Life is fragile and precious as it is and we are only here for a short space of time, even if we manage to life to a hundred or more. Some people would do well to remember that taking a human life is punishable: Punishable with their own life being ended if we go by the Bible here. But then we get into a vicious circle. If killing someone is punishable by someone killing that person, we would continue into perpetuity. Taking any life, whatever the circumstances is wrong and I cannot agree that killing someone who has killed is right. There are other forms of punishment.
How did I not know before now that in the Bible a rainbow is given as God’s sign of his covenant with Noah never to flood and destroy the earth again, unless I have been told but forgotten along the way? We look to the rainbow as a sign of hope and a brightening and change for the better weather-wise. It’s used as a symbol of hope and joy, and is known more for the supposed golden pot at the end of it than as a sign of God’s covenant. No mention of golden pots or treasure here, just the reassurance that life on earth will continue and not be wiped out by flood. However we can’t control nature’s forces and who’s to say that a series of climatic events could not conspire to cause complete destruction of the earth we live on at some point whether by flood or other means. Yellowstone could blow and block of the sun’s rays; there could be a mega-tsunami triggered by a mass land-collapse into the sea. Will this be an ultimate punishment? In the meantime I’ll continue to live in hope that God’s covenant will stand true.
Why should mankind not know what is good and what is bad? And why with understanding would we feel the need to cover up our bodies, the skin we are born with? Yes, it’s a necessity in colder climes but small children feel no self-consciousness or embarrassment. When does this leave us? (And why have I as an adult forgotten when it did but yet I can still remember some aspects of my childhood so clearly?) Why are we generally quite happy to look at a sculpture of a naked body but yet the real thing is a different matter entirely? Sometimes, when we grow older, we become comfortable in our own skins again and not embarrassed by our bodies or those of others, but never do we return to as we were as children. Is this growth and progression as a person?
Punishment for committing evil acts I can understand; punishment for disobedience is a little greyer and it feels like I’m returning to the power thing again as I highlighted in my previous post and who has the right to command or demand. Or maybe it’s more to do with the notion of whether the punishment fits the crime, and whether forgiveness can be given, an ongoing issue in today’s world.
Straight away, if I was reading any book I’d be screaming inconsistencies! In the preface to my edition it mentions that the Bible is great literature – I’m very much yet to be convinced of this but I have a long way to go and once I’ve started I have to reach the end.
Considering the knowledge of the world at the time the creation story is not too far out but what interests me is that power over the animals is mentioned and control of the Earth by humans. This need for power and control seems to affect people differently and extends to having power and control over other human beings too. Why is the need greater in some people than others, whether over a partner or family member or ‘friend’, or hundreds or thousands of people? I’m sure we all exhibit it to some extent or another (however much we’d like to think we don’t) but in those who exhibit it to a greater extent leading to the harm of others, is it due to their own inadequacy and lack of self-worth, going along the lines of attack is the best form of defence, or something else entirely?
Back to control of the Earth and power over the animals, humans don’t have it anyway; it almost seems to me to be preposterous to think we could. Climate change has always been happening in cycles anyway despite what manmade factors may also be influencing it now, the tectonic plates shift, volcanoes erupt. And humans as a species may think they are superior to animals but we’ve still mis-managed by introducing species to areas where they are not native destroying habitats and native species. Yes we can also do our little bit and every little may help but each little one of us is so infinitely small and yet different from each other – how could we ever all possibly agree on the appropriate way forward to making enough of a difference? And maybe things need to change and evolve, they are going to anyway whether we like it or not.
I was brought up in a Christian household in a supposedly Christian country. I wouldn’t say religion was forced upon me, although it was expected that I would go to church, but I questioned at quite an early age what it was that I actually believed and while I do not now regularly attend any church or place of worship, or indeed consider myself a Christian or someone with faith, I have respect for those that do.
One thing which happens when you are a regular church-goer is that you, with a seemingly regular occurrence, are told about ‘teachings of the Bible’ but yet only ever seem to dip in and study a little portion at any one time and then not necessarily in context of any other part. Maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be however for a little while now I’ve felt that perhaps I need to at some point go back to the beginning and read the whole of the Bible from start to finish and see if I can gain more of this context and maybe in the process go on my own journey of discovery.
I will be working from the only Bible I have in the house, which I’ve had from childhood – a Good News. Translations are open to interpretation; this is my interpretation of the interpretations. I don’t claim to be right, I don’t mean to offend, and there certainly may be sections I just don’t understand or put in the ‘right’ context. I may seem to break off at an inopportune point. I may just go off on a tangent. I do want to make it very clear that this is a personal exploration.
You may ask why blog and not just read and keep my thoughts to myself but if you’ve found this blog then maybe you’ll also pause to think about what it is you believe in and why, whether you agree with me or not, and uncover a little of yourself. Ultimately I think that faith is a very personal thing and not something that can be forced upon you. I will aim to post regularly as I work my way through but not regimentally.