Give Me the Simple Life

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by swaimj, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. swaimj

    swaimj
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  2. corndogggy

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    This would assume that "progress" as we know it is in fact "good".
     
  3. Pastor David

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    We are deliberately moving in a more Christian agrarian lifestyle and finding it very fulfilling - more so than trying to stay in the "rat race".
     
  4. abcgrad94

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    Good article. The American people are waking up, and it's past time we've done so. Some of us are tired of contaminated food and toys and reliance on big companies who care more for greed than for their customers' welfare.

    Good for the man who was able to quit his stressful job and live a "simpler" lifestyle. May he inspire us all.
     
  5. Thinkingstuff

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    Yes the simpler life is nicer. and as far as advancement remember the number 1 rule of technology and development:
    I don't know who said it. But if we live our lives as pandered to people what necessity is there? I think Christianity from the very begining has valued the simple life. Look at Jesus and his apostles.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    How do you think this lifestyle would effect the Great Commission?
     
  7. Pastor David

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    It appears to be having a very positive effect for the Great Commission where we're at. People seem drawn to a modest lifestyle rooted and grounded in the Biblical principles of loving God and loving your neighbor. This "simpler" life appears to be quite an antidote for those who are overwhelmed with the vainty of the rampant and souless materialism of our industrial complex. In short, I believe believers and unbelievers alike see tangable demonstrations of the love of Christ in our family,church, and our local community.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    Absolutely! Living simply used to be a Christian discipline. Now I'm not suggesting that this is where everyone should be or that this is a mandated thing. However, I do think that our lives are too filled with clutter and noise.

    From my end I can reasonably see consolidating our toys, keeping our finances in line with minimal obligations, rediscovering simplicity in scheduling. Too many people (particularly men) feel the need to be busy because it means their lives are meaningful. I just think our measures are off when we believe this.

    Granted I think this is an extreme example but it is important to consider. I believe that we are going to see (probably within the next 50 to 150 years) a rising movement of evangelicals and Christians who move into an Amish-esque lifestyle and leave the main culture. This might not be a bad thing.

    When we think of the Amish we think of a cloistered group of objectors who are inbred and braindead but that isn't who they are. They believe that technology and cultural shifts need to be talked about, observed, and carefully tested before adapting them. I really see a shift coming with people who will move to this lifestyle.

    Who says that we have to live at a certain income level to be happy? Who says that we can't do our jobs but return to a simpler life that isn't encumbered with little league, dance lessons, piano lessons, sports, meetings, bills, bills, council meetings, activities, soccer, basketball, etc etc etc ad infinitum?

    Define progress. I mean really, is true progress about getting, hording, and exploiting? Or is there a moral question within progress? Is there a bigger question about human progress that asks whether or not we are practicing love for our neighbor in light of constant consumption and aggressive capitalism. (ftr: I am not against capitalism, I am absolutely for open markets)

    Is progress truly progress if it denies rights to millions of underpriviledged on whos' backs progress is made? Is progress truly progress if it abrogates the essential moral calling which Christ spoke to His followers about? What happens if progress destroys the lives and livelihood of thousands to make room for an artificial product that would benefit only a few hundred? Does the answer change when it benefits millions at the cost of drastic change to only a few thousand? Who sets the moral boundaries around which progress must be made?

    Great thread topic!
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    I agree. When we study the rise of the early church in the midst of the pagan Roman culture one of the principle reasons there was such growth was that Christianity (in its NT form) represents a shift from the overwraught, over indulged culture and one of purity and devotion.

    Also, it is compelling, that when one considered the nihilistic approach of the unabashed capitalistic system Christianity is the only worldview that offers a universal solution to that nihilism.

    If anything it creates an opportunity to live the Gospel and show it before those who need to hear it. This is part of the emphasis of the NT imho. :)
     
  10. abcgrad94

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    When families have more time to spend together, parents can better teach their children spiritual truths. I think strong churches start with strong homes. When homes are in order spiritually, the church will be in a better position to minister to others.

    When our focus is constantly on jobs, money, stuff, sports, entertainment, etc. we crowd the Lord out. Simplifying means less time wasted, and more time utilized on what is most important.
     
  11. Jim1999

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    Yes, simpler life: cell phones, computer, Youtube, faster motorcars. Did I mention cell phones glued to the ear every foot of the way...........the simpler life.

    Guess I am simple enough.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. swaimj

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    When we return to the beloved simple life, will we still be conversing with one another on the internet?
     
  13. Spinach

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    As missionaries, doing what we can to fulfill the Great Commission, we are doing what we can to lead a quiet, simpler life in the village. I would have to say that I've never worked so hard in all my life to live to simply. :)
     
  14. TomMann

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    I have surrendered to a simpler life as a matter of health. I have never, until now, "not" had a job. As a child, and I do mean child, I delivered circulars door to door for the local Western Auto for a penny a circular. In high school I worked for that same Western Auto and later for Rhones Hardware. Then 26 years in the Navy followed by 14 years with the Post Office as a rural mail carrier. Last fall I packed it all in when I was told I needed to start another chemo treatment. I am now on full disability and working full time gardening and manicuring my two third acre yard. Had always sworn I would work until I was 80, and quit at 80 because I wanted to live in leisure the last 20 years of my life. I can't begin to tell you how much I am enjoying my retirement. Big project now is building a 10X16 storage shed and working the garden. So far tomatos and strawberries and about to put in squash, cucumbers, okra, and beans. The biggest problem in my life now is keeping the deer out of the garden. Love at the end of the day to sit on the front porch and just watch the humming birds. I think that I am working just as hard as I ever have, just slower and having more fun at everything I do. Wish I had been able to do this years ago. As far as my health goes, I have given up on doctors and standard treatment and am going diet, as organic as possible with a side of natural supplements. At age 60 I'm feeling better than I have in years. God really is awesome.
     
  15. Marcia

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    The "simple life" means nothing because everyone defines it their own way. There is no universal meaning of or understanding of the "simple life." Not only that, assuming there is such a thing, that does not mean it's possible or even necessarily good for everyone.
     
  16. historyb

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    I think we will eventually return to an agrarian society, that may seem startling to some but our addiction to technology without remembering how things got done before all this technology is not imho a good thing. Everyone is worried about the bad guys striking us again and taking lives, but they don't have to. With a powerful enough bomb they could explode it in our atmosphere and then everything technology driven would be gone.

    With our addiction to technology growing this can be very devastating because no one will remember how to do things the old way. Of course if people learn to live simpler than it wouldn't be so bad.

    I am a technology guy and I realize the irony in my statements, this is just one thing I think about quite a bit. I think the economy worsening will wake some people up to not rely so much on technology hopefully.

    Reminds me of an episode of Andy Griffith show where the preacher told them to get back to the simpler things so they did all this work just to became more relaxed and simpler :)

    I would like to respectfully disagree there is a definition of the simpler life and it revolves around get our tech toys out of our lives.

    Back to the OP if I wasn't in a wheelchair I would love to go back to the farm and throw this complicated life to the birds. I see one thing in my observations all this technology we have brings on stress and people are literally running out of ways to relieve it every time we as a society try something we always hear from the "experts" it's bad for you.

    Anyway I am probably rambling now so I'll stop here
     
  17. JustChristian

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    When in doubt assume Ben Franklin! Actually, in this case it came from Plato.
     
  18. Thinkingstuff

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    Having lived for sometime in East Africa there are some differences in the simple life that I miss. I never seemed as "stressed" out as I do here. Communities were a lot closer over there where people here are suspicious of each other and hole up in their homes. When people are on their own over here they really are on their own. Families are often seperated by many miles than close. People here rush around always. I've seen kids that need planers for all the appointments their parents get them into. When in over their one of my most treasured things was just to sit with a group of people drinking Chai and chewing the fat so to speak. Life was at a slower and more comfortable pace. There are things to be said for the simple life. ...
     
  19. swaimj

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    Good observation.

    For me, the simple life has to do with finances. It means getting out of debt as much as possible. Currently, I have no car payment and two credit cards. Both cards have either no balance or a low balance and we use them for the benefits they provide. One pays a cash rebate and the two together keep you credit score up.

    I do not equate the simple life with a low-technology life. While it is true that one can become a slave to technology, technology allows you to take a time-consuming, menial task and turn it into a low-stress, easy job. For example: the dishwasher. Before I got married I had no dishwasher. I either ate off paper plates or I spent hours, literal hours each week washing dishes. What a waste of time and effort that is! Now, my wife and I have a dishwasher. This device sanitizes the dishes, getting them cleaner than they would be if washed by hand, it uses less water than hand-washing, and it turns a 1.5 hour chore into a 12 minute breeze. If the "simple life" means I give up my dishwasher, forget it. I'll take technology!

    And that example reminds me of this theological truth. Man, made in the image of God, is supposed to be creative, as God is, and he is to take possession of his world, harness it, and rule over it. When men use scientific knowledge to create technological devices that make life easier and make work more efficient, they are following God's example in creation and obeying his command to rule over the earth and subdue it. When I use my electronic devices and when I drive my automobile, I feel that I am doing God's will. To deliberately give them up in order to return to some supposed superior way of life that is actually less productive would be sin. I'm glad I live in modern times. Having experienced them, I would not choose to go back in time if I could help it.
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    With technology comes maintenance issues and problems. How many hours do we spend fixing computer crashes and viruses?

    Simple life should be getting rid of the things that drags us away from family and God.
     

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