Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Pharisees claimed to know everything but nothing about Jesus. The former blind man only knew one thing.

Someone said to Helen Keller, "What a pity you have no sight!" to which she replied, "Yes, but what a pity so many have sight but cannot see!"

A minister, a Boy Scout, and a computer expert were the only passengers on a small plane. The pilot came back to the cabin and said that the plane was going down but there were only three parachutes and four people. The pilot added, "I should have one of he parachutes because I have a wife and three small children." So he took one and jumped.

The computer whiz said, "I should have one of the parachutes because I am the smartest man in the world and everyone needs me." So he took one and jumped.

The minister turned to the Boy Scout and with a sad smile said, "You are young and I have lived a rich life, so you take the remaining parachute, and I’ll go down with the plane."

The boy Scout said, "Relax, Reverend, the smartest man in the world just picked up my knapsack and jumped out!

1 ¶ And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

Rather then compassion they have a topic of discussion and disgust, "who sinned?"

We ask, "Why did this happen? Rather than "How can I help?"

It’s called apathy, and it destroys Christian effectiveness.

One of the principle components of the theory of reincarnation is karma, the doctrine that everyone gets what he deserves. There is an impersonal force in the world that causes us to build future debits and credits based on our behavior.

The theory has many advantages. It may be applied to almost any problem and produce an explanation. The impersonal reign of karma metes out justice dispassionately; one may rest in the confidence that no evil will go unpunished and no good will be unrewarded.

Let’s think of the implications: here are several suffering children. One has leukemia, another is a cripple, and a third is dying of starvation. You want to help these children understand themselves better, so you say, "You are getting exactly what you deserve; you have these problems because you committed some great sins in a previous existence."

Here is another child, a four-year-old boy abused by an angry father with a lit cigarette. A six-year-old girl is beaten, her arms and legs broken by an angry and irrational mother. You say to them, "You were not the victims of injustice. You got exactly what you had coming to you because of sins you committed in a previous life—sins you cannot remember."

Gina Cerminara, says any birth abnormality "is probably of karmic origin."

Gina Cerminara gives some examples and explains:

In short, such cases would indicate that the infidelity of the mate sometimes occurs through karmic necessity. . . . John’s unfaithfulness to Mary may be due to the fact that Mary deserves this treatment because of her unfaithfulness to Claudius in ancient Rome, but on the other hand his philandering may stem from Mary’s failing in the present; the infidelity may be no more than a contemporary reaction to a contemporary instigation—a case of quick karma.

But to the question "Who is the administrator of this highly sophisticated procedure of reward and punishment?" The answer must be a remarkable, "No one"! There is no administrator per se, no infinite, personal God who oversees creation, but some impersonal process that in some remarkable way dispenses something akin to justice with all the efficiency of a computer, never making the mistake to punishing or rewarding the wrong person.

The best application of this theory can be seen in the caste system in which the weak must serve the strong. The lower exists for the benefit of the higher.

India is rigidly divided into four major castes. Those who are on the lowest end of the scale are so polluted that they cannot even belong to one of these four groups. They are called "untouchables"—outcasts. Each of the four castes has its own function, which reflects a rigid division of labor. Keep in mind the basic principle: the poor exist to serve the rich. The polluted keep the streets clean for the holy; the untouchables collect the filth to serve those who are further along in their journey to perfection. Although the lower always serve the lower. Why should the rich help the poor if the poor are only receiving what they have coming to them?

The highest caste is the Brahmin. He is considered sacred; the worst imaginable crime is to murder him. If you assault him, you must be put to death; if you slander him, your tongue is cut off. His property is so sacred that the king cannot tax it. The Brahmin is served by those beneath him.

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