My friend, who continues to challenge my thinking in Christian terms, has come up with a new one for me. He said one of his favorite books is the Queen Jane's Version of the Bible. I must confess that I have never heard of the Queen Jane's Version of the Bible. I will certainly check into this version. In a recent blog, this friend entered a quote from Queen Jane's Version of Matthew 7:12:
I can sum up this whole thing by reciting the "Golden Rule" of the prophets: "Treat others like you want them to treat you," for it embodies the give-and-take by which people really get along in this world, the rule of the natural society in which humankind has learned what it takes for people to coexist with each other, with or without laws, civil or 'divine'.
First, the Golden Rule is definitively and truly for believers and followers of Jesus Christ. For a non-Christian to invent their interpretation of the Golden Rule is quite silly, actually. It would be crazy for me to take a Richard Dawkins book on atheism and make some Christian version from it. It is quite incongruous.
Secondly, the Christian life is most assuredly not to be a "give and take" lifestyle. The Bible tells us to give, and then to give, and then to give some more to the point of pure sacrifice. I have yet to hear of an atheist who gave up all to his cause, to give up all his/her wealth and possessions to philanthropy to spread the philosophy of secularism. On another note of "give and take," it almost sounds like compromise is necessary to live life. Compromise has no place in the Christian faith.
Thirdly, people do not get along in this world by the "give and take" way of life. It is by force and by intention to get, not give. Look at the news, and tell me what percentage of the stories is about giving and what percentage is about greed and fraud and stealing and taking. It is true of the majority of our world that they continue to say, "I want all I can get."
Fourth, the rule of natural society has not done well in helping solve national and international crises over the centuries. Only in societies in which a Christian basis is found, will there be any type of growth in the society of self-worth and personal accountability for the assistance to the unfortunate. Secular society attempts to help the underprivileged but finds a lack of efficiency and a greater opportunity for corruption. The church and the followers of Christ usually do a much better job in times of crisis, as there is no overhead and no governmental bureaucracy to hold back the help.
I am not offended by the verses mentioned above. They just have no merit.