Spinoff: Law vs. Grace?

Do you know the definition of “giving up”? Luke 12:33 says you must give it to the poor. And to make matters worse for you, the rich man went away sad because to give up means to give up ownership.

We don’t know this for a fact. It could be hyperbole but could be a literal command. It’s pick and choose a meaning again.

What would Jesus have to say if he meant it literally? Ie that he wants people to maim themselves? He already spoke favorably of eunuchs!

I will just echo @Mervin_Bitikofer’s comment about straw men.

And a ‘what if’ about Zacchaeus? That is not an argument.

What did Zaccheus have left after fulfilling his promise?

Luke 19: 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Now, all these cases are literal parting with the wealth. You have a unique interpretation whereby you keep everything you have . That’s not anywhere in the Gospels and yet you are teaching me about “context”?

You really should quote your references accurately.

Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
Luke 12:12:33

It does not say anything there about giving up anything, nor does it say sell all your possessions.

I did not say that I keep everything I have, did I. What I said was it was under my stewardship.

You will not be happy until every Christian is homeless and incapable of even helping the homeless. In short, you will not be happy.


Interesting, which possessions did Jesus want you to keep? Remember the bit in Matthew where Jesus said…”give to everyone who asks of you”? How many possessions will you have left once the word gets around?

Matthew 5:40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Do your possessions have Gods name on them or your name? Like title to a car, deed to the house, etc…? Who’s the legal owner of your possessions?

I’m not following Jesus and I certainly don’t expect anyone to follow him either. I feel sad for people who strive to follow Jesus honestly and occasionally I like telling people who claim they are following Jesus how wrong they are.


It’s not about my happiness. Nobody follows Jesus because to follow Jesus you’d have to be a bit crazy (to put it verses mildly). Do not resist an evil doer? Forsake all possessions? Give to those who ask of you? What about a wife being physically beaten by her husband, is she supposed to not resist? She cannot divorce him unless he commits adultery so if he hates women, she is stuck. These rules will make people miserable, but it won’t be my doing.

You are happy being judgmental. Yeah, got that.

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Interesting, and I agree to a certain extent. However, Jesus was operating with hyperbole, wasn’t he? Who expects to cut off their hand or gouge out their eyes to avoid sin? His point was to seek first the kingdom of Heaven, not one’s own–in contrast to Rome.
I used to think that the divorce pronouncement was literal too, as a college student. However, I don’t think it’s so now.
The OT has a genre of Hebrew poetic hyperbole, too–for example, “none is righteous, no, not one,” and “surely my mother conceived me in iniquity”–obviously not true in the setting of Job and many righteous men that God approved of, in the OT. Thanks

Hi Randy, my position is that we cannot know whether Jesus spoke in hyperbole when he told people to cut their arm or gouge an eye out. Perhaps you are right, but perhaps not. If Jesus meant these things literally, what would we expect him to say differently from what has been said? Ultimately, every Christian creates an idea of Jesus they like and follow that Jesus. To a Universalist, for example, Jesus is not threatening Hell. Hell is a hyperbole. But to the fundamentalist, Hell is very real and literal.

Right, and there is a lot to learn with interpretation. However, all interpretations aren’t the same–and I really think that from what I’ve read of scholars (including NT Wright and Bentley Hart, who are some of the best ones around), the hyperbolic interpretation is appropriate. That’s the case with the OT too–the current scholars have learned a lot that thankfully have taken away from the horrid literal review.
Randal Rauser just reviewed this in the OT

Christianity Vindicated?: A Review of The Rational Faith Part 2 - Randal Rauser

Please explain.

Salvation through faith and works is the means, not the cause. A car is the means by which you reach your destination, it is not the cause of the trip. The cause of our ‘trip’ could be characterized several ways… we were called and responded, we were born into new life, (dare I say chosen, predestined or elected, remembering that God is not confined to our experience of time :slightly_smiling_face:). The ultimate cause is our Father’s will and agency, his mercy and grace.

Bro. @Edgar, I am very disappointed in you. I expect people who come to these pages to come with a genuine desire to share and learn. While I certainly know that this not always true, I must admit I was taken aback, when you told me that you believe that salvation is based on faith and works not on the proof texts that you keep using, but on the doctrine of the Roman Church.

Your presentation was misleading. It was based on proof texts, and not on theology, When I tried to move it to a deeper level you refused. You based your belief upon a doctrine over which you have no say, so you had no question about it.

As I am sure you know the issue of faith and works was the basis of the Reformation. Clearly we take opposing sides. It would be nice if we could settle this issue once and for all between ourselves, but we can’t because you do not speak for the Roman Church. So it would seem that the only thing we could do is open old wounds and renew old suffering. Hopefully it will be resolved when the time is right.

I agree. No one here is disputing that.

You’re reading Luke 14:33 wrongly; it isn’t about disciples of Jesus literally giving away all their possessions. It’s about disciples getting their priorities in order - Jesus is saying his disciples must be willing to put him before everything else. It’s doesn’t say disciples must give away all that they own and live in poverty.

In 14:26, Jesus says his followers must put him before their parents and siblings, and even their own life - again, priorities. Verses 15-24 are about people who are more interested the concerns of this life than following Christ - again, priorities.

You’re not interested in what Luke says? Cherry-picking Scriptures and ignoring verses that contradict your preferred interpretation is not a recommended approach to understanding the Bible.

I’m well acquainted with the book of Acts … and I can’t find anywhere that says the early Christians gave away all their possessions and lived in poverty. Living in a commune where everything is shared is not the same as giving away all your possessions and living in poverty.

No, you’re not right. If you take Luke 6:24 literally – “woe to you that are rich” - you must also take the next three verses literally – woe to those who are well fed, laugh and are well spoken of. Obviously, Jesus is not saying being rich, well fed, laughing and being well spoken of are intrinsically evil – he is saying those who live only for worldly pleasures will end up doomed and deprived of everything.

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Maybe your interpretation is right, but we can’t be sure. It’s not obvious what Jesus meant by woe to the rich. Perhaps he did want the rich to forsake all possessions. What would he need to say if this is what he literally meant?
Where else could the Christian monks have gotten the idea to live a celibate live, a life also devoid of luxury? Who gave them the idea if not those authors of the Gospels allegedly quoting Jesus?

Luke 14:33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

The text is very explicit. Maybe I’m reading it wrong? Perhaps but perhaps everything you think you know is wrong also? Who’s to say the passage you think is clear is actually not “read wrong” by you?

I think Mark 10:24 provides the key to understanding Jesus’ comments about the “rich” – he is criticizing those who “place their trust” in wealth, and not in God. It is not being rich per se that is to be condemned; it is forsaking God for the sake of riches that is to be condemned.

That translation of Luke 14:33 is questionable, for starters. The Douay-Rheims Bible, for example, translates it as,
“So likewise every one of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be my disciple.”

The accompanying commentary says, “we … must be in that disposition of soul, as to be willing to renounce, and part with every thing, how near or dear soever it may be to us, that would keep us from following Christ.” The key words are “willing to”.

Reading the preceding verses suggests Jesus is taking about priorities – ie, putting him above everything else in one’s life, including family and even one’s own life (v.26). Jesus is not telling his disciples to give away all their possessions.

In Luke 14:33, Jesus cannot literally be telling his all disciples to give away all their possessions, because firstly, other Scriptures suggest otherwise. I’ve already mentioned Mark 10:24, but also consider Luke 19:8, in which the tax collector-turned-disciple, Zacchaeus, tells Jesus he has given away “half “ of his goods to the poor. How come Jesus didn’t say to him, “That’s not enough – if you want to be my disciple, you must give away all your goods to the poor”?

Secondly, it would simply make no sense at a practical level for all of Jesus’s disciples to give away everything they own. What is to be gained by everyone being reduced to abject poverty? Who on earth would want to join a religion requires everyone to live in poverty? That sounds like a surefire recipe for turning potential disciples away, not attracting them!

How are disciples expected to survive if they give away all their possessions? How on earth would married disciples be expected to raise families, for example, if they give away all their possessions?
How could the Church even exist as an organization if everyone in it has no possessions and no money?
How could a disciple practise his trade or profession if he has to give away all his possessions?
Jesus said he wants us to have life “abundantly” (John 10:10) – does living in the misery of abject poverty sound like having life "abundantly”?

I’m not aware of anywhere in the gospels where Jesus demands poverty and/or celibacy from his disciples. However, in the Catholic Church, a tradition developed in which some disciples are expected to, in a sense, give away all their possessions – every Catholic priest in the world must take a vow of poverty (and celibacy). But clearly, these demands are not expected of all disciples.

I don’t recall mentioning anything about what the Catholic Church teaches regarding salvation through faith and works. If I did, kindly show me where is said that. As far as I can recall, I based my argument solely on Scripture.

Speaking of which, if we are saved by faith alone, please explain why Paul warns believers (ie, those with faith) in Gal 5 and 1Cor 6 that their sins (ie, their works) can result in them not inheriting the kingdom of God.


Please stop talking nonsense. Nowhere in my argument re salvation through faith and works did I mention the Catholic Church.

[Post Edited by Moderator]

Ah yes, Martin Luther [who Edgar believes] inserted the word “alone” into his Bible translation of Romans 3:28 in order to prop up his false “faith alone” doctrine, and wanted to get rid of the book of James coz it says “a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (2:24).

Luther also wanted to banish the book of Revelation - perhaps because it twice says Christians are those who have faith in Jesus and keep the commandments of God (12:17, 14:12). Rev 2 and 3 are even worse - they describe Jesus judging Christians according to their works. Oh dear, we can’t have that!

Make up your mind - first you say I parrot the Catholic Church, and now you say I don’t speak for the Catholic Church!

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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