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Old 05-18-2018, 04:48 AM   #1
vixnix
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Default I'm the Last Netphorian Christian



ask me anything

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:28 AM   #2
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soon their will be two of us, babe

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:32 AM   #3
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soon their will be two of us, babe
This isnít a question - I will rephrase.

ďSoon their will be two of us, babe?Ē
Yes! You are doomed to re-enter the faith. Please hurry and re-Christian yourself, for the benefit of your eternal soul. Amen.

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:29 AM   #4
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is monte a netphorian?

are ldses christians?

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:35 AM   #5
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is monte a netphorian?
My working hypothesis is no, but I will relinquish the title of LNC if he challenges me.

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are ldses christians?
Mormons seek to nurture a personal relationship with God through study, worship, fellowship and prayer. And also abide by religious rulings in the belief it will strengthen their relationship with God. And they seek to follow the instructions of Jesus. So I think in as much as this is their religion, it appears very Christian. The main difference with Mormons is the belief that Jesus is not a saviour, but more, an example. So, it doesnít end at God & Godís creation. It goes a bit further, to God & Godís creation, Individuals within Godís creation self-actualising and becoming new Gods, then each of the new Gods starting again, as God and Godís creation. If I understand it correctly. Am I wrong? This bit doesnít seem all that Christian, to me. So in as much as a Mormonís religion revolves around aspiring to become God, for the specific purpose of possessing the power and control of being God, my tentative opinion would that doesnít sound entirely Christian. But that is just like, my opinion. And I do appreciate the deep irony of me calling myself a Christian when a lot of people would consider me not a Christian, and then me turning around and saying that Mormons donít seem Christian, to me. That seems kinda lame. So, I should probably just say, if people say theyíre Christian, I donít question that. Because you know...in some ways itís kind of a dick move.

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:19 AM   #6
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what's your favourite colour

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:35 AM   #7
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what's your favourite colour
Blue!

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:49 PM   #8
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Blue!
Typical Christian, believing in a colour that has no evidence of existing.

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:43 AM   #9
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rainbow

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:20 PM   #10
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Is buttstuff really a sin?

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:30 PM   #11
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Is buttstuff really a sin?
That was going to be my follow up question

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:27 PM   #12
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Is buttstuff really a sin?

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:47 AM   #13
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Is buttstuff really a sin?
I mean, your butt is just a part of your body.

My working hypothesis is that Jesus was most concerned with social justice, cultivating a heart that is genuinely kind, a mind and spirit that humbly seeks Godís counsel in all things.

Sin is really anything that stops you from entering Godís presence. So you can hold a candle and ask God to be near you, that one seems easy. Can you ask God to be near you while youíre doing buttstuff? That depends on the individual. For most of us, sex is a pretty private interaction, and only the people involved in it, can determine whether it is sinful. If you are enjoying the sensation of having power over someone during sex, of coercing another human into buttstuff, for your own gratification, my own personal feeling is that yes, that would be sin. Obviously that kind of sexual satisfaction is not confined to the realm of butt play. Many sexual interactions then have the potential to be sinful because one or more of the people involved are deriving enjoyment from the genuine, non-voluntary suffering of another, or enjoying it in a perverse way. Really I guess, whatever is sexually peverse, is sinful. The definition of perverse has been changing constantly for a long time - but I guess what I mean by perverse has to do with pursuing your own gratification with little or no regard to the comfort or rights of others. Sometimes with kink I guess, sex participants will mimic an abusive situation and be gratified by it, but everyone involved is a grown adult and a volunteer. Iím not talking about that, to be clear.

In ancient times, as a society, Hebrews condemned men lying with men as men lie with women. Itís hard to tell why they were concerned with that. They also didnít want to eat or drink the blood of animals, or wear clothing with mixed fibres (so; a wool/linen blend, I guess). A certain amount of these enshrined preferences may have been creating rules for their community that would separate them from the communities around them. Many waves of empire and conquest rolled through that region of the world, while the Hebrews were becoming a literate culture and gathering their holy texts together to form a coherent spiritual and cultural identity. Certainly something like not wearing mixed fibre fabrics seems like it was a demarcation thing. Itís possible the prohibition of man/man sexual relations was motivated in the same way - some of the waves of conquest involved victors where historical evidence suggests homosexuality was normal and accepted (the Greeks for example).

Then on the other hand, there are quite a few examples of African societies who are fiercely anti-homosexual and this seems more to do with patriarchy and virility. So anything masculine and virile is celebrated; anything that isnít, is worthless unless its value can be bestowed upon them by a virile patriarch. Any kind of challenge to this seemingly natural order, gets ruthlessly quashed. The theory is that civilisation moved north, out of Africa, through the middle east. So in that case, the strong attitudes toward homosexuality that we still see in that area, might just be remnants of the cultural ancestors of those societies.

If we are going to call it sin, just for argumentís sake, it may be helpful to imagine a few different sins, side by side:
1) buttstuff
2) Buying human beings as if they were livestock, and working them to death in a sugarcane plantation
3) human trafficking/sex trafficking of pre-pubescent girls
4) domestic violence resulting in the death of a spouse
5) accepting bribes to abuse your position of power and subvert the laws that have been passed by a democratically elected government

In my opinion, no, buttstuff is not inherently sinful, any more than any sexual stuff is inherently sinful. BUT worst case scenario, if buttstuff is a sin, and you are into it, itís probably better to just enjoy mutually consensual buttstuff and worry about the many other ways that you are, like all other humans, a walking suitcase of regrettable errors, because enjoying buttstuff would not be anyone's greatest sin. Unless, as I mentioned, it was enjoyed at someone else's expense, as it often has been, within the institution of the Christian church. Then, it is very much a sin IMO.

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:36 PM   #14
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doesnt that original sin thing seem kinda stupid

is jesus or god supposed to be the one you pray to

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:49 AM   #15
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doesnt that original sin thing seem kinda stupid
Yes, definitely. I guess I appreciate it as storytelling device, because the place it holds in the story arc of Christianity - that all of creation was one with God, and then became separated, and then through Christís sacrifice is reunited, makes it meaningful to me. But the theological concepts that have grown from the story:

- that children and even babies are sinful
- that even if we are perfectly good, we are still bad, because we inherited somebody elseís marred slate, full of their mistakes

these concepts are not meaningful to me at all. When coupled with Proverbs 13:24 I think these ideas have been the justification of a lot of child abuse, both in private homes, and church-run orphanages/homes for children. So as a concept it needs to be dumped, I think.

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is jesus or god supposed to be the one you pray to
This might be different depending on what denomination you belong to...but for my denomination, Jesus and God are one and the same, so it doesnít matter. I think in the past Christians have prayed to the Father, in the name of the Son. The Lordís Prayer for example, follows that form. And that was, according to the Gospels, given to us directly by Jesus. So I suppose there is an argument that we should always do it that way...but theologically there is no distinction between God and Jesus, so it shouldnít really matter. However you address God, youíre still praying to God.

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:37 PM   #16
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why do christians hate everyone that isnt a straight white male

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:03 PM   #17
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why do christians hate everyone that isnt a straight white male
because eve was made from adam's rib.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:51 AM   #18
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why do christians hate everyone that isnt a straight white male


Because our God is a straight white male, so we know that only those made in his image are worth of love?

It's weird, in my extended family, itís the Samoan side, that are Christian. They are all working and working middle class, and brown. My Dadís side is upper middle and white, and mostly atheist, but very liberal and left wing. So in my weird life, Christian or not, nobody especially loves straight white males. Even their wives, and families, to be honest. Theyíre expected to live in a permanent state of shame, meekness and ongoing apology...

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:38 PM   #19
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why do non-christians hate straight white mail so much

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:56 AM   #20
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why do non-christians hate straight white mail so much
Well, itís always the same thing -

Hi babe how are you?

I have just come back from our hols. in Boracay and oh, it was just fabulous! You will have to go one day! Anyway, I just sat down at my computer and saw your necklace that I ended up wearing when you are here, and I canít believe I STILL have not sent it back!! So sorry, darling! I have just popped it into an envelope for you today, with a postage stamp. It is in my handbag ready to be posted on my way to work, tomorrow (sob! Wish I never had to go back!).

love to you and Jer both xx un grande bacio!


If youíve seen one straight white mail, you really have seen them all.

Straight black mail, on the other hand, or, in its more recognisable form, ďblackmailĒ, is far more interesting

You think that nobody saw you leaving the grocerís across from Mikeís Auto. But you are wrong. A hundred quid left under the brick, placed at the subway entrance next to the deli. Or you will be hearing from me in a slightly more dramatic way. I think you know what we would both prefer.

(I nearly went full Tarantino with this one - but after seeing that video so recently, I just couldn't.)

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:41 PM   #21
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we are impatient!

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:17 PM   #22
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1. how does it feel adhering to a belief system which is not only thousands of years old, but which has continually mutated and changed over time to the point where modern Christianity likely bears no resemblance to Jesus' real worldviews or teachings?

2. how do you feel about Gnosticism?

3. Christianity has been the greatest ideological justification for evil and violence in human history, true or false?

4. What is your relationship to the Hebrew Bible as a Christian? Do you believe God has rejected the terms of his older covenant with humans, or merely updated it? Are the old laws to be ignored or incorporated into Christian life?

5. What is the experience of adhering to a religion which claims to be the ultimate champion of the downtrodden but is in actuality the ultimate symbol of institutionalized power?

6. Are you ever afraid that another religion is correct and you are a blasphemer?

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:51 PM   #23
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4. What is your relationship to the Hebrew Bible as a Christian? Do you believe God has rejected the terms of his older covenant with humans, or merely updated it? Are the old laws to be ignored or incorporated into Christian life?
Every christian I've ever met (including my family) think that you can ignore all the annoying parts of the old testament because Jesus came to save people from not being able to eat bacon. Here are ol' J.C.'s thoughts on the matter:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.Ē (Matthew 5:17)

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:09 PM   #24
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1. how does it feel adhering to a belief system which is not only thousands of years old, but which has continually mutated and changed over time to the point where modern Christianity likely bears no resemblance to Jesus' real worldviews or teachings?
Ah wow. This is something I think about a lot. In some ways I am glad, about all of it - because it seems inevitable that a belief system that is thousands of years old, would also mutate and change over time. Christian beliefs became doctrines and creeds, in a time when people still believed that the earth was flat and that if you went far enough into the sky, you would reach heaven. Aristotle believed that if you compared a womanís menses a manís semen, you could clearly see that one was a perfect being with pure emissions, and one was incomplete. So if we are interested in a religion with ancient roots, do we dogmatically insist that we hold every tenet that was established in a pre-empirical society? Or can we look at what weíve inherited from previous generations, and consider how everything fits together for us, given that we live in a totally different historical and cultural context?

I find it liberating and discouraging, trying to work out Jesusí real worldviews and teachings. Of course, nobody can know for sure. So Iím left with the accounts that were collated and canonized by old men of the establishment over a thousand years ago, and the current conjecture of (mostly) old men of the establishment, today. So...not entirely straightfoward.

I suppose the reason I bother, is that my religion is only in small part about my beliefs. I chose to join a religion because I was interested in good action (mitzvot, basically?) and growing up in a secular home with no strong cultural identity, I felt very much alone and adrift in the chaos and meaninglessness of everyday modern life. I had actually been more interested in Judaism for a while, but resigned myself to the idea that I couldnít properly convert or properly become Jewish. And before that I went through a period of time where I became increasingly involved with Krsna devotees in my hometown. I was on the brink of joining the commune as a new devotee when my family and friends stepped in and counseled me to take a step back. I actually quit my job at a deli, because I was convicted by the idea that even working at an establishment that sold meat, would affect my karmic destiny. (sort of. I also hated working at the deli and it was a convenient reason to quit. I remember the owner saying "Oh great, well thanks Emma" in this really seething and angry way, down the phone. It was a moment of catharsis, in some ways.

Shortly after that I read Hesseís Siddhartha, and Narziss and Goldmund - I was really in a swirl of religious ideas for a couple of years after leaving high school. Eventually, lost, and confused, and very very stoned, I ended up in a psych ward in Melbourne, acutely psychotic, and manic. I was admitted involuntarily and detained for about three weeks. At that stage I believed the end of the world was imminent so there wasnít really much left to do except sit around and smoke cigarettes and wait for it to happen.

Rehabilitation from psychosis took a long time - I was discharged in Oct. 2000, and even when my elder son was born in Aug. 2005, with all the emotional turmoil and sleep deprivation that came with that, I was a little unstable. By then, to be mentally healthy, I had to accept that any new belief I adopted had to be rigorously reality tested, to avoid relapse. So simply coming into Christianity because I changed my beliefs, wasnít an option anymore. But I still yearned for answers, basically about Ďrightí action - what is right action? What would be right, and meaningful for me to do? While I was pregnant with my elder son, in 2005, I took one of the last courses I needed to complete my BA in philosophy - it was about explanations for religion based on evolutionary psychology - group selection theory stuff (which I believe has been somewhat debunked). I read a lot of Scott Atran and Daniel Dennett in that course, and came across a reading that stated human communities with a religious identity seem to persist longer than communities with secular identities. When I considered the evidence and realised that Christian religious groups for example have persisted for hundreds, even thousands of years, I began considering heading back to church, just to be part of a community.

A lot of internal stuff happened when my elder son was born. I think the birth of your first child often has that effect. It isnít just about what you do for yourself; how you answer these questions of Ďrightí action and meaning. Now you are forced to make decisions every day, that will influence and affect a new human being, in some cases for the rest of their life. The urge to seek out a community became unbearable, and I lived in a predominantly Christian culture with a Christian family background. So - I joined the Christians.

Christian doctrine is not really a complete set of guidelines for living. I was talking to a flatmate of mine, post-pyschosis, pre-Christian-conversion...and she said her Lutheran upbringing didnít make her a Christian, but it gave her a kind of sounding board. It was a point of reference. It was the first time I had considered that religion could be something like that in a personís life, and thatís what I aim to give my children. Not a set of beliefs. But a point of reference - we live in a secular society, but it evolved from a culturally Christian past. Understanding the history of Christianity is a starting point for understanding the history of humanity. Itís a lens, I guess. I actually did become a theist some six years ago, and I pray with my kids at night, in a pretty ritualistic and hopefully affirming way. But unless they come to me and ask to talk about God, I donít talk to them about my theism.

 
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:37 PM   #25
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4. What is your relationship to the Hebrew Bible as a Christian? Do you believe God has rejected the terms of his older covenant with humans, or merely updated it? Are the old laws to be ignored or incorporated into Christian life?
I actually took a term of Biblical Hebrew at university, it was an 8:00am class. It was before I became a Christian, but after my psychosis. Lamentations was a weirdly prominent part of my psychosis - though I donít know if by Hebrew Bible you mean all of what Christians call the Old Testament, or just the Pentateuch. I didnít read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Deutoronomy, Numbers in their entirety until after my second son was born (I read it in English of course, my Bible Hebrew is terrible, I'm an embarrassment to my teacher and to institutionalised learning in general) and I subscribed to a Read The Bible in a Year service. It was only then that I realised the extent of the laws contained in those books, and I suppose the quaintness of so many of them. It surprised me that there were detailed instructions for the building of the temple, for getting rid of mold in your tent, and for diagnosing and treating skin rashes. I guess all of that helped make my mind up about whether we could read the Bible as if it were written last year and good to go.

My grandfather was an Old Testament studies professor so the ideas he shared professionally are part of my life narrative I guess - that there are sort of Ďstrandsí that run through the OT - the poetic strand - Lamentations, Psalms, etc. and the historic strand - that aimed to be a historical record, so Deuteronomy, Kings, etc. and then the wisdom strand - Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, etc. Obviously thereís no clean distinction between these strands but it helps to have a vague idea of what youíre reading, and what the purpose of the book is.

The Old Testament is the history of the people that Jesus belonged to, and their encounters with God, their greatest wisdom and poetry. All of that is useful and interesting to me - but it was written in a time when the authors didnít know about the water cycle or gravity...so I guess it takes a bit of processing to work out how useful any of it is - which is no different to how I feel about the NT.

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:51 PM   #26
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7. How do you feel about Seventh-day Adventists, the true remnant church of Christ?

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:21 PM   #27
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Do all dogs go to heaven?

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:26 AM   #28
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Do all dogs go to heaven?
I mean, I want to say yes but it depends on whether they shit all over heavenís footpaths and public green spaces, the way they do here on earth. In that case, I almost hope itís a no.

But I mean what kind of a God would give an animal the reverse of its own name and then not give them eternal life, so....I guess it must be yes.

 
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:33 PM   #29
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When did prayer in public become not a bad thing?

When did money collection during service become not a bad thing?

 
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:29 AM   #30
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When did prayer in public become not a bad thing?
Quite a long time ago, I think - I think prayer was originally a public and shared form of obeisance and served to strengthen intra-group bonding.

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When did money collection during service become not a bad thing?
Also quite long time ago, I think. Early Christians I think collected money when they met together, as a way of sharing what they had with each other and redistributing wealth a little more equitably. They were early communists, basically. I think the collection of money these days is supposed to serve the same function - most Christians still believe that we should Ďtitheí - so, give a tenth of our income - to our churches. This theoretically means the those who can better afford it shoulder more of the burden of keeping the church running. So that in itself is not a bad thing.

In mainline protestant churches where the denomination has a fairly hierarchical structure and a long-ish history, financial accountability is usually part of the culture. From what Iíve seen. People grow up in an environment watching their parents and grandparents questioning the church council about finances in annual general meetings or business meetings, and so thereís a culture of transparency and accountability that gets handed down. One of the churches Iíve attended, for example, had plenty of money kept in term investments and people wanted to use some of it to put air conditioning in the hall. You know, Sydney gets up to 43 degrees some summers. Well, there was a bit of an argument, because ďWeíve done without it up until nowĒ and ďI was always taught you should spend from your income, not your savingsĒ etc., etc.

Those wealthier churches will give large donations to churches of the same denomination in low income areas. This particular church had a program where they drove out to an isolated country school, in one of the worst, poverty & crime ridden rural areas in the country, and spend a week there, running programs for the children and meeting with the teachers and parents to discuss needs for the coming year.

So itís not always the case that the basket is handed around 3 times during the service and the money gets spent upgrading a facility that will be closed to those who are temporarily homeless during a storm, for example. But as always, youíre often only going to hear about people who are getting it wrong.

 
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