Thursday, February 14, 2013

Moral Instinct

I read with interest the recent news of Pope Benedict XVI who announced his resignation effective 28 February. To be quite honest, I wasn't even aware that a Pope could actually resign from his post. It just goes to show how little I know about the church. It's only after I've read the article that I know that the last time a Pope resigned from his post was about 600 years ago.

The thing I've noticed about the Pope—in fact, any Pope—is that he has a great influence on most Catholics. It's almost like his religious opinions are deemed to be those directly from God; the Catholics have faith in his views. I'm not even sure if Jesus had such an influence when he was still alive.

Throughout the history of mankind, a few people have claimed that they're the messengers of God. They're supposedly born into this world to deliver to us the words and commandments of God. Whether or not these people were bogus messengers, only God knows. 

There are a few possibilities here. Firstly, all of them were not who or what they claimed themselves to be; that they were just ordinary men just like the rest of us. But they pretended to be people they're not, for reasons only known to themselves. 

Secondly, that only one of them was the genuine messenger, whereas the rest were not. If this was indeed the case, then it's up to us to figure out which is the genuine one?

Thirdly, that all of them were who and what they claimed themselves to be—people who were born to spread the teachings of God. But if that's indeed the case, it goes to show that God can't quite make up his mind on what he really expects of us; he seems to keep changing his mind. For there are several discrepancies in the holy books. If the information contained in the holy books came from the same source, why, then they should all be the same. There's really no need to have several versions of the holy books.

I admit that I don't know—for certain—which of the 3 possibilities above is the correct one, but I'm inclined to choose the first. Perhaps it's just that I'm not meant to understand God fully, maybe my mind and knowledge, and seeing things from such a narrow scope against the grand scheme of things, it's just impossible to appreciate what's really going on in God's plan for us. But I try to understand Him anyway, and I'm doing it not based on the holy books, but instead relying on my moral instinct.

Some people may claim that they are an authority of God's teachings; that they're learned people in the religious sense. They may dress or behave in a peculiar way, perhaps have religious titles to their names too. But I'm immune from all those. No amount of theological studies, the robes or goatee beards can influence me. These people—if they're really who they claim themselves to be—should reflect the quality of God. After all, as Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, "With great power there must also come—great responsibility!"

When a Pastor gets into a situation which he or she has the power to either build or destroy someone's life, which should he or she opt for? Which would God choose in such a situation?

Well, again, I don't know what would God do in such a case—he is after all a difficult being to understand. But if I had the power to decide between the two possible options, I would rely on my own instinct not to destroy someone's life, unless of course if there is absolutely no other choice. But I can accept that God may choose the other option.

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