THE GOLDEN RULE, WHAT HAPPENED TO IT?
It has become a gun used against Christians for not implementing the “Golden Rule.” The English version is, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Jesus was speaking to Jews, that were mistreating each other, and not to the world. Jesus hinted at the Ten Commandments and the Levitical Code. It was “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” on small matters (Exodus 21: 24; Leviticus 24:20). Jesus had come to restore fair justice (Matthew 5:17). They were to treat (measure) each other alike (Mark 4:24). How was He going to restore the Law and the Prophets?
This was how, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:14). What did Jesus accomplish? Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). It had not come then, when has it come to us? Where is that kingdom? It is to be in our hearts or lives (Luke 17: 21). These then are the people that might follow the “Golden Rule.” The rest of us, especially the Church, are a faint image of what should be. The peace that Jesus hoped to bring, He could not even bring to His own people, the Jews. Instead, Jesus brought the sword (Matthew 10:34). He ordered His followers to acquired weapons (Luke 22:36). They were in the world, but not off the world (John 15:19). They would have to live and die by the sword (Matthew 26:52). Again, Jesus was speaking to His followers, and not to the world. Unfortunately, even among Jesus’ followers, the “Golden Rule” is on hold. We are waiting for Jesus’ return.
The “Golden Rule” was never part of the world, and it will never be in this present world. There is no field even to use it on. That is why John, the writer of the 4th Gospel had a vision in Revelation of a Thousand Year Kingdom of peace (Revelation 20:1-6). Regarding the use of the “Golden Rule” in the world, man has always lived by the Levitical Code of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” In fact, it has increased the pay back for any infraction multiple times. The Lamech Law held, “If Cain was avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times” (Genesis 4:24). One Jew would chase a thousand (Leviticus 26:8). Nine-Eleven is an example of this kind of thinking and so are our soldiers and civilians that have died to avenge a reversed “Golden Rule.” We do unto others for what they have done unto us. It is not the way Jesus perceived it, but the way it was used and still is being used. It was vengeance and not God’s Law of mercy (Romans 12:19).
In the pursuit of happiness and liberty, man has not used the “Golden Rule” to acquire or sustain his objective. To find a place under the sun where man could enjoy his belief and life, man employed God and later Christ. History tells us that Moses, Mohammad, Emperor Constantine, Charlemagne, Columbus, and the Pilgrims used God, their Holy Writ, and the gun and the sword to conquer. Columbus and the Pilgrims joined the natives in America for lunch and then forced their religion on them. The U.S.A. did not come into being via the “Golden Rule,” but through blood and sweat. How many lives have been sacrificed to preserve the union of this nation and peace in the world? What does it cost capitalistic socialism or theocratic idealism to force their way of life on mankind? They parade under the umbrella, “Live and let live,” but who is left to live?
Under the reversed “Golden Rule,” we either submit to the teaching of Usama Bin Laden or die. His teaching is not dead. This was and still is how despots interpret and apply the “Golden Rule.” This is not just a problem among Muslims. Who can forget the Roman Catholic Inquisition? Who can forget Henry VIII and his religion? How did the Pilgrims treat other Pilgrims that were not of the same persuasion? What about slavery in America? What about equal justice today? As a boy, sixty years ago, Lutheran youngsters ridiculed me for not being one of them. My mother’s answer was, “We are suffering for Jesus.” And how did I feel? Some day, I would get even with them. Fortunately, that day never came. Suppose I had been a Nazi, a Soviet or a Jihad? What do you think would have happened to the Lutherans? I know what happened to my father-in-law and to some of our closest friends. Heaven knows where they were buried. Below is their account:
“When He (Christ) opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’ Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers were to be killed as they had been was completed” (Revelation 6:9-11).