The minute you ask that question you answer it. God whatever the Imam or the pope or the Chief Priest says he wants.
That is why every Christian theologian would give his right arm if Jesus had not swept aside the Ten Commandments and the Law and all that lovely complexity of contradictory statements in the Old Testament and said forget those and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The Golden Rule is simplistic and it opens the door to what every theologian calls anarchy.The Golden Rule threatens to make a man's conscience his theologian. It took the Church centuries to get back to a good old Orthodoxy of the Jewish High Priest kind.
Jesus had also condemned the good old stonings and crucifixions, so the Church had to go to burning alive.
Another serious troublemaker for the theologians was Saul Of Tarsus, a.k.a., St. Paul. Every theologian, from the Temple priest who condemned Jesus to todayís Politically Correct priesthood at the universities, says that the only way to avoid anarchy is to have a rigid orthodoxy. Paul said if your Christian Brother wants to have his service his way, go along with him. That was a tough nut to crack, too, but all the Established Churches managed to crack it.
Cross yourself the wrong way and itís to the stake with you. Say black instead of African-American and youíre ruined.
Theologians have the sense of humor of snake on ice. There is a reason for that. A sense of humor is a sense of proportion, and no one who tries to impose a rigid theology on fallible human beings can tolerate a sense of proportion.
Jesus was strict, Jesus was rigid, but He demanded that the righteous be without sin if they wanted to be rigid about the Law.
The campus theologians have to insist that minorities have no sense of humor. They insist that every Indian goes to pieces when he sees a team named the Braves. They say that every black man wakes up at night worrying that somebody is using the N word or that some white man doesnít want him to date his daughter. If minorities are really like that, they donít need Political Correctness, they need Prozac.
Theologians cannot tolerate the idea that Jesus not only demanded The Golden Rule, but that, to add insult to injury, He even had a sense of humor. That idea does indeed make theologians wake up at night in a cold sweat.
When they read the New Testament, anti-Christians hate Christ and Christians love Christ.
But it is hard for any student of the Bible not to LIKE Peter. Peter was so human, so bumbling. To a fallible human being like me, Peter is the most sympathetic character in the scriptures.
When Jesus handed St. Peter the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, he did it with something you never expect to see in the Bible, a JOKE!
Peter, of course, is Petra, the Greek word for "rock." Peter was anything but a rock. When he said he would stand by Jesus like a rock when Jesus was arrested, Jesus said, "Before the cock crows twice, you will have betrayed me thrice."
When Jesus went out to pray and wrestle with Satan in the Garden of Gethsemane, He took Peter with him. Poor old Peter kept falling asleep, and Jesus scolded him. But it is important to remember that Jesus knew that, of all his disciples, poor old Peter was most likely to be the one who would fall asleep, but it was still Peter Jesus wanted with Him in his hour of desperation. Peter asleep was a greater comfort to Him than anyone else awake.
And this was the man to whom Jesus said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." If there was one thing Peter was not, it was a rock. It was ironic, it was funny, and it was so profoundly true: this was the "rock" upon which the church was built. We hopelessly fallible humans are the "rock" on which the church is built. And the church, with all its denominations and its failings, is still here.
We totally jellylike humans with all our failings turned out to be a firm foundation, God knows how.
I repeat, God knows how.
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