What's modern equivalent of "Samaritan"?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by vaspers, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. vaspers

    vaspers
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    Samaritans, a cult in Jesus' time, were despised by orthodox Jews, recall woman at the well. Yet Jesus praised the Good Samaritan. They had a hybrid theology, claimed to worship Jehovah, had competing temple, were part Hebrew/part Assyrian, I think, perhaps other breeds mixed in. Yet...the Good Samaritan. Any thots on what would be our modern day equivalent of a Samaritan? Jehovah's Witness? Mormon? Muslim? This question really intrigues me, it is so anti-elitist, pro-human. Does "Samaritan" depend on who is calling whom what?
     
  2. Precepts

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    Southern Baptist? [​IMG] No. Just kidding!

    I have no idea, and I don't think about such things. Besides, I don't see Jesus calling too many "Good Samaritans" today, He was referring to the Son of Man/ Himself. [​IMG]
     
  3. vaspers

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    I think it's highly important to think about such things, it can keep us from being judgmental and elitist. But what's an interesting topic to one person may be of no pressing interest to another. Thanks, Precepts, for at least taking a stab at this rather strange topic. God bless. Oh, and yes, good point there: Jesus was indeed the ultimate Good Samaritan, tho not really Samaritan, yet cast out and rejected by Israel.
     
  4. Charles Meadows

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    Modern day Samaritans? Good one! I think it would be those that we look at and think "he's not really a Christian because..." Whether it's someone liberal, catholic, Mormon or something else it reminds us that Jesus sees and knows the heart! It puts our "doctrinal differences" in perspective.
     
  5. Precepts

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    Ah! BUT! The "good Samaritan" is never actually described as any more than just a Samaritan, a well to do Samaritan at that. I believe you might be adding something to the passage with a hint of displeasure towards those who hold standards of moral conduct and dress. The indication of the "Pharisee" could very easily be turned around and say that the "passers-by" are actually liberals, and the "good Samaritan" being a man rich in the things of God, i.e., morality/godliness, and those who only give lip service to our Lord and not serve Him with the whole heart.

    I do want to add this here, Never is the Word of God to be used as a weapon against our brethren, but only as a scalpel to cut away and remove those things which hinder our walk with Christ.

    It's like the word "love"/ charity, it is often used in the act of accusation/an axe toward those whom we tend to disagree, (as in a lack of love) but Charity is an attribute of God, not an axe we grab at will to chop away at our dear brethren.

    Now if this topic is headed in that direction, I thought it best top "deal" with and chop the root, but if not, then please excuse me, but I at least took the liberty to offer that to everyone as a simple truth.
     
  6. Charles Meadows

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    Precepts,

    Good point, very ture. And many of those whom I mentioned may NOT necessarily be "good samaritans" in the eyes of Christ. But the passage does serve to remind us that the heart IS the most important. "Standards of moral conduct and dress" are not bad as long as they do not become more important than the heart.

    CM ;)
     
  7. vaspers

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    Thanks for helping me with this topic of importance to me. My point is that Jesus shocked his audience most likely when he used a despised "Samaritan" as a role model for someone whose faith was translated into good deeds, not a dead, argumentative, doctrine-only type faith. Jews at that time would never say "Good Samaritan." That would be tantamount to "condoning" this cultish competitive religion. It still amazes me Jesus said this.
     
  8. Debby in Philly

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    In all of my years teaching Sunday School, we have always used this lesson the way Jesus did - to answer the question "Who is my neighbor?" The parallel most often drawn is that the "Samaritian" in the story is like someone who is different from you (race, origin, language) or who you don't necessarily agree with (religion, politics). Someone you think would be less likely to help you if you were in need. Surely the injured Jew in the story, as well as the Jew who was listening to it being told, would have thought the priest or Levite more likely to help him. But it was the Samaritian. Everyone is our neighbor.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    I'm still looking for the word "good" and "Samaritan" . . and not finding it. That is fiction that WE have added.

    Jesus just says a "certain" Samaritan.

    I agree that the teaching of this is to answer the question of "Who is my neighbor?" taking the lowest group (even beneath publicans and harlots) and showing that HE was a neighbor.

    Don't try to get theology from a parable!!
     
  10. vaspers

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    Surely, Dr. Bob, this Samaritan was good though, I mean we add "good" to "samaritan" as a way to reference the story. You probably don't use the name "Dives" in the story of Lazarus and the rich man, and I agree with you if you don't. But my challenge is again: what's the modern equivalent of "Samaritan"? If Jesus were telling the parable today to us Baptists in America, what word would He use? Sure it's speculation, but it is also applying the Word to current situations. Thanks, Dr. Bob for your assistance.
     
  11. Debby in Philly

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    There must be many of these "recastings" of the story. One way would be to say the man, of your race, ethnicity and station in life was beaten in the street by a gang. A minister of the same group goes by and does not help, a deacon goes by and does not help. But then an average person of some other group, say, a Muslim from Iraq, finds him and cares for him, taking him to the hospital. That Iraqi would be his neighbor, whom he was to love as he loved himself.
     
  12. vaspers

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    Wonderful story Debby in Philly. You say lots of nice things it seems. My wife said, maybe an alcoholic street bum. "Sure he dressed your wounds, but he's just a filthy drunk." someone might say who is prejudiced against alcoholics (tho I really hate alcoholism itself with a "passion" [not the film of course]). Thanks for helping me understand this topic of concern to me. I teach Jr. High Sunday School at a Baptist church. I was raised Methodist, then Mennonite, then CWLF, then a few other things, then interested in buddhist philosophy (not religion), then Assembly of God, then Baptist! CWLF is Christian World Liberation Front, Jesus People of Berkeley California, jack sparks, Arthur Blessit, Keith Green, Larry Norman,etc.
     
  13. Charles Meadows

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    Bob,

    "Don't get theology from a parable?"

    :confused:

    I'd say we should look more than anything to Jesus' parables for "theology". Parables are the simplest of the simple - right from Jesus' mouth. But I'd agree on the GOOD samaritan thing - that's OUR theology!!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. vaspers

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    If the Samaritan was not good, what's the point of the parable? I never dreamed anyone would debate this point. Pharisees and Sadducees maybe, but not Bible believing Baptists. Wow, this is stranger than the question of who could be considered a Samaritan today. Oh well...we are One Body in Christ, with different viewpoints.
     
  15. Helen

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    Samaritans were NOT a cult as we think of cults today. They were a mixed blood people, from the time of the Assyrian captivity. They were considered impure and not allowed to worship in the Temple in Jerusalem. An excellent summary of who they were and the history behind their enmity with the 'pure' Jews as well as the link to the parable of the Good Samaitan may be found here:
    http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mgoodsamaritan.html

    It's easy and interesting to read and not long at all.

    Who is a Samaritan today? Perhaps someone who means to be worshiping God but is pretty confused about what is true and what is not? I remember when I was in my early twenties and was trying to combine Christian theology with all manner garbage, such as reincarnation, the non-lethal nature of sin, etc.

    But I think the actual point of Jesus' parable is just what we have been taught since we were tykes in Sunday School -- all beliefs and nationalities and ethnicities aside, we are to do good when we can to whom we can any way we can. We will always be a "Samaritan" to someone who thinks their belief system or way of going about it to be more 'pure' than ours. But that is not to stand in the way of us allowing Christ to work through us in reaching out to a sick and dying world.
     
  16. cdg

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    The point was Christ didn't say "Good Samaritan".
    The Samaritan could have been lost and just doing a good deed. Christ's point was everyone is our "neighbor". Those that we look down on, that look down on us(Jews to the Samaritan), we disagree with, everyone. The Jews hated the Samaritans yet this one helped the Jew, even though he didnt live beside him(my usual concept of neighbor) or know him. The Jew would have passed on the other side if the Samaritan had been in the road, but the Samaritan helped the Jew, anyway. It is the same as me helping a Muslim or Catholic though we disagree in religion and the Muslim if we were in Iran might kill me. Or a Muslim or Catholic helping me if the same situation had occurred to me.
     
  17. HankD

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    Jesus had a discussion concerning the theology of worship with a Samaritan woman. So, I would say that the modern day equivalent is anyone from a religious body of belief with whom we have serious differences in theological opinion and/or interpretations of Scripture.

    e.g. Baptists and JWs, Mormons, Catholics...

    My opinion of course.

    HankD

    [ February 19, 2004, 10:39 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  18. vaspers

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    Helen, cdg, HankD, thank you for your insights. Very good thinking. It is so nice for you to grapple with this question that was intriguing me. I've gotten alot out of your posts.
     
  19. Forever settled in heaven

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    perhaps they cld be considered a cult on the following grounds:

    1. they rejected the Scriptures--only the Pentateuch is considered canonical; the Prophets n the Writings r excluded. we sola-scripturists wld consider sects that reject parts of the Bible cultic, wldn't we?

    2. they rejected the ordained place of worship, Jerusalem. of course, with Christ the time has come when people wld worship God not by geographic location but in spirit n in truth. but back then, rejecting God's holy mountain was serious.

    but back to the question, wld an equivalent of "Samaritan" be NAZI or the other N word, referring to a hyphenated American ethnic group?
     
  20. Daniel Dunivan

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    The difference was not primarily a theological one for the ancient Jews--it was a racial and socio-politial one. The Samaritan was a hated member of a people group that was hated for being of mixed racial descent--the religious difference was a side note. The point of Jesus' story is a turning upside-down of the original question posed to him--"who is my neighbor?" Jesus says that the better question is "who's neighbor are you?"

    I have always thought that a homosexual would be a good contemporary example for Baptists--most baptists hate or fear homosexuals (the gut reaction is what Jesus is going for).
     

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