The next words from His precious lips will be to one who is also on a cross. I remind us that we die as we live.
When people approach a religious text or any large book from which they intend to derive ethical teachings, nearly without exception the person will pick up the book and pay very particular attention to all the morals they already agree with.
The philosopher George Smith says that " Christian theologians have a strong tendency to read their own moral convictions into the ethics of Jesus. Jesus is made to say what theologians think he should have said" A homophobe will pick up the Christian Bible and realise that homosexuality is an evil sin.
A misogynist will pick up the Bible or Qur'an and realise that after all this time he's right: Women are inferior, and he can quote the Bible or Qur'an to prove it. A fluffy liberal will read it and find all the hippy love-thy-neighbour bits and therefore will be able to prove that all those homophobes and misogynists have it wrong.
In arguing against extremism, Neil J. Kressel points out that "everyone picks and chooses, at least a little. Long texts that dance with moral issues suffer from the problem that some morals in one place step on the toes of other morals in He leadeth me parts.
The debates over which verses have precedence over others is a major symptom of this issue. In addition because of the volume of text and its frequent obscurity and complexity, there is plenty of scope for the imagination, and for personal bias, to find a way to interpret lines in a way that beat to the drum of the reader.
Because of the kaleidoscope of different plotlines and levels of possible interpretation, one's subconscious and imagination is given accidental freedom to invent all kinds of morals. Most stories He leadeth me holy books are about personalities - tales about what people are said to have done what.
Most of them also involve war and cultural struggles between different peoples, and are often written from within one particular geographical area.
The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues.A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. He leadeth me! O blessed thought, O words with heav’nly comfort fraught; Whate’er I do, where’er I be, Still ’tis Christ’s hand that leadeth me. He leadeth me! He leadeth me! By His own hand He leadeth me; His faithful follower I would be, For by His hand He leadeth me. The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of.
It is possible to read these stories and take out of them a wide range of morals, and therefore, to think that these indirect lessons have divine mandate.
The same occurs with all long texts. Take Tolkien's Lord of the Rings - it is very much like the Bible in styleand it is clear to see that you could spend your entire life analyzing it for morals. Many people who undertook such a task would come to different conclusions, just as with Holy Books.
The simple fact remains that the parts of the text that say "Here follows a moral rule, to be obeyed by all people for all time" are very infrequent indeed. The Qur'an is much more frank than the Bible, but is still mostly about the retelling of events. The people in the book all have their own aims, which are relevant to the topic of the book and the life circumstances of that person.
Most people's actions are simply not centered around any wish to provide universal instruction on behaviour - it's all about their problems at that time.
Using characters from within this book we would find many seemingly contradictory morals. For example, for the side of Good, there is much killing to be done, yet part of the morals is that the bad guys kill people.
People interpret the "real meanings" behind various stories in hugely varying ways, and volumes of books have been written on such interpretations based on political and moral undertones.
The answer is that this describes all large books written by Humans. Attempts to read them as places for moral instruction is itself the problem, and the cause of schism, violent disagreements and fundamentalism.
As time passes, the original cultural assumptions and cultural understanding of phrases and words will all change, making it impossible for many things to be understood by future audiences in the same way that the original authors meant them.
The longer ago something was written, the less the context is clear to us today, and this opens the way for much culturally subjective opinion. A land of barbarians may feel quite free to brutalize others just as they brutalize themselves 38whereas band of s hippies spread love in a much more physical way.
Over time, morals are simply read into texts differently, hence why religious prohibitions change over time too. We read text literally, chronologically and philosophically, but both The Koran and much of The Bible was written in prose, in poetry, using many symbolic aspects and word games.
Shifts in time and place mean that there are unknown cultural references that we cannot possibly understand now, even if text that we think we are reading correctly. All of the above problems come together when translations of holy texts are made. One thing that fundamentalists do get right is their determined and enviable attempts to read scripture in its original language which is easier for Muslim Arabs who still speak the same language the Koran was written in.
But we have very few of the original texts of our major religions. We rely on copies-of-copies-of-copies, which at some point, have often been translated - quotations changed from Aramaic to Greek, entire texts from Latin to English, based on Greek translations.
We know that even from very early on numerous mistranslations have been introduced 39such as the mistaken usage of the word "virgin" to describe the prophecy of Jesus' birth since the major Septuagint translation.
It is surprising that anyone thinks a god would attempt to communicate with us in any particular language, let alone ancient ones. If I was god, I would transmit my message directly into everyone's brain.
That way problems with translation and subjectivism would be removed and people could make informed decisions and moral choices based on the full facts, rather than miscommunicated ideals. This would end all translation and transmission problems too.The song Wherever He Leads I'll Go featured on attheheels.com including lyrics, music, author bios, stories, and even exclusive photography!
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