I have been a general surgeon for 11 years. I have treated a lot of diseases. I have developed a specialty interest in the diseases of hatred, ignorance, money-worship, conceit, self-hatred, despair, faithlessness and the death of hope and truth.
In these troubled and confusing times it behooves us to determine what god wants and to figure out the true essence of Jesus’ teachings. Jesus was love incarnate. He said that we should love him and love each other whole-heartedly. He taught that we should turn the other cheek and that revenge was his. He insisted that we care for the poor. He cautioned innumerable times about the pitfalls of wealth and the love of money. It seems as though he was saying that the love of money was a horrendous addiction not unlike heroin or cocaine whose grip could hardly be broken and it would prevent money-worshipers from seeing his kingdom. He didn’t want people to be poor but he wanted us to put the needs of others before selfish desires and the quest for personal financial security. It seems that he was saying that if we commit ourselves to him and others in everything that we do then he would take care of the rest.
How are people using Jesus’ teachings today? The truth that he died for has been abandoned. Everywhere you look people are using Jesus and god as weapons to hurt and condemn others. Jesus has been enlisted to spearhead all sorts of specialized campaigns that are grounded in meanness, hatred and small-mindedness. People are focusing on small segments of the New Testament which was written by men who loved Jesus and are using them to terrorize others. In the process they are missing the big picture and are violating the essence of Jesus’ truth. In a desperate, overzealous attempt to bring order to a chaotic world we have sacrificed the big picture for the small print. We are witnessing a tragic human exercise wherein people have abandoned the doctrine of love and are focusing on condemning and victimizing the victims. Let me give some examples.
Poverty, violence, desperation and drug violence in America’s ghettos have left its inhabitants broken and lost. Scores of people want to look past this reality and blame the downtrodden for their own problems of drug–addiction, violence, teenage pregnancy, un-wed motherhood and the welfare system. We are hearing that it’s their fault. We are hearing that if they just worked harder the American dream could be theirs also, even though we know in our hearts that these people absolutely do not have the necessary family and community support and the necessary role-models to exemplify and help make that dream a reality.
Illegal immigrants are poor desperate people who want to have a better life. People are saying that they are stealing from us when our government and the pharmaceutical industry and doctors and lawyers and accountants steal more from us then illegal immigrants ever will. We are scapegoating these people and it is wrong.
Anti abortionists believe that they are working for god. Jesus’ fundamental essence is to love everyone and do everything in your power to help people see that love. The focus of any pro-life movement should be to create a world where people can flourish in god’s love. Education, hope, truth, equality and self-esteem create situations for righteousness to flourish. Unless we are working tirelessly to create this sort of a society then there is no virtue in condemning the victims. Instead of picketing medical clinics these people should be marching through the inner-cities and ghettos of America shouting at the top of their lungs how they are tired of hopelessness and violence and broken families and they are ready to help the most disenfranchised and down-trodden of people to fight for a better life.
Anger with homosexuals and homosexual marriage seems to be the central focus for many people. The New Testament says that it is wrong. The essence of Jesus’ teachings was to work for a society where love and truth would prevail in all things. Everyone has their theories but we truly don’t know what causes homosexuality. Focusing on condemning homosexuality as a way to bring about the kingdom of god is terribly misguided. Such highly charged emotional energy would be better organized to purchase hearing aids for children with congenital hearing loss, or provide books and computers for school children in poor school districts or build community centers in poor, violent neighborhoods or building better homes for people who live in substandard housing or building factories in the inner cities to give hope to minorities who are driven to the drug trade and lives filled with addiction and violence because deep inside they know that they are not going to make it, or stopping the human slave-trade that still exists in many countries or providing dental care for more poor people or providing more mental health services for our neighbors who are afflicted with a disease that destroys innocent lives and families. How much are we doing to protect all of the children that are being abused in the world? These are the insidious processes that are destroying our world, not homosexuality.
Some people think that abortion, homosexuality, illegal immigration and poor people are the causes of society’s breakdown. I think that they are wrong. Society today is plagued by hatred and hopelessness and despair and an overwhelming lack of love, support, empathy, compassion and truth. Ignorance is everywhere. We are being destroyed by working too much and not having enough vacation and family time. We are immune to the suffering of others and we don’t care about the pain of other people in this country or any other country. We have elevated the love of money over people. Values, truth and love have become casualties of the American lifestyle. We are killing our children and our neighbors. Our world is coming apart at the seams. We need to stop condemning innocent people. Jesus taught about love above everything else. Ask yourself what you can do to bring that love into the world. Ask yourself whether you have the strength and commitment to help establish the kingdom of god on earth. Ask yourself if you have the vision and faith to see the big picture and let god sort out the fine print. Ask yourself if Jesus understood the truth and if he wanted it used as a weapon or an embrace.
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