Candid observations

It is possible to be candid without condemning. To me, if you want someone to think about your observation, you need to season your candor with a measure of diplomacy. Here are a few random examples to ponder.

As a Christian, I try to follow the advice and deeds of Jesus. But, a thought for my more evangelical friends, it is highly unlikely Jesus looked like a WASP. He would look more like someone from Israel or Palestine.  In fact, if Jesus ventured from town to town in the US, he may not be welcomed with open arms in some places, just like it was when he did walk the earth.

When I see new discoveries of dinosaur fossils or a new hybrid human fossil as was the case during the week, I usually have an additional thought. The new hybrid human resulted from the seed of two different human strains and the fossil was noted to be about 90,000 years old. The dinosaur fossils are dated in the hundreds of millions and billions of years. So, help me understand how some religious education systems can waste kids time with instruction that dinosaurs walked the earth with humans and that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. If I was taught that and found out later what I learned could be scientifically proven wrong, would you fault me if I questioned most everything that school taught me?

Speaking of what we teach children, I am a firm believer that people are not born bigoted. They have to be carefully taught by their parents and family to hate certain groups of people. Or, if hate is too strong a word, they have to be taught that others are beneath them. I am reminded how the Nazi youth were taught Jews were animals and subhuman (they forgot to mention Jesus was a Jew). This enabled the Holocaust to happen. The same held true during the Jim Crow era in America and toward Native Americans before then. So, my observation is to question anyone (even a President) who uses animal names to define other human beings. “Help me understand why you would feel that way?” is a reasonable question. Or, you might say, “I am sorry but I do not feel that way.”

Returning to Jesus, we should pay more attention to his words and deeds rather than how he looked. Treating others like we want to be treated is key. And, that includes if they look unlike you or I do. We can pose questions that make others think about their positions.

What are your thoughts? Am I off base?

11 thoughts on “Candid observations

  1. I’d say you’re way on base Keith. As a non-Christian I still find the things we are taught about the way of Jesus to be the right way to live. It’s wrong however to have complete faith in the bible which was written by men, and men make mistakes. Scientific evidence to the contrary you need to be prepared to accept that the times and ages given in the bible are as a result of what one man perceives to be long time without a true gauge of how long the planet has existed. Having faith is one thing but being unable to accept a different truth consolidated by scientific research shows an inflexibility that blinds you to truth.

    • Many thanks David. Long time Sunday school teacher and former President Jimmy Carter speaks of how passages of the bible are unfortunately used out of context to denigrate the rights of others. Women played a huge role in perpetuating Christianity during a time when Roman soldiers would kill them for such. Yet, for some to deny them equal rights and justice is using the bible inappropriately per his book “A Call to Action.”

      The men that wrote the bible did not understand science, so the back story they filled in recognized their shortcomings. Keith

  2. Spot on, my friend.And you are not wrong to question everything you were taught in school.In fact, you should have been taught to question everything! That’s how thinking starts.

  3. Note to Readers: David made reference to a point that the bible was written by imperfect men, recognizing a couple of books were penned by women. It was also edited by men as not all the books made it to the final text. Plus, through many translations, the bible was refined and interpreted as some words did not translate well. In fact, Luke wrote his gospel and Acts in a different language than two of the other gospels. Luke was also a more expressive writer, so his gospel reads differently.

    In fact, the gospels were written between thirty to seventy years after Jesus died, so they should be viewed as good news not 100% accurate like a reporter might write.

  4. Dear Keith,

    I don’t like seeing the Bible being used as a weapon. Whenever someone who takes the bible literally, and there’s a discussion of a subject like evolution, I refuse to bite the bait to get drawn into an argument. I simply say something like the bible refers to God’s time and however God created man is fine by me. That includes evolution.

    I remind these believers that there was a time when bible followers believed the world was flat but we now know differently. The bible simply doesn’t let us know all of God’s mysteries. Science is not incompatible with the bible. The big mistake would be to think that God’s word and science are at odds with each other instead of both enriching our lives. This is not a binary choice to believe in both.

    Hugs, Fronda

    • Gronda, I agree. The scribes had little understanding of science, so maybe they added their own color or did not fully understand what God revealed to them. My typical answer is God did not dictate the words. Keith

  5. As always, you are the voice of reason. And you are spot-on in your approach … would that I could always follow in your footsteps. Sigh. I seem destined to rant. Excellent post, my friend.

    • Jill, many thanks. I enjoy your rants. You back them up with data and examples. I find your opinion to be grounded. A good friend commented on my “The unlearned lesson” email I sent agreeing with all points, except when I applied the same logic to the President. Trump has been able to blind and deafen his supporters to anyone who dares criticize him. He is doing it again today with Google. Keep ranting. Keith

      • Thanks Keith! Sometimes a rant just won’t lie down and shut up until I give voice to it. I read this morning about his rant on Google because all he could find about himself was critical of him. Does he truly not realize just how much he is hated? And what … did he think Breitbart would be front and center on a Google search? Now he wants the government to regulate search engines … sounds a bit like the way the Chinese regulate their internet, don’t you think?

      • Jill, I love your second sentence, it just won’t lie down. There seems to be a recurring tag along phrase to a Trump assertion, “without proof.” The Russian hackers and influencers achieve nirvana when they get the President to echo their words. I intentionally did not use past tense as they continue to influence – if they get Tucker or Sean or Rush to say it, the uninformed President will bite. Keith

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