Sunday, December 15, 2013

Judged for Character

I've been reading and commenting on several of my friend's posts lately. There is the, 'Wear Pants to Church' thread where men and women think that God is better served in dresses and suits rather than pants or casual dress. There's the man who posted he was off to the temple so he could reap blessings from heaven.

I am reminded of the requirements to get into the temple. People are required to attend church regularly, pay their tithing, sustain church leaders...all outward obedience, very Pharisaical. The Mormons believe that in order to gain enterance into heaven, they must first gain enterance into the temple. There are no questions asking them if they serve their fellow humans, if they have love in their heart for their family, if they serve with sacrifice and love, if they are kind, if they practice patience and forgiveness.

As I read so many similar posts, I am reminded of my own family, who could not allow themselves to stay at my home when they came in from out of town for my Mom's funeral because they consider me a sinner because I drink coffee and drink alcohol and evidently sin is contagious. We wouldn't want my sin to rub off on them, now, would we? I wonder what Jesus would do?

I am reminded of the many years I read the New Testament,

     Mathew23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

The Pharisees were expert at looking like they were experts in righteousness, in following god, but they only wanted to their works to gain them glory, power, to be seen of men and praised of men.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

I think of my wonderful children. I have one daughter who just accepted a job working for a non-profit organization that will assist the United States voters in making better informed decisions about  the voting process. I think about my other daughter who is an advocate for rape victims and for women rights, how she wants to open safe houses one day for runaways and teens in trouble. My daughters also have tattoos and piercings. 

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

I think of the Mormons that feel they must dress up for church, to look good for their god, to attend the temple to get blessings from god, but avoid real service in soup kitchens to the homeless, avoid their family members who have left the mormon church because they consider them sinners, won't go with their co-workers out to bars, to avoid the appearance of evil, yet they are missing out on loving and learning opportunities.

I have to wonder why it is more important what I drink rather than if I am a kind person.
I have to wonder why it is more important what I wear to church rather than how I treat people.
I have to wonder why it is more important what i put on my body rather than if I love my fellow beings.
I have to wonder...

I wish I could be judged for my character rather than artificial standards of worthiness.

I love this lady's blog: Love and Character

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