I don’t recollect much of biblical studies in Religious Education lessons from my schooldays. That being said, I can vaguely recall the part of the Gospel of Matthew in which he describes Jesus fasting in the desert. During Christ’s abstinence from food, Matthew conveys the devil endeavoured to tempt him to turn stone into bread to cure his hunger.
Unmoved by this temptation, he tells the cloven hooved one:
“It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
With the scriptures infrequent wanderers of my neurological pathways, I’m unsure why this biblical passage crossed my mind today. Meander aimlessly through the corridors of mind it did though – Setting me pondering about how biblical passages may have to be penned these days in our litigious society.
For example, if Matthew now wrote about man eating bread alone would he have to include health & safety info, serving suggestions and cautionary dietary advice? Would Matthew 4:4 read like this if written in 2016 AD:-
“Man cannot live by bread alone. Unless perhaps it’s Sainsburys ‘Taste the Difference’ ciabatta, which is lovely dipped in virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a smidgen of rock salt.
Do not exceed the smidgen of rock salt, though, as too much can induce a stroke. Also if you’re a celiac use the gluten free option or oneth mighteth endeth upeth with the runseth!
If you suffer from a nut allergy, we cannot guarantee this product is free from nuts. To be honest, even if you haven’t got a nut allergy we cannot guarantee this product is free from nuts.
If you haven’t got a nut allergy, though, you’ve no need to worry if there is nuts within the product. Unless you are a celiac, in which case you still need to ensure you purchase the gluten free option.
In the event you are not celiac and don’t have a nut allergy, but just don’t like bread I recommend the lettuce……. But make sure you wash it properly before eating.
Eating this product sat in the fast lane of the M1 motorway should be avoided at all costs, regardless of whether you’re a celiac, nut allergic or your bread recipe preferences.
Additionally, do not wear plastic bags on your head as you run the risk of suffocation!”
Of course, I’ve used artistic licence to manipulate the original words in Matthew 4:4. A creative strategy to steer the narrative on the intentional whimsical direction.
Matthew’s original words were an attempt to convey was the strength of a man (Jesus). A stoic leader of mankind who didn’t require conventional food to cure his hunger; just the words and guidance of his father.
To clarify, this blog isn’t a dig at religion or anti-christian. After all I have a faith of sorts, I’m just not really sure of what sorts, particularly after the spiritually challenging last 5-6 years my family has endured. If you dig deep enough, though, you’ll find it in there somewhere.
I just thought I’d add that as I don’t want any over-sensitive believers to question my motives. Although, to be honest, if you’re what I call a ‘Sunday Christian’ I really don’t care if I upset you.
By Sunday Christian I mean a person who goes to church on Sunday, sings ‘Bringing In The Sheaths’, prays for forgiveness while paying lip service to sermons. However, as soon as they leave the place of worship behave in a deeply unpleasant, toxic and non-christian manner.
In my opinion, Christianity is about how you behave and following the teachings in the bible all week, not the insincere platitudes you spout on a Sunday. I’m of the opinion church attendance by individuals of this ilk is through fear of not taking the pew will hamper their chances of a heavenly afterlife. Not undertaken because they want to act with the humanity, compassion and selflessness that they ‘sign up to’.
Of course, there are plenty of genuinely decent church attendees who behave how they promise during worship. I’ve nothing but admiration for caring people who’ve a genuine love of fellow mankind, along with spiritual intent to improve the lot of the less fortunate.
I’m not advocating this hypocrisy isn’t the sole bastion of the Christian religion. All denominations have a percentage of followers who behave deeply unpleasantly. All of the while self-righteously sitting in judgement of others who may not cross the threshold of a place of worship, but behave in a far more decent manner than they do.
To close, I wrote above “By Sunday Christian I mean a person who goes to church on Sunday, sings ‘Bringing In The Sheaths’, praying for forgiveness and paying lip service to sermons, but as soon as they leave their place of worship behave in a deeply unpleasant and non-christian manner.”
I just want to clarify that I’ve nothing against people singing ‘Bringing In The Sheaths’ I just used that particular song as an example …… So now you know!