Posted by Shes_InItForTheMoney on September 15, 2011, at 12:54:48
In reply to How Good Do We Have To Be?, posted by floatingbridge on September 15, 2011, at 12:18:04
> That's the title of the Harold Kushner book I am reading and loving right now. It is helping me with my childhood religious damage. It is a comforting and sane revisiting of the myth of Adam and Eve and their expulsion form Paradise. That's a myth that has, being misread IMO, has brought so much unnecessary suffering in a world in which suffering is already an intrinsic part.
> Wow. Long URL. Hope it works.
Kushner is a great writer. To further ruminate on your circumstances, the sad part is some people take the words in the Bible as literal 'instructions'. First off, the Bible wasn't written in English, and there are many meanings to even single words in the Bible.
Second, there is no *you HAVE to do this and that* directive in the Bible, despite what fundamentalists say. Jesus found comfort forgiving prostitutes and murderers. He lived among the sick, the poor, the hungry. He didn't put himself above anything. Jesus was really, our first social activist.
From John 8:15 "You [Pharisees] judge by human standards; I pass judgement on no one." This means that you "strive" to be and do good, but by no means are we never to make mistakes, etc. In fact, all of us humans are bound and expected to make errors...even if you spent a lifetime doing so.
I think if we are honest with ourselves and others, and *try* to use compassion, empathy, and forgiveness in our everyday lives, that really captures the spirit of Jesus and God. Admitting we where wrong and looking for redemption are very God-like qualities. Also, you don't have to go to Church to be a "good Christian".
I'd highly recommend the following book by the amazing writer Philip Yancey. "Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church"
Please get back when you can..
"Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic and we'll change the world," ~Jack Layton 1950-2011