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  1. #11
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    Disagreeing is OK...but I hold to my definition.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #12
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by henri View Post
    I do 'serve' humanity, granted for financial compensation.
    There is no inconsistency between serving and being paid. You don't have to volunteer all of your labor for free and live like a pauper.

    I sometimes find absurd the extent to which we as a society prostrate ourselves and put certain others up on a pedestal for their "service." Soldiers, police, teachers. I have no animosity towards these professions, but I also don't view them as inherently morally superior positions. I've known too many people who joined the Army because they had no better option, and they spent their career washing tanks or shuffling papers, and they are always the first ones to ask about a military discount. It's rare to find a teacher who doesn't complain about the pay, but they took the job knowing its pay, and they only work half of the year.

    There are, though, a fair number of people in these professions who are truly serving. They sacrifice; they go above and beyond; and if they wanted to just chase dollars, they could make more doing something else. Those individuals are truly serving, and it's not because they give back their paycheck every month. Pat Tillman accepted every dollar the Army paid him, and it was still the clearest act of sacrifice that most of us can imagine.

    Working in one of those jobs where you constantly get a pat on the back for your service doesn't mean that you are actually serving. And having a high-paying job in a competitive field doesn't mean that you are not serving. It's the little things you do through the week that decide whether you are actually serving or not.

    Added thought:

    Today, most missionaries are full-time ministers. They go around collecting donations to fund their mission, and if they can't get enough donations then they cease mission work. But that is not the model of missions that we have in the Bible. The Apostle Paul is our most-documented first generation missionary. He went around collecting donations, but not for himself. He collected donations traveling through gentile lands, to help the Christians in Israel. A Jew who accepted Christ, and who lived in Greece, could still make a living doing whatever he did. But a Jew who accepted Christ, and who lived in Jerusalem, was cut off from the synagogue and no one would do any business with him. He faced starvation, along with his family. Paul accepted donations to help those Jews who were still in Israel, and who were suffering financially because of their acceptance of Christ.

    Paul funded his own life by working as a tent-maker. He traveled with his tools and worked along the way. He was not dependent on others to feed him. He pointed out this fact several times in his letters, because it helped to show that he was not spreading the gospel simply to enrich himself. (I'm looking at you, Joel Osteen.)

    When Lottie Moon traveled to China as a missionary, she had no financial support. She just went to China and started working, and spread the gospel along the way. As she got older and found the work no longer manageable, she did come back to the states and helped establish a structure for funding missionaries in the way that is common today.

    There is nothing wrong with funding missions through donations. In fact, it's a wonderful model for Americans, because our dollars go so far in other countries. It makes little sense for an American to travel to Nicaragua and take a job for $400 a month, when a very modest donation will allow him to devote himself to evangelism full-time.

    But Paul's model still works, too. You don't have to be a full-time missionary. You don't have to go around collecting donations. You can support yourself and search for ways to serve God through whatever it is that you do. And you might be able to make a lot of money doing it. Doctors and lawyers are ideal positions for this. Imagine how many opportunities an oncologist would have to speak to people about salvation. As a defense attorney, I'm constantly in contact with people who are ripe for a talk about Jesus. Truett Cathy found a way to serve God by serving fried chicken. You may have to search for it, but you can find a way to serve God through whatever you do.
    Last edited by LawDog; 04-28-2022 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Added thought
    Virtute et Armis

  3. #13
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    Mar 2011
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    Western WA
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    +1 LD

    Related - the title "heroes" applied when it's really not appropriate.

    There are obviously actions deserving of praise, respect, gratitude, etc. A parent working hard day in day out in quiet anonymity, taking care of kids, ensuring care for the family...this is worthy and deserving great gratitude and respect. Likewise a nurse working long hours to help the sick, a teacher putting up with a classroom of obnoxious kids...these are worthy of respect when the job is done well.

    But "heroic" is reserved for things when one's life is on the line.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

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    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  4. #14
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    Jan 2012
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    NW Washington
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    LD, I find your comments in this thread very on point and astute. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, once again.
    From my experience growing up as a missionary kid in the middle east, Africa, and Asia, I don't see anything to disagree with in your comments, and much wisdom.

    I think most pertinent is your comment that "love" in this context is a verb, not a feeling. While I find it hard to feel emotionally about someone I don't know, I can still go out of my way to help them if they are in need. Of course that can be hard to do too, and I'm far from a good example of that myself.
    Last edited by Yondering; 04-29-2022 at 02:40 AM.

  5. #15
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    Jan 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Spade View Post
    "Love....the true definition. When someone's happiness and well being is essential to your own. So much so that you would die for them." I disagree, and this is essential to the discussion.

    You love your kids, so you feed them ice cream and cake to keep them happy? A steady exposure to games? Of course not. Rather, you want the things which are best for them in the long term. And, as were speaking of religious mandates here, "long term" is an eternity.

    So, IMVHO, loving others, including our enemies, means wanting and acting so that they stop sinning and come to Christ. Completely seriously, sometimes that means shooting them in the face before they can hurt an innocent. More commonly, it can mean not feeding their addiction or enabling their sloth. Surely it means prayer, though not for their earthly success.
    I really like this as well, and think it fits well with LD's comments and my own view of what I'm commanded to do as a Christian.

    Way too many people in secular society pervert this to think it means we need to be nice to those who do evil, and tolerate them in hopes they change. In reality we should first protect the weak from those people instead of tolerating them, which I think resonates with most of the tribe here.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    east coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yondering View Post

    Way too many people in secular society pervert this to think it means we need to be nice to those who do evil, and tolerate them in hopes they change.
    This thought came to mind after reading your commentary, not sure of its origin or where I first recall reading it.

    "One cannot show mercy to the unmerciful"

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by henri View Post
    This thought came to mind after reading your commentary, not sure of its origin or where I first recall reading it.

    "One cannot show mercy to the unmerciful"
    Luke 23:34

    ----------------
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous

  8. #18
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    Jan 2012
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    NW Washington
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkippySanchez View Post
    Luke 23:34

    ----------------
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
    I had to chuckle at the formatting of your post; took me a second to realize your signature wasn't the scripture you're quoting. "Wait a minute, that's not in Luke..." LOL, I must be tired tonight.

  9. #19
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    NW Washington
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    Quote Originally Posted by henri View Post
    This thought came to mind after reading your commentary, not sure of its origin or where I first recall reading it.

    "One cannot show mercy to the unmerciful"
    Jesus said to be "wise as serpents, and innocent as doves". Seems like most in the modern church ignore the first part, and just focus on acting like doves. As for the "wise as serpents" part, in relation to dealing with people doing evil, there's a saying we all know - "Fool me once..."

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    3,508
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    Love....the true definition. When someone's happiness and well being is essential to your own. So much so that you would die for them.

    I suppose you could dive into the original language...English being so damned basic (you love your wife....and also chocolate?). The number of people I feel that for is a very small number....very small. Jesus felt that for everyone...amazing...I don't.
    As I've said before, English isn't a language, it's a trade patios developed between Roman soldiers and bartenders and prostitutes that has spent the last thousand years lurking in alleys and mugging other languages for words and grammar.

    I used to be a philosophy student, and I have this "Dictionary of Philosophy". The definition for "love" is hilarious. It says "See Eros, Agape, Philia".

    They left out stoge.

    We love our children(stoge), this is not the same love as we feel for our spouses(at least one of eros, philia--hopefully), and it's not the same type of feeling that a true believer has for their God (agape). We have friendships with varying degrees of affection (philia again), some of them bordering the level of love we feel for our spouse without the erotic component.

    Heck, how many of you have *really* good friends who have had 2 or 3 spouses or serious long term relationships in the time you've been friends with them?

    Given that the bible was originally written in Greek, then filtered into Latin, then translated into English before being "reformed" into a more informal English it's not surprising that some of the nuance got left out.

    I suspect, given the 10 commandments, that Jesus did not want me to love my neighbors the way I "Eros" myself (there's an eye wash station over -->).

    But I suspect that the Bible is deeper than we give it credit for.

    I suspect that there's a different spin on "love" in that commandment. One more in line with the sort of thing that comes out in bad times--neighbors filling sandbags together, forming bucket brigades, wandering around in fields in the middle of the night looking for missing children.

    Or running towards the sound of gunfire to kill the bad guy before he hurts any more people.

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