Jesus said that if one wanted to be great, that person needed to be a servant, in other words have a heart to serve because of genuine caring for the ones served. Herbert glorified himself, this is not service, and a long way from genuinely seeing the value of others, and a longer distance from actually loving others, which was Jesus command. In the church of Armstrong, he had every one literally wash each others feet; I believe, few ever really got the message. They imitated the act, but the principle went right past them without pausing to say howdy. The principle was that pride, rank and pecking order was an unacceptable barrier to serving. If any one at the old WCG got the principle, it didn’t much show in action. We, the invisible people, can testify to how the high and mighty looked right through us as if we didn’t exist, if they bothered looking our way at all.
Now for those who believe Jesus to be an imaginary friend of those with a predisposition to believe in leprechauns and fairies, most would still agree that the golden rule is a wonderfully simple ideal that could supplant a mountain of do’s and don’ts which fill law libraries, and that reduce human relations to impersonal avoidance of stepping across boundaries instead of what could exist with the more proactive principle of treating some one how you would like to be treated.
I don’t want to be treated impersonally, like a thing. Anyone who has been processed by the legal system has a whole different view of that term “impersonal” than those who haven’t. The Indigenous people of the Yukon meted out justice in a circle of justice where the community and the victims could confront the offender; a personal relationship was maintained and restitution and sanctions would be agreed upon, and forgiveness may be extended to one who was repentant, depending on the offenders attitude, which could be more accurately determined because the judgment would be rendered by those who knew the individual. I would rather be treated like that. I would rather be ruled by that one principle reputed to be the teaching of Jesus: treating others the way we would want to be treated, and being treated in that manner. It is interesting that some people know this without it being taught, and a few cultures have employed it because it just seemed logical to them. I should try to do a mental walk in some one else’s shoes because I’d like them to do this for me.
Some who know not the Lord obey him anyway. To bad that some claiming to know what Jesus taught, busy themselves with do’s and don’ts, regulations and requirements, and never attend to the weightier matter; the heart of the matter. The fact that some just do the right thing by nature is pointed out by the apostle Paul in Rom 2:14 (which is clearly referring to intent, not keeping of days and seasons) “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, v15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. V 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets.” What fulfills the law? Rom 13:8 “let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”
So many go on and on about Jesus, and likely saying things that are true; and many make Jesus look stupid hopping on one foot screaming Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, or some other ridiculous antic using the name to make a buck. With others the deception is more subtle, and it occurred to me that the situation is like one from the old Star Trek series in which captain Kirk has an evil double. Spock knows one of them is the evil fake, both Kirks are saying I’m the real one, shoot the other. Spock keeps them both covered with his phaser until one of the Kirks finally says: shoot us both Mr. Spock; save the ship. Mr. Spock immediately shoots the other knowing that only the good captain would be willing to sacrifice himself. I say that a true follower of Jesus is at least willing to attempt putting the interests of others ahead of his own, and to make a sacrifice; I say that the proof of the believer is in actions and attitude. What Jesus taught is an ideal to shoot for, but pretenses of measuring up look phony and drag Jesus name through the mud.
The apostle Paul demonstrated an attitude of self sacrifice which should serve as an example: Rom 9:3 “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race,” So when confronted with multiple claims of legitimacy as being of Christ, this is the identifier to look for.
Jesus said that the day would come when some unspecified ‘they’ would kill you (his disciples) and think they do God service (Joh 16:2). It doesn’t matter who they is. The principle thing is that people would do bad things thinking that they are doing something for God. People have done evil in the name of God, people have done evil in the name of Jesus, to hold that up as legitimate examples of what must be in the heart of every believer or Christian doesn’t really logically follow.
I have met African Americans who hate every white person because: "they’ve been responsible for every evil on the planet for the last 500 years, every major war has been perpetrated by white people; the kidnapping and slavery of the Africans is the greatest of holocausts and was perpetrated by white people. African culture didn’t employ corporal punishment; white slave masters beat their slaves and taught them to beat their children which resulted in the current culture of violence. To top it off, it was white people who invented the atomic bomb, and as if that wasn’t enough, the hydrogen bomb; it is white people that threaten the very existence of the planet!” You know what? The arguments they make hold a lot of water; but I also know that there are white people with a great deal of compassion and humanity. Some people stinging from their own legitimate experience with racism don’t believe it. And you know what? I couldn’t convince them otherwise regardless of any evidence I might offer.
Jesus never told a certain ‘Christian’ to keep me, for the most part, isolated for the first 6 years of my life; or to make every break from isolation a “privilege” contingent upon earning it through “proper behavior”, a line that I somehow rarely seemed to be able to reach in spite of church people always praising her for “the most well behaved child they had ever seen.” My ears still ring with the smack, smack, smack of the strap lashing my bear flesh leaving bruises all the way up the back of my thighs to the small of my back; so not only did this “Christian” deny me my socialization period, but applied torture that an adult would find difficult to bear. You have to understand something here, this “Christian” wouldn’t let me cry, she’d be screaming: “I guess you want more, just keep it up, the more you cry, the more you get.”This “Christian” wouldn’t allow flinching, or it would result in the same.
To top it off, these sessions would only end after she stood there looking at my face, for however long it took, to note any sign of resentment, or any other resistant emotion, and the pounding and lecturing would continue until I could look like I had enjoyed it. Years later, commenting on how I had run him out of my life, my dad said that she was better at brain washing than the North Koreans, this is legitimized by the fact that I never told anyone; and never even admitted (even to myself) that anyone had ever done anything to me that I didn’t deserve until many, many years later.
Neither this, nor any other impropriety by people taking the name of Jesus Christ need be white washed. I have reason to hate if any body does. I have to be medicated daily to help me deal with the results of what a “Christian” did; but I know one thing: Jesus didn’t tell her to do this, nor advocate it in any writings reporting his teachings. Jesus taught something quite opposite of what I might have believed if my example of a “Christian” was taken as true.
Historically, many atrocities have been committed by people claiming to be followers of Jesus, and not everyone in the supposedly civilized US have experienced it to the extent that I have; but the evil duplicate is the culprit; the one who is true would at least try to follow Jesus example of self sacrifice, of putting others needs ahead of his or her own, and would at least recognize their error, and apologize upon some critical self introspection.
Personally, that one “Christian” example has never owned up to what was done in the slightest, even after the abuse of another child resulted in international news coverage; Conversely my dad who supposedly was the ‘devil’ (because he took the mark of the beast and went to church on Sunday), lived a clean productive life, served his country and his community his entire life. All I can say is: even though Star Trek is only a story, one who was following Jesus example would have done what captain Kirk did.
I read this to my wife, and she said: yup, Claiming to be captain Kirk doesn’t mean you are captain Kirk.
It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.