Now is time to inteject with an idea – that I think is at the root of what is being taught by the disciples in the texts (which is not exactly the same as what churches teach on this subject).
I think the idea ‘God will provide’ – is truly being taught in the texts (no denial there). It’s the ‘provision’ part that needs to be dismantled more closely IMO. How is this provision from God happening?
(a) we never see God – known fact – so it’s not a face to face deal (or hand to hand deal)
(b) God however is claimed to be a ‘spirit’ – which is quite undefineable – but being people with spirits we can connect with this ‘Spirit’ on some unseen level
The ‘provision’ is coming from the example seen in Acts – that small community set forth an example of what the passages mean in Matthew or Luke (or the gospels in general).
In Acts we see needs being met left and right – for the widows, for family, for those in need…for those in community. Donations were receieved and kept for the whole community to benefit – as they all ‘lived for one another’ (under the One). Things were shared and they had all things in common (common being the key part for commun-ity).
So here is what I think:
God ‘provides’ – but are we listening? God ain’t gonna come down and start doing anything ‘hand to hand’ – this is left in our very capable ‘hands’. If we are not up to the challenge – that’s ok – or maybe we ain’t listening? Needs exist – but does community exist to bare those people up? No.
We have been provided with all we will ever need on this planet – all of humanity – and it’s a matter of sharing and living as one to realize the greatness of the resources we actually do contain. Problem is…humanity is very greedy – and has a history of ripping one another off for centuries. So this has put a huge dent in needs being met globally.
The problem isn’t neccesarily God’s provision – but humanity’s greed with the ‘provided’.
***Comment taken from OSS’ blog ‘How Far Do You Trust God?‘
from my pastoral prayer this past sunday:
“We know you enter every human situation, help us see the light of the choices you give us, help us meet them with creativity, the strength of acceptance, and through others, help us feel support around us and those we pray for and that pray for us.”
i think that’s the key… seeing the light of the choices. looking for God around us. when we meet a bad situation, we shouldn’t say “crap, God isn’t here! i’m alone!” but instead, “look for God within it.”
i had to laugh.. “it’s a matter of sharing and living as one to realize the greatness of the resources we actually do contain.” this is actually in theological thought.. written by a dude named John Calvin, you’re home-boy ;-). that was his vision of the church, that the gathered community can help one another out through the sharing of resources and perspectives. go figure 😉
“this is actually in theological thought.. written by a dude named John Calvin, you’re home-boy” (Luke)
You’ll also find it in Acts 2 – with the council and group in Jerusalem…so some 1500 years prior to Calvin coming on the scence the idea existed in some serious depth. One could also point to exile community in Babylon or the crew coming out of Egypt for communities similar. Calvin has nothing I wanna read on this topic…sadly.
The thing with Calvin is he is really a smart person – but he gets a treatment close to Paul’s if you ask me. They get put on some theological pedestal, usually at the right hand of Jesus, where the words they speak become rather unquestionable. Now they may have been enlightened and inspired by God – no doubts – but does this mean everything they wrote can stand the test of time? Paul I am willing to bend the rules for (people have to interpret him) – but Calvin – not so much.
If we are willing to overlook the source we also must overlook the problem (and I speak of current Evangelicalism – including Reform movements – and some of it’s current wackiness). So no, this dude will not get off the hook. His 1600+ European Christianity sailed it’s boat into the West and settled here and was part and parcel with many stupid movements in this country (countries) – including ideas like Manifest Destiny (based on determinism) and slavery (based on the protestant work ethic and finding loopholes there – mo money, mo blessings).
Maybe it’s just me…maybe I need read some Calvin.
i think you do need to do some reading of his.. and i thought i’d just throw him out there to provoke you 😉
just like Paul, Calvin’s readings are another animal entirely than how they were used by their followers. Calvin was a pastor who didn’t like scholastic reasoning (the trend at the time). funny thing is, who were Calvin’s adherents? SCHOLASTICS! eeek! Calvin’s worst nightmare come true.
that being said, I’d go with Christ every time. Jesus set no systematic theology, no doctrine, and no structural church heirarchy. well… his only doctrine being love God, neighbor and self.
“his only doctrine being love God, neighbor and self.” (Luke)
With that as the core root of a person – what more is really needed as a focus in life? We just got to fill it all in basically.