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 Post subject: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:06 am 
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Ok, vacation is a good and healthy thing, but at what point does going on expensive vacations become sinful? 2 a year, 3 a year, 4? Assuming a family that also takes other weekends off and goes on more normal vacations and holidays as well, but also to fancy, expensive resort or themed vacations that are more expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:06 am 
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Interesting question...we scrimp and safe every year to either go camping in Holland (where I'm from), or drive down to Lourdes in the South of France, cooking our meals at service stops, sleeping in cheap hotels or on campings. My in-laws go on 2 month-long luxury cruises a year, plus about 3 week-long breaks to Ireland, Italy or wherever takes their fancy, and then can still visit relatives across the country for another 3 or 4 weeks of the year. I've always felt it was just 'nice' they can afford to do it, and I would love a real 'luxury' vacation one day...What does God think of it? I don't know...in Biblical times people didn't go on vacation...is it 'excessive' to spend lots of money on a vacation? See, I don't know...Ideally everybody would be able to travel, and everybody would have enough money...but that just isn't a reality in this world.


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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:12 am 
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I don't claim to be the best at living out the call to poverty, but I wouldn't ever consider going to Disney or taking a cruise or doing anything wildly expensive like that. I'm not prepared to say it would necessarily be sinful to do those things. For many people, I'm sure it's not, although of course it might be sinful for many. Too many variables there to try to make a rule. I'm just saying that I myself find those kinds of things excessively spendy. Spending thousands of dollars to go hunt an elk in Wyoming (or a rhino in Africa) falls into the same category for me. I just can't see my way clear to it. I'm not criticizing the people who do it. Just saying that for me, it's not a proper use of my family's money.

Renting a cabin at a lake is more our speed. (Though of course if you go to a touristy or fancy lake, that might be outrageously expensive, too, so we go more off-season and more rustic.) But frankly, given the fact that our extended family is spread out pretty far, most of our "vacations" consist in going to visit family.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:45 am 
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If 'vacation' means 'traveling' then I haven't had a vacation in nearly 20 years.....


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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:04 am 
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I believe that God wants us to enjoy life, so taking vacations is part of that. Creating memories with family, visiting grandparents in another city, bringing joy to your children by taking them to Disney, or getting away to a quiet cabin to be alone to think about life, is all part of that.

I hate to put a number on what would be excessive, but I think the point would be to give an appropriate amount of charity (money AND time) if you are the type of person that can afford several vacations (which is also - money and time).

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:10 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:24 am 
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And He wants me to go on luxury vacations. But not you.

Again, freewill comes into play. I have some difficulty evaluating threads about what God wants each of us to specifically do on a wide range of specific issues. The underlying rationale of these threads seems to be asking, "Is there a balance between the affluent enjoying their resources versus the non-affluent being unable to enjoy the same things?" Of course there is. But so many factors determine that balance that, IMHO, it is an individual issue for each person.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:09 am 
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Francisca wrote:
...bringing joy to your children by taking them to Disney...

I wouldn't use the word "joy" here. "Pleasure" seems more appropriate. Bear in mind that one could bring pleasure to one's children by hiring prostitutes for them. The fact that a certain choice brings pleasure with it doesn't offer any moral justification for having made that choice.

(I'm not saying that going to Disney is just like going to a prostitute. I'm not making any comparison at all between the two things. I'm making a point about pleasure: it doesn't serve as a justification.)

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:43 am 
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gherkin wrote:
Francisca wrote:
...bringing joy to your children by taking them to Disney...

I wouldn't use the word "joy" here. "Pleasure" seems more appropriate. Bear in mind that one could bring pleasure to one's children by hiring prostitutes for them. The fact that a certain choice brings pleasure with it doesn't offer any moral justification for having made that choice.

(I'm not saying that going to Disney is just like going to a prostitute. I'm not making any comparison at all between the two things. I'm making a point about pleasure: it doesn't serve as a justification.)


Hi Gherkin. I'm not sure what you mean about the difference between joy and pleasure, to me these words seem like synonyms in this case.

Anyway, I'm no theologian/morality expert, it would be pointless for me to try to argue about whether it is "justified".. but in my opinion, taking your kids to Disney once or twice in their young lives is not immoral.

What if you never went on any other vacations but those 1 or 2 trips? I think just as long as it is not in excess.
(But I think you are arguing that even 1 of these sort of trips is excess itself)

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:50 am 
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There are good pleasures and evil ones. Sex with one's spouse can be and is pleasurable, but not morally evil like sex with one's neighbor's spouse, which might also be pleasurable, though immoral.

Taking your kids to Disney would not necessarily be an immoral pleasure...in fact, it could be a pleasure that helps bind a family closer together and creates the kinds of memories that help cement those bonds long into the future.

I have never been to Disney (though we did take our children to other theme parks when they were young), but I would have no reservations about doing so as long as:
1. I didn't have to go into debt to do it.
2. I didn't deprive someone else of a life necessity by going (e.g. a neighbor or someone whom I knew to be in deep need, and I had the wherewithal to help and knew I should help, but couldn't do so because I spent the money at Disney.)

Luxury is a very relative term. For many of us, having air conditioning, heat in winter, an automobile with a radio, a gps system, an HD TV (even an inexpensive one), all may seem like necessities, but to many in the world these would be luxuries.

There were many in the Bible who were wealthy (Abraham, Kings David and Solomon, Joseph of Arimathea). Yet, these were not condemned for the luxuries they enjoyed. Each was generous with what God had lavished on them, and in that way, guarded against greed and excessiveness. Others, like the young rich man who came to Jesus, were so attached to their wealth, they could not let it go when called upon by Christ to serve the poor.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:55 am 
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Francisca wrote:
Hi Gherkin. I'm not sure what you mean about the difference between joy and pleasure, to me these words seem like synonyms in this case.

You can't get things like joy or happiness from external goods. Pleasure, however, obviously can come from external goods.

Quote:
Anyway, I'm no theologian/morality expert, it would be pointless for me to try to argue about whether it is "justified".. but in my opinion, taking your kids to Disney once or twice in their young lives is not immoral.

What if you never went on any other vacations but those 1 or 2 trips? I think just as long as it is not in excess.
(But I think you are arguing that even 1 of these sort of trips is excess itself)

No, in fact I said in this thread that I make no judgments about whether it's immoral for others to go to Disney. I just said I myself wouldn't do it. My point in responding to you was simply that "to get pleasure" is not a good justification for doing something. (Though it can be a part of a good justification.)

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:56 am 
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Cyprian wrote:
Others, like the young rich man who came to Jesus, were so attached to their wealth, they could not let it go when called upon by Christ to serve the poor.

And since we're almost certainly more like this fellow than we'd like to admit, it's probably a good idea for all of us to err on the side of rejecting luxuries.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:48 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
it's probably a good idea for all of us to err on the side of rejecting luxuries.

I think "eschew" might be a better word here since "rejecting" gives the impression that we think they're wrong for others as well as for ourselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:03 pm 
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I hereby affirm that I meant to convey no such impression. :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:05 pm 
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God wants you take a luxury vacation -- to go anywhere, in fact -- so long as you bear witness to Him while you are there.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:13 pm 
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::): People who live in towns dependant on the tourist trade WANT you to go on vacations.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:19 pm 
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People who live in towns dependant on the tourist trade WANT you to go on vacations.

So, out of the kindness and generosity of my heart and my love for those who are depending on it, I will take a vacation this winter!

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Actually what Diane has said deserves some consideration.
I have never taken a cruise. Don't desire to, and can't afford it anyway. But look at all the people whose livelihood depends upon the cruise lines. There are bookkeepers, cooks, and maids, and all sorts of lower to middle paid personnel... all depending on some people to take a cruise so they don't lose their jobs. Their families are fed, clothed, and housed because those who have money actually spend it.

Years ago I worked as a salesman for a prestigious window company. My trainer said something like this: Don't ever take advantage of people who don't really need new windows, or those who obviously would be put into financial crisis for buying them. But always remember that by making a sale, you not only put a commission in your pocket, and better the lives of the homeowners, you also provide jobs for the window installers, the truck drivers who deliver the product from factory to warehouse, the laborers in the factory, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:41 pm 
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I would really insist that the fact that the cruise industry is a huge one that supports many many families is altogether irrelevant to the question. The same point could be made of the pornography industry. It supports many many families. Lots of photographers, actors, producers, website administrators, bookkeepers, and so on depend on the porno industry for their livelihood. But obviously that doesn't mean we should go ahead any buy porn!

To be clear: I am not saying that the cruise industry is morally on par with the porn industry. That's not my point. My point is simply that the fact that people are employed by an industry, in itself, gives us no reason to support that industry.

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 Post subject: Re: Does God want us to go on luxury vacations?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:03 pm 
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Quote:
My point is simply that the fact that people are employed by an industry, in itself, gives us no reason to support that industry.


With this I completely agree. "In itself" it gives us no reason to support it. Other very important factors are considerations. As you pointed out, an industry, like pornography, can be objectively wrong. In such a case, to gain employment and livelihood in such an industry would wrong, especially when other employments are available. However, the cruise industry is not intrinsically evil. (Not to say that a lot of immoral things might occur on a cruise, but the cruise industry itself is not the cause or to blame, unless in some way it promotes the immorality).

Now there are literally hundreds of such industries which support the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people and their families. Luxury automobiles, exquisite furniture, expensive shoes, clothing, high class restaurants, well-to-do housing industry, country clubs and golfing there, box seats at the ball park, and numberless other things could qualify for luxury...all of which earn the honest livelihood for factory workers, attendants, construction workers, waiters, clerks, and more.

Each must answer to God for the resources God gives him. I can be given over to luxury (and in so doing help provide living for many people), but that will not excuse me from my self-centered life of pandering to my material wants. On the other hand, I can have great means, but be miserly and stingy, storing up treasures on earth which do no one good except the bankers, while I live as though poor, but have stored up resources for many years. There is a better way for those who have been blessed with abundance. First, be thankful to God who gives all things. Second, give generously to charities and the work of God. To whom much is given, much is required. Thirdly, don't feel guilty enjoying the benefits God has blessed you with. Don't trust in riches which can be gone in a moment; rather trust in God.

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