Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Provisions for Peace

It seems to me that many of us miss the whole point of Jesus' message. Jesus was a radical who believed that we must obey the civil laws and peacefully protest the ones that deny human equality and justice. Even in the time of Jesus, taxes were collected to provide public services. Where did many get the message that some of us are deserving of privileges and property without payment?

Jesus was a Jew who realized that the chosen people needed to be less judgmental of others and more compassionate for all of creation. Jesus never said that we are to hold any class or caste of people above others. In fact, Jesus purposely ate and socialized with those considered inferior by his Jewish society.

Paul skipped over much of the good about Judaism in order to convert the most people in the least amount of time. We must remember that the early Christians believed that The Rapture was imminent, in their own lifetimes. They believed that it was imperative that all souls be "saved" in their own lifespans. Paul seems to have created "Christianity Light."

All attempts to create mass conversions within certain earthly timetables create nothing but hypocrisy. Many wars have been fought over religious beliefs. These efforts are doomed to failure, as war begets more war. All the "conversions" accomplished under threat of death, whether earthly or eternal, are not true conversions of The Spirit. Fear begets false faith. Until we are touched by The Spirit and take joy in following our faith, we are not truly converted.

While it may be true that there are many who attempt to follow Jesus without the commandments binding the Jews, there are few that succeed in peaceful community without written guidelines to which the community members commit. As a child of parents born to the law and then attempting to raise children in "The Spirit," I have found that there is little peace without the protection of laws.

It is also my experience that few people care to know the rules of their own religions or their own families and neighbors. Is it ignorance or arrogance that allows so many to profess belief in certain sets of rules while exempting themselves from following those rules?

Jews believe that when humans sin against "God," humans may ask forgiveness only from "God."  Jews also believe that any sin committed against a fellow "neighbor" must be petitioned for forgiveness from that "neighbor." Jewish Jesus also taught this message. Do we also have the responsibility to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to admit that we were hurt rather than turn our hurt into fear and anger with no attempt at reconciliation?

Shortcuts don't work in the arena of Eternity. We are each responsible for stewardship of the provisions for peace. We must stop acting as if only our own lifetimes matter and begin believing that our mission is to help create peace on our own earth. One generation at a time, we may succeed.

1 comment:

  1. I know folks who have read the life of Christ many many times, and only see his life as braiding some ropes to make a whip and driving the money changes from the temple. Sad.