Often, I complain to people about the moral issues we find in orthodox Christianity. While my own ethical points of view are highly influenced by the Christian culture in which we live, I also want to say that the Old Testament version of God, no matter how you dice him, turns out to be, well, a kind of evil bastard, for lack of better terms, if we take what’s written there at face-value and as a literal reading.

But of course, the more enlightened people of eras past as well as our own era point to the fact that much of the Bible, including the nicer parts, aren’t actual history. Instead, we’re dealing with legends, myths, poetry, and stories that are meant to illustrate a point.

Some people attack Christians who disregard the negative Jehovah of the Old Testament as simply cherry-picking, as they seem to think that it’s only the bad parts that people don’t take seriously or take as an allegory, but I don’t think that’s the case. Rather, I think even the good stories are told to convey something important that is beyond the immediate meaning of the words.

The morality still sucks, though. I mean even the Ten Commandments that people seem to revere so much aren’t really all that smart of a set- maybe like 7 out of the 10 actually make good sense when you think about it. A person in our modern era could much more easily come up with a set of commandments, I think, or at least a set of “really good advice for getting along with everyone.”

Naturally, you also have the Christians who argue that we are not held by the Old Testament whatsoever, that Jesus abolished it, and then you have the people who say that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it, saying He didn’t do away with any of it.

Right.

Typically, these are people who need Old Testament support for condemning gay people, specifically Leviticus and Genesis. Either they haven’t read Romans or Corinthians or they just prefer to ignore them in favor of Old Testament Law.

The point is, when Jesus says He comes to fulfill the Law, what exactly does that mean? This opens us up the wide world of interpretation, where fulfilling of the Law can mean several different things.

Moreover, what is the meaning of the phrase in Greek? Is there an underlying suggestion here?

Again, typically Christians don’t live by much of the Old Testament. We don’t have the crazy rules that exist there. Instead, we try to focus more on loving our neighbor as ourselves and loving God the most, helping the poor, the sick, and the afflicted- no matter who they may be. This is the essence of Christianity: love, love, and more love.

Then come the Harshness Christians who seem to think that it isn’t about love, that it’s about eternal damnation. My question still remains whether or not a lot of said Christians actually believe in the existence of an Eternal Hell or if they’re simply saying that because it keeps other people in line and because it worked in the past.

Now, I don’t dismiss the notion of their being Temporal Hells. I do think we must in some way atone for karma or sin that we have created in our lives, especially if we haven’t done a great deal of penance or worked for the sake of others in any way. However, I do not think for a second that our finite lives create eternal consequences, and I do not think that the notion of burning in Hell for all Eternity makes a great deal of sense, nor is it reflective of God’s Nature.

Jesus does sum up things rather nicely when He talks about Loving God and Loving One’s Neighbor. That seems to be easy enough- unfortunately, that’s not what typically happens in practice, and when it comes down to loving one’s enemies, that can be the most brutal sort of situation ever.

Christianity is not an easy religion, contrary to what the pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist Church of Dothan said a few weeks ago in his sermon. Rather, to love one’s enemies requires several things, such as not bad-mouthing them or attacking them in any way. Loving one’s enemies may truly be the most difficult thing Christ ever suggested that we do, and He wasn’t calling for a “well, I just won’t kill you” type attitude- remember, Christ looks at the intention, not the action.

Anyway, so the point of this blog was to begin coming up with a list of morals which we could use in our modern era, along with commentary- commentary that allows for clarification of what exactly the rules mean and what exactly they don’t. This will probably show up in a few blogs in the very near future.

Beaux


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