Stephen L. Rummler: Raising questions
April 17, 2004
Many years ago (1968 to be exact) I read the New Testament cover to cover. The copy I read was one provided to me by the
U. S. Army, and I remember asking an Army chaplain which was his higher calling, to serve God or the Army. He couldn’t answer my question and with good reason.
Upon entry into the service he had been required to sign an oath that pledged he would have no higher allegiance than service to his country. In the fourth chapter of St. Matthew, Christ is quoted as saying “thou shalt worship the lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve.” The poor chaplain was conflicted.
I still see conflicts regarding issues of church and state. One such conflict is exposed in the term “Christian Right.” Do the people so claiming always serve God or do they serve God to advance a “political right” purpose? Isn’t the term “Christian” enough?
What about Christ’s teachings that say one should love his enemies? Can you picture anyone you know actually loving Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden?
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What about Christ’s teaching that instructs men to sell what they have and give alms to the poor.
Can I be a Christian if I selectively ignore some of Christ’s teachings? I know one thing for sure, if everyone claiming to be a Christian were to sell what he or she has and give alms to the poor, there would be fewer SUVs on the highway and a lot less poverty in the world.
I hope these questions don’t offend others, after all, they are my questions. And, after 36 years, they still bother me.
Stephen L. Rummler