Matthew 5:23-26

This is really good. It says that before bringing a gift to the altar, if you remember someone he is angry with you then you should stop in the middle of the ceremony, leave the temple, and make peace. Then go back to complete the offering. This is brilliant because it takes a look at one’s _intention_ behind worship.

I love this because it gets to the heart of what I think that religion should be all about. It should be about learning about one’s feelings and becoming a better person. it should not be about empty ritual. Similarly, when an Emperor asked a Buddhist monk what merit he would recieve for building so many templed, the answer was “none what so ever.” It seems harsh, but it shows that action without having a heart that is turned in the proper direction is empty of relgious meaning.

Also, note that Jesus did not say that making a gift to the altar was a waste of time. He did not say that “works will get you no where.” He actually seemed to encourage the offering. He didn’t say the offering was critical, but he also didn’t say don’t do it.

This is important because I have heard some people say that Jesus said that “all works do not lead to salvation.” I think that this has been taken to mean that one should not do anything good for other people that calling oneself a Christian is enough. This is nonsense. I believe that one recieves merit from doing good deeds. If you look for the results the you probably will be disappointed. You should do good deeds for their own sake. Being a good person does not insultate you from feeling suffering. Blah, blah, blah. I don’t know why there is any controversy on these subjects. The answers seem to be painfully obvious to me.

Anyway, Jesus goes on to speak out against litigation. I agree with him 100%. As stated in the past, I think that US citizens have a warped view of the law which is created by the media. Getting rich by a lawsuit is very difficult. Judges want to uphold the law, not make people rich nor do they care about helping one carry out your silly vendetta or revenge fantasty. Law suits are expensive, time consuming, energy draining, and soul sucking. The only people who really make out from these tedious and infuriating affairs are the ones who have no investment in the actual outcome. Go to court and you lose on day one just for wasting your time.

Jesus agreed. My favorite part is “Thou shalt by no means hence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”

This means that if you think going to court is going to get you to wriggle out of something. It won’t happen. You will have to pay everything. The usage of the word farthing is funny. I know they meant no humor, but were merely trying to translate into modern terms, which in this case is England in 1604. I think that shekel would have been a better word. But King James didn’t ask me. Still the point remains. Don’t piss away time in court.

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