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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Do The Right Thing

I guess this is the thing that bothers me the most about the recent spate of racism and sexism: most of the hatred is coming from people who self-profess to be Christian. Yet, if you look at the lessons of the Bible, it specifically states things like turning the other cheek, loving your fellow man, and leaving judgment up to God, among others. There is a list of commandments that are pretty explicit, yet many of today's Christians are advocating or actually breaking many of the commandments on the list.

The parable of the Good Samaritan tells us that, when our neighbor is attacked, we should have mercy on him and help him as best we can. Yet, these Christians are the ones doing the attacking.

In the parable of the speck and the plank, the Bible teaches that people should not judge lest they be judged. It says that which you give, you will be given in exact measure in return. These Christians seem to be forgetting this, and the retribution for their hatred and acts of violence will be harsh.

The entire point of the "blessed and the meek" inheriting the Earth is that those who have God's power under their control will only use it for God's will. Both Moses and Jesus are described in the Bible as "meek," as they have their power under their control and only use it to exercise God's will. It means that you should not use that power for your own needs, but to follow and enforce God's laws. Yet, the Christians today are using it only for their own desires, ignoring God's law and His word, as expressed in the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Bible.

The parable of the Lost Son (or Prodigal Son) is a great allusion for today. It tells the story of one who takes his money and leads a hedonistic life, becomes indentured, and finally has a real revelation of his failures. He returns to his father and truly repents what he has done, so the father rejoices. Meanwhile, the other son thinks he is doing the "right things" and is self-righteous, but thinks that his father hasn't given him equal love. The father explains that he always has given the second son equal love, he just had to ask and all would be given to him. It ends open-ended, as we do not know if the self-righteous son accepts the father's invitation to come inside and join the party for the first son. This parable shows that many think they are doing the right thing, but become jealous when another gets what appears to be better or different treatment -- when, in fact, both people had access to the same things. One just chose to be offended and never ask, the other had to see how bad it could be before he learned to ask. Christians today seem to be the second son, standing at the threshold and not understanding why the fatted calf was killed and cooked for the first son, while they think they have done all that was asked of them. They cannot understand that they could have had the fatted calf at any time, had they asked for it.

The Ten Commandments are pretty clear on some subjects. Yet, today's Christians seem to be ignoring many of them.

  • How often do we see self-professed Christians lying? The candidates for Presidential office do it so often they can't seem to tell what is truth and what is fiction any more. How often do we see Christians bearing false witness against their neighbors? Lying about what "others" do, and trying to incense people to violence against them. Which leads to...
  • The incited violence often reaches murder, and is often done in the name of the Lord -- even though the Ten Commandments are VERY clear on that subject -- "Thou shall not kill." Period. So if you are walking into a Baptist church with a gun in your pants and the desire to kill the Black parishioners there, you are wrong and need to stop. Basically, any time you think your religious beliefs or leaders are espousing death, you have to take a serious step back and get out, because there cannot be any clearer commandment than "Thou shall not kill."
  • Adultery, Stealing and Coveting? Way too many examples to cite. But, again, the Commandments are pretty clear -- if you are yearning to possess something that is not yours, or actually take it (whether sexually or otherwise), you are committing a sin and need to stop, take it back, and/or repent for your actions. It can't be any clearer.
  • Honoring your father and mother? Most Biblical scholars think this is another way of saying honor everyone, praise everyone for their worth and value, and by doing so you praise God. Basically, the respect you show to your fellow man is the respect you show to God. When was the last time you saw one of today's Christians respecting their fellow man?
It seems pretty clear to me that so many of today's Christians are failing at following their own religion. And yet, at the same time, they are professing that these failures are espoused, or sanctioned by that same religion. If it is, they should be questioning their leadership and looking for a new church.