How We Learn

Most of us learn from reading and listening. Symbolic ritual is a much more powerful teacher. The ordinances in the Bible have this form. The problem is that the ritual remains after the symbolism has been lost or changed. Let us imagine that in Biblical times you have been telling lies. You have a bad feeling about the consequences/results of your lies. You go to the priest for advice and he tells you to bring in a lamb. It has to be a really nice one because it represents you. The priest/teacher would say: "Look--- this is what will become of you if you continue telling lies. Someone will get angry enough with you to kill you and you may die a violent and bloody death." The lamb would be kicking and struggling. Then, he would cut the lamb's throat. The lamb would die in a puddle of blood. ---You would put your hand to your mouth and think: My God, that’s awful. I will stop telling lies. The teacher/priest would say: "You have learned your lesson. The sheep has done its job. Let's have it for lunch."

Communion, baptisms, and circumcision in the church are other examples of how symbolic ritual have lost their meaning and therefore their function as ordinances, which is to communicate the rules/laws.

Let us imagine that some one has a landscaping business. He wants it to be the best that it can be. He knows that he needs to motivate his organization into being dedicated and loyal. He invites them all to a symbolic dinner at which he serves irrigation water and fertilizer. He says, "I want you to live this landscaping business. I want you to think about how you can make this business all that it can be. I want you to drink irrigation water and eat fertilizer!"

He could invite them to the edge of the river where he would say, "I want you to make the ultimate dedication to this business. I want you to die to your own agenda and be raised up again to a new life where all that you think about is this landscaping business. I will take you into this water and immerse you into it in front of all of your fellow employees. It will symbolize the death of all your old loyalties and the rebirth to your new. You and all that watch will remember the time you dedicated yourself to this business."

Circumcision is another ordinance that symbolizes dedication. A man's penis is multi-function tool that he frequently passes water through. However it is also the instrument that is used to deliver his genetic information to his breeding partner. The family jewels, so to speak. Every time that a man takes out his tool to piss he is reminded by the fact that the end of it is missing, that he has promised to breed only with a woman whose ancestors have undergone the same selection criteria that his ancestors have.

Continue to Part Four...