I continue to disagree with you on this. You are reading way too much into it, a common mistake among thinkers. And don’t forget that charity is not the only thing God asks of us. Again, as I said before, if one gives up everything to follow Christ, then how is he going to help anybody?
If my husband and I gave away everything we owned to the poor, who would feed and clothe us? If this happened and we had to become dependent on somebody for our care, how on earth would we be able to much of good for anyone?
I continue to strongly disagree with your point. I think it is foolish. I don’t think this is what our Lord meant. He knew what was in this man’s heart. Some people are so attached to their possessions that they are worthless to God, but, likewise, if one has nothing, he would have to become a nun or priest in order for “someone” to care for him; or be a beggar. Besides, if I gave up all I have, then I would not be a good wife to my husband and he would not be a good husband to me if he did the same. Remember, charity begins at home and there is also scripture that affirms that a man who does not take care of his family is worse than (my words) “pond scum.”
I am not implying in any sense that I am wonderful in this area, but I wonder if you own your own, or have a bank account with savings, or own a car and so on? If so, why have not you sold it all?
The point behind the scripture you cite regarding the righteous young man who refused to give up all that he had was that he was bragging that he was, in effect, sinless. Remember what his response was to the Lord, he said that he had done none of the things that were sins, but we know this cannot be true as no man is sinless.
One should not be foolish with his charity, and certainly it begins with the family. I acknowledged that. Personally, my net worth is below zero with the mortgage crisis and wage stagnation, so is cobble my shoes as best I can just to feed the kids.
This is what goes without saying; this is in the “I’ve observed all that since my youth” part.
Luther’s error was to stop there and tell the cobbler that he is done his work of discipleship by cobbling shoes (and, presumably, keeping the Christian faith on some level). This is complete disregarding of this episode, which speaks to the issue directly and from the mouth of Christ. The way Protestantism wiggles out of this scripture is not convincing: Christ, the theory goes, read the mind of the rich man, and demonstrated to him that there is nothing he can do to earn salvation. So, I ask, He just sent someone He loved to hell? The Evangelists who recorded that exchange mislead us all? When Jesus spoke the same thing to the Apostles in verses 29-30 of Mark 10, He was giving them, and through them, us, the advice we should not follow?
This is jamming the square peg of the Enlightenment’s Economic Man into the square hole of the Gospel.