Monday, May 4, 2009

Word of Mouth - Continued!

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!


  1. I'm pretty sure, even if you're baptizing one person, you still use the phrasing "in the name of (Trinity or Jesus)". It sort of means the person baptizing you is doing the baptism (cleansing, repentance of sins) on behalf of the higher being. That's why you can't just jump in a pool and shout "BAPTIZED" and be absolved. I could be totally wrong, but that's the interpretation that I understand.

    A lot of religions do believe that you have to publicly embrace God or Jesus in order to become saved, and without humbling yourself before either one of these, you don't really have a true place in heaven. It is kind of a bummer to think that good deeds are not enough, but there are a lot of people that think that! C.S. Lewis (a Christian apologist) actually wrote a lot on the whys and hows of Christianity... all sorts of questions concerning how God can go about allowing people to suffer, to continue in ignorance, and to reject something perfect and wonderful, and condemn some to Hell (not as much a fire and brimstone place, but a lonely place absolutely devoid of the love of God).

    Unfortunately, I always see relgion and faith in terms of the limitations of humans. I personally (I can't speak for other believers) don't know what God thinks. I know religious texts were written/interpreted/filtered through the human mind, and that has great room for error. So I think we can only do our best and try to do what we think is right. And obviously everyone has a different opinion of what's "right".

    I kind of jokingly say that I will always be going to someone's Hell. I can't be a part of all religions, and there will always be someone who would tell me that his way is better. I think pushy converters have failed from the getgo. If God is omnipresent/potent etc., then we've all got a plan to go someplace, and we'll be going there no matter what (yep, predestination if you want to take it), and the most devoted missionary in the world can't repave that path.

    Did you know that Rhode Island was the home of the first American synagogue? Crazy, right?
    Also the "Rhode" in Rhode Island has multiple origin sources: either one of the original explorers referring to the red clay on the shore [red - roodt (Dutch) - rhode (anglicized)], which means he was still crazy about the island thing. The other speculation is that the area reminded some dude of the greek island Rhodes, and named it after that. Thanks, History 109 and Wikipedia!

  2. By the way, 'jade' is "Kim L.", since that's the only account I can comment under.

  3. THANK you Kim! I want to read that C.S Lewis book!

  4. The Problem of Pain is pretty amazing. So is A Grief Observed, but it's not as religious and more a first hand experience of someone going through a loss and writing about it. There's also... The Screwtape Letters (which are so much fun!), and The Four Loves. He also wrote a set of three called The Space Trilogy, and they're interesting, but almost need some sort of supplement to go along with them. I read these all in CS Lewis course, so I had a little help. And of course you know the Narnia series! Those are fantastic just on their own as children's stories.

    I like your "crazy" posts. As long as they're not too crazy or inflamatory! =P I think it's good to ask questions and bounce ideas around.

    Hmm... topic request... uhh... okay, since it's past midnight, I'm kinda tapped. How about Luke? Crazy cat antics are always my style. =^..^=