31 March 2009

The Promised Long Post

Yea, so. I had a few thoughts after reading this blog post by Hugh MacLeod, a very cool, if somewhat self-congratulatory, artist. I've been trying to sort out my thoughts on God, religion, Christianity, etc, and how it fits with all my new, and unavoidable, education. What I came up with is more or less this:

When the Israelites were let out of Egypt, they were free, but they were still slaves. That is, they still had the slave mentality; the idea that someone else should be responsible for taking care of them. They didn't want to take that responsibility themselves. They asked God for a king to tell them what to do, for rules, so they wouldn't have to think. God, being kind and indulgent, said, "Fine. Have some rules, here you go. And a king, if you must." Thus, the 10 commandments and King David. Thus, the rest of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, etc.

The bible contradicts itself and chases itself in circles so much that it's almost as if it's trying to point out how silly the rules are. "Thou shalt not kill," but also, "if your son is disobedient, have him stoned at the city gates". Other silly rules about not combing two different kinds of thread in the same garment. No one can follow all of them, and it's ridiculous to try. So you look past all that, try to see if you're missing something, and there it is, a simpler way. Not necessarily easier, but simpler. Just love.

The whole point of the stupid thing is to tell us the one thing God really wants us to do, which is love on another. All the rest will follow. Just in case you're so twisted that you don't even remember what love is, it's explained in detail in 1 Cor 13; 4-8. "Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous, it is not arrogant." It is possibly the only verse in the entire book that actually makes sense. If it's the only one you ever read, and you live by it, that is enough to live properly. Trying to follow all the bullshit rules in the Old Testament will get you nowhere.


I may revise this later, reinforce my reasoning a bit, y'know.