Monday, June 30, 2008

What did you say??

One of my biggest problems with Christianity continues to be with attempting to comprehend holy scriptures. I have a tendency to try to but things in familiar terms, yet much of the culture and events would be totally foreign to those of us living today. William Klein illustrated this nicely in his "Become what you Are" by pointing out that we think of the "Good Samaritan" as good. So much so that we name hospitals for this fictional hero. Klein states "If we had been among Jesus first Jewish hears of this tale, we would have been shocked when he made what to them was a hated half-breed, a Samaritan, the hero of the story - as shocked as a Jew would be today if an Israeli rabbi made a Muslim fundamentalist the sympathetic role model of a sermon."

This was brought out to me vividly yesterday when our pastor preached on the beatitudes. I had never really attempted to analyze them, but on scrutiny they appear to be total nonsense. As an example look at Mat 5:3 - "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." How can being spiritually bankrupt be a blessing?? The answer appears to require some convoluted reverse logic. Which is that when you are totally without hope and in dire dispare you are ready to look for the heavenly reward that can only be obtained by turning to God.

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