Matthew 6:25-34

This whole section is actually a repeat of the same idea: “take no thought of any of your future needs, if you seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added to you.”

I guess I don’t need to say that this is highly impractical. This will especially break down if everyone in society did this all at once. The same is true if everyone became a renunciant, a Buddhist monk who lived from the goodwill of others. The idea in India, at least, was that everyone would NOT do this as there were too many attractions from the world. That is, there was a good home life, children, and good food. Buddha didn’t think that everyone would give these things up all at once. He was right about this.

In China, this Buddhism changed because they did not have a culture that supported people who were spiritual seekers who would live by begging. Therefore, they had gardens in the Chan monasteries. This practice continued when Buddhism moved over to Japan. All the temples have gardens to support themselves. In fact, it is a Zen saying, “A day without work is a day without food.” This is NOT originally an idea said by Buddha.

I believe it is similar in the US. Most people do not support begging of any kind. Therefore, most Buddhists will usually support themselves by teaching or they would save up money to go on retreats. The good exchange with international markets made this really easy for a long time. Minimum wage here goes a long way in many Asian countries. Plus, you don’t spend much money in a monastery anyway. Also, if you live in an Asian monastery, there are some places where the culture does permit people to support monks who beg.

So one might think that Christian cultures are similar. As far as helping the poor goes, there are many Christians who spend a lot of time doing just that.

However, I have rarely seen a convert to Christianity who suddenly has no worries just like I have never seen Buddhist converts who suddenly have no concerns. We live in the real world, so I believe we are going to have real concerns. I don’t see a way around this. I don’t see this as a particular problem.

Therefore, I guess that this passage is one of those passages that is treated like a metaphor which means that whatever it literally means is completely nullified and ignored. In fact, that kind of Christians that are Republicans seem to have a lot of anger and hatred of the poor. They also spend a lot of time worrying about the future.

If they did not then they would not worry about terrorism. At all. They would tell us all to be calm. After all, “the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor they gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

The answer is NO. We have to worry. A lot.

The other answer is that we have to work a lot. This chapter says that it is OK not to work at all and not worry about tomorrow. God will feed you. But the message I am getting is work hard and you will be rewarded which is the opposite of this chapter.

I am beginning to feel like this book is one of those documents that is released by the CIA. I can picture it covered with blacked out areas. The only areas that are visible are the ones that talk of faith, gays, and the punishment in hell.

I am reading 10 lines here that tell me not to work at all nor have any concern of what tomorrow brings. That faith will feed and clothe me.

Perhaps there were nicer people 2000 years ago. I’m keeping my job.


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