Re: Letters, Paul Butler, Nov. 23:
Good morning, Mr. Butler, and thank you for your effort to clarify things for me. I feel that your heart is in the right place, but you and all of the others who have reached out in a similar fashion are missing the mark. Please allow me to clarify…
Although following the Ten Commandments is a “cake walk” — I mean, really, what sane and civilized person can’t follow them? — I do suppose that what Jesus asked us to do was to go to the next level (from mere beast to human being), which is to love our neighbors as ourselves, to bless those who persecute us, to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, to “resist not evil” — yes, to resist not evil. By the way, I don’t see how that is “unattainable” because even Jesus got angry, and on more than one occasion (Mark 9:19 is a beauty). Even so, I don’t need to wear a cross around my neck or go to church to do that, do I?
Also, even if I did accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior and “atoned for my sins” — as if I sin — I wouldn’t need to wear a cross around my neck or go to church to do that either, would I? We could debate theological technicalities for several lifetimes and get nowhere. This is about how to live one’s life, as in, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Interestingly enough, that doesn’t seem to be your focal point here.
What it seems you all are driving at is this need for “membership” and “congregation,” as in, “Come back to us,” and “It’s not too late,” right? Every single week you get together, get “reminded” of who you are and what is expected of you, confess and atone for your sins, get your “fix” — that body and blood thing — and go your separate ways until the following week. Why do I need to do any of that to “keep the Sabbath day holy”? Is there security in numbers? Do you need more donations? Do you just like seeing each other? Well?
I’m avoiding my usual sarcasm just to show you that I’m taking you seriously, which is actually more difficult for me to do than to follow Jesus’ lead. Imagine that.