Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Christian Morality

I've often heard it said that Jesus was a great moral teacher. Some people I know who say they don't really believe in any particular religion claim that Christianity has great moral advice to give. Let's have a look at a few of the things Christ said, say starting with the Gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 5:
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. I tell you the truth, 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 breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same 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.

Also in Matthew 5:
anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

and then:
"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Matt 6

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matt 8
Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.

One of the strangest teachings of Christ is about hell. It was barely ever mentioned in the Old Testament, but in the new pops up frequently. The two moral questions it raises are:
Is it moral for a God to create hell and punish people he says he loves for all eternity?
Even if hell as described in the New Testament does not exist, is it moral for God to threaten people with torture in hell?

Mathew 3:
JC says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' Sounds like a line a dodgy salesman might use.

Matthew 1 mentions the geneology of JC, with 27 generations from David to Joseph.
Luke list out the geneology with a completely different set of names, with 41 generations from David to Joseph. There is almost no overlap in the two list of names. Thus at least one of them has to be false.

In Matthew 1, speaking of Joseph it mentions: but he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. Suggesting that Mary and Joseph had a normal sex life after JC was born. I wonder why so many Catholics ignore that line and still refer to Mary as a virgin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some interesting quotes there. It is amazing that anyone could use the bible as a source of moral guidance.