What is Pain? If you want to come fully to terms with psychological pain, then you simply have to follow the teachings of the apostles as presented in the Bible with respect to Jesus Christ. It hurts to truly attempt to follow those teachings. It hurts to really help the poor, to really feed the hungry, to really visit the prisoners. In fact, it hurts so much that humans have evolved all sorts of organizations to put an interface between themselves and the pain. It hurts to surround yourself with poor people when you are not. It hurts to actually circulate among people who have no food, except what you might give them. It really hurts to visit prisoners in America when you know your own background will be run and you are being seen as a suspect just for visiting. The bible doesn’t mention much of the pain of following the Savior. The Red Cross, United Way, Community Chest, or whatever, are much easier to use. Just give them a check and then put it all out of mind. That the March of Dimes, for example, only trickles down a dime for every dollar contributed is not your affair. You meant well, after all. And you are done with your biblical obligation. It’s even better to not follow or read the bible, or at least easier. Catholics don’t read the bible much, and neither do most participants in the Protestant religions. Why read the bible when there’s a guy standing up there every Sunday to tell you what it says? And what does he tell you when it comes time to providing direct assistance to the biblically ascribed needy? He generally tells you about the collection plate being passed around and how the church will help on your behalf. The preachers seem to do really well from their pulpits and afterward in their church-goer paid quarters.

This article is not an attack on organized religion. It’s an agonizing question about how to follow rather rigidly laid down rules for helping our fellow man, that just seems to hurt so much and just seem to be so hard to come to grips with. Tough love is used by one major political party in order to mollify that pain by letting believers in its system know that those needy people will be helped immensely if they are not “enabled.” They will not be hungry anymore if they get hungry enough to work harder. The poor will have money if they will work hard enough to “hard earn” it. The prisoners would not be in prison if they obeyed the rules, so forget about them. But if you are not a member of that political party, and you have come to a point in your life where you might just want to fit through the eyehole of that proverbial needle, then you have to inure yourself to the pain that Jesus Christ requires that all of us feel about, for, and inside one another.

The bible is not easy to read. It’s got that pesky Old Testament so many people never get through. They stop reading along the way and decide “Ah ha,” God intended for humans to treat one another fairly, as in an eye for an eye, and so on. The New Testament, written after Jesus died on the cross, comes later in the volume. Many people are not used to getting that far into a big fat book anymore. The rise of humankind has everything to do with the New Testament. It is about taking care of one another that civilization was built. The true talent of mankind is not that big brain that all humans are so proud of. Whales have bigger brains than we do, and so do most dolphins. Mankind’s talent is social cooperation. Despite all the infighting among small groups, humanity still finds ways to socially cooperate. Yes, it is complex, but it is also biblical. The poor will inherit the earth. They have inherited every culture that has ever come along, eventually. And then the culture starts its rise all over again.

The more a society follows the spirit of the New Testament, the better that society does in building toward a more qualitative culture and successful group entity. There is little doubt that the Christian religion is by far the most successful on the planet. Why? Because the New Testament is all about caring for one another and gathering everyone around into generous giving and ever-growing tribes. As tribes become more selfish they also begin to fail. Religion was invented to allow everyone to have some organized idea of what it might mean to be here, wherever and whatever ‘here’ really is. Religion answers questions that quantum theorists can’t even theorize about, and humans need answers to such questions to want to get up and go on every morning of every day.

Without a belief in God and Jesus Christ, there are no real answers to any of the most basic questions posed by this seemingly strange existence we all live in. Humans still don’t know what electricity is or how it really works! We make believe we do. We don’t know what’s beyond our own solar system, but we make believe we do. Our human senses only measure vibrations from less than one percent of the entire vibrational spectrum we’ve discovered. Without God, we are truly lost in our lives, without true meaning.

Try reading the New Testament, just for fun. Try reading it and forgiving those around you, until you eventually reach yourself. He forgives you. Now it’s your turn. And oh, while you are at it, will you please forgive me?
~James Strauss


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