What It Means to Pursue the Truth (9) Part Two
What points have we discussed regarding the saying about moral conduct “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible”? Let us sum up. The essence of this saying is the same as that of other sayings about moral conduct. They all serve the ruling class and social mores—they are not put forward starting from the perspective of humanity. To say that these moral scriptures serve the ruling class and social mores may be somewhat far beyond the range of what you should understand and be able to attain through your faith in God, though it is somewhat attainable for those who know something about politics, social science, and human thought. From the perspective of humanity, that is to say, from your own perspective, how should you deal with such things? For example, supposing you were previously arrested, imprisoned, and tortured because of your faith. For several days and nights the great red dragon did not let you sleep, and tormented you half to death. Irrespective of whether you are a man or a woman, your body and mind suffered all kinds of abuses and torments, and you were also insulted, derided, and attacked by those devils using all manner of filthy and blasphemous language. After suffering this torment, what do you feel toward this country and this government? (Hatred.) It engenders hatred, hatred toward this social system, hatred toward this ruling party, and hatred toward this country. You used to feel an immense sense of respect whenever you saw the state police, but after having been subjected to their persecution, torment, and defilement, that erstwhile sense of respect has vanished, and your heart is filled with one word—hate. Hate for their lack of humanity, hate for their sheer unscrupulousness, and hate that they act like animals and the devil Satan. Though you have suffered greatly through being tortured, defiled, and insulted by the state police, you have seen their true colors, and have seen that they are all beasts in human skin, and devils who hate the truth and hate God, so you are full of hatred toward them. This is not personal hatred or a personal grievance, it is the result of clearly seeing their evil essence. It is not something you have imagined, deduced, or determined, it is all those memories of them insulting you, defiling you, and persecuting you—including their every mannerism, action and word—that fill your heart with hatred. Is this normal? (Yes.) Once you are filled with hatred, if someone says to you, “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible. Don’t live in hatred. Dispelling hatred is the best way to deal with it,” how would you feel on hearing this? (Disgusted.) What else could you be but disgusted? So tell Me, is it possible to dispel this hatred? (No.) It cannot be dispelled. How can irreconcilable hatred be dispelled? If anyone uses the saying “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible” to persuade you to let go of your hatred, could you let go of it? How would you react? Your first reaction would be, “All this ‘execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible’ is spurious nonsense, it is irresponsible remarks from idle onlookers! These people who spread the ideas and views of traditional culture persecute Christians and good people every day—are they constrained and affected by these words? They will not stop until they drive away or exterminate every last one! They are the devil Satan in disguise. They brutalize people while they are still alive, then once they’re dead they say a few words of sympathy to delude others. Is that not awfully wicked?” Wouldn’t you react and feel this way? (Yes.) You would certainly feel like this, hating whoever tries to persuade you, to the point of even wanting to curse them. But some people don’t understand. They say, “Why are you doing this? Is this not hateful? Is this not spiteful?” These are irresponsible remarks from idle onlookers. You would retort: “I am a human being, I have dignity and integrity, but they didn’t treat me like a human being. Instead they treated me like an animal or a beast, greatly offending my integrity and dignity. Is it not they who are spiteful? You tacitly accept their spitefulness, yet when we resist and hate them, you condemn us for it. So what does that make you? Is it not you who is wicked? They don’t treat us like human beings, they torture us, but you still tell us to uphold human moral conduct and requite evil with good. Aren’t you just talking nonsense? Is your humanity normal? You are a faker and a hypocrite. Not only are you extremely spiteful, but you are also wicked and shameless!” So, when someone consoles you by saying “Forget about it, it’s over and done with, don’t hold grievances. If you are always this petty, you will be the one who gets hurt in the end. People have to learn to let go of hatred, and practice being lenient whenever possible,” what would you think about that? Would you not think, “All this traditional Chinese culture is just a tool used by the ruling class to delude and control people. They themselves are never constrained by these ideas and views, but delude and cruelly hurt people every day. I am a person with dignity and integrity who was wantonly toyed with and abused like an animal or a beast. I suffered so many insults and degradations in their presence, and was tormented and deprived of my dignity and integrity, so that I did not even appear human. And yet you talk about morality? Who are you to say such high-sounding things? Is it not enough for me to be humiliated once, you want them to humiliate me again? There is no way I’m letting go of this hatred!” Is this a manifestation of normal humanity? (Yes.) This is a manifestation of normal humanity. Some people say: “This is not a manifestation of normal humanity, this is inciting hatred.” In that case, who caused this person’s behavior and this hatred? Do you know? If they hadn’t been brutally persecuted by the great red dragon, would they behave like this? They were persecuted and are just speaking their mind—how is that inciting hatred? Satanic regimes persecute people like this, and yet they do not allow people to speak their mind? Satan persecutes people and yet wants to keep their mouths shut. It doesn’t allow them to hate or resist. What manner of reasoning is that? Shouldn’t people with normal humanity oppose oppression and exploitation? Should they just meekly submit? Satan has corrupted and harmed mankind for thousands of years. Once believers understand the truth, they should wake up, resist Satan, expose it, hate it, and forsake it. This is normal humanity, and it is perfectly natural and justified. This is the good and righteous deed that normal humanity should be capable of, and it is praised by God.
Whichever angle you look at it, the saying about moral conduct, “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible,” is very inhumane and disgusting. It tells the people of the ruled class not to resist any unfair treatment—regardless of any attacks, degradation, or injuries they suffer to their integrity, dignity, and human rights—but rather to meekly submit to it. They should not take revenge, or think about hateful things, let alone about retaliation, but must make sure to be lenient wherever possible. Is this not inhumane? Quite obviously this is inhumane. Given that it requires the ruled class—ordinary people—to do all this and to conduct themselves with this kind of moral conduct, shouldn’t the moral conduct of the ruling class exceed this requirement? Is this something they should be even more obligated to do? Have they done it? Could they do it? Did they use this saying to constrain themselves and measure themselves? Did they apply this saying in their treatment of their people, the people they rule over? (No.) They have never done this. They only tell their people not to regard this society, this country, or the ruling class with hostility, and that no matter what unfair treatment they suffer in society or within their community, and no matter how much they suffer physically, mentally and spiritually, they must learn to be lenient wherever possible. Conversely, if ordinary people—commoners in their eyes—tell them “no,” or hold any dissenting opinions and voices about the status, rule, and authority of the ruling class, they will be strictly administered to, and even severely punished. Is this the moral conduct that the ruling class, who advocate “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible” to the people, should possess? If, among the ordinary people of the ruled class, there is the slightest trouble or the slightest shift, or if there is even the slightest opposition to them in people’s thoughts, then it will be nipped in the bud. They control people’s hearts and minds, and force people to submit to them without compromise. It’s just like in the sayings “When the emperor commands his officials to die, they have no choice but to die,” and “All the lands under the sky belong to the king, all the people of the world are the king’s vassals.” What it boils down to is that whatever the ruler does is right, and the people should be duped by him, controlled by him, insulted by him, toyed with by him, trampled on by him, and finally devoured by him; and that no matter what the ruling class do, they are right, and as long as people are alive, they must be obedient citizens, and must not be disloyal to the king. No matter how bad the king is, no matter how bad his rule is, ordinary people must not say “no,” and must not harbor thoughts of resistance, and must absolutely obey. Since “all the people of the world are the king’s vassals,” meaning that the common people ruled by the king are his vassals, then shouldn’t the king exemplify the saying “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible” to the common people? Because the common people are foolish, ignorant, uninformed, and do not understand the law, they often do some illegal and criminal things. So, shouldn’t the king be the first one of all to apply the saying “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible”? Being as lenient with ordinary people as he is with his own children—isn’t that what a king should do? Shouldn’t a king also have such magnanimity? (Yes.) So does he make this requirement of himself? (No.) When kings ordered the suppression of religious beliefs, did they require themselves to adhere to the saying “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible”? When their army and police force brutally persecuted and tortured Christians, did they ask their government to adhere to the saying “Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible”? They never asked their government or their police force to do that. Instead, they urged and forced the government and the police force to strictly suppress religious beliefs, and even issued orders along the lines of “beat them to death with impunity” and “destroy them without making a sound,” which goes to show that the kings of this evil world are devils, they are devil kings, they are Satan. They only allow officials to light fires, but do not allow the people even to light lamps. They use these traditional sayings about moral conduct to constrain and restrict the people, out of fear that the people will rise up against them. Hence, the ruling class use all kinds of sayings about moral conduct to dupe people. They have only one purpose, which is to restrict and bind people’s hands and feet, so that people will submit to their rule, and they brook no resistance. They use these theories about moral conduct to stupefy and deceive people, hoodwinking them so that they may bow down and be obedient citizens. No matter how much the ruling class get away with and trample people underfoot, no matter how much they oppress and exploit people, the people can only meekly submit to it, and cannot resist at all. Even when faced with death, the people can only choose to flee. They cannot resist, nor even dare to harbor thoughts of resisting. They cannot even look at hoes and sickles or keep them by their side, nor even carry pocketknives and nail clippers about their person, with the aim to show that they are obedient citizens, and that they will always submit to the rule of the king and be loyal to the king forever. How far should their loyalty extend? No one dares to say, “As the people, we must use the ideas and views of traditional culture to supervise and constrain our king,” and no one dares to put forward even slightly divergent opinions when they find out that the king is committing evil, otherwise it would get them killed. Quite obviously, the ruler regards himself not only as the king of the people, but also as the sovereign and controller of the people. In Chinese history, these emperors called themselves “Tianzi.” What is the meaning of “Tianzi”? It means the son of the celestial heaven, or “the Son of Heaven” for short. Why didn’t they call themselves “the Son of Earth”? If they were born on earth they should be sons of earth, and as they were obviously born on earth, why call themselves “the Son of Heaven”? What was the purpose of calling themselves the Son of Heaven? Is it that they wanted to look down on all living beings and on these commoners? Their way of ruling was to control the people with power and status above all else. That is to say, when they assumed power and became the emperor, they thought nothing of riding roughshod on the necks of the people, and the people risked being executed for showing the slightest reticence. That is how this title “the Son of Heaven” came about. If the emperor said that he was the Son of Earth, he would appear to be of lowly status, and would not have the majesty that he claims a king should have, nor would he be able to intimidate the ruled class. So, he upped the ante, claiming that he was the Son of Heaven, and wanted to represent Heaven. Could he represent Heaven? Did he have that essence? If one insists on representing Heaven without having the essence to do so, that is putting up a pretense. On the one hand, these rulers regard Heaven and God with hostility, but on the other hand, they pretend that they are the Son of Heaven, and that they have been mandated by Heaven, so as to facilitate their rule. Is this not shameless? Looking at these facts, the purpose of these various sayings about moral conduct that are spread among mankind is to restrict people’s normal thinking, bind their hands and feet, restrict their behavior, and even restrict their various thoughts, views and manifestations within the scope of normal humanity. Looking at the root of it, their purpose is to form good social mores and social morality. Of course, by achieving this effect they also serve the ruling class’s ambition to rule for a long time. But no matter how they rule, ultimately the victim is mankind. Mankind is confined and influenced by these various ideas and views of traditional culture. Not only have people lost the opportunity to hear the gospel and receive God’s salvation, but they have also lost the opportunity to seek the truth and walk the right path in life. Moreover, under the control of rulers, the people have no choice but to accept many kinds of poisons, heresies and fallacies, and other negative things that come from Satan. For the last few thousand years of mankind’s long history, Satan has educated, inculcated, and duped mankind by spreading knowledge and disseminating various ideological theories, with the result that generations of people have been profoundly influenced and confined by these ideas and views. Of course, under the influence of these ideas and views from Satan, people’s corrupt dispositions intensify and become more serious. That is to say, people’s corrupt dispositions have been fostered and “sublimated” on this basis, and have become deeply rooted in people’s hearts, causing them to deny God, resist God, and sink deep into sin from which they are unable to extricate themselves. As regards the formation of this saying about moral conduct—“Execution does nothing but make heads roll; be lenient wherever possible”—as well as the aims in putting forward this requirement, the harm done to people since this saying about moral conduct was formed, and all the various other aspects, we will not fellowship on these things now, and you can take time later to further contemplate them for yourselves.
Chinese people are no strangers to sayings about moral conduct in traditional culture, but these things do not influence people overnight. You live in this kind of social environment, you have received this kind of ideological education on aspects of traditional culture and morality, and you are familiar with these things, but it has never occurred to you that these things could have a tremendously negative effect. How much will these things obstruct you from believing in God, pursuing the truth, and entering into the truth realities, or how much of an influence or obstruction will they be on the path you walk in future? Are you aware of these issues? You should further contemplate and discern the topic that we have fellowshiped about today, to gain a thorough understanding of the role that traditional culture plays in educating mankind, what exactly it is, and how people should treat it correctly. These words that we fellowshiped above are helpful and beneficial for you to understand the things in traditional culture. Of course, this understanding is not only an understanding of traditional culture, but also an understanding of Satan’s corruption of mankind, and the various ways and means through which Satan corrupts mankind, and even specifically the various views it instills in people, as well as the various ways and means, views, perspectives, standpoints and so on, with which it treats the world and mankind. After gaining a thorough understanding of the things of traditional culture, what you should do is not to just avoid and reject the various sayings and views of traditional culture. Instead, you should more specifically understand and dissect what harm, restraints and bonds the sayings about moral conduct that you abide by and uphold have inflicted on you, and what roles they have played in affecting, disturbing, and obstructing your thoughts and views on comporting yourself, as well as your acceptance ofand your pursuit of the truth, and thereby delaying you from accepting the truth, understanding it, practicing it, and obeying God completely and absolutely. These things are precisely what people should reflect on and be aware of. You cannot just evade or reject them, you must be able to discern them and understand them thoroughly, so that you can completely free your mind of these specious and misleading things in traditional culture. Even if some sayings about moral conduct are not deeply rooted in you, but manifest themselves from time to time in your thinking and notions, they can still disturb you for a short period or during a single incident. If you cannot discern them clearly, you may still regard some sayings and views as things that are quite positive or close to the truth, and this is something very troublesome. There are certain sayings about moral conduct that you inwardly quite like. Not only do you agree with them in your heart, but you also feel that they can be aired in public, that people will be interested in hearing them, and that they will accept them as positive things. These sayings are undoubtedly the hardest ones for you to let go of. Even though you have not admitted them as the truth, you inwardly recognize them as positive things in your heart, and they unconsciously take root in your heart and become your life. Once you come to believe in God and accept the truth expressed by God, these things will naturally emerge to disturb you and obstruct you from accepting the truth. These are all things that obstruct people from pursuing the truth. If you cannot discern them clearly, it is easy to confuse these things with the truth and accord them the same status, which can have some negative effects on people. It may be that you haven’t treated these sayings—such as “Don’t pocket the money you pick up,” “Derive pleasure from helping others,” and “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others”—as the truth, and that you don’t regard them as the standard for measuring your own moral conduct, and that you don’t pursue them as goals for comporting yourself, but this does not mean that you have not been influenced and corrupted by traditional culture. It may also be that you are someone who is indifferent to trivial details, insofar as you don’t care whether or not you pocket the money you pick up, or whether you derive pleasure from helping others. But you have to understand and be clear about one thing: You live in this kind of social environment and under the influence of a traditional cultural and ideological education, so you will inevitably follow these sayings that mankind advocates, and will adopt at least some of them as your standard for measuring moral conduct. This is what you should thoughtfully reflect on. It may also be that you do not adopt sayings such as “Don’t pocket the money you pick up” or “Derive pleasure from helping others” as your standard for measuring moral conduct, but that deep in your heart you think that other sayings, such as “I’d take a bullet for a friend,” are particularly noble, and they have become tenets that influence your life, or have become the highest criterion by which you view people and things, and comport yourself and act. What does this show? Although deep in your heart you do not intentionally revere or follow traditional culture, your tenets of comportment, the ways in which you comport yourself, and your life goals, as well as the principles, bottom line, and tenets for the life goals that you pursue are not free from traditional culture at all. They have not escaped the values of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and trustworthiness that mankind upholds, or some tenet of moral conduct that mankind advocates—you haven’t escaped these confines at all. To put it plainly, as long as you are a corrupt human, a living human, and you eat the food of the human world, then the principles of comportment and life that you follow are nothing more than these principles and tenets for moral conduct from traditional culture. You should understand these words I say and these problems I expose. And yet, perhaps you think that you don’t have these problems, so you don’t care about what I say. The fact is that people all have these problems to varying degrees, whether you realize it or not, and this is something that those who believe in God and pursue the truth should thoughtfully reflect on and understand.