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5/24/2010

From missionary to mercenary

Historically we have seen many beans answering to a calling to become missionaries. Many stayed that way throughout their lives, living frugally and accepting whatever that was provided for them. The monks lived off the alms while the priests lived off the parish or the church. These are devout believers with a heard of gold. Modern days have changed many things. Even monks who took vows to abstain from material comfort and wealth could defend their lavish lifestyles on grounds that things have changed, values have changed. Modern living and the pursuit of material well beings are compatible with monks and missionaries. Men and women with hearts of gold easily succumbed to modern lifestyles and became men and women with minds for gold. Charitable organisations, religious or secular, are not spared. The missionaries could not resist the temptation of greed and turn themselves into very rich mercenaries, and still claiming to be to a calling. They still wear their robes and badges of honour like the early missionaries who toiled for a cause without asking for more. Indeed time has changed, people have changed, moral and ethics have also shifted to new grounds. Hearts of gold are now minds full of gold.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ascetics living in grand airconed and polished granite abodes, using the latest models of electronic gadgets, watches and shopping at Orchard Road in SIN. And few travel by public transports not to mention on foot.

Some own bungalows and other private properties.

Did mankinds made religions with heavens in mind? He did seek the ultimate comforts and the believers merely actualize that goal.

Oh, i mean believers should make havens and heavens for themselves.

patriot

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The ancient religions are flawed. Why can't people find heaven on earth and must suffer here before going to heaven to have a good time?

The modern believers are right, to build a heaven here on earth for their believers, enjoy, why suffer if they don't have to?

Matilah_Singapura said...

The idea of “selflessness” is more arrogant than the ideas of greed and selfishness with regard to explaining human nature. At least those in the greed and selfishness camp acknowledge that human nature is … well, human nature – it is what it is and can’t be changed.

Sure, we all are generous and kind at times. However those who claim that “selflessness” is some kind of moral gold-standard are full of shit and should be eyed with skepticism and mistrust.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Matilah, the idea of selflessness is as idealistic as the idea of a free market. It is a matter of relatively but is something that we can still wish for. Between one that is more selfless and one that is more selfish, which can be pretty obvious, the in between are grey.

A bigger dosage of selflessness is desirable and are frequently manifested in some decent human beans. It is not a futile wish, or else the schools will not waste time educating the young about it. It is more difficult to achieve in the adult world when people are more pragmatic and subject to many temptations.

It is not hopeless.