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The Most Re-interpreted Story In The Bible


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Okay since Mark is the oldest gospel in the bible and the rest are just kinda like copies, reprints and commentary then Mark is the place to look for how to get truly get salvation. Now the first story about salvation you get is in Mark 10:17-24 and then Mark 16:16 but for now I want to focus on Mark 10:17-24 or the story of the rich man.

 

Mark 10

The Rich Young Man

 

17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'[d]"

20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."

21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

 

Well the man asked how to get eternal life (with Jesus) and Jesus gave him an answer. Okay when I first read this as a Christian, I thought it was very honorable. I don’t know, I guess all that stuff about helping out the poor was honorable. It also kinda reminded me of Buddhist monks. So I got upset that every time I heard a message on this passage it was metaphorical and not literal. I wasn’t a literalist then but I didn’t understand why this passage had to be taken metaphorically. There isn’t any supernatural thing happening here. This in not a parable! This passage to me does not say you should “spiritually” give everything to YHWH like most pastors preach. It seems quite clear in my eyes that it says give your stuff to the poor to follow christ and give up everything including family, home etc. I mean the people who are supposed to set the example for people following christ, the apostles, had to do give up everything to follow Jesus. So why don’t pastors teach it this way? Oh I know, cause no one would want to go to church on Sundays if they would have to give up everything thing they owned to the poor. So pastors go ahead and teach this story in a way that doesn't chase people out of the church, which is his major source of income.

 

Another thing that always irked me was that even though Jesus’ whole ministry seemed to be about healing and helping the poor, no pastor or bishop I ever had even tried to speak about it. Maybe it was because I went to black churches but these blacks were middle class and had no excuse not to help or at least teach about helping the poor in my eyes. They seemed to conviently skip messages about giving alms but were sure to do a month long series on giving tithes (I went to pastor dollars chruch for a while). Are other churches different and do focus a lot more on giving to the poor?

 

Oh and this passage shows me that the original gospels are definitely tailored toward the poor. Jesus sure does love saying rich people aren’t getting in heaven cause they haven’t suffered like the poor guys.

 

Thoughts? How did your church interpret this passage? Are there any stories you feel are re-interpreted the most in order to benefit the church or it's memebers?

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I believe that this may have happened, but I take the "kingdom of heaven" to be a metaphor for spirtual happiness and how can one be spiritually happy if they are focused on 'things'?

 

So, I see Jesus trying to get this young man to shift his focus for happiness now, not after his death and that he literally meant to give everything away and he will find 'heaven'. It's literal, IMO, but what is spiritual (heaven) is mistaken to mean something that is outside of one's self.

 

That's just how I see it.

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I always saw that passage as saying it's harder to for a rich man to get into heaven because they have more distractions to keep them from being holy. Traditionaly, the poor are the most religious, because they have less to lose in this world and more to gain in the next...

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ive always heard it as a metaphor.... but when they start to give their little speal right before money collections, they all of a sudden flip it to literal. go figure :shrug:

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Most churches I have been to focus on giving Jesus to the poor. Right. As if they can eat the Bible. It's ridiculous. Granted sometimes there were mission trips that did feed and clothe people, but more often than not it was also coupled with forcing those people to sit through hours of Jesus conversion. This one place I did mission work at one summer had us clearing a yard in the middle of a poor area to make a little park where they could have Bible studies for the children. Notice we didn't go feed the people in the neighborhood or help clean their homes or their yards. And while the park could be used by other people when the Bible people weren't there, it most likely would be a place for people to meet and sell drugs and such.

 

Ah, those fond Christian memories. I actually got very upset about this issue towards the end of my stay in the religion. I felt that the churches were all ignoring what the Bible said. In the Bible they even have communal living, nothing like what we have today. However, I definetly saw the benefits to communal living, and I could only find greed as the reason why this was skipped over in the church community. I also stopped tithing to the church because they often use that money to fund salaries and big ass buildings on plots of land that DID have trees and wildlife. I started giving monthly by sponsoring a child overseas through one of those programs, that way I could actually help feed and clothe a PERSON and write to them.

 

The church is a far cry from anything the Bible, or the people of the Bible (if they are real and such), intended.

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