Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Jesus Christ, what on earth were you trying to say ?

The authors of the New Testament had Jesus say, " Do not judge, do not condemn, do not call nasty names like fool ",  They attributed the idea of ,' The spiritual man judges everything' to Paul.
  Probably all these ideas were around long before New testament times. Does the idea 'judge everything' contradict the idea 'Do not judge' ? I think that the idea, 'Do not judge anything' is impossible, unworkable and meaningless. The only meaning that I can find in these ideas is that you should 'Be specific and judge the action / concept  not the whole person' . A person is a complex creature who does lots of stuff. You can only take one point at a time otherwise it just becomes so inaccurate, generalised and exaggerated as to be false.
  Inaccuracy is brother to the lie.
  Greatness lies in the detail.
  It is possible to assess each activity on many different criteria
  It is possible to do a health and safety assessment on each activity.
  It is possible to assess each action / idea in terms of your emotions / feelings
  It is possible to assess the action / idea in terms of its economic consequencies / effects.

  Do not condemn people. Yesterdays behaviour does not have to define what they or I will do today.
 To condemn with name calling is to point at what has been done, maybe it reinforces the undesirable behaviour. My experience is that voices in the church judge & condemn non church goers with a generalised, 'They are bad, wrong, atheists, unbelievers, sinners, disobedient, fools' which is to do the very thing Jesus is said to have advised against [ mind you this is common language of any group against an opposing group, tribal fundamentalism ]. Maybe the church should have listened to the non church goers to see if they had any valid reasons why ideas in christianity aren't true. Maybe we should recognise that people are more the same than different. Most people go out and try to earn an honest penny to make it through another day.
  It is just too easy to slip into vague generalisations

The opposite is to try to point to the good that you think should be done.

  I'm shocked that you drove in such a reckless manner, there was no need for it, you should have complied with the speed limits, experts have assessed that stretch of road and advised on a maximum safe speed, I agree with them about that. Do you not realise what could have happened and the consequencies it would have had on your life and the people you might have injured.
  In contrast to, ' You idiot, your driving is terrible, you should be banned '
  In contrast to, ' You f'ing twit, your f'ing driving is shit, you should be f'ing banned, I hate you, f'ing nutter'
However all three are essentially correct and in agreement that the driving was dangerous.
  In contrast to, ' I can go as fast as I like, I can drive well, I think that even if I drive at 60 mph in a 30 limit I will be able to do so safely without hitting anything, I'm that good'. I wouldn't fault the language but the error is in the idea that driving at 60mph can be defined ' driving well' it isn't, it is 'driving dangerously'. However police or ambulance sometimes drives at 60 in a 30 in an emergency but they are trained and maybe there would be situations that they wouldn't do it- children on the pavement?

  Anyway, Just supposing that what Jesus really meant was, ' Be specific and comment on the individual action / idea in terms of you emotions, i.e put your comments in a subjective form' well the people who wrote the New Testament had neither Jesus nor any apostles comply with this maxim. They wrote Jesus as saying of others, 'You fool', 'You Vipers', 'You empty graves'. Also the Bible text often breaks this rule, so often that you would be hard pressed to claim it complies with it. For example you have kings being described with the condemnation 'Evil' or equally obscurely ' Good'. If I had been writing it I would have listed the commands that the King had made and listed the outcome / effects of those commands. He gave the order to withhold food from that clan and they all starved to death. He should have been caring and worked for the well being of all people, brotherhood of man etc. Was his action at all warranted. Was the clan a group of people bent on murder, rape and pillage? Was it a sort of siege thing where they refused to accept terms for peace. What was the better side? Could a peace deal have been reached, they just couldn't think of it at the time. Most times the reasonable thing to hope for is a negotiated settlement where war is avoided, one where a sustainable future for each side is agreed.

   If you look at the book of Revelation, you will see that the author has Jesus speak in a very poor way. You wouldn't employ him. In terms of emotional literacy the characters in Revelation would be given an 'F' -failed.
  Jesus should have been made to say, ' These are the things I wanted you to do, points 1, 2, 3, 4 , 5. I'm delighted you achieved points 1, 5, I can see we will need to work on the rest but we'll get there.
  The way that Jesus and John are made to speak in Revelation completely fails to adhere to any sensible rule or meaning that you could take from the gospels. Jesus is made to speak in a tyrannous and thuggish way.

  The Bible is a record of the guesses that people have made.
  The Bible is the stories that people have made up to try to explain why the world is the way they saw it.

If you look at the Book of James, it doesn't even manage to define what the ideal way of speaking or thinking is. It doesn't clarify or advance on what 'Jesus' or 'Paul' meant.
I propose that I have offered an ideal form of speech, a simple maxim that it would be possible to make all thoughts fit. You could tweak all expression to comply with this principle. However I conclude that if you did so it wouldn't make that much difference. It is just a superficial vanity. The big issues are finding solutions to the practical issues in life like supplying enough clean water, food, clothes, shelter, health care, population control, entertainment to everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment