Monday, November 13, 2006

The Golden Rule


“Do you also agree with Steve that the golden rule doesn't apply to non-Christians?”

Gee whiz. Did I ever say the golden rule is inapplicable to our treatment of unbelievers?

The problem is that apostates like Curry trivialize and secularize the principle by quoting it out of context and transplanting it to their secular value-system.

Does Jesus really mean to teach, in some amoral, unqualified, utilitarian, and egoistic sense, that I should treat you the way I want you to treat me?

Doesn’t that depend on whether the way I want to be treated is moral or immoral?

There are a number of classic Hollywood movies in which two parties want something from each other. Each party can do a favor for the other party in exchange for a favor in return, usually involving adultery, murder, money, and betrayal, viz. Double Indemnity, Strangers on a Train, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Postman Always Rings Twice.

The first party has something the second party wants while the second party has something the first party wants. So they exchange services. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

That’s their idea of reciprocity. An unbeliever will apply (or misapply) the golden rule according to his wicked desires and evil values.

Needless to say, the golden rule doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Mt 7:12 is informed by the entirety of the Sermon on the Mount, which is, in turn, an interpretation, extension, and adaptation of OT ethics.

Does the golden rule rule out ridicule? But Jesus often ridiculed the religious establishment. Mt 23 is a case in point.

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