Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quote of the day revisited...

A few days ago I posted a quote from our new president and asked for your thoughts. You were kind enough to comment. I have waited for a bit, but let me share my thoughts on his comment. Here is what the president said, and then my observations-

"There is one law that binds all great religions together. It is, of course, the Golden Rule - the call to love one another, to understand one another, to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth." -President Barack Obama

First, the golden rule does not bind all great faiths together. It is not part of many of the faiths of the world. It is a primary faith statement of only two faiths- the Jewish faith and the Christian faith. The call to love one another comes from no other religion but these two. It comes only from these two because only these two have a sovereign God who has given his people this instruction. To be able to understand one another, to treat with dignity and respect those we live with on planet earth must start with a correct view of faith. You won't find this call to love in the Muslim faith, it's not part of Hinduism or any of the eastern religions. It only comes from the God of the bible and it's based on a life lived under his rule. There is no other way to love others unselfishly. As much as we might want to make these nice words work for everyone it will only "work" if you are worshiping the right God.....the one who called us to this unselfish expression of how he treats us.


Anonymous said...

can you clarify what you are saying? It sounds like you are saying only judeo christians know real love. As if people of other faiths dont give/experience genuine love?

Do you not think that a muslim mother really loves her child, just the way a christian loves hers? Is she somehow handicapped in love becaue she doesnt read the bible?


Mike Messerli said...

Thank you for the great question- No, I'm NOT saying only Judeo Christians know real love. My statement is simply this- only the Judeo Christian faiths have the golden rule as instructions of their faith from their God. No other religion of the world has this command as part of its faith.
People of every faith or lack of faith know and experience love. People of every faith or lack of faith love their families and children. That was not my point. My comments were in response to the president's quote and an attempt to address his claim that every faith has this golden rule. My comments dealt specifically with a response to his quote. What I said, and will repeat here, is that it is NOT true that every faith has this as part of their faith (again I'm not claiming that love is not part of life in every faith or in the lives of atheists as well), but that only in two faiths is the golden rule a command. It is not part of other faiths, and in some faiths the thought of loving your neighbor or enemy for that matter would be ridiculed. "Is she somehow hadicapped in love because she doesn't read the bible?" I would say this- you cannot really know love as intended until you know the love of God in Christ, and from receiving that love you can truly love others. Having been loved totally in Christ does change HOW I love others, but it doesn't mean I can't love others. I hope that clarifies the discussion a little. Thanks for the question, Jeremiah. Always great to visit with you.

Anonymous said...

thanks for clarifying. I suppose it depends on ones definition of what the golden rule is. This website has some quotes in it from other faiths regarding their version of the golden rule.

My random thoughts...

If God is love (1 john), and we are made in his image (Gen 1), then we all know his love to some degree. If Christ is the light of all men (John 1), then all goodness that exists in people is of him. (they just might not realize it)