Make your own free website on Tripod.com


Spirituality for the Skeptic




HOME PAGE
ABOUT US
ABOUT THIS SITE
BOOK OF THOMAS HAS ARRIVED!
MANIFESTATIONS
CONTACT US
GOD & COUNTRY?
JESUS' REAL FAMILY VALUES
IS GOD MALE?
WHAT GOOD IS FAITH?
BY FAITH ALONE?
IGNORANT SUPERSTITION
NATURAL LAW?
BIBLICAL ABORTION
GAYNESS & THE BIBLE
HOW ABSURD WOULD THAT BE?
WHAT IS "GOD"?
HYMNS OF SOPHIA
INSPIRATIONS
AN EVIL GOD?
PROBLEM OF EVIL
POST MODERN NIHILISM
THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST'S TWO NATURES
THE MYSTIC WAY
THE SEFIROT OF KABBALAH
HEBREW GODDESS
THE MYSTIC "SON" IN KABBALAH
TRUE NUMEROLOGY
MAGIC OF NAMES
JUDAIC/CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES
OTHER SITES OF INTEREST

JESUS & FAMILY VALUES

WHAT DID REALLY JESUS SAY? 

For the past few years, Christians on
the right were pushing the idea of
"family values" at us as though it's a
main teaching of the Bible.  So now it's
time we looked at the Gospels themselves
to see just what Jesus really said about
the subject.  When we do, I'm afraid
we're going to be in for a bit of a
shock.  For Jesus' true passages on the
subject go as follows:
 
"Then one said to him, 'Look, your
mother and brothers stand outside
wishing to speak to you.' But Jesus told
him: 'Who is my mother, and who are my
brothers?  For whoever does the will of
my father in heaven are my mother,
sister, and brother.'"(Matthew 12:47-49; 
Luke 18:9-21)
 
"And it happened...a certain woman from
the crowd raised her voice and said to
him, 'Blessed is the womb that bore you
and the breasts that nursed you.'  But
Jesus said, 'More than that:  Blessed
are those who hear the word of God and
keep it.'"(Luke 11: 27-28)
 
"Do you suppose I came here to keep
peace on earth?  I tell you not at all
- but division!  For from now on ....
father will be divided against son and
son against father, mother against
daughter and daughter against mother,
daughter-in-law against mother-in-law
and mother-in-law against daughter-in-
law."  (Luke 12: 51-53)
 
"If anyone comes to me and does not
hate his father and mother, wife and
children, brothers and sisters, yes,
and his own life also - he cannot be
my disciple."  (Luke 14: 26-27)
 
In view of the Gospel writings about
family per se' it appears certain
religious groups have again written
their own bible for personal and
political uses. That being the case,
how can we now still humanely interpret
Jesus words about family in any true
sense?  It should be obvious that
taking such passages at literal face
value can lead to confusion and
dispair. 
 
Three realistic ways of
interpreting Scripture's multi-leveled
meanings are as follows: 
(1) Interpreting the passaages in
context of their times (2) Then
interpreting them in a broader
sense appropriate to our own
times. 
(3) Finally,
finding how the particular
passages relate to your own
personal life and experience.
 
So let's do so to find the real menings:
 
 
THE CULTURE OF THE TIMES:
 
Luke's Gospel dates anywhere from 80
to 125 C.E., and Matheww's somewhat
earlier from about 85 to 90 C.E.  By
then the main, original apostles were
martyred and the fledgling, partially
Jewish Church was struggling from
rejection from the more mainstream
Jews.  Threrfore Jewish Christians
were often faced with criticism from
their own famlies - hence the
passages urging them to forego even
their families to follow Christ. 
 
In that case, some such passages may
well have been inserted at that later
time to exaggerate Jesus' teachings. 
For instance, Luke's passages on hating
ones family is a gross exaggeration of
the earlier Matthew passage stating,
"He who loves his family more than me
is mot worthy of me." (Matthew 10:37)
 
 
THE MORE EXPANDED MEANING:
 
Jesus' original teaching on
the subject would fit his more
expanded viewpoint of admonishing
self-centered clanishness and
promoting a more universal love,
including outsiders - even enemies. 
For, let's face it, even the most
bigoted war-monger or mass murderer
can have love for his own family,
tribe, or nation.  Moreover,
exclusive clanishness always begot
bigotry, haterd for other groups,
and jingoistic wars.
 
Therefore, Jesus said: "If you love
only those who love you, what reward
have you?  Do not even tax collectors
do the same?  And if you greet only
your brothers, do you do anything
special? For do not even tax collectors
do that too? (Matthew 5:43-48) 
 
When Jesus said to love your neighbor
as yourself, they asked him who their
neighbor should be.  Jesus then gave
the parable of the good Samaritan, who
was actually from the enemy tribe! 
(Luke 10: 27-37)  In the same way Jesus
taught the Samaritn woman at the well
when it was known the Jews had no
dealings with the Samaritans. 
(John 4: 7-9) 
 
Such teachings against tribal and
national exclusiveness is especially
vital in the shrinking world and
pluralistic cultures of our own times. 
For if all the divirse clans, cultures
and religions do not soon reach out
beyond themselves with the expanded
tolorence necessary for peace on this
earth - the true Armageddon of world
destruction will soon be on us all
indeed. 
 
 
THE PERSONAL MEANINGS: 
 
In a more private, personal sense,
such teachings can actually help
relieve feelings of guilt and despair
in the midst of family strife.  For,
putting Jesus' statememts aside,
families do often suffer bitter
internal conflicts where members turn
against each other.  In such a case
you should of course follow the
Bible's better known teachings of
turning the other cheek and trying to
make ammends. 
 
However, if you've sanctified
yourself by sincerely making attempts
at reconciliation and you're still
treated badly - you now do have
Christ's permission to disinherit and
disown those members who irredeemably
turned against you, even leave an
abusive spouse - and do so without
guilt or recrimination. 
 
 
There is one clear execption to this
rule:  It's the Commandment that
states: "Honor thy father and thy
mother."  If even they have betrayed
you, final forgiveness in this case 
can secure your soul and theirs in
final peace.
 
Then what should you do even if your
own children turn against you? It 
would then be best to leave the
inheritance to worthier causes. For
Scripture therein states: "He who
troubles his own house will inherit
the wind>" (Proverbs 11:29)  
 
But even beyond all of that:
Matthew's more genuine passages,
putting Christ's teachings above
family, finally states: "He who
finds his life will lose it, and
he who loses his life for me will
find it." Here you are admonished
to not only expand your mind
beyond clan and tribe alone - but
also beyond your own ego as well
(Mathew 10:37-39)
 
At this stage, you can finally say
along with Paul, "It is no longer I
who live, but the Christos who lives
in me!"(Galatians 2:20) - then even
unto the final enemy -"Death where is
your sting. Grave, where is your
victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)
 
 

 

 

 

JESUS & FAMILY VALUES

 

 

            Christians on the right were pushing the idea of “family values” at us for the past few years, as though it were a main tenant of the Bible.  So it’s time we looked at the Gospels themselves to see just what Jesus really said about the subject.  When we do, I’m afraid we’re going to be in for a bit of a shock.  For Jesus’ true passages on the subject go as follows:

 

            “Then one said to him, ‘Look, your mother and brothers stand outside wishing to speak to you.’  But Jesus answered and told him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’  And he stretched out his hand toward his disciples and said: ‘Here are my mother and my brothers!  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my mother, sister, and brother.’” (Matthew 47-49; Luke 8: 19-21)

 

            “And it happened… a certain women from the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that nursed you.’  But Jesus said, ‘More than that: Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.’”  (Luke 11 27-28)

 

            “Do you suppose I came here to give peace on earth?  I tell you not at all, but rather division.  For from now on, five in one house will be divided:  three against two and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law.”  (Luke 12: 51-53)

 

            “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14: 26-27)

 

            In view of Jesus’ true sayings about family per se’ it appears certain religious groups have again written its own bible for its own personal and political uses.  That being the case, how can we now still humanely interpret Jesus own words about family in any true sense?  It should be obvious that taking such passages at literal face value can lead to confusion and despair. Instead, three realistic ways of interpreting Scripture’s mulit-leveled meanings are as follows: (1) Interpreting the passages in context of the situations and times they were written  (2) Then interpreting them in a broader sense appropriate to all times including our own.  (3) Finally, you can find how the passage relates to your own personal life and experience.

 

So let’s do so to find the real meanings.

 

Viewing the passages in relation to the times they were written: Scholars date Luke’s Gospel anywhere from 80 to 125 C.E., and Matthew’s somewhat earlier from about 85 to 90 C.E.  By then the main original apostles were martyred, and the fledgling, partially Jewish Church was struggling with rejection from the more mainstream Jews.  Therefore, Jewish Christians were often faced with criticism from their own families -- hence, the passages urging them to even forego their families if that were necessary to follow the Christ.  In that case some such passages may well have been inserted at that later time to exaggerate Jesus’ teachings against being too clannish to practice expanded love for all.  For instance Luke’s admonishment to hate one’s family is a gross exaggeration of an earlier Matthew’s passage stating: “He who loves his [family] more than me is not worthy of me.”  (Matthew 10: 37)

 

We should now look at such passages in the more expanded sense of Jesus

main teachings – i.e. his admonishing everyone for being too self-centered and clannish in general. 

 

Let’s face it: Even the most bigoted war-monger or mass murderer can have an abiding love for his own family, tribe, or clan, even if some within the clan are mean and unworthy.  Moreover, exclusive clannishness always begot bigotry, hatred for those different, and jingoistic wars. 

 

Therefore Jesus said; “If you love those who love you, what reward have you?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet your brothers only, do you do anything special?  For don’t even the tax collectors do that too? 

 

When Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself, they asked him “But who is our neighbor?” And Jesus gave the parable of the Good Samaritan, who was actually from the enemy tribe and religion! (Luke 10: 27-37)    In the same way Jesus equally taught the Samaritan women at the well, when it was known the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans.  (John 4: 7 -9)    

 

Such teachings are especially vital in the shrinking world and pluralistic cultures of our own times.  For if all the diverse clans, tribes, cultures and religions do not soon reach out beyond themselves with the expanded tolerance and understanding necessary for peace – the Armageddon of world destruction will soon be upon all of us indeed.

 

In a more private, personal sense, such teachings can also help relieve feelings of guilt and despair in the midst of family strife.  For, Jesus’ statements aside, families do often suffer bitter internal conflicts where members turn against each other.  In such a case, your should of course first follow the Bible’s better known teachings of turning the other cheek and trying to make amends.  However, if you’ve sanctified yourself by sincerely making such noble attempts at reconciliation, and you are still treated badly -- you now do have Christ’s permission to disinherit and disown those members who irredeemably turned against you, and do so without guilt or self-recrimination.   There is only one clear acceptation to this rule: Never totally forsake your parents.  For here the Commandment clearly states, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”  If even they have betrayed you, final forgiveness in this case will secure your souls and theirs in final peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AL;SKFJ;PSALDKJPSLODJFP[AS 

 

 

 S;L[KPLPKSD[PO[SP;D[