Monday, August 22, 2005
Christianity is the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Isn't it? If you read "the Book", ya' know the Bible, the life and teachings of Christ are in the New Testament.
That books is filled with a message of love and forgiveness. Jesus preached that you should forgive those who hurt you, turn the other cheek. Sound familiar? How about love your enemies? How about feed the hungry? How about throwing out the money changers from the Temple? You know, get out of my Father's house?
The New Testament is about the fulfillment of a promise.
So why do people who call themselves Christians always quote the OLD TESTAMENT? Old Testament, written before the coming of Christ. The Old Testament, the fire and brimstone book. The fear God and punish your enemy book. The Old Testament, the book that wrote of the prophesy of the coming of the Savior.
So these fundamentalists tell us all what Jesus would want by telling us what came before Him. It makes no sense to me. They talk Christ and act like per Christian Hebrews.
Old Testament Jews shunned leapers like Fundamentalists shun those with HIV or Aids. Christ accepted those who were ill and cured them. He didn't condemn them for their illness, yet "Christian Fundamentalists" say that the good book tells them that having AIDS is proof of a sinful person, being punished by God. Excuse me? Show me where in the New Testament Jesus Christ punished any person who was ill? Show me where he shunned them, show me where he pointed a finger and made them feel unwelcome. Come on Christian Fundamentalist, show me where Christ said it was ok to be judgemental and condemning.
Seems to me that Fundamentalists don't believe in the teaching of Christ, they are all so busy waiting for the "second coming" they ignore the teaching from the first coming of the Savior.
The Old Testament was a nice bunch of stories told in vague historical terms to get the Jews ready to accept Jesus when he did get here. It was a way to make ready the path of the Lord, so that people could recognize Him when He came and listen to His word. The New Testament is a bunch of stories telling what Jesus wanted us to learn, and to replace the teaching of the Old Testament. No more "an eye for an eye", it's "forgive seventy times seven." Yet the Fundamentalists dwell on the preaching of the Old Testament , calling themselves Christians but ignoring the teachings that go along with being a follower of Christ.
I don't get it. I think in the end God won't get it either.
As for the lepers in the Old Testament…. Those people did not have leprosy. It is a translation problem. See they were not sick, they had Tsara’ath. This was a skin condition which made them look white like snow. It set them apart from the rest of society. It was a sign that they committed a sin, like slander. So they were cast outside of the their villages and town for fear they will lead others to sin too. They remained outside the their societies until they repented. After repentance (which became apparent when their skin returned to normal) they went to the temple and gave a sacrifice.
In the New Testament I think they people were really sick and did not have just spots on their skin.
Anyway, the Old Testament is more than stories, they are the Word of God. They were part of His means of salvation. Christ embodied that. He made mercy override judgment.
I finished reading a book by Lauren Winner called GIRL MEETS GOD. It is a memoir of a convert to Orthodox Judaism who ends up Christian. She talks about the transition and the things Christianity should learn from Judaism (especially since Christians don't understand JEws or the Old Testament as a JEw would). It was kind of like read about myself, except I am not a women.
So the word of God may have been given to man but by the time someone got around to writing it down for the masses it's more or less stories that the uneducated comman man can accept.
I'd use Genesis as an example. Our priest said that man cannot accept non-linear time. And what the "author" of that book calls a day may just be a device to mark a passage of time that actually spans millions of years. Who are we to tell God what time is? Our time is not God's time and His time is not our time but because we have such a limited understanding of His time. Along the way someone, some man, used the word "day" so that men's limited understanding could comprehend it.
As an example of that Mars rotates on a different schedule of night and day. Did God create Earth in an Earth day, or a day measured as on Pluto which on which a day is much longer, or by a day measured on Mercury or Venus, which is shorter? What if God created Earth in a day as measured by a yet unknown planet, in which one rotation of the planet is a million years? How are we to know what God meant? That's why I consider the "ideas" that is contained in the Bible the word of God, but the literal word? Not on a bet.
I don't think the God quiz that gets you through the Heavenly gates will be "In what chapter of the Bible is the parable of the mustard seed?" I think the question will be, "Did you listen to what I said about the mustard seed? Do you have that much faith? " It's not the WORD of God that will save you, but the comprehension of His intention.
But seriously, don't you feel better knowing your experience is not unique? Perhaps you shoudl write to the author of that book.