28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord. (http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Le19.28)
I am probably poking a hornets’ nest with a stick.
What does “for the dead” mean? Extremists have concluded that everything from pierced ears to surgery would be sin. The rigid doctrines of warring factional denominations have lead to more animosity between loving believers, more questions about whether certain portions of “the Body” are truly saved, than any unbeliever could ever unleash in the faith.
Somebody posted this on Facebook and it prompted me to check it for accuracy. I think Christianity can be forgiven for being judged as bipolar by the rest of the world.
In fact, I recently began telling people I am a follower of Jesus. He is respected by all religions, whereas the religion calling itself by His name is not. He did drink real wine, He never married. Is that the blueprint which should be imposed upon all of us though?
The problem with saying that some things in scripture reflect only the culture of the society at the time, and other things are “thus saith the Lord”, is that the scholars cannot agree on where to draw the lines. This leaves a genuine seeker with serious trust issues.
There are things that I believe are sin in God’s eyes, stated as such in what is commonly accepted by believers as His Word, and these things are more and more being accepted, endorsed by and incorporated into mainstream Christianity. It can become possible to doubt your own convictions.
The Bible does say that a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. Genetic household only, or spiritual household too?
No matter how you feel about and interpret scripture, if you are waving a placard claiming that God hates anybody (He hates sin, He loves sinners, period), how are you walking in the light of His love?
I am not Catholic but we could all learn plenty from Mother Teresa.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
― Mother Teresa
“I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”
― Mother Teresa
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
― Mother Teresa
“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”
― Mother Teresa, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa
God bless you.