Monday, June 26, 2006
Stop Thumping It and Start Reading It.
For my 100th post on Blogger I thought I would get a bit serious and wax intellectual about overly religious people and how they rarely, if ever, truly follow the teaching of Jesus. I went to the Seminary for a few years and although I didn't get my Doctorate in Theology, I do feel as if I can claim to have strong education in common sense, common decency and the common life lessons we should all be able to learn from Jesus.
I often wonder what modern religious people think Jesus would be doing if he were walking the earth today? Do they think he would be a CEO of an Oil company, or on the front lines in the war on immoral behavior. I would venture to guess that if he were to return to the earth the first thing he would do is embrace the countless hundreds of thousands of people stricken with the most recent scourge of health, AIDS. Which is the equivalent, in it's effect on the general public, to leprosy. Rather than cut off the people of Africa from help based on their religious beliefs, Jesus would help them. But, our view of the poor, the sick and the downtrodden is that they are the ones with the problem, and we can just sit back and let them suffer.
Who in their right mind thinks that the man who said "blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" would ever tell the poor of the world to 'get a job.' Anyone in this country who is stupid enough to think that Jesus Christ would have approved of, let alone been involved in, a capitalist government is devoid of any rational thought. The US government are the Romans, not the followers of Christ. The people, both Republican and Democrat alike, who sit in Washington and talk about morality have the ability to change things for the better for millions of people and they chose to serve the golden idol.
Jesus says in Matthew chapter 25 verse 40 "whatever you did for one of these, the least brothers of mine, you did for me." I think a lot of people get as caught up in syntax and outdated prose with the Bible, as they do when they read Shakespeare. Simply put, most people can hear a string of words in English and have no idea what it is saying. I remember this quote from the old New American Bible as "What so ever you do to the least of my people that you do unto me." which does have a nicer ring to it. But either way, most people don't understand what JC was saying here, much as they don't understand the gravity of pondering "to be, or not to be." Jesus was telling his people, in simple terms that when you yell hateful things to the woman at the Planned Parenthood, you are yelling them at him. When you tell the person who takes a different path to a righteous life than you, that they are evil, you are saying that to Jesus.
Jesus was a simple man, and even if you don't believe he was the son of God, no one can deny the genius of the simple yet logical path he set before his followers. If you love him so much, all he asks is that you treat every person you come into contact with as if they were him. But no, the followers of Christ these days are full of vitriol and bile for other people who live a different life then they do. They pump $100 at a time into their SUV while others go hungry and children die. Above all else, I am an American and I think as long as you are not hurting anyone you should be able to do whatever you want, with one caveat; walk it like you talk it. If you are going to play the religious, high moral stance then you can't live even a slightly more than comfortable life.
In John 14, Jesus says "Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do." Translation, if you want to not only believe in Christ but also puff your chest out as a proud Christian, then quit your job and get out there and care for the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and try and lead the wicked to the light. Anything less and I don't want to hear from you about how I am headed to the lake of fire. You can posture and preen here on earth, but do you really think the he can be fooled? If you are truly good, no loving God will turn you away.
The single greatest teaching of the man so many claim to worship and follow but so few relay listen to is from Luke 10:27 "Love your neighbor as yourself." How hard is that, really?
All these people tell us we are living in the end times, and is that too hard to believe? If you were God and your followers were the cause of so much hate and death wouldn't you want to pull the plug? If the end is coming it's because the Almighty must be so let down that we waste copious wealth, squander opportunity after opportunity to help one another and make it all but impossible for the majority of people to live a fulfilling life. At some point all botched experiments are ended, normally by the ones who started them.