«Is Full Obedience Possible? (3rd option)» - Free Essay Paper
The Holy Script contains more than 300 verses describing poverty, non-violence, social and economic justice and God’s deep concern about these issues. Trying to follow the basic commandments and principles underlying biblical philosophy, Christians tend to make so many exceptions of it in everyday life that their Christian faith no longer can be called truly biblical. The present world just sets a framework for the believers to change the way they perceive faith and the way they obey and follow Jesus’ ordinances. To my mind, this transformation and change in the way people obey and believe does not always bring some bad results. The best way to understand this issue is to bring the pros and cons of non-obedience to the Bible and to compare both in the end. In this paper, it is argued that complete obedience is possible; however, without symbolic interpretation in some cases it may prevent progress or run counter to the phenomena of non-violence and obeying the law, set forth in the Holy Bible.
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The first opinion about changing the biblical values in the name of securing prosperity, economic growth and progress can be highlighted in different examples. For instance, the American churches have not only departed largely from traditional biblical principles in the areas mentioned above, but they even invented a rationalization, or “prosperity theology,” to reject them. Only time, experience, reflection and result will prove the effectiveness of such “misteaching” to the society in the near or far future (Tapia). The advantages of changing the way the believers perceive the biblical principles can be also observed in the occurrence of a number of economic models intended to meliorate the economic situation and increase wealth rate and, therefore, the standards of living.
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To support the idea saying that the obedience to the Holy Script’s values literally often leads to plaintive results, human history provides an example of a great number of armed conflicts, which have religious basis. The illustration of them may be Crusades which were a military invasions initiated by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages with the purpose of accessing to the holy sites in the Holy Land under Muslim control (Boyd). Consequently, hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics of different nationalities and classes went to the Holy Land to fight against Muslims. This event resulted in the large number of deaths afterwards. Moreover, the most devastating and destructive wars in human history were waged by Christian nations: the Thirty Years’ war between Protestants and Roman Catholics that resulted from the Reformation in Europe; World War II which was the direct consequence of the World War I; almost 15 years of Napoleonic wars which have brought death and sorrow not only to the European continent, but also to some further lands; and, of course, the American Civil War was also the conflict where the majority of soldiers on both sides were Christians (Jones). Thus, the history clearly proves that full devotion to Christian principles and values without thorough understanding has not led to peace.
Sometimes people consider that belonging to some religion will create good individuals of them and justify their unlawful actions. A number of people who call themselves Christians in the world is higher than the number of believers of any other religion. However, this fact cannot really protect them from crime or violence. Thus, some of the countries populated by so-called Christians are rather dangerous themselves. For instance, Mexican nation, which is considered to be Christian, is still very hazardous in terms of law breaking, since it has been involved in drug trafficking for decades, and 24 people out of each 100,000 were killed there in 2011. Another example is Congo, almost fully Christian, which is constantly engaged in human rights violations, homicides, and high occurrence of rape. The United States, with its highest amount of homicides rate, is also worth noting because almost 15000 thousand people were murdered during 2012 within the borders of the USA (Jones).
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Thus, it is clearly observed nowadays how many countries, churches and individuals claiming to believe in Jesus Christ often do and practice things, which contradict the values which Jesus really professed. Thus, Jesus may wrongly be perceived as an advocate of people’s expression of hostility and hatred to other nations resulting in such conflicts. On the other hand, his real intention was to teach his followers to show their love to others through having Christian values, through peace and justice. We can learn it only if we clearly determine how to apply his ordinances properly today. An example of inaccurate interpretation of Jesus’ teachings is "prosperity theology" mentioned above which has been departed largely from the traditional biblical values. However, in contemporary world we need to have present applications of the biblical rules because in the Bible they are described in the context of another time and culture.
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To conclude, the true side of something can only be seen if it is determined from different perspectives. People decide themselves whether to obey or do not follow biblical principles. However, in their observance the literal and metaphorical senses should be counted.