Response to Tom B. Posts:
I’ve been writing a few posts (above), responding to a gentleman named Tom B. Now, I’m going to take a step back, sit down by this fire and have a chat with a little boy. Tom, you’re a little boy. You may be 20, but you have no idea how to live in the real world. Your rigid ideas of life may make you a disciplined young man, but it won’t go far in your relationships with the rest of humanity.
Tom, you learned quite well, the idea of authority and rules. In fact, life for you is so simple – follow the rules set up by God, and you don’t get hurt. Don’t follow the rules and pay the consequences. But what happens when the rules mean that you hurt others? Yourself? Your family? Let me give you a few examples:
When the rules say you must kill all gay people, should you kill all gay people?
When the rules say you must sell everything you have and follow Jesus, is that always wise?
When the rules tell you that gay marriage is wrong, but you know that it hurts absolutely nobody, yet gives human beings, different from yourself, a joyful life, do you prevent them? What does that help?
When the rules tell you to cover the head of a woman and keep her silent, is that respectful?
When the rules tell you the proper way to own and treat slaves, does owning another human being as property suddenly become a fair idea?
When the rules tell a husband to rule over his wife, is that intelligent, especially when the woman may be better suited to take charge?
When the rules tell you to beat your children, because beating them with a rod will make them wise, and studies show that hitting your children hurt them more than it helps, do you ignore the wisdom of good people?
When the rules tell you to never leave your abusive husband, do you stay?
When the rules tell you that a suffering child must continue to suffer, his lessons to be learned through his suffering, do you walk away?
When the rules tell you to continue a pregnancy, even when it is ectopic, nearly guaranteeing the death of the mother, do kiss your wife goodbye and trust God’s plan?
As you read through the listing of rules above, I understand that your mind is both spinning the rules to be reconcilable with your personalized brand of religion, or you are rejecting some of them altogether, concluding that I am ignorant to ideas like the Bible being a single organism, not being under the law anymore, or Jesus provides grace and mercy, nullifying the necessity of death for earthly sins.
What you fail to see though, is the fact that you get to reject and mold rules because, just like those who don’t believe that they receive their morality from an ancient book, you subconsciously understand that all rules in life are malleable, allowing you to make choices that benefit those you care for the updated rules to benefit, especially yourself.
If you take away ONE thing from this post, please let it be the following:
Making choices in life that benefit you and you alone is not inherently bad.
Don’t ever forget that. Once you learn to love the boy-man that you are, outside of the sphere of influence where others tell you who you are and who you should be, you will much more easily be able to be empathetic toward others and discover what true love is.
And true love is NOT requiring rules to be followed or face the consequences – the greatest of which is permanent separation from your love. He who loves greatly does not set up rules that end in you burning for eternity. That is not love.