Sabio Lantz – “Taking Doubt one step Further: If we are rightfully willing to doubt the various spins people put on the Bible, and to doubt the uninspired biases of the various authors collected in the Bible, can’t we also doubt the teachings of Jesus himself?” (from Naked Pastor’s post ‘Just Stick My Name on It’.
My answer: Yes.
The ideas/teachings of Jesus are meant to be built and elaborated upon – until you arrive at your own wisdom as well – for your life and your experiences. The teachings have to be looked at from many angles – one of them is doubt (about their effectiveness). Like a hypothesis, how can one elaborate on something they do not test?
Luke 14:33 “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”
This teaching is very interesting. The intent of the teaching is to not be so materialistic and to recognize how the things you own can actually skew your perspective/value system. However, in it’s literal form it is asking someone to ‘give up all their possessions‘. Not a single Christian I know (or have ever met) follows this directive.
So…do they doubt? Do they think this doesn’t apply to them?
I don’t have a problem whatsoever with that teaching, in fact, I like it. But I’m also not a literalist, I interpret based on day and age, taking historical context into the present (era) conversation. So what I see there will be different from someone that can only read the words on a page. Am I making a mistake interpreting this way?
Here is what I see. Jesus and his disciples could forsake everything, which they did not, but they could – based on climate and ability to have land access in a variety of places. One could give up all their possessions, travel around, and live quite nicely in some respects. Also, if one wanted ‘off the grid‘ and forsake the money system – they could – see the Essenes of that era; it may have been possible. Also, it’s very possible these people thought the kingdom of God would come immediately – thus no need for possessions.
Try that in Canada. Cold weather would kill you. Can’t just park anywhere and sleep – need land ownership. Forsake the monetary system, better have some pretty deadly fishing and hunting licenses; would need land as well for gardening. It really cannot be done, just a fact.
So…still follow Jesus’ teaching? I say ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The intent makes sense. The literal teaching does not.