For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. — 2 Peter 1:16 Continue reading Farrakhan footnote→
1As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”
The disciples want to place blame. Their posture can be referred to as fault-finding, judgment and condemnation. Jesus calls attention to the opportunity to heal, to do good, to make a beginning.
I originally wrote this as an introductory passage for “What the New Testament means to me.” I wound up leaving it out as I didn’t think Ezekah would care for a whole lot of abstraction.
As I view the world right now, I see three elements: (1) What Is, including the material (seen) world, the spiritual (unseen) world, and all possibilities of events that can possibly occur. I may as well call this “God.” (2) A single set of principles that govern existence and all events that can occur. What we call the laws of physics are an example of these principles. I may as well call this “God’s will.”
(3) Human activity. It may be that there are no commandments, and no such thing as sin. Rather, God’s will is inviolable; and it is how we interact with What Is, inevitably in accordance with those principles, that brings weal or woe. If we act this way, we can have a world of harmony, beauty and joy. If we act that way, we’ll have a world of poverty, violence and bloodshed.
So far, there is neither need nor room for teachings of John and Paul that deviate from Jesus’ teachings in the Synoptics: no need nor room for a Son of God, perfect sacrifice, “belief in” Jesus, or heaven or hell — aside from the heaven or hell we create for ourselves in this life, here and now.
“What the New Testament means to me” points to ways to create, in effect, heaven on earth. The opposite path is described in “A living hell.”
I conceived this post many months ago, at a time when I did not find what I was hearing on Sunday mornings was meeting my needs or the needs I see in the community. Throughout this piece, I apprehend projecting my own needs onto the community. I might can’t help that.
The appointed Gospel text for Sunday was Matthew’s Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-14.
I was struck by verses 11-14 —
11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”