Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lost Commandment: Help Strangers

By the Rev. Howard Bess
November 8, 2009

I never cease to be amazed at the teachings of the Bible that are completely ignored. Typically preachers find preaching hobby-horses to ride and meticulously avoid some of the most important and difficult teachings of the Old and New Testaments.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

Although Christians may have forgotten this commandment, if I am to believe what I read, those of the Muslim faith have not.

I have no direct experience, but I have often heard comments about how hospitable the people of Palestine and Iraq are to Americans. I suspect this is not so much because of a particular love for Americans, but more an adherence to their religious and cultural teachings that they should be hospitable towards travelers.

Morton Kurzweil said...

Hospitality must not be confused with charity. Hospitality is the cordial reception of guests. It does not mean that all strangers are guests or that all guests are strangers. It does refer to an open mind, generous in spirit, and receptive to strange ideas, something not found among the religious.
Charity is quite another matter. It means providing aid to the poor and needy, benevolence, good will, and forbearance in judgment of others, again something of an anathema to religion, something given freely without any thought of benefit to the giver; sort of like mother's love.
There is no word for charity in Hebrew. It is an act of conscience derived much like the aidos of the ancient Greeks, that small voice of shame which bares the truth to all. It is unspoken as is the name of God.
No, hospitality is an extension of values, the temporary sharing of good and services for ends other than charity.