Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Form or Meaning

Which is more important to preserve and remain faithful to?

Can people lose the meaning behind a 'revolutionary' change in society when they focus too much on the 'perfect' time that it's revelation brought. Ignoring, of course, the fact that such perfection never really existed in the first place.

This isn't aimed at any one tradition. Think of your own faith, whatever it might be. You know there are people who are convinced that if everyone would just do everything exactly the way the '_____' (insert appropriate name/s) then we would not all be so dirty and evil and sinning and the world would be in line with what God wants.

But shouldn't we be looking more at the intent behind those changes? Did it encourage believers to be clean and healthy? Then take advantage of modern medicine, etc. to take care of the body that God gave you. Did it encourage believers to treat the poor and disinherited of their communities with love and compassion? Then do that. Share the wealth? Equality regardless of gender or race? Care for the ill? All of that is good and excellent.

Do you think that if the person who brought these changes was around to day that they wouldn't take advantage of modern means to effect their changes? I'm certain that they would.

This is, of course, not to say that form is bad. There are, within every religion, certain rituals that have been the same since the beginning and have layers and layers of meaning and purpose and those must remain the same. I'm talking about other things, things outside of prescribed rituals that have liturgical meaning.


  1. Yes, I agree that 'whoever' would have used updated methods if s/he were in more modern times. I don't think you have to use the same things Jesus would have used, but you can use the same principles which are useful whether we live in ancient days or modern times or 2000 years from now.

  2. It's just funny to me to see some people trying to live exactly like the founder of their religion did thousands of years ago because somehow that will make them holier. I really think that it's the spirit of the way the founders lived their lives rather than every action that is what we have to emulate.


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