Transcript: Episode 0072

This transcript:
  1. Was machine generated.
  2. Has not been checked for errors.
  3. May not be entirely accurate.


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Welcome to the Stone Choir Podcast.

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I am Corey J.

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And I'm still, whoa.

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On today's Stone Choir, we're going to be in the first of a three-part series on various facets of love.

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Love is a word that's present in the English language and every other language, duh.

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It also has lots of variables and adjectives and modifiers to it.

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And then there are related words that we don't typically think of as love, at least in English.

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But when we look at some of the other older languages that fed in English, we do find that there are different words that we consolidated into one.

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And so this three-part series is for the purpose of talking about some of those different facets.

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Just a very brief introduction, I want to lay a couple ground rules out.

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One, I think the term facet is a really vital part of how we're trying to explain this.

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If you've ever been in a nice jewelry store with, you know, the white lights and maybe the salesman hand you a loop and you look at a nice stone under that loop with that light shining down, it just pops as sparkles.

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You see incredible variety of light shining through, reflecting through the facets in the gemstone.

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The way we're handling love in the next few weeks is that love is basically that gem.

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And in the various words and aspects that we're talking about in these sequential weeks are the facets.

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And I highlight that because these things are not an exclusivity to each other.

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So as we talk about, you know, words like agape and eros and others, we're not trying to subdivide them to the point that we're making them exclusive.

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Because as we talk about them over the next few weeks, what we're going to find is that frequently you'll have a couple of them in play at the same time.

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But when you properly understand the nature of them, it becomes clear that although they're all facets of love, you won't have them all simultaneously for the purpose, for the reason that different aspects of love have different people on both sides.

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Their relationships, you know, love is fundamentally a relationship, and a relationship between two different people.

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And so the love of a parent is different than the love of a spouse is different than the love of a brother is different than the love of a neighbor.

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And at some point, you know, the words that we use in English cease to be love.

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We use words, for example, like friendship, but it fundamentally means the same thing, but it means different facets of the same thing.

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So the love that you have for a friend, you typically just call friendship.

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Sometimes you might say you love your friend, but friendship really properly encompasses all of that.

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So as we're talking about all these various things, I just don't want people to think that we're reducing all of this to a spreadsheet or a bunch of check boxes.

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Different things come into play at different times.

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It's important just to understand that they're all there.

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The other important point to lay as groundwork for all these episodes is that these are human things.

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They're things God has put in creation.

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They're not explicitly Christian.

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They're not explicitly philosophical.

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They're not tied to certain vocabulary.

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It's all there.

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Whether you have the word for it or not, you have the inherent behavior, the inherent attitude towards others as you're just living your life.

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You're going to have friends, you're going to have family, you're going to have different relationships with them.

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And those will have varying degrees and natures of love.

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So the different words are because those different aspects all matter.

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Part of the problem that we're trying to solve by tackling these subjects in this episode series is that the misapprehension of the words in our minds is causing us to make substantial categories where some will come along and say, you must love X because of Y.

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And usually Y is something in the Bible.

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And everyone's like, well, the Bible says I gotta love, so obviously.

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It's a good argument if it's true, but the problem is that when someone uses the collapsed English word love to encompass things that perhaps have different duties in nature and in scripture, then the person who's trying to convict your conscience says, you have to be careful.

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Be careful, because you can actually end up sinning inadvertently by being sloppy about this stuff.

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You know, we talk a lot about 1 Timothy 5, 8, where God says that the duty that we have inside our family is greater than the duty that we have outside our family.

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And someone who despises that is worse than an unbeliever.

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That's, it's talking about love, not in that explicit term, but it's also talking about scope of duty.

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And so when we're tackling these things that are political, they're religious, they're social, it's important to get the scope of duty right as we're looking at these subjects.

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So the reason we're breaking up into three different parts over a few weeks, we're going to end with marriage, with Eros, and a couple related things, but we want to sequester that by itself, as I said in the last episode, specifically because that one is going to be not at all child-friendly.

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We're going to have Frank talk about those specifics because it's basically going to be the talk, because for centuries there have been so many euphemisms around some of those things, that people have forgotten what it actually means.

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So as I said online, and I think I said last episode, we're going to make a lot of people angry and uncomfortable with that, but we're going to say specifically what scripture says and what we find in nature about it.

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So that's going to be sequestered for your safety and your children's safety.

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So you can just skip over it entirely if that's not your cup of tea.

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This week and next week we'll be basically tackling everything else that doesn't kind of fall into the marriage bed.

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And so as we go through this, just keep in mind that we're not trying to isolate these things from each other.

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We're just trying to help lay out kind of on a board.

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Here's how these things are related.

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You have a person over here with an arrow drawn over here.

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And once we finish this series, Corey is going to be publishing a finished version of the very nice flow chart that he made to kind of collapse his thinking, the explanations that we're working through.

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It's going to look like the guy in front of the crazy board with all the arrows and stuff.

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Sometimes that's how the stuff looks.

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And part of the reason that he did that is that we started looking a few weeks ago when we decided to do this particular series, we looked at some of the other explanations from throughout history, and they're kind of rubbish.

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They don't tackle all these things at once.

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So we wanted to just do it all in one place and consolidate it so that, not that this is going to be authoritative, but this is another way of looking at it.

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And it will give you some ideas about how you can evaluate your own life.

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When you have various facets of love in your heart for your family and your friends and your neighbors, how do they play out?

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Because their duties associated with these shows and their limits, their limitations, where the type of love that you have for one person is in fact forbidden for another.

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And that's not a failure of love, that's just the scope of the nature of the thing that God has given us.

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So these are fundamentally about God's blessings and about his obligations and about how we relate to them as humans.

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Again, this isn't just Christian stuff and it's not philosophical, because throughout history, before Jesus came, when the Jews were just kind of off in their own corner, the Romans and the Greeks were also tackling these subjects philosophically and they're playing things through and trying to come up with good answers to how man naturally acts towards man.

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It's a worthwhile endeavor, and it's something that's worth keeping in mind as we're living our lives, because if you're sloppy and you don't think about it, you don't pay attention, you can very easily drop something on the floor that if you just gave it a little bit of thought, you would have done it well.

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I often give the example of nutrition.

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You're going to eat something.

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If you think about what you're eating, you think about not eating too much, you think about the nutrient balance you're getting, you will have a better life simply for having been cognizant of what you're putting in your mouth.

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Whereas someone who's never cognizant, just shoveling out of the box or out of the bag, is inherently going to be worse off because they didn't think.

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So, as with Stone Choir in general, we just want people to think about this stuff.

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So as we lay this out, I hope people won't get confused.

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I hope you'll come along as we present the various facets of this.

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And just keep in mind, this is all about love in the broad sense, in the love encompassing all the various things that are part of being a human.

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So one way in which you can think about this all being facets, all of these different terms, aspects of love being facets of the same thing, is you can relate it to the transcendentals, which we have mentioned many times before.

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Goodness, beauty and truth are not different parts of God's nature, because God does not have parts.

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They are facets, they are aspects.

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To some degree, that is, of course, just so that we as human beings, as limited creatures, can understand it.

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But the same is true here.

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There are some topics that are sufficiently expansive that you have to address them in pieces in order to understand them, not because those pieces are actual parts, not because they are discrete, but because you have to look at the different facets one at a time or two at a time, three at a time, however many it happens to be, in order to build up that understanding of the whole.

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And that is why we're doing this as a series, why we're doing three episodes.

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In this episode, we are going to be discussing agape and caritas.

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Now, these terms are obviously first Greek and then Latin, but the reason we're using these terms is because it helps to distinguish the different facets one from another.

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We're also going to use the English equivalents, because there's nothing special about the terms.

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It's not that this language has a concept and that language does not, particularly for something like this.

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I won't go so far as to say that there are not untranslatable words in certain languages, because there are, but they can always be translated with a paragraph, an explanation.

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In the case of the terms we'll be using in this series, most of them can be translated with one or two words.

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Caritas, for instance, is charity.

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We have that word in English because we took it from Caritas.

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We took it from Latin and just used it.

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The same is true of piety, pietas, which we will get into in a later episode.

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Agape, however, has to be translated as two or three words instead, not just as one word because we simply don't have a one-word version of it in English, other than just using the Greek term agape, which many Christians are going to understand from looking at the Greek of Scripture.

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But what agape is fundamentally is self-sacrificing or sacrificial love.

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It is a love that puts the good of the other first, that seeks the good of that other.

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And so it is a particular facet of love because not all love rises to that particular level.

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It's not necessarily to say that agape is the best or the ultimate form of love.

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To some degree it is because it's at the far end of that spectrum in terms of the intensity of the sacrifice of the individual for the other.

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But that's not to say that it's superior, say, to shtorghe, to familial love, to the love you would have for a sibling or a parent or a child.

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Of course, a parent for a child is going to be agape, and we'll get into some of the nuance of that.

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Some of it in this episode, most of it in the next episode.

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But both of these terms, both of these facets of love, are closely related and yet distinct.

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And that distinction is important.

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It's why we are doing these two facets of love in this one episode.

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Because agape is not charity, and charity is not agape.

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At the edges, they may shade one into the other, because for instance, when you are being charitable, you are seeking the good of another, most certainly.

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You are giving of yourself, whether it is in terms of your time or your resources, to aid another, but it is not agape, it is distinct from it.

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And part of the reason for that is that agape necessarily flows from some sort of relationship.

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Charity does not.

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You can have charity for someone with whom you have an arm's length relationship.

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You don't have agape for a person with whom you have an arm's length relationship.

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And so, I mentioned one of the examples of agape would be for a child from a parent.

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That is, the love a parent has for a child.

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That is, of course, its shtorge, which is familial love.

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We'll get into that in the next episode.

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But it is also agape, and every parent knows this, and every child, which is to say every human being, should.

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Because parents sacrifice of themselves for the good of their children, whether it is the father who goes out and sacrifices his time and his sweat in order to provide for his family, or the woman who does the same in her household in order to raise her children.

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That is agape.

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It is a self-sacrificing love.

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It is giving of oneself for the betterment, for the good of another.

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Now, the inverse of that is not true of young children.

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A young child does not have agape for a parent.

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Now, of course, for a very young child, it's simply because there's no way a very young child can have that.

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However, once children are grown, and particularly once parents are aged, and then it becomes a duty of the child to care for the aged parent, then things sort of switch, because now it is agape on the part of the child for the parent, because now it is the grown child who has to sacrifice in order to care for the aged parent, which is how this is supposed to work.

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We've gone over that in a previous episode.

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Primarily and usually it falls to the eldest child, but not always.

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The grown child is supposed to care for the aged parent.

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And so you see sort of an inversion of that relationship as the ages change over time, because the parent no longer has the capacity to have that sort of self-sacrificial love.

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A man in his 90s can no longer go out and work to provide for his family, and so he relies on his children to care for him, at least if things are ordered as they should be.

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Contrary to agape, distinct from agape, is the concept, the facet of love, that is charity.

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Now we all know what charity is.

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Charity, very simply, is to provide for the needs of another, usually the poor, because that is typically the correct target for charity.

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The correct recipient of charity would be the needy.

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You are not going to provide charity for the wealthy.

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That wouldn't be charity.

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That would be typically political corruption, but that is not charity.

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And that highlights an important aspect of all of this, a way to break down and to understand these concepts.

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You have really three aspects.

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There are essentially two that are vitally important, but there's a third that is just inherently an aspect of almost everything in life.

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And so we'll go over that one first, which would be who is doing the loving, who is doing whatever it happens to be that constitutes the facet of love.

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And so in many cases, that's going to be you are the one doing it because you are analyzing your own actions.

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But if we are analyzing the actions of another, that person is relevant because you have to have, for instance, in familial love, there has to be a relationship, a familial relationship between the who doing the action and the whom receiving it.

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And of course, that is the second part of this.

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There are appropriate targets, appropriate recipients for each kind of love.

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And if that love, supposed love, is directed toward a recipient that is not appropriate, that is a disordered love.

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And if it is sufficiently disordered, it rises to the level of sin and may very well not be love whatsoever.

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This, of course, is more obvious for some forms of love than for others, Eros being probably the most obvious example, which we will get into in the third episode.

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But in addition to who and whom, we have the nature or scope of the type of love in question.

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And so again, I mentioned that the wealthy are not an appropriate target for charity, the poor are.

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And so that is who and whom, but there's also a scope there.

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What is the extent of the charity that is appropriate to give to the poor?

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Scripture says, the one who does not work, let him not eat, and so it is not appropriate simply to provide endless so-called charity for those who refuse to work.

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Endless welfare is not charity, it is not love, it is in fact hate, because not only are you wasting the resources of those who have given or have had that money taken from them, you are also harming the one who is just doing nothing.

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It is harmful to sit and do nothing.

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Man was made for work.

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Now, of course, there's the distinction between labor and work, and we live in a fallen world, but that's for another time.

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Man must do something productive with his time.

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If you are providing endless so-called charity for one who is not doing anything with his time, it is no longer charity because you have exceeded the scope, you've corrupted the nature of the thing, and that person, that whom, is no longer an appropriate target.

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And so those are the three aspects, as it were, of each of these facets that has to be analyzed when you are determining whether or not something is a particular kind of love.

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Who is doing the thing?

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Whom is receiving the thing?

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And what is the appropriate nature or scope of the love in question?

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Because if any one of those is absent or wrong, it is a disordered love at best.

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Now, as I said, that's a spectrum.

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That's the case with much of this.

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Well, when I were discussing this before we started recording, one of the reasons that this topic is complex, that there is some challenge in order to map out all of these connections between the various kinds of love, is that each analysis more or less falls along a spectrum.

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And so, charity, you can have the abject poor, the destitute, who are of course the strongest case in terms of whom to receive charity.

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And then you can have those who are just marginally below the level that we would consider the appropriate level for someone living in our society.

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That's a spectrum.

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The charity should of course go first to those who are in dire need.

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For instance, if you are going to provide clothing to those who need it, you probably provide it to the person who is naked first, because he needs it most.

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The person who is liable to freeze to death, if you do not clothe him, needs your charity first.

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But that is the case for all of these.

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There is a spectrum underlying it.

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And so, as Woe said in his introduction, we cannot necessarily give you a set of rules.

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If this, then that, if that, then this.

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That's not how any of this works.

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As is the case with so many of the things we cover on this podcast, this is a matter of wisdom.

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You are going to have to apply the gifts that God gave you to the facts as you find them, to the things set before you.

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And so, for instance, when it comes to familial love, you are going to have to decide the extent of that with each one of your siblings, each one of your family members.

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How much do I aid this person?

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How much time do I invest here?

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Do I have to pull back because this is causing problems?

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There is wisdom involved.

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For instance, you know, as we've used as an example previously, you don't give money to a sibling who is a drug addict.

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That's not love.

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That's not charity.

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You're not actually helping that person.

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The same thing holds in general with charity.

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If you are giving money to drug addicts, you are not helping them.

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Now, if you get them a job or help them to get cleaned up, help them to get treatment, that's charity.

00:22:22.412 --> 00:22:23.692
That's appropriate charity.

00:22:24.152 --> 00:22:25.032
That's a good thing.

00:22:25.672 --> 00:22:35.692
But you can see that in each case, society, at least our fallen corrupt society, would call both of those things charity.

00:22:36.812 --> 00:22:43.192
If you give money to, in this case, poor drug addicts, many will call it charity, but it's not.

00:22:44.212 --> 00:22:52.192
Because the nature, the scope of the thing you are doing isn't appropriate, even if the target is appropriate as a recipient of that charity.

00:22:52.852 --> 00:23:05.512
And so each one of these aspects has to be correct for the kind of love in question to be love, because otherwise, again, it is disordered or it may very well just not be love.

00:23:06.352 --> 00:23:10.172
And again, the most obvious examples will be in the episode on Eros.

00:23:11.992 --> 00:23:17.552
One of the substantial aspects of the ancient definition of agape has to do with preference.

00:23:18.052 --> 00:23:23.112
As Corey said, agape love is necessarily relational.

00:23:23.552 --> 00:23:26.932
There's a subject and there's an object, and it's a known object.

00:23:26.952 --> 00:23:30.732
There's some reason why you extend agape love to someone.

00:23:31.172 --> 00:23:41.112
And even though there's self-sacrifice involved and you're willing to give up something for the person for whom you express this type of love, it's a preference.

00:23:41.612 --> 00:23:47.012
Because we are not omnipotent, it is necessarily a limited preference.

00:23:47.552 --> 00:23:51.352
What I mean by that is I can't possibly agape everyone in the world.

00:23:52.032 --> 00:23:55.072
It's impossible and it's stupid to want to try.

00:23:55.252 --> 00:24:00.332
It's actually evil to think that I can have the same amount of love that God has.

00:24:01.072 --> 00:24:03.352
Because that's not how God made us.

00:24:03.352 --> 00:24:04.372
We are not infinite.

00:24:04.392 --> 00:24:05.132
We are finite.

00:24:05.632 --> 00:24:09.752
We are situated in certain places with families, neighbors, communities.

00:24:10.172 --> 00:24:13.292
The whole hierarchy that we go through so frequently.

00:24:14.032 --> 00:24:23.692
In our situation, we have the obligation from God to love our neighbor, to care for those who are around us, to care for family, and to care in different ways.

00:24:24.232 --> 00:24:26.832
And so, all of those are expressing preference.

00:24:28.132 --> 00:24:46.492
Yet, what you find in the wicked corners of the Church, which are not corners anymore, it's the majority of the Church today, and almost the entirety of the secular world, is that there can be no preference, which is itself inherently a preference, because they are always expressing a preference.

00:24:46.932 --> 00:24:50.792
But what they will do is they will say, you can't prefer your own.

00:24:51.352 --> 00:24:55.772
You have to prefer the far away, and then that means it's agape.

00:24:55.932 --> 00:24:56.732
What's nonsense?

00:24:57.332 --> 00:25:03.972
Having it be alienated from your own personal situation doesn't make it more loving, because you're finite.

00:25:04.352 --> 00:25:05.392
You're not omnipotent.

00:25:05.692 --> 00:25:08.072
You can't love everyone the way God does.

00:25:08.552 --> 00:25:17.472
There's necessarily a trade-off when you give to one when you love one, preferentially, someone else isn't going to get it.

00:25:18.152 --> 00:25:24.552
Now, there are situations where that subdivision doesn't really apply nearly as much, for example, inside a family.

00:25:24.572 --> 00:25:28.472
But again, that's going to be another facet of a different type of love.

00:25:30.332 --> 00:25:35.352
When we're talking about agape, we're talking about, I prefer to do this for this type of person.

00:25:35.372 --> 00:25:40.592
And as Corey is saying, another facet of another flavor of love is charity.

00:25:41.092 --> 00:25:52.572
And so there's a preference involved in charity, but it tends to be more externalized, because the duty of charity, and in one particular case in Scripture and historically in the Church, has been almsgiving.

00:25:53.412 --> 00:25:55.432
You give alms to a stranger.

00:25:55.772 --> 00:25:57.472
You don't give alms to your family.

00:25:57.892 --> 00:26:01.192
Your family's needs fall under 1 Timothy 5, 8.

00:26:01.632 --> 00:26:05.732
If you're not caring for your own household, you're not failing to give alms.

00:26:05.932 --> 00:26:10.072
You're failing on a much more basic, much more crucial level.

00:26:10.532 --> 00:26:11.592
And so it's a different thing.

00:26:11.872 --> 00:26:28.172
It's the absence of love, but that opportunity cost of, well, I'm going to give alms to the poor person, you know, across the road or 10,000 miles away when your own family is suffering, the world will say, oh, that's wonderful.

00:26:28.192 --> 00:26:29.412
Isn't that a blessing?

00:26:29.632 --> 00:26:43.632
Well, no, it's not, because the opportunity cost is that you've deprived those to whom God has situated you most closely and where you may well have greater duties, because all of these facets have different types of degrees of duties.

00:26:44.192 --> 00:26:56.532
As we'll get into in the third episode, the duties of love that a spouse has to each other is very different than the type of duties of love that you have to a neighbor or to a sibling.

00:26:57.492 --> 00:27:07.712
They're fundamentally different, but they're all duties to some degree, and some of them are very particularized, and some of them are diffuse, and some of them are situationally random effectively.

00:27:08.492 --> 00:27:12.052
The example of the Good Samaritan was basically random.

00:27:12.932 --> 00:27:15.692
The man happened to be a neighbor for the moment.

00:27:16.032 --> 00:27:21.112
When the Samaritan passed by and saw the man who had been beaten and bloodied, he took care of him because he was right there.

00:27:21.592 --> 00:27:23.632
It was happenstance that he came by.

00:27:23.652 --> 00:27:25.692
He was situationally his neighbor.

00:27:26.072 --> 00:27:27.392
He showed love for him.

00:27:27.412 --> 00:27:30.612
He showed charity for him by taking care of those immediate needs.

00:27:31.792 --> 00:27:34.092
But that was basically the end of the relationship.

00:27:34.112 --> 00:27:35.412
He didn't then adopt the man.

00:27:35.432 --> 00:27:38.652
He didn't become his lifelong adopted brother.

00:27:38.872 --> 00:27:40.372
He took care of his needs and that was it.

00:27:40.732 --> 00:27:42.032
And that's not hostility.

00:27:42.532 --> 00:27:45.132
I think that's one thing is we look at these various facets.

00:27:46.692 --> 00:27:55.212
The world and the evil parts of the church want to say, if you don't use an unlimited form of every one of these facets, you're being evil and hostile.

00:27:55.692 --> 00:27:58.732
Well, in the third episode, we're talking about marriage.

00:27:59.092 --> 00:28:01.012
Obviously, that's wicked.

00:28:01.552 --> 00:28:04.592
If I want to be your friend, that's one thing.

00:28:04.612 --> 00:28:07.272
If we want to have a brotherly relationship, that's great.

00:28:07.832 --> 00:28:12.832
If I want to have this sort of relationship with your wife, that's a completely different matter.

00:28:13.132 --> 00:28:15.132
It becomes inherently wicked.

00:28:15.552 --> 00:28:16.392
There are lines.

00:28:16.712 --> 00:28:17.452
There are lines.

00:28:17.472 --> 00:28:18.152
There are duties.

00:28:18.512 --> 00:28:20.132
There are scopes of all these things.

00:28:20.152 --> 00:28:21.652
And so it's not the same.

00:28:22.512 --> 00:28:24.072
The marriage is one to one.

00:28:24.652 --> 00:28:27.692
The family unit is ordained and created by God.

00:28:28.052 --> 00:28:30.412
You can't make more children than God gives you.

00:28:30.892 --> 00:28:34.292
And the scope of your family, your immediate family, is bounded.

00:28:35.132 --> 00:28:38.172
You can adopt, and that's also bringing someone into your family.

00:28:38.192 --> 00:28:38.912
That's grafting.

00:28:39.332 --> 00:28:42.252
And it's a blessing that we have always had that.

00:28:42.812 --> 00:28:45.352
Jesus was adopted by Joseph functionally.

00:28:45.712 --> 00:28:47.412
He became his father legally.

00:28:47.432 --> 00:28:48.432
He was his father.

00:28:48.752 --> 00:28:50.072
He was his earthly father.

00:28:50.492 --> 00:28:51.672
And it was by adoption.

00:28:52.152 --> 00:28:56.592
And then we become adopted sons of God through baptism, through faith.

00:28:57.512 --> 00:29:06.632
When we look at things like agape and we look at the preference that's inherent to it, we have to just be clear about the fact that it's okay to have preference.

00:29:06.652 --> 00:29:19.252
I think that's one of the things that we hope to get across in the series is that there's an attack on the idea that you can prefer anyone or anything, which again is always fundamentally a preference, because they're never telling the truth when they say that sort of thing.

00:29:19.652 --> 00:29:27.452
When I say, well, I prefer my race, I prefer my community over some other random community somewhere else, they'll say that's hateful.

00:29:28.132 --> 00:29:37.012
But what they're actually saying is that I have a moral obligation to love strangers, to have agape and charity for those who are somewhere else.

00:29:37.132 --> 00:29:38.472
It's still stating a preference.

00:29:39.352 --> 00:29:44.512
All of these are inherently preferential, and that's okay, because we're not omnipotent.

00:29:44.632 --> 00:29:47.832
We can't possibly love in any degree everyone.

00:29:48.292 --> 00:29:49.552
We have to do it where we are.

00:29:50.052 --> 00:30:04.752
And so as we discuss the various aspects, just keep in mind, understanding the limitations and the scope and the giver and the receiver for all these types is important because people are coming along every day and saying, no, no, no, not like that.

00:30:05.052 --> 00:30:21.372
You have to love in this different way, in this different circumstance, and they end up inverting that which is ordained by God, and they end up causing you to do evil because of the opportunity cost of preferencing that which is far away or whatever perverted preference they're giving you.

00:30:21.392 --> 00:30:23.052
And it's always a perversion of preference.

00:30:23.412 --> 00:30:25.592
That's the flip side of all these things.

00:30:26.052 --> 00:30:43.892
When the world, when Satan perverts these types of love, it is always to take that which is ordered by God as a good preference and rather to prefer something that's awful, something that's disordered, something that can only do harm, even if it's doing good for someone who's far away.

00:30:44.392 --> 00:30:49.352
If you give all your money to someone 10,000 miles away, they're probably going to be better off for it, at least for a little while.

00:30:50.072 --> 00:30:53.192
But what's the opportunity cost that you've done here?

00:30:53.892 --> 00:30:56.252
We did the entire episode on inheritance.

00:30:56.272 --> 00:31:04.432
Part of that was about the delinquency of the older generations today, despising giving an inheritance to their children.

00:31:04.892 --> 00:31:10.452
That's an obligation that is inherent, and yet they're preferring strangers.

00:31:11.272 --> 00:31:18.452
So love and preference are bound up, and as limited creatures, we don't have unlimited love.

00:31:18.932 --> 00:31:21.612
We only have so much, it can only go so far.

00:31:21.952 --> 00:31:32.892
And so when we prefer to give it to others, sometimes it's a conscious choice, sometimes it's situationally dictated, and sometimes you just sort of luck into it.

00:31:33.312 --> 00:31:38.192
You meet someone, if it's someone of the opposite sex and you're attracted to him, that's one kind of love.

00:31:38.632 --> 00:31:42.452
If it's the same sex and you just really get along very well, it's a different kind of love.

00:31:42.472 --> 00:31:45.352
We call it friendship, brotherhood, things like that.

00:31:46.472 --> 00:31:49.492
Whichever one of those you have, it's still limited.

00:31:49.632 --> 00:31:51.652
You can only do it for a few people.

00:31:51.932 --> 00:32:00.472
Even if you get up to the Dunbar number of 150 we've talked about a number of times recently, that's really the maximum scope of any kind of meaningful relationship.

00:32:00.972 --> 00:32:09.592
And then within those relationships of about 150 people, you're going to have a winnowing of the degrees and types of love that are even possible.

00:32:09.952 --> 00:32:13.952
And when you get to the very closest and most intimate level, you have your family and you have your spouse.

00:32:14.612 --> 00:32:16.672
Those are all preferences, and they're all good.

00:32:16.972 --> 00:32:24.132
It's okay to prefer your own, because that's what God gave you, and it's okay to say, well, I have to do this duty first.

00:32:24.572 --> 00:32:25.732
This is what's in front of me.

00:32:25.752 --> 00:32:26.832
This is what God gave me.

00:32:27.192 --> 00:32:29.852
I'm going to prefer it, because that's the way it is.

00:32:30.192 --> 00:32:31.372
Pagans understand this.

00:32:31.612 --> 00:32:33.332
Pagans can live godly lives.

00:32:33.852 --> 00:32:38.572
It doesn't save them, but they intrinsically understand that this is how God ordered the world.

00:32:39.052 --> 00:32:51.292
And this modern notion of despising self and despising nearby and despising family for the sake of aliens is profoundly wicked in a way that is predicted as a sign of the end times.

00:32:51.532 --> 00:32:56.452
That's something we'll cover in detail next week in one portion of another facet of love.

00:32:57.132 --> 00:33:05.352
But just keep in mind that you have a permission slip from God to prefer certain people in certain situations.

00:33:05.712 --> 00:33:18.332
And when you have an outpouring of these facets of love, there's basically a guidebook in Creation and in Scripture that says this is a good, properly ordered version of it, or this is disordered.

00:33:18.752 --> 00:33:22.872
And so think about it, check your work, see if you're doing it right.

00:33:23.212 --> 00:33:25.672
And if you are, you should have a clean conscience.

00:33:25.952 --> 00:33:30.152
You should have a clean conscience about preferring that which God says for you to prefer.

00:33:31.972 --> 00:33:42.372
Many of the terms that we're going to use in this episode and in this series in order to describe certain things overlap each other.

00:33:42.752 --> 00:33:49.032
There are going to be terms that have a core sense and then sort of a gray area and emanation around them.

00:33:49.372 --> 00:33:56.092
And one of those is going to be preference, which has a range of meanings, of intensities in English.

00:33:56.692 --> 00:34:10.072
And so I'm going to use the term in a slightly different way from how Woe just used it, because I want to give you a sort of hierarchy to help structure some of this in your mind and many other things as well.

00:34:10.092 --> 00:34:11.912
This is a general hierarchy.

00:34:11.932 --> 00:34:15.492
It's not just for this episode or this series.

00:34:17.072 --> 00:34:20.912
And the hierarchy is duty, love and preference.

00:34:23.012 --> 00:34:27.512
And that is in order, because as I mentioned, as I said, it is a hierarchy.

00:34:28.312 --> 00:34:33.572
Duty is highest, love is second, mere preference, we could call it, is third.

00:34:34.332 --> 00:34:37.872
And so when you have a duty, that trumps everything else.

00:34:37.992 --> 00:34:43.932
When you have a specific duty, and duties of course all flow from God, that's the reason they trump everything else.

00:34:45.212 --> 00:34:47.792
So God has given you certain duties to your wife.

00:34:49.232 --> 00:34:54.132
You are to fulfill those duties, period, because they're from God and it's a duty.

00:34:54.412 --> 00:34:55.312
It trumps all else.

00:34:56.472 --> 00:35:00.592
Love is second to that, and so love is going to trump a mere preference.

00:35:01.072 --> 00:35:10.812
And so, for instance, the love that you have for family is going to trump the mere preference you have, which is a form of love for friends.

00:35:12.012 --> 00:35:14.252
So keep that general hierarchy in mind.

00:35:14.272 --> 00:35:20.652
It helps to keep some of this clear and order some of it as we go through this topic and other ones as well.

00:35:22.452 --> 00:35:49.252
But to emphasize something that Woe said, and to use another term from economics, you are limited with regard to not just how many people you can love, as Woe was saying with the Dunbar number, but also any instance of using your resources or even just your time, because many times loving someone is a function of time invested.

00:35:49.612 --> 00:35:52.532
We'll get more into that in the next two episodes.

00:35:54.052 --> 00:36:01.092
But there's a utility aspect to this, not in the economic sense necessarily strictly of utility.

00:36:01.112 --> 00:36:05.032
I'm not saying that there's a unit of love and you spend it in the most productive way.

00:36:05.852 --> 00:36:06.772
It's not like a dollar.

00:36:06.792 --> 00:36:08.332
I'm not talking about it as being fungible.

00:36:08.912 --> 00:36:21.692
But to some degree, there is, because there's that unit of time, and you can invest it in certain ways, or there's the unit of money in the case of charity, and you can invest that in certain ways.

00:36:23.392 --> 00:36:29.212
There is a hierarchy with regard to these things, and so you owe a higher duty to your family.

00:36:29.232 --> 00:36:32.812
That love trumps that you're going to have for a stranger.

00:36:33.912 --> 00:36:50.012
We'll get more into this in the next episode in this series, but just to emphasize this as an example, if you have a poor family member who needs aid, you are to help that family member before you help a stranger.

00:36:51.132 --> 00:37:10.892
The charity that you would give to a stranger has to take a back seat to the love of family, which trumps the alien, which trumps the stranger, because as we have mentioned many times before, there is a hierarchy when it comes to those you love, when it comes to your duties to others.

00:37:12.372 --> 00:37:15.452
It flows first of all to those who are closest.

00:37:16.592 --> 00:37:23.852
Now, as Woe was saying, today society would tell us that that is a wicked thing, that you can't preference your own over the alien.

00:37:26.032 --> 00:37:28.272
Step back and think about that for a minute.

00:37:29.872 --> 00:37:36.972
Those who are closest to you are closest to you because of the way that God has designed the world.

00:37:38.152 --> 00:37:52.112
It is not random that your children are closest to you after your spouse, and in fact in some ways closer to you than your spouse, because they are related to you by flesh and blood more directly.

00:37:52.492 --> 00:38:00.432
Your spouse should be a distant cousin because that's the way God has designed things in terms of fertility, which is a clear indicator of God's approval.

00:38:01.952 --> 00:38:09.472
But the reason that your children are closest to you is because that's how God designed the system.

00:38:10.112 --> 00:38:23.312
And so when those who believe that it's a wicked thing to preference your own, tell you that you cannot prefer your family or your extended family or your nation, what they're actually saying is God got it wrong.

00:38:24.132 --> 00:38:25.692
We're more moral than God.

00:38:25.972 --> 00:38:27.472
We'll be better than God.

00:38:28.912 --> 00:38:37.552
And ultimately, the goal, of course, because it's Satan behind it, and he knows exactly what he's doing, the goal is to make it impossible to love anyone.

00:38:39.212 --> 00:38:41.672
When you love everyone, you love no one.

00:38:43.292 --> 00:38:55.792
If you were to show the same sort of love that you have or should have for your spouse to every single person you meet, you don't love your spouse, and quite frankly, you're probably a pest.

00:38:55.812 --> 00:38:56.832
You should be put in prison.

00:38:57.472 --> 00:38:59.692
But fundamentally, you no longer love your spouse.

00:39:01.272 --> 00:39:10.452
Part of loving someone is showing that preference, is having a partiality for that person, a partialness to that person.

00:39:11.032 --> 00:39:15.172
Now, there are those, of course, who are going to say, well, doesn't scripture say that we can't be partial?

00:39:16.112 --> 00:39:19.952
We have gone over what that means in that context in scripture.

00:39:20.672 --> 00:39:29.592
There is a wicked partiality, which is inappropriate, and there is a proper partiality, which is not only appropriate, but is required.

00:39:29.612 --> 00:39:30.392
It is a duty.

00:39:30.832 --> 00:39:33.652
You are required to be partial to your family.

00:39:34.272 --> 00:39:37.272
We will get into that when we are discussing Storge.

00:39:38.172 --> 00:39:46.992
And it is one of the signs of those who are not Christian, who are worse than unbelievers, that they do not have this form of correct partiality.

00:39:48.972 --> 00:39:59.072
And so, you cannot say, well, I have set aside my money in order to provide charity for these people who are 5,000 miles away.

00:39:59.092 --> 00:40:06.632
So, I can't possibly aid my poor family members or those who are in my own community because I'm being charitable.

00:40:06.632 --> 00:40:07.512
I'm doing exact...

00:40:07.532 --> 00:40:09.692
No, you're not doing what you're supposed to do.

00:40:11.072 --> 00:40:21.352
Because you are pursuing something that is lower down the priority list with regard to your moral duties, and then saying, look at how holy I am.

00:40:23.332 --> 00:40:26.552
That alone should worry you if you are engaged in that.

00:40:27.632 --> 00:40:32.312
Also, the kind of people who engage in it, if you look at them, that should worry you as well if you want to be in that camp.

00:40:32.912 --> 00:40:33.772
Who's in that camp?

00:40:33.792 --> 00:40:35.232
Who is the leader of that camp?

00:40:35.712 --> 00:40:39.992
It's the wicked Pharisee who prays, thank you, God, that I am not like other men.

00:40:40.892 --> 00:40:46.592
That's what you're doing when you are engaged in that sort of telescopic philanthropy, one could call it.

00:40:47.152 --> 00:40:57.612
When you're engaged in supposed charity for those who are thousands of miles away at the expense of those who are close to you, that's the key aspect of this.

00:40:59.012 --> 00:41:14.252
If we lived in a country that was so wealthy, so perfectly ordered and run, that we don't have any poor, which is very unlikely in this life, as Christ says, the poor will always be with you.

00:41:14.832 --> 00:41:20.312
But let's say we manage to get rid of that kind of poverty, the worst sorts of poverty.

00:41:20.812 --> 00:41:22.192
We solve these problems.

00:41:23.092 --> 00:41:24.612
In that case, fine.

00:41:25.712 --> 00:41:30.732
Direct your charity to those who are more distant, because you have already helped those who are closer.

00:41:31.852 --> 00:41:37.412
That is a requirement from God, because again, God has created these hierarchies.

00:41:38.032 --> 00:41:42.512
Those who are closer to you are not closer to you by random chance.

00:41:42.912 --> 00:41:45.052
They are closer to you by design.

00:41:45.372 --> 00:41:48.332
God has given you a higher duty to them.

00:41:49.252 --> 00:42:03.532
And so if you engage in supposed charity with those who are farther away, you are not engaging in charity, because that is disordered to the point that it rises to being a sin.

00:42:04.532 --> 00:42:19.252
It is possible to engage in something that the world calls love, and one would think this is obvious and particularly when we get to Eros later on, but it is possible to engage in something the world calls love, and have it actually be a sin.

00:42:19.272 --> 00:42:25.272
It's one of the reasons that we are going over these two topics in this episode.

00:42:25.712 --> 00:42:29.332
Partly they lay the groundwork, and partly they serve as a contrast.

00:42:30.432 --> 00:42:52.592
Because if you have someone to whom this agape love is owed, and instead you are engaging in supposed charity, you are sinning at both ends, because you are not fulfilling your duty to the first person, and you are wrongfully pursuing a wicked, manufactured duty, one that does not exist, to the second person.

00:42:55.212 --> 00:43:07.952
There are things that are supposedly good, that if they were in a vacuum would be good, that in context, when you run a fact-specific analysis, may very well be wicked.

00:43:08.472 --> 00:43:12.672
And so charity, all else being equal, is good, period.

00:43:13.932 --> 00:43:27.392
But charity that comes at the expense of those to whom a higher duty is owed is no longer charity, because you have fundamentally violated that third step of the analysis, as it were.

00:43:27.512 --> 00:43:34.092
They're not really necessarily steps, but that third aspect of the analysis, the nature and scope of the thing.

00:43:34.872 --> 00:43:45.492
And of course, you have directed it to the wrong person, but you've directed it to the wrong person because you didn't realize or you didn't care that you have a higher duty to others.

00:43:48.192 --> 00:43:52.612
This is not a buffet, all of these terms.

00:43:52.632 --> 00:43:59.132
You don't look at a table with all of the different kinds of love and just pick whichever one you want and pursue that, and that seems good.

00:43:59.152 --> 00:43:59.852
I'll do that today.

00:44:00.732 --> 00:44:01.472
There are duties.

00:44:01.732 --> 00:44:02.732
There's a hierarchy.

00:44:03.212 --> 00:44:10.152
There are those to whom these things are owed, just as we pay taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed.

00:44:10.972 --> 00:44:13.092
We also owe love.

00:44:13.132 --> 00:44:20.672
We have a duty to pursue the good of certain people that may very well even be at the expense of others.

00:44:22.152 --> 00:44:40.752
Because if you have a poor family member and you have X amount of money left over or X amount of money that you can set aside to help someone, if you help that family member as you should, that is at the expense under a certain conception of others to whom you could have given charity.

00:44:41.452 --> 00:44:47.152
The reason you don't give that particular charity is because you have the higher duty to the family member.

00:44:48.092 --> 00:45:00.812
The world wants to tell you you don't have a higher or a lesser duty, or even in some cases, most perversely, the world will invert it, as Woe was saying, and will tell you you have the highest duty to the most distant person.

00:45:02.372 --> 00:45:03.592
That is satanic.

00:45:04.332 --> 00:45:08.232
That is incredibly wicked, and we will go over this at greater length in the next episode.

00:45:08.672 --> 00:45:19.372
But to invert the one to whom love is owed the most, and give instead that love to the one to whom it is owed the least, is satanic.

00:45:19.732 --> 00:45:23.272
That is Satan attempting to destroy love.

00:45:25.572 --> 00:45:29.352
If you treat everyone the same, then you have no friends.

00:45:30.652 --> 00:45:33.372
If you treat everyone the same, then you have no family.

00:45:34.112 --> 00:45:38.372
As Wo was saying, part of having a friend is showing a preference.

00:45:40.292 --> 00:45:51.112
If A is your friend, and B is a stranger, and both of them ask you to go out to dinner, you're going to say yes to your friend and tell B another time.

00:45:52.312 --> 00:46:02.112
Because that's part of what it means for A to be your friend, is to show that preference toward him, and yes, at the expense of that other.

00:46:03.652 --> 00:46:07.212
As Wo was saying, we do not have infinite capacity.

00:46:07.592 --> 00:46:08.632
We are not God.

00:46:08.932 --> 00:46:12.772
We cannot be perfect with regard to these things.

00:46:13.772 --> 00:46:20.032
Now, in this case, we're saying perfect in an absolute sense, not perfect in a relative creaturely sense.

00:46:20.472 --> 00:46:27.052
Because in the creaturely sense, to act perfectly is to act in accord with the hierarchy God has created.

00:46:27.092 --> 00:46:31.972
And so, preferencing A over B is in a creaturely sense perfect.

00:46:32.932 --> 00:46:38.352
It is not perfect in an absolute sense, because you cannot be two places at the same time.

00:46:39.332 --> 00:46:40.192
God can do that.

00:46:40.992 --> 00:46:44.692
God can perfectly love each and every thing he has created.

00:46:46.192 --> 00:46:48.932
You cannot do that, because you are limited.

00:46:48.992 --> 00:46:50.012
You are a creature.

00:46:50.552 --> 00:46:51.712
You have a limited amount of time.

00:46:52.452 --> 00:46:54.132
You have a limited amount of resources.

00:46:54.692 --> 00:46:57.752
You have a limited number of relationships that you can maintain.

00:46:59.832 --> 00:47:05.312
That is a very important point here, and that is why we have mentioned it so many times.

00:47:06.632 --> 00:47:19.252
If you are attempting to pursue the same kind of relationship with every single person you meet, or God forbid, every single person in the world, you will ultimately have a relationship with no one.

00:47:20.852 --> 00:47:22.772
That will make you inhuman.

00:47:23.552 --> 00:47:25.032
That is a wicked pursuit.

00:47:26.552 --> 00:47:35.432
You have to invest the greater amount of time, the greater amount of resources, in those closer to you, because God has put them there.

00:47:36.252 --> 00:47:39.492
And God has required of you that you do that.

00:47:39.832 --> 00:47:43.332
That is obvious not just from Scripture, but also from nature.

00:47:44.592 --> 00:47:58.552
This is one of those cases where the noble pagan is much more Christian than the modern so-called Christian who inverts that and pursues the good of the alien over family or over nation.

00:48:00.432 --> 00:48:02.872
There are very real demands here.

00:48:02.892 --> 00:48:04.512
There is a very real hierarchy.

00:48:04.892 --> 00:48:09.572
And you do not just get to pick and choose whichever one you want, because it is a hierarchy.

00:48:10.452 --> 00:48:22.452
You are to fulfill and you are to pursue those things that are higher, that have a greater demand, that carry a greater moral weight above and before those that are lower down the list.

00:48:24.212 --> 00:48:31.492
The world doesn't want you to do that because the world, the flesh and the devil seek to subvert and destroy.

00:48:33.432 --> 00:48:37.372
Because if you love everyone equally, you no longer love your family.

00:48:37.892 --> 00:48:42.972
And if you can destroy the family, you are destroying that fundamental unit of everything.

00:48:44.212 --> 00:48:46.592
That is the beginning of society.

00:48:46.612 --> 00:48:48.372
It is the beginning of civilization.

00:48:48.712 --> 00:48:55.492
It is of fundamental importance, and we will go over that in the next episode, which will cover more in depth familial love.

00:48:57.172 --> 00:49:02.112
But if that can be subverted, then Satan is one because he can subvert everything.

00:49:03.132 --> 00:49:16.932
And if you don't realize that these are concentric circles, that they emanate outward from the family unit, if you say, well, I don't have to preference my nation because my nation isn't my family, your nation is your family.

00:49:18.492 --> 00:49:23.252
If you manage to subvert any point of this, you will eventually subvert the totality.

00:49:23.972 --> 00:49:35.912
And so when Satan says, no, you have to love the stranger over your fellow citizen, over the fellow member of your nation, what he's telling you is that he wants to subvert your family, and he will eventually get there.

00:49:37.312 --> 00:49:49.072
And today we have many who think that they do not owe a greater duty to those who are of the same blood than those who are of alien blood, because we've been told that's wicked, we've been told that's evil.

00:49:49.892 --> 00:49:56.992
And yet scripture and nature both testify that you owe a higher duty to those who are closer to you.

00:49:58.232 --> 00:50:20.192
And so if you think that you are pursuing charity by aiding those who are entirely distant from you, entirely unknown, earlier I said that charity has sort of an arm's length aspect to it, that agape does not, because agape has that very real, very tangible relationship that is a necessary part of it.

00:50:21.912 --> 00:50:24.292
But charity does have a relationship as well.

00:50:25.152 --> 00:50:28.452
It is not as close, but it's not no relationship.

00:50:29.092 --> 00:50:39.332
You have no relationship with someone who is 5000 miles away, a person you will never meet, a person you do not know, a person with whom you have no connection whatsoever.

00:50:40.232 --> 00:50:49.592
It is not charity to send your money to that person who may very well not exist in many cases, because we aren't even really touching on the aspects of corruption in this.

00:50:50.772 --> 00:50:58.672
But if you are sending your money to that person, in this day and age, most certainly, you are doing it at the expense of those who are closer.

00:50:59.292 --> 00:51:00.732
And what you're doing is not charity.

00:51:01.252 --> 00:51:03.412
It is disordered to the point of being sin.

00:51:04.892 --> 00:51:13.512
And so philanthropy in the US context that is aiding those in Africa or Israel, so called, that's not charity.

00:51:14.072 --> 00:51:15.032
That's wickedness.

00:51:15.272 --> 00:51:16.012
That is sin.

00:51:16.772 --> 00:51:18.212
You should not be doing that.

00:51:19.172 --> 00:51:25.892
We went over in a previous episode how not Christian, even Christians in the United States are.

00:51:27.972 --> 00:51:36.392
And yet the world tells you to expend your effort and your resources in helping those supposedly who are thousands of miles away.

00:51:36.412 --> 00:51:38.032
Well, what are you actually doing?

00:51:39.012 --> 00:51:40.072
You're hating your neighbor.

00:51:41.132 --> 00:51:43.532
And that is the fundamental point here.

00:51:45.012 --> 00:51:55.112
If you are pursuing a love that harms those who are closer to you, what you are actually doing is hating those who are closer to you.

00:51:55.752 --> 00:52:00.012
You are exhibiting hatred, not the love that you think you are pursuing.

00:52:01.492 --> 00:52:14.412
The example of the hierarchy that Corey gave earlier is also a really good example of how the same word can be used in different contexts to mean either subtly or substantially different things.

00:52:15.052 --> 00:52:18.112
He mentioned duty, then love, then preference.

00:52:18.912 --> 00:52:20.392
And that is correct.

00:52:20.872 --> 00:52:31.832
And to think of preference in terms of I prefer chocolate to broccoli, yeah, absolutely, that sort of preference, even if it's in some flavor of love, is at the bottom.

00:52:32.692 --> 00:52:43.792
When I was speaking of agape, in the sense of to prefer, it was actually much closer to the duty of you have a duty to prefer your children over someone else's children.

00:52:44.372 --> 00:52:47.612
It's preference not in the, oh, it's what I feel like.

00:52:48.092 --> 00:52:50.072
It's preference in that you have a duty to God.

00:52:50.092 --> 00:52:59.432
You don't have an option, and it's perverted and it's wicked for someone who has a duty to prefer their own to instead be indifferent or to despise them.

00:53:00.152 --> 00:53:05.952
So, just to clarify, that's exclusively the sense of preference that I meant in that context.

00:53:07.432 --> 00:53:27.252
An interesting thing about agape that actually appears in the Song of Solomon, which is an interesting book that we'll probably talk about a little bit in the third episode where we discuss marriage, because that book is typological of marriage, of the nature of Christ's relationship to his bride, the Church.

00:53:27.672 --> 00:53:33.472
And there's a lot that's going on there in that particular type of love that humans don't fully understand.

00:53:33.872 --> 00:53:41.832
And it's kind of a dangerous one, and that's another part of the reason we're kind of sequestering that, because it's very easy to get very weird with that subject very quickly.

00:53:42.292 --> 00:53:56.052
And a lot of times that's a hallmark of someone that's doing completely screwy, wicked anti-theology, is they will take something and suddenly turn it into this weird cult that's doing strange non-marriage stuff.

00:53:56.432 --> 00:53:57.752
We'll get into more details now.

00:53:59.052 --> 00:54:12.092
And yet what we find in the Septuagint is that the word agape is used multiple times in the Song of Solomon to describe that relationship that the man and his beloved have.

00:54:12.952 --> 00:54:53.912
Another thing I want to point out, especially for those of you who are still on the King James train, one thing to be aware of and one thing that's important when we're discussing these subjects, we're talking about specific words and definitions and translations, you should be aware that, something we've said before, if you want good advice on what Bible to get or what translation or what type of Bible, the second listener mail episode we did, the first hour we devoted that, and we explained why the King James was a beautiful time capsule of the beginnings of the modern English language, really kind of an archaic version even then, but it is archaic.

00:54:54.472 --> 00:55:08.752
And I highlight it here because when you look at numerous places in the New Testament, the King James will translate agape as charity, which if they were trying to make a particular point, might be okay.

00:55:09.092 --> 00:55:16.132
And in fact, charity 400 years ago did actually mean something much closer to agape than it does today.

00:55:16.592 --> 00:55:23.672
So even the Webster 1828 dictionary definition of charity isn't the one that we're using today.

00:55:23.792 --> 00:55:24.492
And that's fine.

00:55:24.792 --> 00:55:29.532
I'm acknowledging it because the scope and the nature of words change.

00:55:29.732 --> 00:55:30.712
Sometimes that's okay.

00:55:30.732 --> 00:55:31.932
Sometimes it's not subversion.

00:55:32.272 --> 00:55:36.192
It's just that we're using different words now that haven't lost the sense.

00:55:36.672 --> 00:55:48.552
But what it means is that when you look at the King James, you're going to find that in some places, almost at random, they have used agape as charity when it doesn't mean the same thing as we're talking about today.

00:55:48.852 --> 00:55:57.052
So if you were to look at your King James Bible, you would find passages in, I think, Corinthians and Timothy, both of them, using the term charity.

00:55:57.072 --> 00:55:59.272
It doesn't mean in the sense that we're meaning today.

00:55:59.472 --> 00:56:04.692
But if you were to look at the Greek that they were using, they actually translated agape that way.

00:56:04.712 --> 00:56:07.732
Like I said, it would be one thing if they were consistent, but they weren't.

00:56:08.112 --> 00:56:11.832
Interestingly, caritas, as Corey said, is Latin.

00:56:12.272 --> 00:56:22.312
I looked it up earlier, and apparently the King James translators didn't even follow the Vulgate, which was Latin, to make those decisions by using charity.

00:56:22.332 --> 00:56:23.612
So just kind of a random.

00:56:24.012 --> 00:56:28.932
So it's just another case where it's fine to read whatever Bible you have, although it shouldn't be King James.

00:56:29.372 --> 00:56:33.992
Just know that when you're drilling down on specific words, translation choices matter.

00:56:34.652 --> 00:56:36.652
The example I gave a minute ago about preference.

00:56:37.052 --> 00:56:38.952
Preference can mean two very different things.

00:56:39.292 --> 00:56:40.452
I prefer chocolate.

00:56:41.032 --> 00:56:43.372
I prefer my parents.

00:56:44.332 --> 00:56:45.652
Totally different senses.

00:56:46.332 --> 00:56:48.572
I don't get to not prefer my parents.

00:56:48.932 --> 00:56:51.192
I can prefer whatever food I want.

00:56:51.672 --> 00:56:54.172
So prefer means fundamentally different things.

00:56:54.432 --> 00:57:00.232
Even though it's exactly the same word, same context, but the object is different, so the nature changes.

00:57:01.052 --> 00:57:05.152
So just don't pigeonhole with whatever your translation of choice is.

00:57:05.512 --> 00:57:07.052
It's fine to use one most of the time.

00:57:07.292 --> 00:57:17.092
Just be aware that, you know, love in these episodes, slavery in the episode we did on that, we mentioned there are three different words that are used in the Bible.

00:57:17.112 --> 00:57:18.732
You have bond servant, slave.

00:57:19.092 --> 00:57:21.132
They're different contexts and connotations.

00:57:21.412 --> 00:57:25.192
Sometimes they're communicating something clearly, and sometimes it just gets confusing.

00:57:25.592 --> 00:57:41.712
So if you're doing your own Bible study and you're drilling down, and you get to one of these words and you're curious, go back and look at the original Greek to see what it said, because that will give you a sense of what the translators were shading in as they made their choices.

00:57:42.052 --> 00:57:44.352
I'm not saying the King James is wrong when it says charity.

00:57:44.512 --> 00:57:50.412
It's a little inconsistent, which is frustrating, but that's absolutely what the word meant when they translated it.

00:57:50.692 --> 00:57:52.032
So I'm not saying it's wrong.

00:57:52.332 --> 00:57:55.592
I'm just highlighting it's different than the sense in which we are using it.

00:57:56.232 --> 00:58:02.812
The sense of charity that we're talking about is, for example, the challenge coins, which, by the way, we don't have any update at.

00:58:03.332 --> 00:58:04.612
They're being manufactured.

00:58:05.072 --> 00:58:06.572
That is effectively charity.

00:58:06.592 --> 00:58:07.532
It's charity with a kicker.

00:58:07.892 --> 00:58:12.152
You're supporting us by buying something, by giving us effectively a donation.

00:58:12.172 --> 00:58:15.192
We give you a tchotchke back, a neat thing back.

00:58:15.532 --> 00:58:16.652
Forgive me for the Yiddish.

00:58:17.112 --> 00:58:19.512
I'm trying to get that crap out of my language.

00:58:20.912 --> 00:58:21.592
That's charity.

00:58:21.812 --> 00:58:23.292
You have no obligation.

00:58:23.872 --> 00:58:26.172
No one has any obligation to give us anything.

00:58:26.612 --> 00:58:34.512
And we'll be the first to tell you, don't give us anything if it means that your kids aren't getting something, your family's not getting something.

00:58:35.172 --> 00:58:41.252
But at the same time, we are much closer than someone who's a complete stranger, just because you listen to our voices for hours a week.

00:58:41.412 --> 00:58:43.072
Which, no obligation.

00:58:43.092 --> 00:58:45.392
There's not in the remotest sense saying that.

00:58:45.972 --> 00:58:52.072
Just that the connection of charity doesn't have to be absolutely immediate.

00:58:52.672 --> 00:58:54.752
It just can't be completely random.

00:58:55.472 --> 00:58:56.752
And so there's a hierarchy.

00:58:56.772 --> 00:59:00.332
You have to choose to whom am I going to give my limited resources.

00:59:01.232 --> 00:59:02.812
Is it going to be used for something good?

00:59:02.832 --> 00:59:08.332
As Corey gave the example again, you don't give a brother who's a drug addict money.

00:59:08.772 --> 00:59:10.212
You know it might kill him.

00:59:10.512 --> 00:59:11.312
That's not love.

00:59:12.512 --> 00:59:18.912
The fact that the thing could be used for good goes out the window when you know there's a very high likelihood it's going to be used for evil.

00:59:19.932 --> 00:59:27.832
So the closest object of your charity may not be the right one because as Corey said, it may not be charity at all, even if it looks and smells like it.

00:59:28.132 --> 00:59:32.852
The fact that we have charitable foundations and all these other things, most of them are just complete griffs.

00:59:33.232 --> 00:59:37.932
When you drill down into the way their finances work, it's just, it's rubbish.

00:59:37.952 --> 00:59:48.412
You know, 60% of the funding goes to pay salaries for people who spend all their time flying around telling people how generous they are to people you'll never see or meet.

00:59:48.992 --> 00:59:51.032
It's a racket in a lot of cases.

00:59:51.232 --> 00:59:58.932
Some of them do good work, but even then, the question becomes where is the good work being done versus where it could be done?

00:59:59.432 --> 01:00:08.432
This happened last year, I think it was last year, I think it was 2023, when that train exploded in Ohio and that entire town was effectively poisoned.

01:00:09.052 --> 01:00:13.072
And the LCMS refused any charity to those people.

01:00:13.672 --> 01:00:18.052
They weren't refusing charity to people thousands of miles away in South America and Africa.

01:00:18.512 --> 01:00:25.852
But when people reached out and said, hey, all these people in Ohio need fresh water, they need bottled water, can we help them?

01:00:26.392 --> 01:00:30.452
The response from our church was, we don't have anybody on the ground there, nothing we can do.

01:00:31.092 --> 01:00:33.352
That is despising neighbor and brother.

01:00:33.872 --> 01:00:37.612
That is a demonstration that there is no charity going on at all.

01:00:37.932 --> 01:00:39.952
There is only theft and grift.

01:00:40.432 --> 01:00:47.972
Because they're taking people's money, and what they're doing is they're shipping it as far away as they can get it, but they won't help their own brothers in need.

01:00:49.332 --> 01:00:49.672

01:00:50.292 --> 01:00:52.892
Because it violates Satan's rules.

01:00:53.292 --> 01:00:57.092
We don't help those whom we have an obligation to prefer.

01:00:57.632 --> 01:01:02.272
You should prefer someone who lives in Ohio over someone who lives in Peru.

01:01:02.892 --> 01:01:03.392
You should.

01:01:03.772 --> 01:01:08.612
As an American, you have a moral obligation to prefer one over the other.

01:01:09.152 --> 01:01:10.772
Is that completely exclusive?

01:01:10.792 --> 01:01:10.952

01:01:11.412 --> 01:01:15.032
You may have so much that it's possible for you to do whatever.

01:01:15.052 --> 01:01:16.432
As Corey said, it's a matter of wisdom.

01:01:16.752 --> 01:01:20.552
It's not that there's a rule book that says, here's where the bright line is.

01:01:21.032 --> 01:01:24.172
But the simple fact is that people have scarce resources.

01:01:24.692 --> 01:01:27.772
You shouldn't donate to a podcast before you donate to your church.

01:01:28.272 --> 01:01:33.952
You shouldn't donate to foreigners before everyone in your country is Christian.

01:01:34.612 --> 01:01:43.832
Somebody mentioned on Telegram a couple days ago that a lot of the Christian missions go to Uganda and mentioned that it's 84% Christian.

01:01:44.132 --> 01:01:44.712
Like, huh.

01:01:45.392 --> 01:01:58.552
And I had previously looked up the stats in Ohio because I mentioned that there are scumbag false pastors in the LCMS who brag about the so-called missionary work that they're doing to Ethiopians in Columbus, Ohio.

01:01:59.412 --> 01:02:01.772
Ethiopia is more Christian than Ohio.

01:02:02.112 --> 01:02:03.672
Uganda is more Christian than Ohio.

01:02:04.772 --> 01:02:17.852
So if you want to give money for missions to people you want to share the gospel, not only is it a violation of the tenets of charity to send it overseas, it's also a violation of the gospel.

01:02:18.212 --> 01:02:24.912
Because our neighbors, as we said in the episode that we recently did on the state of the churches, even the people inside the churches need to hear the gospel.

01:02:25.392 --> 01:02:28.812
Even the people inside the churches, for the most part, are not Christian.

01:02:29.232 --> 01:02:30.752
You want to talk about a mission field.

01:02:31.032 --> 01:02:36.892
How about all these people who say they're Christian, who say that they believe at least some of the Bible, but they don't know what's in there?

01:02:37.192 --> 01:02:38.472
How about we start with them?

01:02:38.492 --> 01:02:40.292
No one's talking about that.

01:02:41.112 --> 01:02:48.852
And yet you want to go someplace where everybody's already Christian far more than your own lands, and spend the money there, and say you're doing good works?

01:02:49.452 --> 01:02:50.752
That's stating a preference.

01:02:50.992 --> 01:02:52.492
It's stating a wicked preference.

01:02:52.752 --> 01:03:01.392
It's preferring the alien, and it's preferring the grift machine over something that would actually serve neighbor and community and family.

01:03:02.312 --> 01:03:04.252
We're obligated to have a preference.

01:03:04.532 --> 01:03:06.032
It's a duty sense.

01:03:06.652 --> 01:03:08.552
It's not the chocolate and broccoli sense.

01:03:10.612 --> 01:03:24.112
Another relatively recent example of that wicked inversion of a lack of charity for neighbor in pursuit of supposed charity for aliens comes from Doug Wilson.

01:03:24.132 --> 01:03:39.592
We mentioned him in a previous episode for related reasons, but he said that he would feel a greater connection, have more investment in an attack on Israel, so called, than he would on Vermont.

01:03:41.832 --> 01:03:43.252
I've never been to Vermont.

01:03:43.852 --> 01:03:45.512
I've not visited Vermont.

01:03:46.072 --> 01:03:48.532
I don't currently have any plans to go to Vermont.

01:03:49.692 --> 01:03:59.312
And yet an attack on Vermont would be an attack on me in a way that an attack on virtually any other country would not be.

01:04:00.492 --> 01:04:02.712
Because again, the distance matters.

01:04:03.332 --> 01:04:10.332
And so if someone attacks Uganda, that's not the same as attacking Kentucky, the state right next door.

01:04:11.692 --> 01:04:14.472
Because we owe that higher duty to neighbor.

01:04:14.992 --> 01:04:29.172
And when someone says that he owes a higher duty, he has a greater preference for the distant alien, you should believe him, and you should believe the fullness of what he's saying, because he's saying he is not Christian.

01:04:31.212 --> 01:04:42.112
Because Christians are supposed to have rightly ordered loves, and loving the far distant alien at the expense of neighbor is not love.

01:04:42.932 --> 01:04:45.272
It is again hatred, it is sinful.

01:04:47.372 --> 01:04:52.672
And we see that in so many of our church and other organizations these days.

01:04:53.532 --> 01:05:02.092
They supposedly pursue charity, and it's all going out of the country to the distant, virtually unknown alien.

01:05:03.612 --> 01:05:12.192
And they do that at the expense of neighbor, even when there is immediate and ample opportunity to aid neighbor.

01:05:13.512 --> 01:05:19.032
And aiding neighbor is not just a matter of preaching the gospel to your neighbor.

01:05:20.412 --> 01:05:22.352
Of course, that's something that we should do.

01:05:23.352 --> 01:05:28.072
But scripture also speaks of providing material aid to your neighbor.

01:05:28.372 --> 01:05:31.092
This comes up many times in scripture.

01:05:32.692 --> 01:05:43.772
God cares deeply for the poor, and we should be, as a church, as individual Christians, as Christian organizations, we should be aiding the poor in our communities.

01:05:44.772 --> 01:05:47.792
We shouldn't just be preaching to them.

01:05:48.312 --> 01:05:49.332
That may be part of it.

01:05:49.732 --> 01:05:50.572
That's important.

01:05:51.932 --> 01:05:56.452
But if you are preaching the gospel to someone who is starving, you're doing something wicked.

01:05:56.992 --> 01:05:58.052
Feed him first.

01:05:59.592 --> 01:06:06.792
You have to meet some of the material needs of your poor neighbor before you're going to get anywhere preaching the gospel.

01:06:07.112 --> 01:06:11.212
In fact, if you preach the gospel first, you are going to undermine the Word of God.

01:06:13.252 --> 01:06:17.972
You are going to harm your witness if you are not aiding that man first.

01:06:19.212 --> 01:06:24.552
That's just the reality of being a creature, of having these physical needs.

01:06:24.872 --> 01:06:29.052
If a man is freezing to death, he doesn't want to discuss philosophy.

01:06:29.872 --> 01:06:30.732
He needs a coat.

01:06:31.512 --> 01:06:32.552
Clothe him first.

01:06:34.952 --> 01:06:37.952
And we do see that many places in Scripture.

01:06:37.972 --> 01:06:40.612
Of course, there are the verses that deal with the poor.

01:06:41.192 --> 01:06:43.492
Those are all throughout Scripture.

01:06:43.972 --> 01:06:47.732
And these just directly address the issue of charity.

01:06:47.752 --> 01:06:51.052
And so, some of the Psalms may come to mind.

01:06:51.072 --> 01:06:54.632
Psalm 41, Blessed is the one who considers the poor.

01:06:54.832 --> 01:06:56.932
In the day of trouble, the Lord delivers him.

01:06:57.392 --> 01:06:59.192
The Lord protects him and keeps him.

01:07:11.012 --> 01:07:11.852
Or from Proverbs.

01:07:27.072 --> 01:07:38.492
I want to address a specific instance in scripture that will undoubtedly come up, because there will be those who look for a way to subvert the actual teaching of scripture.

01:07:39.952 --> 01:07:46.932
When the collection for the poor of Jerusalem is taken up from various churches, it is important to remember the context.

01:07:47.752 --> 01:08:05.552
Not only the specific context of the fact that these are churches planted by the apostle who is going back to them, or in some cases, perhaps, planted by another apostle, and then Paul is coming to make the collection, or whichever apostle is doing it in a given case.

01:08:06.672 --> 01:08:16.272
But these are churches that were planted by the apostles, sending back money via the apostles in order to aid another church.

01:08:16.852 --> 01:08:21.492
And not only that, but geographically speaking, these churches are nearby.

01:08:22.052 --> 01:08:26.312
This is nothing like an American church sending money to Africa.

01:08:27.752 --> 01:08:29.592
That is thousands of miles away.

01:08:30.072 --> 01:08:37.592
Here we're dealing with hundreds of miles, and in some cases, it may very well be the next large city over, effectively.

01:08:38.652 --> 01:08:40.732
This is also right along trade routes.

01:08:41.812 --> 01:08:51.792
We were discussing before we started recording, Paul was not chartering his ship in order to visit these churches and then take back aid to Jerusalem.

01:08:53.452 --> 01:08:58.432
He just hopped on the ship in port that was available and going in that direction.

01:08:59.932 --> 01:09:08.892
Because this was part of the Roman Empire, all of these cities were trading, they were related, they had connections with one another, there were pre-existing relationships.

01:09:09.612 --> 01:09:13.392
This is not at all like what we see today with international charities.

01:09:15.192 --> 01:09:25.372
The advent of modern technology and particularly modern banking, which is another topic for another time, but it makes it seem like everyone is next door.

01:09:26.372 --> 01:09:27.592
And that's just not the case.

01:09:27.612 --> 01:09:35.532
Just because I could send $5 to someone in Uganda with a couple of clicks or taps on my phone doesn't make him my neighbor.

01:09:37.472 --> 01:09:44.332
Because as we went over in previous episodes, neighbor fundamentally means the person who is nearby.

01:09:45.832 --> 01:09:50.212
Charity should flow first to the neighbor that is part of this.

01:09:50.232 --> 01:09:53.492
So it is the poor in your own community you should help.

01:09:55.012 --> 01:10:12.432
Not some far distant supposed poor person via some faceless international charity that takes in untold sums of money and is basically being run more as a business to enrich the board and others than as a charity.

01:10:13.712 --> 01:10:14.572
That may be easy.

01:10:14.892 --> 01:10:16.032
That may be very easy.

01:10:16.052 --> 01:10:17.732
Writing a check takes very little effort.

01:10:19.452 --> 01:10:28.032
Now again, as mentioned in a previous episode, it may very well have taken a great deal of effort to make the money that is represented by and transferred by that check.

01:10:29.592 --> 01:10:33.232
But charity needs to be something that is more involved.

01:10:33.412 --> 01:10:40.372
There has to be not the same sort of relationship, again, as with agape, but something.

01:10:42.552 --> 01:10:49.872
If you give money to someone who is in your community, there is a relationship to a certain degree because it is a fellow member of your community.

01:10:50.532 --> 01:11:01.712
Even if the person is just a fellow member of your nation, there is still that arm's length relationship because you are of the same blood, you are part of the same nation.

01:11:02.332 --> 01:11:06.112
And again, charity should flow to those closest to you first.

01:11:06.832 --> 01:11:12.432
It can flow to the far distant alien once things have been put in order in your own house.

01:11:14.132 --> 01:11:18.252
In this case, to mean the expansive version of your own house, your nation.

01:11:19.692 --> 01:11:28.812
But to look at scripture a little bit more with regard to some of the contours of charity, we see an aspect of reciprocity.

01:11:29.472 --> 01:11:34.432
Because charity is not a matter of impoverishing yourself or your family, your nation.

01:11:35.112 --> 01:11:39.112
It's not a matter of doing these things at the expense of your own to aid the other.

01:11:40.072 --> 01:11:55.892
And so from 2 Corinthians, for I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness, your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.

01:11:56.492 --> 01:12:02.552
As it is written, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.

01:12:03.872 --> 01:12:07.572
And so as you can see, there is this aspect of reciprocity.

01:12:07.892 --> 01:12:22.932
There's an expectation that those who have abundant resources will use them to aid the poor, and that if later fortunes happen to shift, if they invert, the former poor, now wealthy, will help the former wealthy, now poor.

01:12:25.112 --> 01:12:26.632
That is part of this.

01:12:26.832 --> 01:12:29.552
God gives out resources unequally.

01:12:30.012 --> 01:12:34.312
If he has given you a great deal of resources, then you aid the poor.

01:12:34.892 --> 01:12:37.912
He has given you the ability to engage in charity.

01:12:38.732 --> 01:12:48.132
If you do not have any money, if you have zero left over at the end of the month, God has not given you the resources to give charitably.

01:12:49.172 --> 01:12:57.932
Now again, you may be able to give time or something like that, but God hasn't given you money in order to engage in charity.

01:12:58.692 --> 01:13:07.652
If God has given you great wealth, that is to aid your neighbor, that is to help others, that is the reason he has entrusted those resources to your care.

01:13:10.052 --> 01:13:17.832
This does tie in to the previous episode that we did on tithing, because tithing fundamentally is linked to charity.

01:13:18.192 --> 01:13:22.272
In fact, tithing and charity many times are almost synonymous.

01:13:22.292 --> 01:13:30.572
Yes, there is also the part of the tithe that goes to the pastor as his due, because you are not to muzzle the ox as it treads out the grain.

01:13:30.592 --> 01:13:36.832
You are to aid the one who makes his living from the gospel, to indeed make his living from the gospel.

01:13:38.732 --> 01:13:46.552
But from 1 Corinthians, now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.

01:13:46.972 --> 01:13:55.352
On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

01:13:55.872 --> 01:14:00.972
And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem.

01:14:01.532 --> 01:14:05.112
If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

01:14:07.452 --> 01:14:14.932
We see here an additional setus doctrinae, an additional part of scripture that supports tithing.

01:14:16.392 --> 01:14:24.632
But this is also charity, because in this case, it is going to the saints in Jerusalem who are suffering, who need that aid.

01:14:24.652 --> 01:14:26.112
It is going to aid the poor.

01:14:26.872 --> 01:14:29.552
But again, there is that pre-existing relationship here.

01:14:29.572 --> 01:14:33.752
This is not something that is distant and unknown.

01:14:35.472 --> 01:14:46.452
We may risk repeating it almost ad nauseum, but it is vitally important to understand that when it comes to love, there is a relationship of some kind.

01:14:46.472 --> 01:14:50.832
It seems like it would practically go without saying, and yet it does need to be repeated.

01:14:51.552 --> 01:15:00.912
Because in the modern context, people want to believe that love is just some general emotional feeling, and we will get more into the difference between intellectual and emotional.

01:15:01.732 --> 01:15:04.092
Not in this episode, but in a future episode.

01:15:06.372 --> 01:15:10.372
But love is based on some kind of relationship.

01:15:11.632 --> 01:15:22.252
If what you are doing is just flinging money out into the void and saying you're engaging in charity, you're not engaging in charity, because you're not doing the thing.

01:15:22.972 --> 01:15:30.112
You don't have a proper whom that you are targeting, and you don't have the right nature or scope of the act itself.

01:15:30.612 --> 01:15:31.812
And so it's not love.

01:15:32.452 --> 01:15:35.232
You're not engaging in charity.

01:15:37.952 --> 01:15:45.112
You have to pay attention to the whom and the nature and the scope, because obviously if you're the one acting, you're going to be the who.

01:15:45.132 --> 01:15:46.252
There's no analysis there.

01:15:48.492 --> 01:16:04.632
But the person to whom you are directing that love, in this case, it may very well be charity, or if it's a gope or whatever else it is, the person to whom you're directing the love has to be an appropriate target for that love, and then the nature and scope has to be proper.

01:16:05.512 --> 01:16:07.932
Otherwise, it is not love.

01:16:08.052 --> 01:16:09.352
It is disordered.

01:16:09.872 --> 01:16:11.312
It may very well be sin.

01:16:12.672 --> 01:16:16.932
And so just because you can call a thing love, doesn't mean that it is.

01:16:17.752 --> 01:16:27.592
As we've gone over a few times in this episode already, a single term may very well encompass a large array of meanings, or a spectrum of meanings.

01:16:28.352 --> 01:16:35.972
And that is most certainly the case with love, and most certainly the case with the way that the term love is abused in our society.

01:16:36.692 --> 01:16:42.212
Many things that are called love are in fact, the inverse are in fact hatred.

01:16:43.592 --> 01:16:53.632
This will be obvious particularly again in the episode on Eros, but it is possible to call a thing love that is not love.

01:16:54.612 --> 01:17:04.932
It is necessary to apply wisdom to look at the actual facts, to look at the circumstances what is being done by whom and to whom.

01:17:06.172 --> 01:17:08.552
You have to apply wisdom to these matters.

01:17:09.172 --> 01:17:12.432
This is not particularly easy in many cases.

01:17:12.452 --> 01:17:16.692
Again, we cannot provide you a flowchart, an if this, then that.

01:17:18.272 --> 01:17:28.272
God has given you certain abilities, sufficient abilities, to run this assessment, to run these analyses yourself.

01:17:28.912 --> 01:17:30.092
And you have to do so.

01:17:30.432 --> 01:17:33.352
That is part of being a Christian, it's part of being a human being.

01:17:35.132 --> 01:17:36.452
Pagans did this as well.

01:17:36.852 --> 01:17:39.092
This is not something that is limited to Christians.

01:17:39.512 --> 01:17:48.132
Pagans also made the assessment of preferencing family over stranger, of preferencing national over unknown, over the alien.

01:17:49.152 --> 01:17:51.452
This is part of being a human being.

01:17:51.472 --> 01:17:53.852
This is something that is inscribed in the human heart.

01:17:55.372 --> 01:18:05.772
And it is only in recent decades, in the last half century or century, that this has been subverted so almost totally by Satan.

01:18:07.372 --> 01:18:19.412
To the point where you have many Christians who have convinced themselves that they are engaging in agape by engaging in something that doesn't even qualify as charity.

01:18:22.332 --> 01:18:38.692
You cannot convince yourself that something that is inherently and extensively wicked is good just because you've applied a label for something that would be good if it were that actual thing.

01:18:39.392 --> 01:18:43.192
And so, just because you call something charity doesn't mean that it is.

01:18:43.932 --> 01:18:48.012
Just because the world calls something love doesn't mean that it is.

01:18:48.792 --> 01:18:52.072
It is the nature of the thing that determines the thing.

01:18:52.452 --> 01:18:54.592
It is not the name that we apply to it.

01:18:55.432 --> 01:19:11.072
The reason we use the terms is because, well, you can communicate only using words when you are doing a podcast, at the very least, and we have to have some way to delineate these things, some way to identify the different facets of love.

01:19:11.932 --> 01:19:15.572
It's not because the term itself is the thing.

01:19:16.292 --> 01:19:17.632
The thing is a concept.

01:19:17.912 --> 01:19:19.192
The thing stands apart.

01:19:19.212 --> 01:19:21.552
The term is what we use to identify it.

01:19:22.452 --> 01:19:35.652
The world subverts those terms all the time, and so it is necessary to assess the actual thing, the acts themselves, the things that are being done, not just the words that are used.

01:19:37.032 --> 01:19:45.432
And this, of course, ties into the issue of works, because all of this ties into the issue of works, because this is living the Christian life.

01:19:46.092 --> 01:19:47.852
And so I want to read from James 2.

01:19:48.772 --> 01:19:53.872
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?

01:19:54.312 --> 01:19:55.612
Can that faith save him?

01:19:56.212 --> 01:20:08.272
If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, go in peace, be warmed and filled, without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

01:20:08.852 --> 01:20:12.832
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

01:20:13.492 --> 01:20:17.072
But someone will say, you have faith and I have works.

01:20:17.672 --> 01:20:22.912
Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

01:20:24.812 --> 01:20:36.812
This is one of those verses that is often abused, quite frankly, by many camps, but Rome in particular abuses this verse, but others as well do not get it entirely correct.

01:20:38.812 --> 01:20:41.932
A living faith will produce works.

01:20:43.152 --> 01:20:48.912
In many cases, those works are going to take the form of some kind of love.

01:20:50.052 --> 01:20:53.192
In this particular instance, the example used is charity.

01:20:54.472 --> 01:21:05.852
Because if you just say you love a brother or a sister who is freezing or starving, and you do nothing to help him or her when you can, that isn't love.

01:21:06.852 --> 01:21:08.512
The same thing is true of faith.

01:21:09.352 --> 01:21:14.652
If you say that you have faith and it produces no works, it is a dead faith.

01:21:15.332 --> 01:21:19.212
It is not a living faith, because a living faith produces good works.

01:21:19.232 --> 01:21:22.012
That is why the example of a tree is so often used.

01:21:22.852 --> 01:21:27.252
A healthy, living apple tree will produce apples.

01:21:28.932 --> 01:21:31.732
If it does not produce apples, something is wrong.

01:21:33.652 --> 01:21:37.572
There is something fundamentally wrong with a fruit tree that is not producing fruit.

01:21:38.132 --> 01:21:43.792
The same thing is true of faith, because if faith is alive, it will produce fruit.

01:21:45.432 --> 01:21:49.952
And many times, that fruit is going to take the form of love.

01:21:50.792 --> 01:21:58.952
In this episode, we are extensively discussing charity specifically, because that is going to be the form that that love takes in many cases.

01:21:59.832 --> 01:22:09.432
But it is also going to take the form of all of these other kinds of love, because you are going to have that love for your children, for your spouse, for your parents.

01:22:10.392 --> 01:22:19.932
You are going to have that sacrificial love for others whom God has placed into your life, if you are actually a Christian, if you have a living faith.

01:22:20.812 --> 01:22:27.872
And as we've mentioned a number of times, even a pagan is going to have that kind of love with regard to family.

01:22:29.232 --> 01:22:38.792
So if you don't have that love for family, if you don't have that love for those who are placed closest to you, you are worse than a pagan, you are worse than an unbeliever.

01:22:40.592 --> 01:22:45.972
That is an abhorrent position in which to find a Christian, a supposed Christian.

01:22:47.072 --> 01:23:08.072
And yet we see that with many today, because there are many who do not aid their brothers, who do not aid their sisters, who don't aid their parents, who don't aid those in their community, those in their nation, who in fact despise all of those to whom they owe the highest duties in pursuit of the good of the alien, and then call themselves more righteous than others.

01:23:09.752 --> 01:23:12.772
Quite frankly, even the Pharisee was probably not that wicked.

01:23:14.912 --> 01:23:24.712
As we wind up this episode, and as we go through this three-parter, it's crucial to keep in mind that love is downstream from God's nature.

01:23:25.392 --> 01:23:28.232
We have all these good things from God.

01:23:28.672 --> 01:23:36.812
We have these good things, these facets of love, in our hearts, in our societies, in our families, because God put them there for us.

01:23:37.452 --> 01:23:44.732
And so, today in the next couple episodes, we're going to give a bunch of obligations, a bunch of duties, and say we should be doing this.

01:23:45.672 --> 01:23:52.372
And that's true, and it's important, but it's also, I think, the most important thing to remember where it's coming from.

01:23:52.952 --> 01:23:54.452
Because these are God's gifts.

01:23:54.912 --> 01:24:06.912
When you have agape love for someone, when you seek the good of another, even at your own expense, that is God doing good through your love for neighbor.

01:24:07.432 --> 01:24:17.152
Whatever preference you're expressing by treating someone in a way that's self-sacrificial, that's God making the world a better place and using you to do it.

01:24:17.572 --> 01:24:21.412
And the thing is, when we act in these waves, we benefit.

01:24:21.792 --> 01:24:29.392
God benefits even those who are giving and perhaps even suffering in their giving through the acts of love that we do for others.

01:24:29.972 --> 01:24:31.292
The same is true with charity.

01:24:31.712 --> 01:24:44.372
One of the most rewarding things that many people who actually do real, real-world, first-person charity, where they go and work in a soup kitchen once a week or something, they get as much out of it as the people that they talk to.

01:24:44.752 --> 01:24:58.112
Because actually interacting with the other human beings who are your neighbors, who live in the community that you live in, who have needs that are not being met until your group shows up and can actually meet them, everyone is rewarded by that.

01:24:58.492 --> 01:25:00.912
God is pouring out His blessings to everyone.

01:25:01.392 --> 01:25:05.232
And so we're talking about these things in terms of duty and sin and wickedness, and that's part of it.

01:25:05.612 --> 01:25:10.412
But that is when we fail, when the world tells us, no, don't do that.

01:25:10.732 --> 01:25:12.852
Do the opposite of what God wants.

01:25:13.452 --> 01:25:15.332
That is when the wickedness comes in.

01:25:15.352 --> 01:25:16.972
That's when the duty has to be hammered.

01:25:17.472 --> 01:25:24.872
But obeying God because He reveals it isn't about, oh, I got to earn a higher place in heaven, or man, I got to obey God, or I'm a bad person.

01:25:25.512 --> 01:25:26.512
This is a good thing.

01:25:26.832 --> 01:25:27.812
These are blessings.

01:25:28.092 --> 01:25:30.012
These are God's blessings to others.

01:25:30.632 --> 01:25:33.472
And as Corey said, you may well be the recipient of these things.

01:25:33.692 --> 01:25:34.712
That's the other part of it.

01:25:34.732 --> 01:25:42.592
You know, I've mentioned before, for years, when I was a kid and my dad was in seminary, we ate a lot of donated food.

01:25:43.212 --> 01:25:44.032
That was charity.

01:25:44.292 --> 01:25:49.332
That was complete strangers feeding my dad's family because we didn't have the money.

01:25:49.692 --> 01:25:50.892
We really needed that.

01:25:51.592 --> 01:25:52.672
We had a roof over our head.

01:25:52.692 --> 01:25:58.512
Like, we were okay materially, but most of our calories came from charity.

01:25:59.272 --> 01:26:01.312
And I think that one of the things that...

01:26:01.892 --> 01:26:09.332
I don't know what cultural background it has, but there are a lot of people that have this sense of pride about not receiving charity.

01:26:10.452 --> 01:26:16.852
And there's a sense in which I think it's important to try to make your own way and to try to do things yourself.

01:26:17.252 --> 01:26:31.952
But at the same time, to ever refuse charity when you need it, when it would actually benefit you, is not only depriving you of something that you need, and in many cases, you know, the charity is there for the taking.

01:26:32.992 --> 01:26:40.092
You're also depriving those who wish to give the charity in obedience to God, who are being God's hands in the community you share.

01:26:40.112 --> 01:26:41.492
Like, oh, I can't take that.

01:26:41.512 --> 01:26:42.272
That would be charity.

01:26:42.292 --> 01:26:45.192
Well, at some point, that's prideful.

01:26:45.472 --> 01:26:50.992
You can be dirt poor and completely broke and be a self-righteous prick about it.

01:26:51.372 --> 01:26:55.052
You can be evil and be at the bottom of the totem pole.

01:26:55.692 --> 01:27:02.932
That sort of miserly attitude is ultimately harmful, because you are harmed.

01:27:03.212 --> 01:27:06.892
You are depriving those who are trying to give the charity.

01:27:06.912 --> 01:27:09.252
Like, it's just, it's also unnatural.

01:27:09.872 --> 01:27:19.312
And I think that one of the benefits of giving to charity and being involved in charity is that you see the people on the other side and how much it benefits them.

01:27:19.792 --> 01:27:24.252
And it also is a reminder that that could one day be you, or maybe in the past it was you.

01:27:24.772 --> 01:27:30.772
For a long time, I have recommended to friends to donate to the same food bank at the Fort Wayne Seminary that used to feed me.

01:27:31.132 --> 01:27:34.712
Like, if you don't know what else to give some money to, that's a good thing to give money to.

01:27:34.732 --> 01:27:37.732
Like, I kept me in frozen fish sticks for years.

01:27:38.692 --> 01:27:40.692
I never want to eat them again, but I didn't starve.

01:27:43.512 --> 01:27:49.772
When we give or we receive, it's God working in both directions, and everyone benefits.

01:27:50.332 --> 01:27:55.632
And so we don't want to make this all about law and all about we got to do and we got to obey.

01:27:56.412 --> 01:28:00.352
The duty from God simply comes down to, here's how it works.

01:28:01.152 --> 01:28:03.492
Let's just get out of the way and do it.

01:28:04.392 --> 01:28:08.432
And knowing and thinking about these things makes that a whole lot easier.

01:28:08.452 --> 01:28:22.372
You know, one of the things that's common in people who work in the actual legitimate charity field is that typically a lot of the people who work and who donate are those who are the closest to the edge.

01:28:23.092 --> 01:28:28.672
It tends not to be the very wealthiest who give to that sort of thing, or certainly the work in it, although it does happen.

01:28:29.292 --> 01:28:34.092
Frequently the folks who participate are one rung up the ladder.

01:28:34.512 --> 01:28:39.052
They may well be in that line for food the next year, and they know it.

01:28:39.072 --> 01:28:40.732
They're close enough to see over the edge.

01:28:41.132 --> 01:28:51.412
And so while they have more than they need, they're very happy and very grateful to be able to give to those who have not enough and actually need to receive that charity.

01:28:52.132 --> 01:29:01.172
So all of these facets of love, we'll get into more examples next week, it's God pouring out His gifts for us through each other.

01:29:01.652 --> 01:29:02.552
And that's a good thing.

01:29:03.192 --> 01:29:07.992
Yes, it's an obligation, it's a Christian obligation, it's a Christian duty, but it's also a blessing.

01:29:08.832 --> 01:29:16.172
We don't want any of this to ultimately be about condemnation and leave people feeling beaten up and like, oh man, I got to do a whole bunch of stuff.

01:29:16.812 --> 01:29:19.912
Think of all the great ways that we can help our neighbor.

01:29:20.272 --> 01:29:21.212
That's a good thing.

01:29:21.392 --> 01:29:23.852
That's something to actually be happy about and excited about.

01:29:24.332 --> 01:29:30.632
With all the terrible things going on in the world, what better time to help your actual neighbor to show up?

01:29:31.132 --> 01:29:32.092
And they say, why are you here?

01:29:32.112 --> 01:29:33.492
And you say, I'm a Christian.

01:29:33.512 --> 01:29:34.792
I have a duty from God.

01:29:34.812 --> 01:29:35.472
You're my neighbor.

01:29:35.792 --> 01:29:36.352
I don't know you.

01:29:36.372 --> 01:29:37.252
I want to get to know you.

01:29:37.532 --> 01:29:38.352
I want to help you.

01:29:38.692 --> 01:29:40.032
Let's sit down and have a meal.

01:29:40.312 --> 01:29:47.172
Whatever the context is, when we do what God wants us to do, everybody wins.

01:29:48.412 --> 01:29:51.732
It's actually a good thing without downsides.

01:29:52.632 --> 01:30:02.832
And that gets completely lost when it's turned into this machine that is then just disgorging checks thousands of miles away.

01:30:03.472 --> 01:30:04.412
It's unnatural.

01:30:04.432 --> 01:30:05.172
It's inhuman.

01:30:05.192 --> 01:30:06.632
It's not properly ordered.

01:30:07.172 --> 01:30:16.092
Even when the stuff is actually doing some good, it's still at the expense of something that's more immediate.

01:30:16.532 --> 01:30:18.652
And you are also deprived of the benefit.

01:30:19.072 --> 01:30:23.852
I've often said that it's one thing to write a check, which I used to be good at.

01:30:23.872 --> 01:30:28.032
I used to, you know, like I would donate, but I would just, I'd write a check and that was the end of it.

01:30:28.052 --> 01:30:30.592
I didn't want to get my hands dirty, didn't want to do the work.

01:30:31.032 --> 01:30:32.852
That's kind of a scumbag way to do it.

01:30:33.412 --> 01:30:38.072
Because, well, as Corey said, on one hand, maybe it took work to earn the money, and it does do good.

01:30:38.092 --> 01:30:43.892
You know, just having dollars transferred from one bank account to another absolutely makes a difference.

01:30:43.912 --> 01:30:50.772
You know, someone who is giving from their surplus to the food bank, they had bought a lot of food for my family to be able to eat.

01:30:51.132 --> 01:30:51.952
It was cheap food.

01:30:51.972 --> 01:30:52.432
It was fine.

01:30:52.452 --> 01:30:53.312
It kept us fed.

01:30:53.612 --> 01:30:55.032
Not complaining by any stretch.

01:30:55.812 --> 01:30:59.612
Dollars can go a long way in someone's more meager context.

01:30:59.932 --> 01:31:00.772
That's a blessing.

01:31:01.672 --> 01:31:16.332
But at the same time, when the charity is limited to writing checks and to making it completely external and not seeing face to face and not getting your hands dirty, you're being deprived of actually seeing the benefit.

01:31:17.052 --> 01:31:33.732
And it's the universal sentiment from anyone who's been involved in actually doing that stuff of how rewarding it is to meet the people and to see the recipients of that charity, see the objects of the love that God has put in our hearts to help a neighbor that we didn't even know we had.

01:31:34.072 --> 01:31:39.532
And you go and you meet them in some charitable situation, and it's good for everyone.

01:31:39.752 --> 01:31:42.132
You actually feel good about it, and that's okay.

01:31:42.312 --> 01:31:43.872
It's like that's part of it.

01:31:44.232 --> 01:31:48.052
You know, God gives us good feelings around all of these things.

01:31:48.512 --> 01:31:57.732
You know, people say that Cory and I are just filled with hate, and they're going to be making fun of the fact that we're doing a series on love, as though that were just completely ironic and insane.

01:31:58.852 --> 01:31:59.872
These are God's things.

01:32:00.352 --> 01:32:09.372
Anyone who has the Holy Spirit is going to have an outpouring of God's things, and it's going to be informed by what God reveals in Scripture about how it works.

01:32:09.752 --> 01:32:11.172
It's how it actually works.

01:32:11.412 --> 01:32:16.612
Whether you're a Christian and you don't know, or you're a Christian and you do know, it's going to work the same way.

01:32:17.012 --> 01:32:22.912
But we as Christians have no excuse, because God reveals all this stuff to us in Scripture, and then says, hey, go do it.

01:32:22.972 --> 01:32:23.712
Here's how it works.

01:32:23.732 --> 01:32:24.352
It's from me.

01:32:24.832 --> 01:32:25.372
Have fun.

01:32:25.552 --> 01:32:26.192
You're going to love it.

01:32:27.652 --> 01:32:28.452
That should be the end of it.

01:32:28.552 --> 01:32:31.572
That should be a really simple task for anyone.

01:32:32.172 --> 01:32:33.352
It shouldn't even be a task.

01:32:33.372 --> 01:32:35.352
Okay, I'm happy about this.

01:32:36.152 --> 01:32:48.172
And one of the challenges of charity sometimes is that because there are certain programs set up, like Christmas programs or donations for poor kids or whatever, that's all great.

01:32:48.672 --> 01:32:51.312
But the people who are in need are in need year round.

01:32:51.792 --> 01:32:57.352
If somebody needs Thanksgiving meal donated, they probably need meals other times too.

01:32:57.872 --> 01:33:06.812
And so if your mind and your heart and your pocketbook and your time is oriented around giving in that direction, remember those people year round.

01:33:07.132 --> 01:33:10.292
Remember the people who are in need when no one's thinking about them.

01:33:10.772 --> 01:33:14.092
Because a belly doesn't just get hungry on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

01:33:14.412 --> 01:33:19.232
You can be hungry any time of the year, especially when times get tough economically.

01:33:19.572 --> 01:33:23.112
Sometimes those places fall off a lot in their donations.

01:33:23.292 --> 01:33:31.032
So pay attention to the world, see who's suffering, and see how you can be God's love in the world.

01:33:31.632 --> 01:33:33.932
As I say these things, I fail many of these tests.

01:33:33.952 --> 01:33:35.352
I'm like, I'm nailing it all.

01:33:35.712 --> 01:33:39.172
I'm thinking about all the ways that I should do a much better job than I am.

01:33:39.412 --> 01:33:43.512
I've done some of these things, and better or worse, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

01:33:44.332 --> 01:33:46.252
I don't mean to be a hypocrite by saying something.

01:33:46.272 --> 01:33:49.272
I'm not doing a good job at it, but that's the nature of these things.

01:33:49.652 --> 01:33:50.852
Sometimes you just say, you know what?

01:33:50.872 --> 01:33:51.592
Here's what it says.

01:33:51.612 --> 01:33:52.712
We need to do a better job.

01:33:52.732 --> 01:33:56.712
And if you're the one saying it, you reflect and say, wow, yeah, I really do.

01:33:58.852 --> 01:34:04.852
The fact that these conversations are often missing, even from Christian discourse, is a big problem.

01:34:05.372 --> 01:34:11.052
You know, the Roman Catholic Church has long preserved almsgiving, which is stray from scripture.

01:34:11.392 --> 01:34:12.192
It's a good thing.

01:34:12.572 --> 01:34:23.412
The problem is that they turned it into a ritual that has something to do with the satisfaction of sins, which is Protestant Christians, we understand, is completely excluded.

01:34:23.892 --> 01:34:26.392
You're not satisfying your sins by helping your neighbor.

01:34:26.952 --> 01:34:29.472
You're helping your neighbor because God satisfied your sins.

01:34:29.832 --> 01:34:32.092
The outcome, the actions are the same.

01:34:32.392 --> 01:34:34.992
You're just not confused about the causal relationship.

01:34:35.432 --> 01:34:36.752
And so all this should be a blessing.

01:34:37.032 --> 01:34:38.392
All these things should be a joy.

01:34:38.832 --> 01:34:43.552
Even if you find that you're falling short in some area, be thankful.

01:34:43.572 --> 01:34:46.272
You're like, oh, I guess I needed that kick in the butt.

01:34:46.952 --> 01:34:52.032
I did a poll on X a few weeks ago asking what people's favorite episodes were.

01:34:52.712 --> 01:35:02.072
And a number of people made comments that the ones that meant the most to them were the ones that kicked them in the butt the hardest, the ones that really gave them a wake up call.

01:35:02.612 --> 01:35:06.812
Because it's one thing when you're just entertained and you're learning something new.

01:35:07.332 --> 01:35:15.592
It's another thing when you realize that you've been completely missing a part of the Christian life that has been depriving you and depriving your neighbor and your family.

01:35:15.612 --> 01:35:22.212
And when you're missing out on God's things, then you realize, hey, there's a whole bunch more here going on that I just wasn't even thinking about.

01:35:22.892 --> 01:35:23.352
It hurts.

01:35:23.512 --> 01:35:25.312
You're like, wow, I was sinful.

01:35:25.332 --> 01:35:26.352
I was meager.

01:35:26.372 --> 01:35:27.552
I wasn't doing the thing.

01:35:28.452 --> 01:35:35.432
But that condemnation is immediately, as Christians, we recognize it's satisfied by God forgiving all of our sins.

01:35:36.012 --> 01:35:39.532
You're forgiven for the sin of not having done the thing that you should have been doing.

01:35:39.992 --> 01:35:45.172
And then once you realize you should have been doing it, not only do you know that you're forgiven, but you should go do it.

01:35:45.992 --> 01:35:48.672
Not because of God's wrath, but because of God's love.

01:35:49.272 --> 01:35:51.732
For us to be God's love in the world is a blessing.

01:35:52.052 --> 01:35:52.732
It's a command.

01:35:52.752 --> 01:35:53.392
It's a blessing.

01:35:53.592 --> 01:35:54.332
That's the gospel.

01:35:54.352 --> 01:35:55.552
It's all these things at once.

01:35:56.332 --> 01:36:02.312
It's really simple when you stop worrying about how can I save myself and just say, okay, God is God.

01:36:02.732 --> 01:36:03.392
What's next?

01:36:04.652 --> 01:36:14.552
There is a particular saying that comes to mind that has really fallen out of use in English, along with many other excellent Christian sayings.

01:36:14.572 --> 01:36:18.192
But this one in particular relates to the content of this episode.

01:36:19.032 --> 01:36:23.852
There but for the grace of God go I.

01:36:23.872 --> 01:36:32.032
I want you not necessarily to bring that back into your vocabulary, but to bring that back into your mindset with regard to charity.

01:36:32.992 --> 01:36:34.772
Recognize two things.

01:36:35.592 --> 01:36:43.772
One, everything you have is a gift, is a blessing from God, and none of it is guaranteed.

01:36:44.632 --> 01:36:48.392
You may wake up tomorrow poor, you may wake up tomorrow wealthy.

01:36:49.712 --> 01:36:51.052
That is in God's hands.

01:36:52.572 --> 01:36:56.112
And the second point is that we should not shame the poor.

01:36:56.792 --> 01:36:57.932
God loves the poor.

01:36:57.952 --> 01:36:58.992
God cares for them.

01:36:59.012 --> 01:37:00.432
He has concern for them.

01:37:00.912 --> 01:37:06.372
And that is why he provides for them using the means of those who have been given wealth and resources.

01:37:06.932 --> 01:37:10.492
Charity is the means God uses to provide for the poor.

01:37:12.852 --> 01:37:37.652
But in addition to that, to emphasize and to add one additional aspect to what Woe said about the poor and how we interact with that concept and charity in our culture, when you refuse charity, if you need it, what you are doing is setting the precedent that taking charity is shameful, that it is something that men should not do.

01:37:38.372 --> 01:37:41.672
And that is the exactly wrong mindset.

01:37:42.532 --> 01:37:49.792
Yes, if a man is able, he should work and provide for himself, because again, Scripture is very clear that man is to work.

01:37:50.892 --> 01:38:04.652
However, those who need charity should not feel ashamed when they need to take it, because it is a Christian duty to give that charity, and in some cases, it may very well be a duty to take that charity.

01:38:05.152 --> 01:38:14.072
If you are the head of a household and you need that charity to care for your wife and children, then it is your duty to take it, and you should not feel ashamed that you need to do so.

01:38:14.912 --> 01:38:17.452
God has provided that for you.

01:38:17.972 --> 01:38:27.272
Whether he provides the means to care for your wife and children via your job, via an inheritance, or via charity, all of it comes from God.

01:38:27.752 --> 01:38:31.992
We need to get rid of this sense of shame with regard to those who take charity.

01:38:33.272 --> 01:38:42.952
And so when you refuse it, when you say, no, my pride wouldn't permit me, what you are doing is creating that sense of shame in the next man who needs that charity.

01:38:45.052 --> 01:38:47.312
So get rid of that, jettison that from your thinking.

01:38:49.012 --> 01:39:00.792
Another matter that Woe raised, that this is actually an action item, as it were, something about which to think, and something that should cause some changes for most people.

01:39:03.132 --> 01:39:05.692
Do not set duty and blessing against each other.

01:39:07.212 --> 01:39:10.192
They are not mutually exclusive concepts.

01:39:10.592 --> 01:39:15.152
It's not, oh, I have a duty to do this, and so it's a burden, and so I have to do this.

01:39:15.172 --> 01:39:16.492
There are cases where that's true.

01:39:17.352 --> 01:39:22.232
If your nation is attacked as a man, it is your duty to take up arms and repulse that attack.

01:39:22.972 --> 01:39:24.512
And so that is certainly a burden.

01:39:25.312 --> 01:39:33.812
You should also consider it a blessing in a certain sense, because you get the opportunity to defend that which matters to you most, that which is most important.

01:39:34.552 --> 01:39:38.272
But there are also duties where it is simply a blessing.

01:39:39.532 --> 01:39:42.112
As a father, you have a duty to spend time with your children.

01:39:42.892 --> 01:39:44.372
Do you consider that burdensome?

01:39:44.392 --> 01:39:44.832
You shouldn't.

01:39:44.852 --> 01:39:45.592
That's a blessing.

01:39:45.972 --> 01:39:48.052
You have a duty to spend time with your wife.

01:39:48.392 --> 01:39:49.552
That is also a blessing.

01:39:50.212 --> 01:39:54.032
In the Christian life, you have a duty to read Scripture.

01:39:55.032 --> 01:39:56.612
But don't think of that as a burden.

01:39:56.632 --> 01:39:57.352
That's a blessing.

01:39:57.352 --> 01:39:58.952
God is speaking to you.

01:39:58.972 --> 01:40:00.232
He has given you His word.

01:40:01.052 --> 01:40:04.072
That is an inestimable blessing.

01:40:04.092 --> 01:40:06.572
That is an enormous blessing from God.

01:40:06.912 --> 01:40:07.912
It is also a duty.

01:40:08.812 --> 01:40:23.792
It is a duty to spend time in prayer, but it is also an enormous blessing because not only do we get to speak to God, but He tells us that He listens and that He will respond, even if sometimes the response may be no or wait.

01:40:24.912 --> 01:40:27.612
We get to speak to God, and He responds.

01:40:27.932 --> 01:40:32.052
So don't think that duty and blessing are divorced and totally separate things.

01:40:33.072 --> 01:40:36.032
More often than not, they are intimately connected.

01:40:36.972 --> 01:40:40.152
They are, in fact, one and the same in many cases.

01:40:40.172 --> 01:40:42.012
The duty and the blessing are the same thing.

01:40:44.572 --> 01:40:51.392
But we'll close out this episode with another reading from Scripture, this one very clearly related to charity.

01:40:53.892 --> 01:40:59.652
When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

01:41:00.192 --> 01:41:08.112
Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

01:41:08.792 --> 01:41:12.332
And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.

01:41:12.932 --> 01:41:21.472
Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

01:41:21.992 --> 01:41:35.812
For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.

01:41:36.612 --> 01:41:43.552
Then the righteous will answer Him saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

01:41:44.072 --> 01:41:48.012
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?

01:41:48.672 --> 01:41:51.352
And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?

01:41:52.012 --> 01:41:59.092
And the King will answer them, Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me.

01:42:00.912 --> 01:42:08.032
Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

01:42:08.552 --> 01:42:21.112
For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.

01:42:21.932 --> 01:42:31.132
Then they also will answer saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?

01:42:31.752 --> 01:42:39.752
Then he will answer them saying, truly I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.

01:42:40.712 --> 01:42:45.572
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.