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 Blooming Stars

The Golden Rule

             Any relationship has to be based on freedom. The relationship of God and human is the most precious of all relationships that supersedes all human relationships including marriage. No human can and needs to mediate in that relationship. And any human, no matter from what religion, belief system, or dogma, thinks a special exclusive power has been given to that human from God is deluded. And if anyone thinks that I am deluded in saying this, I can only say that I am at this point, true to my conscience, happy in staying in this kind of delusion. The destiny of a human being is solely decided by that human and God. This secure truth is not grasped and appropriated by many. Relationships thrive only in the climate of love, freedom, trust, equality, honesty, fairness, understanding, compassion, tolerance, and a healthy compromise among humans. Unlike humans, the God of my conception and belief is always reaching out to the humans. The relationship between God and human is not based on equality.

            That is precisely the reason we need to develop a theology for the modern world, a theology that is simple, intelligible for all, based on truth and freedom. This theology for the modern world is not really new; it is as old as ever. There was this lawyer who trying to throw Jesus into confusion asked him: “Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked him: “What is written in the law?” He answered: “You must love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with your entire mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” “You have answered right,” said Christ: “Do this and life is yours.” But the man not giving up his attempt to disconcert Jesus asked: “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied narrating the most beautiful and powerful Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 29-37) that should govern all human relationships all the time. My neighbor is any and every human being in the entire world. If this is not enough, the Golden Rule that sums up all the prophets and all the commandments: “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you”(Matthew 7:12).

            Nobody needs more than these maxims. On the other hand the three very meaningful temptations (Matthew 4: 1-11) before Christ begins his public ministry assume great importance in the context of modern life that is engaged in cut-throat competition for wealth, sensual pleasure, and power and pomp. While Jesus was tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews, 4: 15), the temptations that we are focusing here relate to material needs and wants, vain glory, and power. Christ did not succumb to these temptations. In the context of these temptations and without getting distracted too much from our main theme it is very relevant to ponder where our current theology went wrong, and where moral leadership is stunningly lacking by citing some greed-related, vainglorious, and salacious news items.

            Everyday main stream news that help sell news media relate to flaunting of women’s bodies, who among celebrities date or seduce or sleep with whom, or who of these women get pregnant or how to celebrate a queen’s jubilee of coronation floating 200 ships on river Thames, or who are the wealthiest men and women in the world. I was appalled to read that 48 billionaires (Indo-Asian News Service: Hindustan Times - March 9, 2012), that is, 4% of world’s billionaires, are in India, where I was born ,that has starving millions side by side with ostentatious, scandalously rich persons. These persons will not be able to spend their fortunes in 100 life times. I do not think morally and spiritually any individual in the world has the right to amass that kind of uncontrolled wealth on the backs of starving human beings, perhaps in billions, in the world. No socially just society can allow that. This world, currently bankrupt in matters related to the Spirit and one’s conscience, considers accumulation of massive wealth to be a value in itself. There is no other reason I see for flaunting wealth without evaluating how that wealth is used for the welfare of humanity. Interestingly, a person concerned about the well-being of society would not in good conscience hoard that kind of wealth in the midst of such pathetic poverty and inequality. If one believes in God one has to clearly understand that we are all brothers and sisters, and that we are all one another’s keepers. A meaningful theology for the modern world, therefore, needs to address this unjust and unbridled capitalism and greed as money and the power that come from it are unquestionably the roots of all evils.


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