Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pastor dramatizes controversial Parable of the Talents

One of the most controversial New Testament parables is the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) where a master gives unequal gifts to three servants. The servant who got the least earns nothing and is scorned. There is a somewhat similar parable in Luke 19:12-27, the Parable of the Minas, where the bequeaths are equal.

The parable has always had social importance because it sometimes seems to justify the idea that some people have more worldly wealth (or abilities) than others, because they do more with what they have (for others or for society). Objectivists (Ayn Rand) have tended to believe in this kind of thinking. There are other interpretations, however, one of which says that the servant who received the least did nothing to expose a scam. The Wikipedia article is here.

Nevertheless, many people feel that the Parable relates to the importance in having a grounding in the real world of actually obtaining results that benefit others. It can even be viewed as justifying "bottom line" type of thinking in economics.

AP has a story by Helen O’Neill, “Ohio Congregation Lives Giving Parable,” about a Chagrin Falls, Ohio pastor Hamiton Throckmorton, who gave a sermon last September in which he gave the members of the congregation $50 bills and challenged them to go out an earn money for missions. He gave each child $10. It sounds more like the Minas parable.

Of course, this is a case where people are told by those in “authority” to go out an raise money for specific causes of others. It is not an exercise in personal creativity.

The link is for the AP Story by Helen O'Neill here.

and it was a headline Saturday Dec. 22 on AOL.

There is a similar parable where a vineyard owner pays each worker the same, even though some workers came much later, Matthew 20:15, wiki link here.

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