A parable updated.

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Bible? What is your reading of it?”

So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain gay man went down from St. Louis to Memphis, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

“Now by chance a Christian conservative came down that road. And when she saw him, she said, ‘Don’t even try to use anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce your viewpoint, while the viewpoint of Christians is increasingly belittled.’ And she passed by on the other side.

“Likewise a bishop, when he arrived at the place, came and looked. ‘You can’t ask Christian Social Services to help you,’ he said. ‘It would conflict with our deeply held religious beliefs.’

“The director of a Christian charity happened by as the bishop was speaking, and nodded. ‘Come, bishop,’ he said. ‘Let us petition the legislature to pass pro-family legislation. People need to know how severely persecuted American Christians are these days.’ And they linked arms and passed by on the other side.

“Then came a Christian progressive and addressed the gay man. ‘I affirm your dignity, but my calling is more focused on poverty and racial justice,’ he said. ‘Essential to my mission is the calling together of broad groups of Christians, who might disagree on issues of sexuality. I choose not to get involved in such a controversial issue.’ And he passed by on the other side.

“But a certain atheist, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, he brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two silver pieces, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’

“So which of these do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

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3 Responses to A parable updated.

  1. That’s powerful.

  2. Ahab says:

    Timely and powerful. Being Christlike is far more beautiful that carrying a “Christian” label.

  3. Ken says:

    It says to me that religion is not required to have morality. The converse is also true in that religion as some practice it does not require morality. I left the church over 40 years ago but consider myself more of a Christian than many who still attend. There is good in the Bible, but the church (take your pick, any of them) does not follow the Bible, only selected bits and pieces. Let’s go to the Biblical buffet, you take a few verses you want, I’ll take a few I want, we will ignore the rest and tell everyone we are right. Hmmm, sounds like a good business plan to me.

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