The Rusty Rule?

Gold or not, was this ancient “rule” (not exclusive to scriptures) meant to be the heart of the whole message?

If so, why is it perhaps the most forgotten, ignored and disrespected teaching in history?

This week’s column addresses the question. . .

Whatever Happened to the Golden Rule?

“For a class I’m teaching on the Mountain Message (also known as the Sermon on the Mount), I kept stopping, stumbling, stuttering over Matthew chapter seven, verse twelve.  We’ve all heard it, perhaps memorized it.  With parallels in other faiths, it’s known around the world, even quoted by people who aren’t Christians.  Slipped in near the end of the great outdoor lecture, the famous line appears:  “All things that you wish other human beings would do for you (or to you), the same even you do for them (or to them).”  Updating the phrase that follows this instruction we might say: “For this is all the scripture, all the religion, all the faith you need.”

Read like this, what would happen to the Church, the Christian Religion and beliefs about Jesus and the Bible?”

Categories: BibleTags: , , , , , ,


  1. I’ve thought about this for a week, because it is so complicated. Why is it that even though Jesus allegedly said this 2,000 years ago, and billions of creedal Christians, especially Evangelicals, claim to follow it, very few actually put the wheel to the road? I think it mostly is because the moral maxim is too abstract, even though it seems like “All things that you wish other human beings would do for you (or to you), the same even you do for them (or to them)” is practical, specific, and personal. The huge difficulty that I observed from reading too many tomes of Christian history, and daily observe Christians in practice now is that so many humans interpret it to fit their own life stance.
    The maxim is like “love your neighbor,” but then as in Jesus’ time humans separate out who is their neighbor from who is their enemy. Russian Orthodox Christians, especially their leader are sure that Ukrainians aren’t their neighbor but are nazis and people who do evil, so they must be stopped by Russian God and country. Ditto it appears for Christian Democrats and Trumpians in the U.S. For instance, someone quite close to our family, who a devout Christian, and is very empatheic, and deeply beliieves in Jesus’ moral maxin, etc., YET he is anti-mask, anti-vacine, pro-Trump. Tragically, there are millions like him in the U.S. But thanks for posting this very important article. It has really made me think hard.

    • I appreciate your thoughtful, reflective comment, Daniel. It can be quite puzzling to consider the disconnect with basic ethical teachings and religious beliefs. What appears to be a simple instruction seems to be very hard for us to put into practice, like love your neighbor. Odd that such positive instructions become the most divisive. Thanks for the hard thinking!

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