Faith needs neither electoral nor academic handles

A culture of denial is behind the curtains of both our dilemmas and our valiant struggles, and the people tasked with ensuring transparency and accountability keep hoping for miracles instead of using their considerable intellect to work on respectable solutions.  It is good that people are amazed at the handles recommended but fogging up the screen of the common goal of participating in God’s kingdom and picking the wrong tools for the several problems  needs neither electoral or academic handles.

When the rabbi from Nazareth burst onto the scene in the third decade of his life he did not say “Money makes the world go round”; that would have made Solomon proud. He was not even a rabbi; they had no idea where he acquired his cutting edge grasp of the law and the nation’s destiny.  Money or law as the world turners are respectively economist and Israelite views.  No historical, economic or theological review can draw an ownership circle around either view or the practice that belongs.

An early sign that the core teachings of Judaism were not being reflected in civic life was the encounter between a young Yeshua and a later sign was Yeshua’s assault on temple corruption.

Young Yeshua interacts with temple officials

46) Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47) And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

Luke 2:46-47

John 2:14-16 shows Messiah taking ownership of the temple

14) And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15) And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16) and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

Check your teacher

What school, what grades?

The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?”

John 7:15

Judeo-Christian footwork leaves no question

Mishnah – Sayings of ths Fathers

It should not be surprising to discover that Israeli governments, though named after legal parties, are usually formed  through alliances between tiny religious factions, in violation of rabbinic wisdom.

It is no secret that a host of Christian (church and para church) leaders are woefully biased towards tradition and away from active public service and accurate interpretation of the matters at hand.  It matters little where one gets trained or educated, but it matters absolutely that one soberly does ones work conscientiously at ones level of competence.

People espousing political views, Jew or Gentile, as if those views have a heavenly stamp, and following the hype and spin of partisan politics, trying to make spiritual hay of civic grass,  are deemed to be on dangerous ground.  The experts in New Testament times – the priests and the scribes –  sold out their responsibilities to personal enrichment and fables.  Our experts – the pastors, divinity and theology teachers – can be expected to include some intelligent servants, people with questionable academic credentials, fullblown rascals, and  a few whose  priorities and practices have tenuous connections to the established facts of faith in God.

The secret and sacred vote

Even though one’s contribution to discussions and the public appearance of participation gives away what one supports or rejects the individual’s vote remains secret.  We discover that many debates are the seed bed of conflict and open hostility.  Political discussions are like religious debates: they take you to places you never thought you’d want to be.

Scholar and the student

Isaiah 29:11-13

11) The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12) Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.” 13) Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote…