- Religion and Philosophy
A PHYSICAL ORGAN
Upset by the state of morality? Confused as to why a purported Christian nation such as the United States behaves more like Old Testament Sodom and Gomorrah? On the fence about same-sex marriages? Can't understand why evil things happen? The prophet Jeremiah stated:
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve" (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
FIST SIZED PUMP
Realistically one must wonder whether the fist-sized blood-infused organ that is housed in the left chest cavity of the human body was the heart that the prophet Jeremiah referenced. If one is to believe that the Bible is a literal document and that all of its content matter has a literal meaning then one must accept the conclusion that Jeremiah's prophetic assessment of the heart is a realistic an accurate physiological description. But if that is the case, can an organ be deceitful; can it think on its own and apply animation to its own thoughts and actions?
LITERAL OR SYMBOLIC
I surmise that being deceitful is outside of the anatomy of the functionary purposes of the human heart. While many theologians maintain that the Bible is the literal word of God, I believe that the Bible lends itself to various forms of interpretations. It is my contention that if a literal interpretation is not feasible then the written text should be examined symbolically rather than literally. Accordingly, I perceive that Jeremiah's disclosure confirms that the hidden dimensions of the heart are not amendable to physiology. The human-heart is a fascinatingly intriguing multipurpose organ. It not only circulates life-giving blood throughout the human body; it simultaneously acts as an incubator that provides substance and life to a man's thoughts and actions. Thirdly, the heart acts as an emotionally repository. It aches; it cries and it formulates, nourishes and perpetuates our cognitive behaviors. Collectively, the heart is the soul of the man. It is the untouchable yet indispensable realm of man's entire existence.
The heart that Jeremiah alludes to in Jeremiah 17:9-10 refers to the soul of a man. And depending on one's intellectual abilities to dissect the soul from the spirit or vice ver'sa, one must understand that the heart is the nuts and bolts of a man's character. A person's character is individualized. He or she may share similar personality traits to others in the general population; nevertheless, every individual has his or her own unique behavioral signature.
So, Jeremiah says that the heart/the soul of a man is deceitfully wicked. Is the prophet wrong? An introspective review of my own inner thoughts affirms the prophet's allegations. As such, I am obliged to respond with a resounding yes, the prophet is right. The heart is deceitfully wicked.
DISCIPLES OF CHRIST
Contemporary followers of Jesus Christ have an awesome legacy upon which to reflect, upon which to protect and upon which to emulate. I imagine that it was not an easy task for Joshua to stand before a rebellious loose confederation of vagabonds and declare ". . . As for me an my house, we will serve the Lord . . ." After all, Joshua was no stranger to the antics of the Hebrews. Joshua was present for their rebellions. He cut his military teeth and developed his backbone for war while serving as Moses' right hand man. Yes, Joshua knew exactly what the job of commanding the Hebrews entailed; yet, having this first-hand knowledge did not deter Joshua. He adamantly refused to serve the gods of Canaan.
Jeremiah hit the nail squarely on the head. I suspect that every American of consenting age can, if they would be honest with themselves, derive at the same conclusion that Jeremiah enunciated. Across the board, we Americans, are a nation of deceivers. In fact, from the Oval Office; to the projects; to the pristine enclaves; to the dirt roads that traversed the rural areas of the country-side and to the pews of every American sanctuary, we Americans are a nation of deceivers. In summary, one should not be surprised that there exist similarities between the behaviors of the residents of the United States and the behaviors of the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah. After all, everything that transpired in Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah currently transpires in the United States. And, we know how that story ends.