Since I've not yet figured out how to comment on my own blog, I will write a new blog to respond to some GREAT comments!
I am even more curious now! Jenna mentioned Matthew 28: 18-20. I want to know more about this - when Jesus says "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." he is clearly making a metaphor because you can't literally baptize someone (especially a whole "nation") with someone's name. Unless "name" is a symbol for water I'd say this is a metaphor meant to be an image conveying his message.
Now bearing this in mind - I'd like to suggest that Jesus is supporting my point here, as the "teaching" them to obey His laws that Jesus commands can also be seen as a metaphor. It does not necessarily mean teaching with pamphlets or word of mouth - I'm also guessing Jesus wasn't trying to tell us to go forth and implement curriculum in public schools that teach the Word of God either. Of course, I am no biblical scholar - but I feel that the presence of a metaphor in the very next verse allows us the freedom to infer that "teaching" may in fact be more...
Were people more inspired by Jesus's words or his actions? Would we believe in anyone who simply spoke to us that God was the Almighty and we should follow only Him? No, we wouldn't. Jesus was a truly good man from what I understand and he preformed a certain amount of miracles to gain our full attention and faith.
Now I feel that a modern miracle lies not within our words that we shout to the world - but in how real those words are in our lives and actions. Once again, "teaching" has many faces and the only way to truly learn is to see something happen and do it yourself - just as a father would teach his daughter by living his life well - not forcing beliefs - and loving his children no matter what.
NOW! I'm not sure who the other post was from (not Todd - that's rather self-explanatory!). Come forth mystery blogger!
Anyways, this comment got my wheels spinning! I am wondering now - what kind of God would allow his people to be believers and require these standards of their behavior and yet allow them the sole responsibility for their loved ones religious "education"? Doesn't this go against the teaching of Jesus to think that just because you haven't convinced your brother (for example) to give into the graces of the Lord that he will never be "saved"? Why did Jesus even bother to come down here and work so hard to show us true grace if we were to treat his example like it never happened? Why can't someone just be good on their own with or without the Church and still be seen highly in the eyes of God? Must every believer be baptized and follow all of the rules of the Book verbatim in order to see the pearly gates? OOH! I hope not. Sorry, that gets me fired up!
People created Churches with a lot of their own motivations (political, economical, etc.) in mind - most of the modern churches are either old Roman courthouses (in Europe) or they are modeled after the old roman courthouses. Most religious holidays are on days previously for Pagan celebrations - so why do these things equate to the symbols of a "good " Christian? Oh. the BOOK says so. And how many "good" Christians do you know who are not really so good, who are in fact bad people who feel entitled by all of this pomp and circumstance of religious symbolism around us - and they use their "Good Christian" church group membership as a tool to look down on others, to bully and judge. I understood that God was the only one who could judge - perhaps I was wrong.
Why do the book and the Church and the singing and the praying hold SO much importance when the real teachings are sitting there between the lines? We feel so obligated to share what we learned from the book that we forget that GOD is still God and if you really believe in Jesus then you should be comforted in his presence and know that living a whole, good life with his teaching to help you along will be MORE than enough to "save" your loved ones and even the world if enough people stop talking and start modeling their actions around the words and everything in-between that is unsaid.
Oy, I digress.
Rhode Island is neither a road or an island - discuss!