Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Jesus Sheds Some Lights -- or He Could

I’ve gotten to the New Testament in my World Lit class – doing the Sermon on the Mount tomorrow. Gonna shake some Levitican Christians up. It always does.

(One of my quiz questions is always: Where does Christ say you should pray: (a) In church (b) around flagpoles (c) in your closet. They always get that one wrong.)

Man, though, I can see why Levitican Christians want the 10 Commandments posted everywhere and not this Sermon, despite the fact that this Sermon is what their guy was about and the Commandments (of which, BTW, there are 614, not 10) are what our Law is about.

I mean, listen to some of this stuff:

From Matthew Chapter 5:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

And:

33: "Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' 34: But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35: or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36: And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37: Let what you say be simply `Yes' or `No'; anything more than this comes from evil.

And:

38: "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39: But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; 40: and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; 41: and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42: Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.

And, from Chapter 6 of Matthew:

5: "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6: But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And

19:"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, 20: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

And:

24: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

And, of course, the ever-famous:

15: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16: You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17: So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.


Now, imagine if, instead of those famous 10 Commandments, these bits were up on the walls of Courtrooms and Schoolhouses all over the Nation – along with, mind you, a fine selection of quotations from other Wisdoms literatures – from Buddha’s Deer Park Sermon and bits from the Bhagava-Gita and Plato and Confucius and maybe some Zen Koans – see, that would, well, actually enlighten people.

I’m just saying.

And if there’s anything Levitican Christians don’t want --

1 comment:

Ajay said...

Amen