The Words of Jesus Regarding “The Judgment Day”

Interesting thing about Jesus’ version of “the judgment day”.

In Jesus’ version of “judgment day”, he does not tell those who were so poor that they need to be fed by others:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Nor in Jesus’ version of “judgment day” does he tell those who are homeless:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Nor in Jesus’ version of “judgement day” does he tell those who are sick and in need of someone else to provide for their healthcare:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Nor even in Jesus’ version of “judgment day” does he tell those who are in prison:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Interesting.

What is even more interesting is that Jesus DOES tell those who fail to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, provide healthcare for the ill, and even take care of those who are in prison:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”, and then he simply sends them “away into everlasting punishment”.

Interesting.

Ah well, surely Jesus did not ACTUALLY mean what he said here… right?

I mean, surely Jesus is using figurative language here… right?

I mean come on man, surely Jesus is not SO CONCERNED about real life situations like the well being of the poor, the homeless, and the incarcerated that he would ACTUALLY make such scenarios a criteria for eternal judgment… would he?

Besides, everyone knows that people who are so poor that they cannot feed themselves or provide shelter for themselves are in that condition due to no one’s fault but their own… right?

So I am not ACTUALLY  accountable in Jesus’ eyes to ACTUALLY help those people… right?

And Healthcare is a privilege to be purchased and not an inherent human right to be provided for.. right?

And prison conditions, hey, that is not my concern.  Those people in prison gave up their rights when they committed crimes against society and humanity…right?

I mean surely Jesus is gonna take these types of factors into account on Judgment Day… right?

Besides, surely even if I do pass judgment on the poor as being lazy and therefore I do not believe in providing for their welfare; and I figure I have to work hard to pay for my house so why should anything just be given away to the homeless, and I figure that since I have to work hard to pay for my Healthcare then I therefore naturally oppose Universal Healthcare for all on principle; and I am not in the least concerned about prison conditions since those people are just getting what they deserve….

Surely I will not be accountable for such perspectives on Judgment Day.. right?

I mean, SURELY so long as I take my family to church every Sunday, and pray before every meal, and even stand and sing “God Bless America” at the same time everyone else does; then little things like turning my back on the poor, supporting denying Healthcare for all, and my opinions on prison conditions won’t be held against me by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… right??

….. right???

MATTHEW 25:31-46 (source: biblegateway.com, bold lettering mine. Dave)

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Not to worry people.  These are JUST Jesus words as to “THE  JUDGMENT DAY”.

Not to worry   …. right?

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On God and The Human Condition

If a person requires the concept of a deity in order to be sensitive and caring, or kind and compassionate; then by all means such a person should serve their God by being sensitive and caring, kind and compassionate.

If on the other hand, a person’s concept of a deity encourages that person to be insensitive to the suffering of the poor, and indifferent to the circumstances which lead to such suffering, then it seems to me that such a person should review their concept of “God”.

Life is The Jericho Road

One of my favorite Parables attributed to Jesus is about a person who gets beat up, left for dead, ignored by religious leaders, and gets helped by another of conventional society’s misfits.

I love this Parable.

This Parable is not about God.

This Parable is not about Heaven or Hell.

This Parable is about life.

This Parable is about “the real world”.

This Parable is about “The Human Condition”:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[h] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[i]

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[j] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

(Source:  biblegateway.com)

My thoughts:

Life is the Jericho Road:

This parable is often called “The Parable of The Good Samaritan”.  Note even the heading above as copied and pasted from Biblegateway.com.

But I maintain that this is actually “The Parable of Those Who Wish to Justify Themselves”.

The text itself is quite clear on the matter.  Jesus told this story in response to an individual who is attempting to justify himself in response to being told to love his neighbor as himself.

This is “The Parable of Those Who Wish to Justify Themselves”.

There are many people in life who “wish to justify themselves”.

Life is the Jericho Road:

There are people in life  who will beat you up and leave you for dead.

Thugs is what they are.

Life’s thugs.

Life’s thugs may not always actually hit you with their fists.  But they will sure enough kick your teeth in and leave you  helpless.

Life’s thugs do not always operate as “desperados”.

LIfe’s thugs may very well wear business suits.

Life’s thugs may be Wall Street investors or CEO’s.

Life’s thugs are those who ruthlessly take from others, and do not concern themselves with the well being of those who they plunder.

Life does have its thugs.

Life is the Jericho Road:

There are people in life who get beat up and left to their own resources.

These people are the victims of life.

These people may live on the streets just blocks from where you live.

These people may very well be checking out your groceries at your Corporate operated “Market”.

Or these people may be victims of War.

War which is ironically waged by a “Christian Nation”.

These people are victims of life.

Life is the Jericho Road:

There are people in life who are “comfortable”.

And like the Priest and the Levite on the Jericho road….  they choose to “pass by on the other” side when they encounter life’s victims.

Like the Priest and the Levite they have places to go and things to do.

Perhaps they must “pass by on the other side” in order to go to Worship Service.

Perhaps they must “pass by on the other side” in order to go to Men’s Prayer Breakfast..

Perhaps they must “pass by on the other side” in order to go to Ladie’s Bible Class.

Whatever the reason, there are many in life who are so comfortable with their lives that they have not the inclination to be bothered by the problems of the victims of life.

And so they choose to “pass by on the other side”.

Life is the Jericho Road:

There are some in life who actually have compassion.

There are some in life who may actually have sincere pity for the plight of others.

And these folk may very well be society’s misfits themselves.

They may be minorities.

They may be “illegals”.

They may be openly Gay.

They may be Atheists.

They may be worse yet:  Liberals.

Whatever they are, they certainly can be no lower on the scale of “conventional society” than was the Samaritan in the parable as told by Jesus.

The Samaritans were scum in the eyes of the Jewish society of Jesus’ day.

Kind of like minorities are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

Kind of like “illegals” are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

Kind of like Homosexuals are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

Kind of like Atheists are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

And kind of like Liberals are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

Indeed there are Samaritans on life’s Jericho Road.

Good Samaritans.

Good people.

People who actually care.

For such is what set the Good Samaritan apart from the Priest and the Levite.

The Samaritan differed no more from the Priest and the Levite than minorities, “illegals”, the LGBT community, the Atheists, and the Liberals differ from conventional society today.

So what did set the Samaritan apart from his religious counterparts in “The Parable of Those Who Wish to Justify Themselves”?

He had compassion.

He had mercy.

He actually cared.

Jesus said it, not me:  “Go and do likewise.”

Life is the Jericho Road.

A Choice to Make

The distinction between me and the indifferent Universe in which I exist is quite simply this:

The Universe is indifferent to the suffering of others by its nature.  The Universe quite frankly has no choice in the matter, for the Universe by its nature, lacks the capacity to care about anyone or anything.

I, on the other hand, have a choice in the matter.

Hence, when I am indifferent to the suffering of others, my indifference and lack of sensitivity is a matter of personal choice.

The choice as to whether to care or not is mine to make.

If I am indifferent to the suffering of others, and insensitive to their plight, I have no one to blame but myself.

The Human Condition

The human condition seems to be an endless quest to seek an ever fleeting comfort.

The fact that our efforts are exerted in a realm of continuous resistance to our efforts to that end merely manifests the bizarre absurdity of the human condition.

And so we enjoy the favorable experiences of the human condition.

And so we endure the hard times.

And so we eventually die.

Thoughts on MLK’s Speech: “Beyond Vietnam”

What a wonderful experience I had yesterday day evening.

I had the most educational and revelational experience of listening to the original cut of Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech.

Mr King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech was delivered on April 4, 1967, exactly one year to the day before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Beyond Vietnam” is one of the most informative and sincerely delivered speeches I have ever heard dealing with the topic of American militarism and US imperialism.

“Beyond Vietnam” was met with harsh criticism by those “in high places”.  (Perhaps the good Reverend stepped on some toes?)

Listening to this powerful speech which called out the US not only for undue aggression but also for political agenda in waging misery on the peoples of societies who are helpless in the wake of our warmongering ways, I was reminded that not much has changed in the last 45 years.

I would that every school child were permitted the opportunity to listen to “Beyond Vietnam” at least once a year as a practical means of their educational experience.

I offer posthumous thanks to Martin Luther King for attempting to appeal to our humanity in an effort to enlighten us as to the evils of war, and to challenge us to rise above our “leaders” and be sincerely compassionate and caring people.

The Super “BOWL”

My daughter brought something to my attention yesterday that I had not considered with regards to this year’s Super Bowl matchup:

Denver-Seattle

Major cities representng the only 2 States which have legalized (so far) the recreational use of Marijuana…

Hmm……

Kind of gives new meaning to the term:  Super BOWL…..

Frankly, I think the NFL should capitalize upon the moment:

Why not postpone Red Hot Chili Peppers till next year, and invite CHEECH N CHONG to do this years Hemptime; er, uhm, I mean Halftime entertainment of the “Super BOWL!!!”

Either way, I deem this season’s Super Bowl:  The Cannabis Bowl!!

(Did that Quarterback say “Hut! Hut!” or was that  “Hemp! Hemp!!)

One Life to Live

If there is such a concept as “meaning to life”, or if indeed there is a purpose to our existence, it seems to me that such purpose for and meaning of our very being is a development of human experience rather than being a dictate from without.

What happens in this realm of existence seems to affect and influence this known reality exclusively.

Attempts to attach a deeper meaning or to assume some inherent purpose to our biological existence seems to me potentially detrimental to the natural process of genuine humanness in action.

Speculation of a life hereafter tends to foster unnatural hopes or create undue fears which merely confuse the ever present issue of the already seeming chaos which is our very daily lives.

There is simply too much to this life to be distracted by speculations of another.

Perhaps in another lifetime.  But probably not.

Just Be Decent

Religion as a means of self improvement is understandable.

By self improvement I do not mean making more money or establishing some degree of social credibility, be it in the workplace, the region, or even in the home.

By self improvement I mean being a decent person.

Now by decent I do not mean following moral “rules, regulations, or codes”.  I do not mean living a “conventional lifestyle” to please mass opinion.  I do not mean refraining from certain practices in order to fit a mass dictated concept of “decent” as contrasted with “indecent” behaviour.

By decent I mean giving a damn about your neighbor, your friends, and yes, even the plight of people you don’t even know.  By decent I mean treating people nice and actually CARING that there are poor people, hurting people, socially discarded people, who are PEOPLE.

By decent I mean GIVING A DAMN about the existence and welfare of every single person alive, anywhere and at any time.

Now, if religion is your crutch that you feel you need in order to develop and maintain any sense of social conscience within your inner being, then go for it.

The main thing is to be decent.

Personally, I think being a decent person is a human thing and has nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

But whatever works.

Just be decent.