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For many years I sat in a pew on Sundays, listening to occasional sermons about the poor, giving to special offerings and looking appropriately sympathetic and concerned about poverty. But I did not truly—in evangelical speak—have a heart ...

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audrey ruth

February 04, 2014  9:19pm

Paul - yes, He does. Blessings to you too.

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Paul Schryba

February 04, 2014  9:07pm

@Audrey Ruth: God knows the truth of what is in our hearts and statements and will judge. Bless you.

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audrey ruth

February 04, 2014  7:14pm

Nope, Paul, the personal attacks have been all yours - and yes, they reveal the contempt in your heart. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Sorry, you can't deflect that onto me. I have not attacked you at any time. Read my very last post about Dems. WHAT did I say that is not true? I did not attack Dems - instead, I posted honest observations. Instead of answering, you deflected yet again. I have not been angry with you, Paul - frustrated, yes, because you want to make this personal instead of focusing on the issue at hand. I really think the only way we could have a really good discussion about this would be if you were to read The Coming Economic Earthquake, by Larry Burkett - because it is based on the Word of God, not man's ideas.

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Paul Schryba

February 04, 2014  12:26pm

@Audrey Ruth: "Paul, your contempt is showing and HAS been showing here for days." "Contempt?" The personal attack, yet again. Your personal 'judgement' of what my emotions are and my inner state is. Which is incorrect- argumentative I have been, -yes. Angry and impatient that you have insisted time and again that I believe in 'government' and have consistently responded by failing to understand my 'arguments'- yes. For which I ask forgiveness (yes, I can admit I am less than perfect.) Contempt? NO. For an example of contempt, look at your own words about Democrats and liberals.

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audrey ruth

February 04, 2014  8:07am

Paul, your contempt is showing and HAS been showing here for days. Is that Christlike? We both know better. Yes, I actually studied economics in university. Are you unaware that "liberal" economic policies such as our present government champions are "of the world", and not Christ? Really? Let's talk about the Dem party: How many Dems publicly protested the booing of God at the DNC of 2012? The silence was deafening. The entire Bible shows us that man cannot truly love his fellow man if he does not love God - God is to be FIRST in believers' lives. Come on, man, Dems don't even pretend to reverence God anymore, which is good in the sense that it's better not to be hypocritical. But how ironic that Obama has claimed to be a Christian and yet did not rebuke his fellow Dems for booing God! He ignores God in EVERY decision. This is why his administration has not prospered (in the sense of God blessing him) since he took office. It would be better to be publicly cold, not lukewarm.

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Paul Schryba

February 04, 2014  7:19am

@Audrey Ruth: As to economics, why don't you read E. F. Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered'? Have you actually studied economics? You are unaware of the extent that 'conservative' politics and economics is 'of the world', and not Christ. As to your again blanket condemnation of 'democrats'; many are genuinely concerned for the poor, are they not? Many are concerned for caring for creation, are they not? Many are concerned to stop violence and stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction, are they not? Those all seem to me to be 'of God'. I have consistently tried to show that our free market capitalist society 'loves' and 'worships' money (as it is currently practiced)- it gives 'making money' precedence over loving relationships, sharing gifts and service. It encourages dependency on material goods and hoarded wealth over God's providence and will. The Republican party consistently promotes money and business, over care for people and creation.

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Paul Schryba

February 04, 2014  7:05am

@Audrey Ruth: You take no personal responsibility, so you argue because I 'argue'. You thought we were having a 'discussion'...really. You almost admitted you were 'arguing' instead of 'discussing. You said that I blamed Walmart for all our problems. Totally false. An accusation. If we were having a 'discussion', you would have said, "you have criticized Walmart a lot. Do you feel they are responsible for our economic problems?" An apology from you for an incorrect assertion? I don't remember seeing one. So enough about this 'discussion'. You are concerned that some people are dependent and abusive of welfare. So? Some people are 'dependent' on the stored wealth of IRAs etc.; some people are dependent on inherited wealth (just how exactly did those born with silver spoons 'work' for it?). Is that of God? No. Government- creating dependency, blanket all inclusive assertion with no mention of those helped by it. Private market- no mention from you is to its evils. This is 'discussion?

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audrey ruth

February 04, 2014  6:51am

A closing comment which you ignored: If working individuals, families, and businesses ran on the same financial principles Obama and his government have used, they'd all be in the same mess the government is in. Last I heard the national debt was 17 TRILLION - and of course it's far higher now. Most people do not even realize how MUCH money that really is. Yet he just keeps running up more and more and MORE debt. NO ONE can spend his way out of debt, not even a government. He has NO regard for even basic Biblical financial principles. He has thumbed his nose at God in many ways, including this. The Lord honors those who honor Him. He is under no obligation to honor those who dishonor Him.

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audrey ruth

February 04, 2014  6:48am

cont'd - They could fight obesity MUCH more effectively by requiring public schools to reinstate recess for schoolchildren each day. Lack of physical exercise not only feeds obesity, studies have shown it also impairs learning ability. See, this is the thing: They will never campaign for anything remotely moral because it goes against their grain and the grain of the Dem party. They want to be perceived as 'tolerant', 'unbigoted' - you know all the adjectives and catch-phrases. But they will never admit this. They'll just continue on doing as they do while claiming to do differently. As for love of money: LOTS of people don't love God; I'm sure you know the Dem party booed Him. When people don't love God, they generally don't care for other people either. God IS love. Hence, lack of compassion, lack of concern. So when gov't leaders, especially a whole party, champion irreverence for God, of course love and compassion go out the window. It's inevitable.

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audrey ruth

February 04, 2014  6:41am

Hey, Paul, if I'm arguing, you're arguing. I thought this was just a discussion. When I say people are dependent on government instead of God, I'm referring to people who actually depend on the government to PROVIDE their daily, weekly, monthly needs. Some have grown up in generational welfare, or education is not valued, or they became immoral young in life and have created bad situations making it difficult for them to get an education/find work, etc. Some girls/young women are encouraged to have lots of babies so they can collect more money from the government. Surely you know of these things. Someone asked Obama why he and Michelle have not campaigned strongly for teens to 1) avoid drugs; 2) stay in school/get an education; 3) live moral lives and not create unwanted babies, etc. He said they have done that. However, there is no such campaign - certainly nothing like their campaign to plant veggies and fight obesity. cont'd

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Paul Schryba

February 04, 2014  6:39am

cont. and government. As in Acts, any who had property sold it and give it to the Apostles who distributed it according to need. This is practiced in many intentional Christian communities (monasteries being one example). Which once again goes to the idolatry of 'love of money'- where people's gifts and talents are not used in service of themselves and the community, but in the abstract pursuit of 'maximizing profit' and material gain; where one's 'right' to personal property is protected by law, but one's responsibility and duty to mindfully use and share that gift of wealth is 'optional'. And it is 'gift'- many people have worked long and hard, and through circumstances have not substantially materially benefited from it. Many people have inherited wealth without having to work for it at all. cont.

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Paul Schryba

February 04, 2014  6:26am

@Audrey Ruth: You again ignore my point and argue. The point of 'gathering into barns' was the issue of 'dependency'- according to you, people accepting government assistance are 'dependent' on it and not God. My point was CLEARLY that God can use government to provide for people, as in the case of Joseph. That doesn't mean that they, according to you, 'depend on government' (although some most certainly do). The point is analogous to that of pensions etc.- God can certainly use them to provide for people- but how many people are really depending on them, instead of really depending on God? If you say that people are 'dependent' on government instead of God, it is clearly evident that many people are 'dependent' on the STORED wealth of IRA's etc instead of God's providence. That is contrary to Jesus, and James where James condemns those who have failing to provide for those who don't. Further, if Christians truly followed Christ, there would be no need for IRA's etc. cont.

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audrey ruth

February 03, 2014  11:26pm

A closing comment: If working individuals, families, and businesses ran on the same financial principles Obama and his government have used, they'd all be in the same mess the government is in. Last I heard the national debt was 17 TRILLION - and of course it's far higher now. Most people do not even realize how MUCH money that really is. Yet he just keeps running up more and more and MORE debt. NO ONE can spend his way out of debt, not even a government. He has NO regard for even basic Biblical financial principles. He has thumbed his nose at God in many ways, including this. The Lord honors those who honor Him. He is under no obligation to honor those who dishonor Him.

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audrey ruth

February 03, 2014  11:19pm

con't - Have you read The Coming Economic Earthquake, by Larry Burkett? He wrote it during the 1990s, roughly 20 years before the Recession hit. He did not claim to be a prophet; it's just that he was familiar enough with God's Word to see what was coming - and IT DID, just as he warned. If you haven't read his book, please do - then we can have a better discussion. Also, your citation of Joseph as an "example" of your point re: our government does not compute - for this reason: Joseph's relatives (not all Israelites) accepted that grain ONE TIME when their nation was experiencing terrible famine. Joseph's family did go to Egypt to live after that, working for a living. Eventually, there arose a pharaoh who "knew not Joseph" and he made the Israelites his slaves - and we know the outcome of that. Joseph's family's situation cannot be compared to what our government has become - except for the fact that we have a prez who has no regard for Christians' faith.

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audrey ruth

February 03, 2014  11:10pm

Paul, do you see a difference between saving and hoarding? Do you see a difference between being wise with money and being a miser? I do. Yes, Jesus condemned the man who gathered wealth into barns. Did Jesus condemn the Good Samaritan who was not poor either, but obviously was wealthy enough to generously help the man who was in dire need? See, I'm just trying to strike a Biblical balance here. Are you familiar with the scripture passage where Jesus told us to "count the cost" before making any financial investment? He didn't say NOT to make any investments - He said to count the cost to make sure it's a wise one, that you can afford it. And surely you know that the Bible is filled with injunctions not to go into debt - how foolish and even dangerous it is. This has been a huge issue throughout the current Recession; many people have lost their homes. The bottom line is: How utterly foolish it is to ignore God's Word on any issue, including this! con't

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Paul Schryba

February 03, 2014  7:54am

cont. Luke 12: 16-21 Jesus clearly condemns the man who gathered wealth into barns thinking it would provide for him, when his life was demanded the next day. The 'barns' of then are analogous to the pension plans, Social Security, and 401Ks of today. The thought is to store wealth so that one provides for the future. According to your line of reasoning, anyone with a private pension plan, Social Security, or 401K is depending not on God to provide for them, but their own 'wealth' that they have hoarded, which is clearly contrary to God's teaching.

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Paul Schryba

February 03, 2014  7:48am

@Audrey Ruth: Perhaps you genuinely do not understand what I have already said. Perhaps you wish to misinterpret what I said to make me respond so that eventually I will tire- whatever. So okay, You: "Paul, did Jesus teach people to look to government for their needs, or to look to God?" Me: AGAIN- "I do not advocate 'dependency on the government INSTEAD of God-' you continue to ignore that God can work THROUGH the government as well as through private individuals." The example of Joseph is very clear that God provided for the Egyptians and Israelites through the 'government' of the time. So- because the Israelites accepted grain from the 'government,' they were depending on the government? It seems to me that is what you are implying through your line of thought. While we are on the subject of trusting God to provide; Jesus in Matt 6: 26 clearly says not to worry because God will provide, giving the example of birds who do not 'gather into barns'; cont.

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audrey ruth

February 02, 2014  11:03pm

Paul, did Jesus teach people to look to government for their needs, or to look to God? If you know the Bible, you know the answer to that. It seems to me this is quite clear: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things [daily needs] will be added unto you." When He came to earth from Heaven, the Jews lived under a hostile government which did not respect their faith and did not care about them. The analogy to our federal government today is quite close, sad to say. I'm not sure what comparison you see in Joseph of the OT. He was sold into slavery and taken against his will to a foreign land. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams for the unGodly pharaoh when his own advisors could not. Since you cited Joseph as a Biblical example, it sounds like you're saying a believer in Obama's government would be as a foreigner in a foreign land. Right?

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Paul Schryba

February 02, 2014  10:10pm

@Audrey Ruth: What you hold to is not 'God's word'- but a conservative interpretation of God's word. You selectively choose and interpret what you want from 'God's Word' to attack 'liberals' and 'government'. You continue to predominantly knock down government and 'liberals' claiming them to be 'idol-ology' (which it certainly can be), while you continue to ignore the idolatry of the for-profit capitalist system which I have continued to bring out. Your failing to criticize the for-profit capitalist system as well as government, both equally flawed and human, shows you are indeed 'conservative' politically and economically. I do not advocate 'dependency on the government INSTEAD of God-' you continue to ignore that God can work THROUGH the government as well as through private individuals. I gave you the Biblical example of Genesis 41 of Joseph and Egypt, which you make no mention of.

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audrey ruth

February 02, 2014  9:30pm

Paul, you are 100% wrong when you accuse me of holding to a "'conservative' idol-ology". As I've shown you over and over in this discussion, what I hold to is God's Word. Period. Please read what my posts here DO say. "Liberal" idol-ology makes an idol out of government, expects government to do what God has called His church to do. "Liberal" idol-ology trains parishioners to look to the government to meet people's needs, instead of God. In such an idol-ology, God's love and truth and power are de-valued to the point that people are trained to believe they don't even exist.

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