.

No. We have no choice but to be dependent upon the Lord. No coherent universe would even exist without his creative activity and sustaining influence. But this, of course, does not really speak to the issue at hand.

Share this post


Link to post

But this, of course, does not really speak to the issue at hand.

Sure it does.

We're reading the same scriptures, but may arrive at a differing interpretation of the same.

Share this post


Link to post

His talk was presented to the Church via General Conference and passed through Correlation. Moreover, at the time he delivered those inspired words, i.e. 1990, Elder Glenn L. Pace was 2nd Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, with a special apostolic commission to oversee the Church

Share this post


Link to post

Sure it does.

We're reading the same scriptures, but may arrive at a differing interpretation of the same.

I wonder how that could be?

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...