Saturday, October 13, 2012

Who is My Neighbor?

I read a wonderful story on Scottie's blog about a gentleman who performed a socio-cultural experiment in which he "went gay" to generally see how the 'other half' lived.

  What struck me about the story was how he suddenly lost his "family", his "friends".  It was heartbreaking, and likely the only way he maintained his sanity was that he had some who knew the truth of his orientation.  And yet, I have to ask, why is it that his orientation was such an issue all of sudden?

  While I was at work, I began to think on the parable of "the Good Samaritan", and how it has seemed to lose its meaning in today's culture.

  If you may recall, while out in the streets, a lawyer asked Jesus how to go to heaven.  Now, remember, a lawyer is one who was an expert in the Judaic law.  Jesus told the man it was written, inviting him to answer his own question - in which the lawyer quoted Deuteronomy and Leviticus - saying 'love your God' and 'love your neighbor'.  The lawyer went further though and asked Jesus - who is my neighbor?
  Now, from my readings, lawyers of Jesus era and those of our own have one thing in common: they seem to often debate the law looking for loopholes that excuse less than honorable behaviour, thereby making it acceptable. 

  It is at this that Jesus speaks the parable of "The Good Samaritan". 

  So, first, understand that Samaritans were considered the unclean, despised and hated.  They were an Abrahamic religion, similar to Judaism.  In a way, one might think of them as Lutherans and Catholics, having a common philosophical ancestry.  In another, one might see them similar to Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims - again, having a common ancestry of philosophy but now - often - quite violently opposed.
  I'm going to assume most know the parable of the good samaritan to save space.  But, there were two other main characters in the story: the Priest and the Levite.  I'm not positive of the roles each played, though I know Levites cared for the religious articles and temples.  In essence, these were so called 'holy men'.  Holy men who found reason to leave a man beaten, robbed, alone and unable to care for himself.  Holy men who found excuse to not help another. Men who used "God's Word" to ignore "God's Word".

Now, who was this Samaritan?  Who was this man who stopped to help a stranger on the road?  Who was this "unclean" individual who gave his time, his safety, his physical strength and his money to one who was beaten?  Was he one who thought himself so righteous as to actually speak for God?  So worthy as to care for God's house?  Nope, and yet Jesus spoke very highly of him. 

                  This is who I see as fulfilling God's word:
Love, protection, wanting the best for another....

I tell you all of this to come to my point:  The most frightening thing in this world to me is a man who would disrespect, disenfranchise and disavow another because "God said".

  I've spoken of many of these things before, and I likely will again.
  I am angry with the so called leaders who preach hate, I am disappointed with those who would place themselves above others yet sip at the sewer.
   I am unimpressed with those who are so impressed with themselves for no reason other than their attraction to the opposite sex.
    Frankly the anti-ethics of a loud minority who seem to have the podiums, the pac's, the radio and news shows scare the living lights out of me.  They seem so intent upon their irrationality!
  What brought all of this on, you may ask.  Well, I had another strikeout with another church.  At a certain level, I could care less - knock the dust from my boots and move on.  Still, rejection hurts a bit, especially being told that one is fundamentally unacceptable.
But, although I have felt alone, rejected and unloved at times, I've also found those who have loved me, picked me up and put me back on my feet.  Great people who tell me I'm a good man, who by their example encourage me to be a better man.  Who knows what's on the horizon, maybe a lover of my own?  Whatever, today is a good day, because no matter what some will say, I'm loved.


Scottie said...

Hello Randy, my grand human friend. I have spent all day...really all day trying to put back together and make work a computer far past its useful age..and I just figured out how to do took me over 14 hours...and a lot of frustrations...

I tell you this because as a professional tech, I should either been able to do it quickly or simply pronounce it a dead effort.

I did not do either, but kept plugging away, trying different things, frustrated, upset, cursing, and changing parts, and software...and then it all fell in to place...the secret was I never throw software away...and I had some old software which this computer needed to to talk to Microsoft's computers...

So now I am again on the reboot and reload..."now Scottie why the heck do you mention this or tell me" ask.

Because faith is like that. It is working all dang day, knowing you can do it, knowing there must be a way, not seeing it, not understanding the problem, and then it shows it self to be something deep in the past.

Don't ever give up on your God, he will never give up on you. It maybe there are newer types of software, and some have forgotten the old ones that worked really well in their day...but it is still there, still in the folders, still ready to be inserted and uploaded.

I think of all those preachers how hate, who get angry, and I feel sorry for them...they lose in every way...this is the God who brought down the walls of Jericho with a trumpet blast....he really doesn't need much more than you saying, "I accept my failing and ask your help". He never asked any human to make the world in his image, never asked us to purge evil. In fact he spoke against it in that we would take the good out with the bad by mistake...he doesn't want us to be warriors for him, but to be humble helpers to each other.

So Randy, keep looking for a church, a faith, a fellowship. Go each time you feel the need. It will make you stronger and more able to do his real work, not the work of people who claim to speak for him.

Maybe you ask why or how a " nonbeliever" can speak so or advise such. Easy...I may not believe in someone else's deity, but I have seen the magic of good in this world, I have seen and felt the strength of hope, of people doing the right thing, of love..and that is what a true deity is..pure love.

A truly omnipotent being doesn't have any need to demand from others, he can freely and securely give to those who are willing to accept. He has nothing to prove, who would he prove it to?

Randy it comes down to this...a true deity would want what is best for you...yes you ...not want you to change the world..he has that power..but his true strenght is is love for each of his my love for Milo or yours for Gracie..we can't always give them what they may think they want..but we will always give them more love than they can understand..and they return that love.

Hope I made sense. Again is anyone asks how a "nonbeliever" can feel so..ask them what is it that is not believed... A deity, a God, doesn't require I believe in it, but maybe I REALLY need it to believe a little bit in me.

Grand hugs and loves and much fellowship.

randy said...

That, my friend, is deep. And true.