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View Diary: Why Do Fundy Christians Love the Rich and Hate the Poor? (324 comments)

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  •  Not about loving the rich and hating the poor... (5+ / 0-)

    I have to speak up on the eye of the needle thing first, but then as an ex-fundie, get to the real reason why the fundies seem to hate the poor and love the rich.

    Ok, the eye of the needle thing. Yes, I'm an ex fundie, and I heard that interpretation many years ago -- it's not about a mistranslation. It's about what was supposedly a popular term at the time for a "postern door" set in a gate of Jerusalem -- a little door that you could get through, but  pretty much without any stuff. The idea is that what Jesus was trying to say was that rich folks could get into heaven, but they'd just have to let go of all their stuff first (not a bad teaching). But I believe it's a bad interpretation for a couple reasons: First, it's just too convenient. (I mean, come on -- too easy, right?) Second, and most important, it doesn't fit with the reaction of the disciples, or with the rest of the conversation. When they heard Jesus talk about the eye of the needle the disciples, "were even more amazed, and said to each other, 'Who then can be saved?'"  Then Jesus looks at them and says, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

    The "postern door" interpretation doesn't fit. If that's what Jesus had meant (and if the disciples understood -- because they were right there, right?), the guys would probably have said, "Oh, yeah, cool, Jesus -- those rich guys have to get rid of all their stuff to get in -- huh? Neat!" or maybe (if they didn't quite get it) they would have said "Hey wait a minute Jesus -- you mean a real needle, or that little door thingie? Which is it?" But they didn't say anything like that. They said, "Holy Crap! How can anybody get in?!?" Clearly, they thought he meant that it was impossible.

    And Jesus didn't try to correct them for going too far and not getting his clever reference to the little door, saying something like "No, guys, what I meant was that little door thingie -- they can get in, but they have to give up all their stuff." (to which they would have said, "Oh, duh, NOW I get it.")
    No, Jesus says, "Yeah -- it's impossible for man (not hard, not humbling -- impossible) but not for God."

    The guys who were there with him thought he was referring to a real needle, and that he was saying it was impossible for a rich person to get into heaven. And he didn't do anything to correct this idea -- instead, he reinforced it -- "Yeah, guys, it's impossible for men, but not for God." (yup, it might take a miracle to get a rich guy into heaven, but God can do it if he wants). Your mom probably won't listen, but you can explain if you like.

    BUT THAT'S NOT WHY I WANTED TO COMMENT!
    HERE'S WHY I WROTE THE COMMENT -- IT'S to EXPLAIN WHY THE FUNDIES DON'T LIKE THE GOVERNMENT HELPING THE POOR. (apologies for the caps)

    Here's what's really going on with the Fundies:
    It's not that they love the rich and hate the poor. It's that they don't like the GOVERNMENT helping out the poor. That's because they believe it's the Church's job to do it.

    Here's what's wrong about the government helping the poor: If the government is doing all the helping, then the government is intruding on what the Church is supposed to do -- and what's going to happen then?
    Well some folks in the Church are going to be embarrassed because they're being shown up by the government. And others in the Church might shirk their God-given responsibility to help the poor, because, after all, the government is doing it.

    But there's more bad stuff: If you let the government help the poor, then the Church isn't going to get the credit for helping the poor that it should. So the government looks good and the Church looks bad. And the Church is going to miss out on all those wonderful opportunities to preach at the poor folks who have to suck it up and listen because they need to get whatever help the Church is offering. AND all the people are going to start to get the idea that if they can get help from somewhere other than the Church, then maybe THEY DON'T NEED GOD! -- HORRORS --

    The Church will look bad and miss out on good opportunities to get folks to pray the prayer in the back of the booklet and get saved. The people will decide they can get along without God. And MORE FOLKS WILL GO TO HELL!! Can. Not. Have. That. This whole government-assistance-for-people-who-need-it is a devilish invention, born out of human pride and rebellion, that will ultimately result in more folks going astray and roasting in hell for all eternity.

    And that, my friends, is why the Fundies hate the government helping poor folks. Of course it doesn't do anything to explain why the fundies don't sell all their stuff and use the proceeds to help the poor like Jesus said (lots of times). There will have to be a different comment for that one.

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