In the movie, Matrix: Reloaded, the Councillor Haman character, late at night in the engineering level of Zion, says to Neo:
Almost no one comes down here, unless, of course, there's a problem. That's how it is with people - nobody cares how it works as long as it works. I like it down here. I like to be reminded this city survives because of these machines. These machines are keeping us alive, while other machines are coming to kill us. Interesting, isn't it? Power to give life, and the power to end it.
and he continues:
There is so much in this world that I do not understand. See that machine? It has something to do with recycling our water supply. I have absolutely no idea how it works. But I do understand the reason for it to work. I have absolutely no idea how you are able to do some of the things you do, but I believe there's a reason for that as well. I only hope we understand that reason before it's too late.
I approach science, math and religion in much the same way. I often have no idea how it works. But I'm also of the mind that there tend to be reasons, felt but left unspoken, for why they'd work. This realization keeps me humble. There is a feeling that I'm just scratching the surface. Sometimes I spend years contemplating something in the back of my mind, then, suddenly, unbidden, things seem to fall into place all at once and fully developed.
I think I've always had this ability for a-ha moments; the ability to consider and weigh things at multiple levels at the same time. The realization that the absurd and the profound, the sacred and the profane, often co-exist in a single statement compels me to take human genius for articulation of ideas seriously. I believe that the human mind is capable of divine inspiration in this exact way so I often obsess (perhaps unduly) over irony.
Often, where I'd intuit a highly-complex and convoluted path a simple principle is found. This is true in math, science and religion.
I know that Christianity per se has a bad reputation and turn people off as no other thing in the human experience can and is capable of. Besides the psychological dissonance in general, many so-called "Christians" are judgmental, xenophobic (racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, etc. etc.) and tend to extreme passive-aggression if not outright symbolic and real violence.
Nice...as if the Christ wanted unabashed busybodies to represent Him.
Someone I love profoundly is a casualty of family under the evil influence of a cult. I know that Matthew 10: 34-36 is the justification for this forced, complete estrangement:
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.'"
The Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible says that the word "sword" (in Greek, mechaira) is a figurative term of divine judgement. This sword is spoken of Gospels as in the letters of Paul and in the Book of Revelation ("...and a sharp two-edged sword came from His mouth." Rev. 1: 16).
The "a man against his father..." part is in reference to a judgement passed by G*d in the prophesies of Micah 7:6 on the day of His visitation on Israel. Denial is the hallmark of justifying evil, it is this denial that allows unchecked perpetuation of abuse and caps off this sorry state of affairs in the family of Israel as per the divine judgement.
The quote in the Book of Matthew has nothing to do with a command to turn against family against family, let alone is it an arbitrary threat of violence from the Christ. The Christ has come to His people and what He finds is a:
"...time of your confusion.
Do not trust a neighbor;
put no confidence in a friend.
Even with the woman who lies in your embrace
guard the words of your lips.
For a son dishonors his father,
a daughter rises up against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies are the members of his own household." (Micah 7: 4-6)
The passing of divine judgement is never a condemnation but is rather a conviction (a quickening of conscience) before forgiveness and reconciliation can take root in the wayward:
“Blessed is the one whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he also binds up;
he injures, but his hands also heal." (Job 5: 17-18)
I've also been bothered quite a bit by the Islamophobia I saw in one of my fellow Christians. He is a right-wing fundamentalist and I have strong suspicions that he belongs to the sect that sees it their Christian duty to help bring about Armageddon with the ultimate end to open the path for the new Jerusalem where the Muslims are expelled and the Dome of the Rock is blown up like the Nazi emblem in that famous WWII footage—well, to be fair, it is not only the Muslims he has ideological/theological issues with but also Catholics and Anglicans, and the Orthodox Church I'd surmise if they were one of the pesky churches in Canada.
He seems so far up the ass that I suspect he's completely and blissfully unaware that:
"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." (1 John 4: 20).
As usual, the common thread in all these strands a simple principle applies (Micah 6:8).