April 7, 2011

Mathew 5:17 and its Historical Importance (Part 5)

I'll finish this section with one last idea about the nature of God. 

People like Pat Robertson would have us believe in a deity that causes natural calamities in response to gay rights celebrations, but is that the act of a loving God?  Jesus says otherwise in the final verse of Matthew chapter 5, which reads:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

We often gloss over this scripture or read it without understanding its context.  Yet, it's a scripture that begs for context since it includes the word "therefore," which is invariably used to connect a premise to a conclusion, as in the relationship: A therefore B.  The premise alluded to is the description of perfection that precedes the final verse.  Esssentially Christ says that His gospel, which was summarized in the key passages I've cited in my earlier postings, is perfection.  But perhaps the more important point is what Christ says in the second half of the verse, which is as extraordinary as it is rarely noted.  He implies that His gospel circumscribes the kind of perfection God honors and practices.

As I've said before, I can’t imagine our Heavenly Father so angry that He would flood the earth and kill all, but eight, of His children.  That's inconsistent with the gospel, which Christ assures us is practiced by the Father.  Furthermore, to believe in a flood as judgement—and to concurrently assume that God is a perfect moral being—is to think such acts are acceptable.  In that way, a Judeo-Christian ethic that is premised upon a vengeful and jealous version of godliness is dangerous and can lead to thug-like acts of its believers.  It also, in my opinion, happens to be wrong.

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