#0061 Hitler was baptized—so according to the doctrine he’s sin-free and squeaky clean!
Links relevant to today’s posting…
Scripture relevant to today’s posting…
The Parable of the Tenants
33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.
38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
Matt. 21: 33-46 (NIV)
At the risk of repeating myself, I choose to use this scripture in Matthew 21, once again, to make my point in today’s posting; putting special emphasis on verses 42 and 43. Every time I read this Parable of the Tenants scripture its message jumps off the page at me. It points out in no uncertain terms that God is inviting, nay, challenging anyone who hears Him to step forward, roll up his/her sleeves and get involved in the activity of building His Kingdom. Job #1 in this process is coming to a clear, uncompromised understanding that in scriptures like this where Jesus talks about the Kingdom of Heaven He is inviting each of us who has an ear to hear to become proactive in building this Kingdom here on earth while we are yet living. In this invitation Jesus is calling us to do something much more than just: 1) accepting Him as savior and 2) settling back in our pew and waiting for our eternal reward. Getting Christians onboard with this concept is not an easy task, however because the traditional/conservative interpretations for New Testament scriptures have come to exclusively support the narrative surrounding eternal salvation. This sort of passive response to the gospel of Jesus Christ is much too flat and 2-dimentional to have been devised by the kind of deity we Christians claim is the creator of everything. As I say this, I am in no way downplaying eternal salvation. Eternal salvation is a big deal; but the fact is it’s something that happens to us when we die and it comes as part of the mortality package. It’s not something we have to earn or qualify for based on our life performance—how good our behavior was. And the more you read the parables which tell about the Kingdom the more you get the sense that this Kingdom is available to anyone who wishes to be a part of it. Some might say, “That doesn’t make sense, who wouldn’t want to a part of eternal salvation?!” According to the parables Jesus told, there are many who won’t really want to be a part of it.
Let’s talk about the tenant farmers Jesus tells about in verses 33-38. Who are these people and why was the whole vineyard operation taken away from them? Let’s ask another question concerning these people. How did the landowner (God) come to put His operation into their hands in the first place? They must have done something that impressed Him enough so as to entrust His entire grape-growing and wine-making business to them, right?! Could they represent people of religion, even religious authorities? Think about it—this is exactly who these people are. They are people who have a relationship with God; it’s a business relationship which involves some kind of activity that will yield a crop or produce some fruits. And, according to the story, they failed to do anything—to work the land; to grow any crops; to harvest anything at all that could remotely be construed as fulfilling their arrangement with the landowner (God).
Restating what i said in the last paragraph; in today’s overarching Christian narrative there is no mention of proactive response to the love of Jesus in the lives of the church members. The narrative says that in order to be saved you must surrender your life to Jesus; once you’ve done that, you’re done—you’re saved and that’s the objective. Granted, in the story Jesus was referring to the Pharisees, not religious Christians…45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. The Pharisees are an archetype and the parallel between them and religious conservatists is fairly apparent. In both cases, these conservatists dropped the ball when they overwrote the narrative and took out the necessity (or the opportunity) for personal interaction with God on the part of the lowly member; and replaced it with a formulaic doctrine and a paint-by-number response by which Jesus becomes their personal savior.
In the last posting I offered a general apology: if in my holding certain conservatists up in a negative light I seemed to insinuate that their actions caused God to love them less; I was sorry. Well in making up this list, I realized I failed to include one person, Rep David Brat (R, VA) and so I include him now in the same apology. While I have no personal truck with Rep Brat; here’s what he was reported as saying…
The solution, Brat went on to argue, is for the conservative movement to claim moral authority over Scripture. “Our side, the conservative side, needs to reeducate its people that we own the entire tradition,” he said, adding, “If you lose the moral argument, you’ll lose the policy argument every time. We need to regain the moral argument where we’re so strong.”
From this post’s scriptural reference I offer this in response to Rep Brat’s proposing that the conservative movement claim moral authority over Scripture and “…We need to regain the moral argument where we’re so strong [where we control the cornerstone].” From my personal point of view Brat is trying to override the authority of Jesus, just like the Pharisees. In the rest of the article Brat is claiming Obama is playing fast and loose with their correct religious doctrine in the same way the Pharisees claimed Jesus did.
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this [corner]stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
In the other link: Anne Frank’s Stepsister: ‘Donald Trump is Like Hitler’ we see Donald Trump up to his usual antics, but here we get to behold the fruit of his actions as seen through a different, non-political lens. As this person (86 year old Eva Schloss) who, acting as an expert witness to both the atrocities of Adolph Hitler and the negative words and energies of Donald Trump, can make a connection between the two; it should be enough to send up some warning flares for the rest of us. Will the Evangelicals and other conservatists be able to notice the flares or will they continue on—business as usual.
38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance [divine authority].’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Thanks for reading. If you have a question or thought about this or other postings please feel free to send them in.
TBC: Wednesday, February 3, 2016