“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans do the same? And if you salute your brothers only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans think they are special?” -Jesus
(Publicans were the ultimate hated people in Jewish culture at that time, because the only job they could get was collecting taxes for the Romans, who were afraid to enter the militantly independent Jewish communities. Publicans were just despised for being traitors and sellouts. Publicans did not create or provide any value, all they did was take from their people and give it to the Govt.)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave very clear instructions. And they are unconditional instructions, toward unconditional love. They are instructions, and it is brilliantly and obviously simple. Very often, in fact most of the time, people create and fabricate all sorts of excuses; Platonist “forms” (LINK), what they call “doctrines” in order to justify not following the instructions; the very simple instructions. When people do not feel comfortable, they create -excuses-, or -doctrines- to justify keeping god’s blessings to themselves and excluding other people because they live in fear and are frankly, just plain greedy. Your Doctrines are excuses to not follow the instructions.
Jesus did not -ever- say anything remotely like “Feed the hungry, if they convert to that religion and doctrine you created”. Or, “Give drink to the thirsty if they get baptized, or let you have their resources.” There are no ifs ands or buts about it. People who think they are supposed to get involved in all the little details are deluding themselves into playing god. Follow the instructions, that is the role. People who get into all the little details about doctrine, and look for any excuse they can find in some other part of scriptures to -justify not following the instructions- are playing god. But guess what, they are not kidding anyone. They live in fear.
If you do a word study for the Sermon on the Mount, go ahead and look at the word “if”. Jesus uses the word not to justify conditions to make someone comfortable, but to strengthen the instructions. In other words, you do not use the word “if”, to determine your obedience to the instructions, you use if to reinforce them. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Follow the instructions, all the details will work themselves out.. That is why Jesus said in this sermon “Judge not”; Essentially, “you ain’t that smart”. That is why Jesus was so down on the Pharisees who he also mentioned in the Sermon. All through the New Testament Jesus just lambasted the Pharisees because they would petition the power (implicit violence and coercion) of the Roman Government to enforce their piety in the Jewish Community. Similar to the way some Christian factions today try to use the power (implicit violence and coercion) of the US Government to force others into paying for things they may not believe in, to enforce lifestyles, or make judgement calls on other people they know very little about in order to justify untoward policy, exclusion, or prejudice. Both the right wing and left wing Christians get into this Pharisaic practice in different ways. The Founders of the US were so smart for not allowing the establishment of any one religion so it could dominate the others… so smart.
“Unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” -Jesus
Jesus seems to always speak to the “I”, never to the “we”. The titles of the sections are such as “Jesus spoke to the Multitudes”, but when he spoke, he spoke to the individual, because he wanted people to take individual responsibility for their actions. This is another reason doctrines are dangerous, because they get people into groupthink, which, because of our flawed nature becomes “us vs. them”, and it becomes an “external authority”, not the authority of your heart, your “I-ness” that Jesus speaks to.
Groupthink creates a lazy atmosphere, where people can defer their responsibility to the “greater good” determined by the tricksters. That is why Pharisaic groups get so much power, because they create Platonist “ideals” or “forms” (different Plato link) they are able to convince the people they have tricked into following them to conform to. These ideals and forms are -not real- and do not reflect -what is- in objective reality. These forms and ideals are only imaginations from the minds of people who use religion and politics to control others. The right wing christans want to control everyone’s body.. which is -really- bizarre, how the HECK did they come up with that?.. and the left wing christians think somehow the government is going to magically begin doing the work Jesus instructed for the Church. Each of these factions are OUT OF THEIR MINDS in delusions. They have an imagination that is not matched by the reality of the Planet we live on or human nature. -CRAZY-. It is NOT the role of government to do the work of the Church, and it is also not to judge people’s lives or control their bodies. If the people who think they are supposed to spend their time getting the govts. to do god’s work just went out and obeyed Jesus there would not be any more hungry, thirsty, etc.. Bad priorities, bad individual choices. Some people never learn.
That is why Jesus’ instructions are so simple, because you do not know what you do not know, but you do know when someone is hungry, thirsty, sick, hard working, honest, etc.. Things you can see are what they are, and you do not know what you do not know, so just follow the instructions and quit trying to think you can manage the details.. follow instructions and judge not, because you ain’t that smart. Your doctrines are excuses to not follow instructions, and that’s just you being scared. Let the details you are so worried about work themselves out. Jesus also spoke about your worry.
“Take therefore no thought for the next day: for the next day shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” -Jesus
It is not a part of the instructions to worry about the details of other people’s lives, or what they do with their money or whatever else. Your business is to follow the instructions, love unconditionally, and don’t worry about the details, mind your own business. All you can see is what is on your radar screen, and your technology is limited to your own event horizon. Mind your own business. You simply do not know what you do not know. Focus on the immense value that -you- provide. You have no control over what others think, and you have -zero- to do with it. When you are conscious, one of your thoughts is infinitely more powerful than others as those thoughts relate to you, and vice-versa. Other people are going to have their own thoughts. When you make a judgment call that takes you outside the realm of unconditional love, well.. that is your fear, you’re scared, don’t inflict your fear on the lives of others because you can’t handle not being in control. You are not in control of anything but you.. so quit kidding yourself and get out of the way of the universe. This thing is happening with or without your blessing.
On a personal note, I do not define myself as a Christian, because what I think is not in line with Western Doctrinal Christianity. This being said, I love Jesus. I am grateful for his life and his work. I may not believe all the “right” things, or the “Fundamentals” as people call them, but I also do not want to think about what my life would be like without that ability to have thoughts, and to recognize my heart, or “I-ness”, my consciousness, and the utter responsibility that comes with it.
From what I can tell, Jesus was all about that.