EXTREMES OF INTERPRETATION: WHAT DID JESUS SAY? A SEQUEL

In EXTREMES OF INTERPRETATION: WHAT DID JESUS SAY?, we considered the controversy over The Sermon On The Mount (Matthew 5 – 7). Here Jesus provided us a wonderful ethical system — seemingly too wonderful. Since we cannot possibly do what Jesus said we must do, Jesus’ words leave many in a conundrum. What can we do? How should we react?

What we should not do is take The Sermon On The Mount out of context. In addition to The Sermon On The Mount, we must read the rest of the Bible. Matthew 5 – 7 does not stand alone.

In the following verses, Jesus tells why He came to us.

Matthew 5:17-20 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

The Fulfillment of the Law

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

What is the Law? What did the Prophets say? To learn that, we must read the Old Testament.

How Jesus fulfill the Law? How is Jesus fulfilling the word of Prophets? The New Testament tells us of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection; it tells us what we need to know of what is to come.

What does the Bible tell us? The Bible tells that if we love Jesus and obey His commands He will make us fit to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

When you read the Bible, will you see exactly what others see? No, we will each come away with our own interpretation. Of course, some will not interpret the Bible honestly. Yet even among those who give their heart to understanding God’s words, there will be differences.  God made us all different, and He gives us different experiences. Therefore, we each apprehend the Bible in our own way. If we are wise, we will accept our differences as one of God’s gifts. Because each of us is different, we each have something to share.

Once upon a time … in America (via blogsense-by-barb)

I got a comment today from a Happy Hobbit. So I decided to visit that hobbit’s blog.

Here is a pointer to a post that well describes the love of God and country that drives the Tea Party.

Once upon a time … There was a nation conceived in Liberty … … and dedicated to the propositionthat all men are created equal. “It is for us the living … to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us … that t … Read More

via blogsense-by-barb

The politicians in Washington D.C. still do not understand the determination that drives the Tea Party movement, but they will.

THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH BEING CALLED A HOBBIT?

Insults usually reveal more about the people who produce them than anything else. Such was the case several days ago when the Wall Street Journal insulted the Tea Party movement in an editorial.

But what none of these critics have is an alternative strategy for achieving anything nearly as fiscally or politically beneficial as Mr. Boehner’s plan. The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.

This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees. The reality is that the debt limit will be raised one way or another, and the only issue now is with how much fiscal reform and what political fallout. (from here)

Curiously, the editors at Wall Street Journal neglected to mention the much more numerous candidates promoted by the Tea Party that did win.

A couple of days later, Senator John McCain picked up on the Wall Street Journal article.

The Arizona senator and former GOP presidential nominee singled out both Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, Tea Party-backed candidates who ran last year for Senate in Nevada and Delaware respectively.

Reading from a Wall Street Journal editorial that mocked Tea Party supporters as “hobbits” and criticized Tea Party-backed lawmakers for holding out on a debt-ceiling increase, McCain said: “This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.” (from here)

Perhaps the editors at the Wall Street Journal and McCain have never read The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. Perhaps they don’t understand the Tea Party movement and the determination of Tea Partiers to protect their country. What ever is the case, I think they will be surprised to find most Americans don’t mind being called a hobbit.

In his writings, Tolkien depicted Hobbits as fond of an unadventurous bucolic life of farming, eating, and socializing, although capable of defending their homes courageously if the need arises. They would enjoy six meals a day, if they can get them. They were often described as enjoying simple food—such as cake, bread, meat, potatoes, tea, a mostly to their love of gardening and herb-lore. They claim to have invented the art of smoking pipe-weed, and according to The Hobbit and The Return of The King it can be found all over Middle-earth. (from here)

Except for smoking, which when Tolkien wrote his book was not regarded as a health concern, what is not to like about being a hobbit? Americans don’t like gardening, eating, and socializing? If the need arises, Americans won’t fight?

If the WSJ’s editors and McCain had read The Lord Of The Rings, they would know why Frodo and Sam entered the land of Mordor. These brave hobbits did not seek the battle or conquest. They sought to destroy the one ring and to save their people.

Are hobbits the creatures of fantasy? Of course, but government spending has become nightmarish. Tea Partiers do not seek battle; we raise our voices because we must. To save our republic, Americans must unite to cut spending and restore respect for constitutional government.

Other Views

An editorial in the Washington Times, TRR: Tea Party Hobbits versus Gollum McCain, includes the following line.

Well, as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul tweeted, “I’d rather be a Hobbit than a troll.”

In its post, Tea Party Hobbits? If only!, a blog at the Washington Post desperately wishes WSJ’s editiors has said something different.

Tea Party Hobbits. The phrase has stuck. Sharron Angle has released a statement insisting that this is a great compliment, because “As in the fable, it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land.”

But it was never an insult.

It’s not as though he called them “nasty, filthy, tricksy Hobbits” or Tea Party Ringwraiths. Or Tea Party Orcs.

If only the comparison were more apt.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM OF THE DEBT CEILING?

As August 2nd approaches, the news media rants and shrieks about a crisis. They have equated not raising debt ceiling with automatically defaulting on our nation’s debt. That’s not total nonsense, but crises provide an audience for advertisers. And too many of us are ignorant enough to believe their baloney.

Therefore, we have a big argument in Washington DC. We have people desperate to cut spending pitted against unethical, power brokers determined to spend other people money to buy votes.

Is there an easy solution? There would be if we elected more honest politicians. For example, in the video below Congressman Connie Mack describes his solution.

Note that the Senate has already rejected the House’s bill to raise the debt ceiling ().

The Senate tally was 59-41 on the motion to table the House plan, including some Republican votes. (from here)

What awful thing was in the House’s bill? Read this article, House passes GOP debt limit plan. You won’t find anything. Democrats just refuse to cut spending one iota. Of course, they will never admit any such thing. That’s why the tabled the House’s bill. They wanted avoid going on record as opposing the House’s bill.

Watch for people who DEMAND compromise. In practice, Democrat bastions the “balanced approach” defines compromise as somebody else’s job.