Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Old New Testament

Laws stated in the negative only go so far. Rabbi Jesus’ insight was to say, “With a thousand years of experience since Moses, it’s time to go beyond what to avoid and work on what to do:

It’s not enough not to kill... we must love; even our enemy.
It’s not enough not to steal... a wise person gives away his possessions, realizing they in fact possess him.
It’s not enough not to adulterate trust in another’s household... to even look at another with violence is to do the deed.
It’s not enough not to lie... speak the truth, or keep still.

The greatest tragedy in Christian history is how, from early on, the focus shifted from living the teachings to a fixation on the teacher. None of the new commandants – nor ‘Peace be with your,’ nor ‘Love one another’ – is contingent on an empty tomb.

In their defense of land and possessions, the Commandments affirm property rights. In their promotion of individual peace and social justice, the Beatitudes (Matt 5; Luke 6) affirm human rights.

Rather than argue before the US Supreme Count about posting the Ten Commandments, better to post the non-sectarian Beatitudes in public places:

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice – on Wall Street
Blessed are the peacemakers – at the Pentagon
Blessed are the pure of heart – in Hollywood
Blessed are the meek – at the White House.

1 Comments:

Blogger Christine said...

Oh dear!!!!!

2:38 PM  

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