Things I Think

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101 Responses

  1. Filbertz says:

    technology has not made students better learners either…the brain is still the most important factor in education, not the eyes and fingertips.

  2. erunner says:

    1,2,3, and 9. Could not agree more.

    8… Saw the story yesterday. Sad to say the least.

  3. Filbertz says:

    regarding your third thought…we too often think we need to be apologists for God, as though he, like a hard pillow, needs to be fluffed up a bit. I need the unadulterated truth sometimes to penetrate my coddled & insulated heart and mind.

  4. Filbertz says:

    bad theology has good ratings and superior income.

  5. Michael says:

    Fil, well said.
    I’ve been struck again in my studies this week how confrontational and counter cultural Jesus was.
    Struck as with a board to the head…

  6. Paige says:

    Preach it! Thank you. Thank you 1-10. Gotta run….
    Love you my friend.
    Looking forward to checking in later to read other’s comments.

  7. Michael says:

    Love you too, Paige!

  8. J.U. says:

    I was counting how many of these ten are at the basis of what gets debated over and over and over again here on this blog. I’m thinking about seven or eight of them, but maybe it’s all ten.

  9. J.U. says:

    To those that reject Paul’s words as not being from the Lord, as well as James and John and other authors, I wonder why they are so sure that Jesus’ words recorded in the four gospels are correct? After all, we only have the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If we trust those writers, why don’t we trust the others?

    I know, I know, it is a little more complicated than that. But I’m a simple man and I try to simplify all things.

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    I learned something this weekend from some of PP’s own angry souls. Paul has been discarded. But not because of Paul rather because of those who used Paul to litigate morality. For CC and much of evangelicalism Paul was the Moses of the New Covenant. That kind of stuff leads to all kinds of drama about women, hair, hats, slaves, divorce, you name it. The palpable anger fomenting over those mattes was astonishing.

    I maintain that Paul was the interpreter of what happened in Jesus. The cross was interpreted to us primarily via Paul, if someone argues it was Luke then we have just more Paul via Luke. Paul gives us the interpretations of how the Gospel became an event for all people. Paul gives a Gospel narrative in Romans that built the house. I maintain to eliminate Paul is to castrate the Gospel. Well that may be strong but, a red letter faith is enhanced by the apostolic witness via the rest of the NT. Besides Red Letterers perforate the red letters. Jesus was anything but domestic.

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    As per the wrath free stuff … ran into that too. People who claim that God never wanted blood sacrifice, never authorized it. The same people claim that you have to rewrite the OT to rehabilitate God’s image so that it will be acceptable to the public. Finding themselves unable to deal with scripture with integrity they claim we must wash it all through the lens of a non-violent Jesus.

    The same ones are preterists who claim that AD 70 was of course, at the heart of Jesus prophecy against Jerusalem. But they do not see it as a judgment which includes wrath. If God is wrathful then he is not the God and Father of Jesus they claim.

    Fun stuff… new popes arise daily.

    Dread I

  12. Michael says:

    BD,

    Those were two great comments…mucho gracias!

  13. Michael says:

    J.U.,

    You actually make a good point.
    Most conservative scholars believe Mark recorded the memoirs of Peter…who affirmed Paul in his own writings.

  14. and Luke wrote Acts, which confirms Paul’s Apostolic calling.

  15. Babylon's Dread says:

    Don’t worry this post will draw loads of conversation. The reaction will be worthy. “There will be blood!” Interestingly I wrote a reaction to the widespread acceptance of homosexuality into one of the posts above then erased it. Why? Because the intimidation is on the subject. We cannot talk about the dark side of homosexuality because seared ears and hearts will hate the messenger. Meanwhile the casualty count soars, not because of haters but because of predatory opportunists. I love adulterers but I do not let them go unchallenged. I even love child molesters but make them account. Of course I love gay people but I will not allow them to self-destruct or cause other to be destroyed without a fight.

  16. I will say that there is validity to the idea that we have created New Law with Paul’s writings, and that should not be the case. Hard to avoid though. We love our rules.

  17. Michael says:

    BD,

    Well said again.
    My hope is that this post draws as much thought as conversation…

  18. RiBo says:

    It simply speaks to the competing narratives in the bible, nothing more.

  19. Funny thought about #10 – the most trouble I’ve ever caused on this site was one day when I said “technology is inherently evil”.

  20. RiBo says:

    It is impossible to resolve the contradictory narratives, as these and all the other discussions prove.

    This thread only further proves the thesis.

  21. Andrew says:

    There is no contradictory narratives in the Bible. Only one! And its the greatest story ever told.

  22. Babylon's Dread says:

    BTW, a good way to deal with voices that irritate, including mine, is to ignore them.

  23. RiBo says:

    Andrew, c’mon buddy. I can fill the pages where the bible says one thing, then the opposite. It is what it is.

    Regarding the homosexual issue, I see it both ways LOL.

    The case that it isn’t “sin” according to the bible is pretty thin.

    That said, the issue is made a taboo in many Christian* circles and it is no less “hated” by God* than a bunch of other sins the bible says God* “hates”

    However, Moral Beliefs and Opinions are a First Amendment issue IMO. You have the right to a Moral Opinion that says it’s “not sin” as well as a Moral Opinion that says it “is sin” and everything in between.

    It isn’t “hate” or a “hate crime” to have a Moral Opinion. Now if you start stoning folks to death and teaching such or calling for violence against it, etc then different ballgame.

    I don’t hear the vast vast majority of Christians* calling for violence against homosexuals.

    The homosexual/Gay Agenda needs to chillax…or maybe they’d like Russia or Iran better? The Christians* here in ‘Merica are very reasonable about the issue compared to big chunks of the rest of the World.

  24. Michael says:

    BD,

    I’d like to read what you cut out.
    I also wonder if I’m misreading history to think that we are looking at a greater deconstruction of the Scriptures in the pews than any time since the Enlightenment.

  25. This is definitely an extraordinary day – I agree 100% with the NT Wright quote. It takes a big man to limit “believers” to BAPTIZED Believers.

  26. j2theperson says:

    It’s hard to read Paul’s writings and not see them through the lens of all of the cruel, legalistic teachers who have used his words to crush people and beat them down. His writings, or they way they have been interpreted, are the main reason why women are not well respected by great swaths of the evangelical church.

  27. Andrew says:

    RiBo,

    I guess my starting point with the Bible is that it is God’s word and He doesn’t contradict Himself. If you don’t start out with this, its going to be difficult to see the harmony in the Bible. But if it is your starting point, its amazing to see how everything weaves into one awesome truth. Jesus even said to the pharisees that they search the scriptures hoping to find eternal life but they refused to come to Him. Once you realize that the scriptures all the way from the beginning speak of Jesus, things tend to clear up tremendously.

    Obviously this isn’t your starting point and hence I can see why you got a problem. I realize I do have my presuppositions and I could be wrong but I do take it on faith since the Bible does speak of my Lord and savior Jesus and what He did for me. I became a Christian before I started reading the Bible because I was very young. So my encouragement to you or anyone else reading, is to have that child like faith that Jesus talks about.

  28. Michael says:

    j2,

    You make a good point. I would suggest that the text is not responsible for what people do with it.
    By the same token we who love and believe the text need to be vigilant against those who would use it to abuse.

  29. I agree with Ribo’s thoughts on the homosexuality issue in # 24. Also agree with J2’s issues with Paul.

    Andrew, I think your # 28 is right on. Good discussion guys!

  30. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I knew as soon as I decide to put that in the article that you would draw that out of it.
    Lutherans… 🙂

  31. RiBo says:

    Agree with J2P (as usual).

    “Paul’s writings” really means: “What teachers and gurus say Paul’s writings mean and say”

  32. Xenia says:

    a doctrine that people are basically good and just need to be fixed.<<<

    Yet this is true, although not in the sense it is taught by modern folk.

    All human persons bare the Image of God. In Eden, the Image was marred but not destroyed- we still bare it and therefore, we are basically good. That is to say, we are damaged goods but the goods are still good. Therefore, we do need to be "fixed," not by self-help programs, education, etc. but by the medicine prescribed to us by the Great Physician. We can be healed, we can be fixed. We can become the fully human persons God intended us to be when He created us. We can become like Christ.

    The medicine is hard to swallow, though.

  33. Xenia says:

    Here’s the thing about St. Paul’s letters that are often overlooked: He wrote letters to fix problems in churches. They were written to correct bad behavior or bad theology, or to tell one of his pastors (Timothy, Titus) what to do with bad behavior and bad theology. This is why his letters can sound harsh.

  34. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    If we continue on with the church history series, that’s the next doctrine on the agenda.

  35. Xenia says:

    My experience from hearing decades of Baptist/ CC sermons is that the pastor will spend years going through a book like Romans with a fine-tooth comb, wringing everything possible out of each word yet will zip through a Gospel book, skipping over quite a bit of uncomfortable material in the process. Or explaining inconvenient verses with explanations like “This belongs to another Dispensation [the Millennium]” or “Jesus only said this to prove we couldn’t do it.”

  36. Babylon's Dread says:

    YES every person is perforating their Bible. The fundamentalist press for inerrancy has led to the greatest backlash against scripture in history. Whatever we make into law the lawbreakers are provoked. Where is the greatest concentration of atheists? It is just a guess but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more atheists in the descendants of those who quoted the Shema daily than anywhere else.

    Thus Bible-thumpers have spawned a litter of those who thump the Bible right out of their way to establish their claims and they do it with the Bible (RiBo) and without it…

  37. If I may – I think I might disagree with Xenia about us being or baring the image of God.

    Genesis 5:3 speaks about the birth of Seth this way ” When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.

    Note that Seth was born in the image of Adam and not the image of God. i think this is who we are before regeneration and we are again given the image of God at our baptism when God declares us as his people.

  38. “The fundamentalist press for inerrancy has led to the greatest backlash against scripture in history”

    Well, that’s an interesting theory.

  39. Xenia says:

    MLD, that is an interesting thing you wrote, one I had never thought of. You have inspired me to do some investigating. Thanks!

  40. Babylon's Dread says:

    Josh,

    The theory is based on Paul’s teaching that Torah, far from making Israel holy made them exceedingly sinful… Romans 7… Whatever law you make humans will definitely break it. If yo make lying to be the cardinal sin in your home your kids will all lie more. Just a thought …

  41. That is a good thought…but oh, such a tough minefield to navigate if you take it that way.

  42. Xenia says:

    We have to teach righteousness, to whatever flock God has entrusted us with, be it our own children, classroom or parish. We can’t allow ourselves to be stifled by worries that if I speak out against lying (for example), they will all become liars.

    God may be testing these people. They learn that lying is a sin so the next thing that is going to happen is that they will be tempted to lie, faced with one of a million forks in the road we will have to choose from, with one fork leading to God and the other fork leading away from Him. Many will take the wrong fork continually, unto damnation but some (a few, according to Christ) will take the godly fork (usually uphill, narrow and winding) and will see God.

  43. Muff Potter says:

    Michael wrote @ # 25:
    I also wonder if I’m misreading history to think that we are looking at a greater deconstruction of the Scriptures in the pews than any time since the Enlightenment.

    I don’t think it’s so much a deconstruction of the Scriptures (for me anyway) as it is a different viewing angle. Prior to the Enlightenment there was no such thing as The Rights of Man. You were at the whim and mercy of the king and his magistrates, no recourse, no exceptions, absolutism was final. The tension between the two culminated of course in the founding documents of our nation. Your series on Church history should include the influence of the Enlightenment on Christian thought.

  44. Michael says:

    Muff,

    If we continue it will be part of the series for sure.

  45. Michael says:

    MLD @38…well done.

  46. JoelG says:

    Hate to take up comment space but must say thank you for these brother. Awesome stuff to think about.

  47. Michael says:

    JoelG,

    Thank you!
    Feel fee to comment as much as you like… 🙂

  48. Xenia says:

    Well, I expect I will have something to say about the Image of God thing when we get to it. Not prepared to say much now; I’ll save it for the proper time.

  49. Xenia,
    I think if we look at the broader context of the beginning of Gen 5 we see the contrast of when God made man and when Adam made man. It is almost as if you could add the word “But” at the beginning of verse 3. – “but Adam fathered a son …”

    “This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man[a] when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”

  50. Bob says:

    This is a very interesting and revealing thread.

    I am surprised the G guy hasn’t commented yet, although I would wager he is reading it closely.

    One of the spill overs of the gay issue is also how our culture, including professing Christians, views sexuality in general. Today many condemn gay sexuality and yet ok similar acts within marriage. Why is it an act is considered wrong in one situation and not another?

    Maybe we’re hypocrites.

  51. Xenia says:

    I’m just happy to hear that Michael is thinking about continuing the Church history series!

  52. I don’t think “gay style sex” formerly called sodomy is appropriate for either sex – in or out of marriage.

  53. “Why is it an act is considered wrong in one situation and not another?”

    Because of marriage, right? Hetero acts inside of marriage are fine, but aren’t outside of marriage. Am I missing something?

  54. Filbertz says:

    I’m a read-letter Christian. All the letters are important–though I thoroughly agree with the comments that identify the misuse of Paul’s epistles leading to a new-testiment ‘law.’ A tool misused is a weapon.

  55. Law Breaker Grace Denier says:

    “YES every person is perforating their Bible”

    See now, I didn’t even have to get baited into this!

  56. J.U. says:

    Does anyone notice how civil this discussion has been. At least, so far. I’ll complement RiBo’s comments at #24. He matches my view exactly. First, homosexual behavior is a sin written against in both testaments. Not the only sin, but it is a sin.

    Second, in the US, it IS a civil rights issue. There is so much tied up in marriage and modern day life from work benefits, insurance and taxes to access to loved ones under hospital care to issues upon death of one partner that marriage is much more than just a religious institution.

    We don’t deny atheists the right to marriage, so we shouldn’t deny gays. I realize the issue is a little more than that simple sentence, but I think that is the reality of modern life and the gay agenda. Of course, the gay agenda is a lot more than just marriage equality. That’s obvious. But I think Christians must recognize that the US is a country founded on religious freedom and that includes “freedom from religion.” ANY religion!

    Should I be surprised that today’s discussion has much more light than just heat and smoke? Maybe everyone is burned out from the long CC thread. But I’m hoping the discussion today will continue to be a respectful disagreement and support for these various topics.

    Yes, there are some very personal and significant issues to be discussed such as women’s rights in the modern church and other issues of sin and law and following Jesus. But, as a “community of faith,” we should approach these issues with respect for all and a goal to glorify God in both our statements and our responses.

    Xenia’s #43 is an example that has me thinking.

  57. Bob,

    “I am surprised the G guy hasn’t commented yet, although I would wager he is reading it closely. ”

    Meh.

    I skimmed.
    Decided I’m not going to invest any time today because I have far more to do in the 3D.
    I’m busy with graphics projects, music arranging, Powerpoints and getting ready to have a great night out with my wife and friends.

    I wish you all well.

  58. j2theperson says:

    @JoelG @47, the thing bloggers like more than anything is people commenting on their blogs, so don’t apologize, and know that you are more than welcome and encouraged to comment whenever you want to.

  59. RiBo says:

    “the thing bloggers like more than anything is people commenting on their blogs”

    Unless it’s me LOL

  60. j2theperson says:

    ***You make a good point. I would suggest that the text is not responsible for what people do with it.
    By the same token we who love and believe the text need to be vigilant against those who would use it to abuse.***

    I agree. I’m not saying that Paul intended what he wrote to be used as it is. I’m just saying it’s difficult to read him without hearing all the things people have claimed he is saying.

  61. Neo says:

    Great post, Michael, and great responses.

    Jesus preached to Israel, under the Law. That’s why he specifically told the 70 not to venture beyond the boundaries of Israel. But when He rose again He told His followers to go into the whole world with the Good News.

    It’s so freeing to take the relentless and perfect words of Christ, impossible to understand not to mention achieve, and place them in their proper context. And that context is; perfection in every way serves as the conduit for the blessed hope and message of Justification.

  62. Neo says:

    …impossible to understand outside their proper context, I should say!

  63. Alan Hawkins says:

    Michael,

    You are a good soldier and I think I will stand with you. Things I Think is one of my favorite things to look forward to online. Agree or disagree I always know conviction, passion and good ole gumption.

  64. Alan Hawkins says:

    I never imagined that the most strident critics of scripture would be believers or former believers whose confidence in scripture has been eroded by secular critiques and religious abuses. Careful exegesis will always make a way forward to bring forth interpretations that are both relevant for today and consistent to the context.

    There is NO reason to run from Paul because you are bound by narrow interpretations. Paul is our guide for faithful application of Law and Gospel to culture and personal life. I have no reason to run from Paul’s treatment of women, or sexuality or diet or dress. Underneath his applications are timeless principles that make a way forward for us to live faithful lives.

  65. Alan Hawkins says:

    Hey Michael,

    Question for you. I have some other critics who maintain that the early church was universalist for up to 500 years. Touch on that in your historical assessments. I think that is pure bunk but many people are better students of the patristics than I.

  66. Michael says:

    Alan,

    Thank you, my friend.
    It is bunk and I’ll find the references to prove so.
    I’m at taekwando with my son, so I will work when I get home.

  67. Abuser Law Breaker Grace Denier Reuben says:

    Allan Hawkins to Reuben Mills, “Well at least you made me laugh. Caio.”

    write-offs, legal or not, are just write-offs.

  68. Alan Hawkins says:

    Reuben,

    Let it flow. I am sure I deserve it. I am equally sure that I can deal with it. But you did make me laugh. You really did. As for a write off. Well I repented and came back to talk. But we can stop whenever you like.

  69. Reuben says:

    Ok.

    Peace.

    Do you affirm or deny that Paul made new laws?

    Do these laws add to, or supposedly accentuate the New Law given by Christ Jesus?

    Where do you draw the line between what was “cultural” and what was “gospel” in Paul’s writings?

    To anyone…

    How do we not know Jesus if not for Paul?

  70. Reuben says:

    Now i am being moderated. Nevermind.

  71. Michael says:

    You’re not being moderated. The Akismet server was down.

  72. Alan Hawkins says:

    Michael,

    The point about grace is AMAZING. I never saw that or heard it and I thought it was very compelling. John spoke of Jesus being full of grace but Jesus is never quoted using the word. Frankly that is fascinating.

    Black Letter Dread

  73. Michael says:

    Alan,

    It hit me last night after church and I figured I either had something or would be swiftly refuted.
    Grace is only explained and understood through a Pauline lens.

  74. Alan Hawkins says:

    Peace.

    “Do you affirm or deny that Paul made new laws?”
    I deny that the writings of Paul are new law. I acknowledge that his pastoral instructions have been treated as such but need not be so. I do not use them thus. Fundamentalists have indeed done as much as have some state church denominations. But Paul IS NOT law

    “Do these laws add to, or supposedly accentuate the New Law given by Christ Jesus?”
    Well Paul and the other apostles attempt to interpret Christ and life in the Spirit to the churches. It is the work of pastoral care to instruct the flock.

    Where do you draw the line between what was “cultural” and what was “gospel” in Paul’s writings?
    There is no short answer. But I will illustrate my point. Paul gave instructions to slaves that moderate how a slave was to live and be treated. Paul had no authority to abolish slavery and did not think it his work to attempt as much. But the Gospel certainly has destroyed slavery over time as an acceptable option. I can go on and on about this but our work is to do as Paul did and to interpret the Gospel to our culture or rather to the church in the culture. This is hard work but it is the pastoral mandate modeled by Paul. The church has always worked at this task without discarding the apostles.

    To anyone…

    “How do we not know Jesus if not for Paul?”
    I would not make the claim as it is stated above. I would however say that we know how to interpret the work of the cross because of Paul and the others. We do not interpret his death as martyrdom like Stephen but as the intentional work of God. Paul and especially his disciple Luke helped us to see this. Discarding Paul further makes the whole matter of who belongs in the family of God very hard to access. Paul is the great interpreter of Jew and Gentile matters. This also would require a book. To discard Paul would be to reset at a world before his influence. It would be a massive regress.

    I can dialogue about this endlessly

  75. Josh Hamrick says:

    Good questions Reuben, and great answers Dread.

    You guys keep this up, it is incredibly valuable!

  76. Alan Hawkins says:

    As for Paul writing new Law everything about that idea is anathema to the Gospel IMO. How would the one who makes such a compelling case for us to be free from Torah by the faithfulness of Jesus turn and make us servants to his writings.

    Paul is clearly exegeting the Gospel to the churches. He is answering pastoral questions about sex and food and idols. He is adjudicating conflicts through the lens of the cross and resurrection. He is claiming that life in the Spirit is the greatest way to know how to live.

    MLD will perhaps argue the opposite and make his case. But I argue that Paul was being a father and a man of the Spirit and the cross. It is true that fundamentalism has attempted to make Paul the new Moses but Paul would never accept such a mantle. He would repudiate that fervently.

  77. Alan,
    You are writing some good stuff here.

  78. Reuben says:

    It is good that you can be endless about this, because I have not even started. 😉

    Discarding Paul makes who “is in” very hard to access? Really? Whosovere beleievs in me only applies to Jews or what?

    The thing I have worked very hard at for the last month is detaching Jesus from the interpretations of Jesus. AKA Paul’s, Peter’s… and the thing that I find is that Jesus, who is God, and capable of speaking for himself, is abundantly clear on who is in, down to the exact moment of his death with the thief next to him. But Paul had to add things.

    So what I hear you saying is ok, Paul was not law, Paul was a pastor, Paul was speaking to a specific context, but God needed Paul to speak for him because Jesus did not in fact say it all. Jesus was not sufficient. Jesus, who created the rock we live on, needed Paul to cover womens heads and command men to kiss each other in order to be clear about who was “in”?

    Alan, you have to be able to see why this is viewed by a few scatered heretics as being slightly absurd. Yes?

  79. Alan Hawkins says:

    First let me address the issue of who is in the family. To miss the importance of Paul for the Christian family is to overlook his enormous contribution to the clash of Jew and Gentile. Paul is the one who built the foundation from scripture that Jews and Gentiles belong at the same table and thus in the same family. The words of Jesus doubtless taught a love for one another but Torah was a near insurmountable obstacle to expressing that love.

    When one feels that he/she is transgressing God’s law to eat with people it is serious. We humans will rationalize that we can love someone without embracing them at the table. Paul saw the Gospel as tearing down the barriers. And this is the foundation for all barriers to come falling down.

    If you want to separate Jesus from his very disciples you bring forth a deconstruction that you will have a very hard time reconstructing. Behind your assumption is the idea that we do not need help knowing how Christ would have us live. Frankly I do not think you will find yourself living by the Jesus law any more successfully than you live by the Pauline law.

    Reuben, I see why wooden interpretations of Paul imposed on our context looks absurd. I do not see how attempting to learn from the wisdom of the earliest fathers hampers us from our hunger for following Jesus.

  80. Ian Elsasser says:

    MLD,

    RE: image of God

    Mankind continues to be God’s image but a parody of the image. Genesis 5.1 begins by speaking of humanity as God’s image which is reaffirmed of post-diluvian humanity in Genesis 9.6.

  81. Alan Hawkins says:

    There is no hint in Paul of the insufficiency of Jesus and thus Paul’s need to speak. Nothing of that kind would have entered his mind. Paul was reeling for years from his encounter with Jesus on Damascus road when he realized that the one sitting not he very throne of God was the one he was attempting to expunge. His effort was to exalt Jesus to his last breath. Critiques of Paul that simply attempt to impose his teachings on the modern cultural milieu miss the point horrifically. No wonder they create a reaction. But that mode of operation is not necessary. There is no presumption in Paul.

    Further, to reject the apostles is to reject the mandate given them by Jesus himself, including Paul. Why would we discard the ones who were by the words of Jesus (red letters) sent out to represent him and proclaim him?

  82. Michael says:

    As I stated previously without Paul you have no doctrine of grace.
    That alone should stop this conversation in it’s tracks.
    It is Paul who grounds the Gospel in the life, death, and especially resurrection of Christ.
    Without Paul we have very blurry lines and much confusion over Law and Gospel, justification, church order, and a plethora of other doctrines.
    God didn’t “need” Paul…He chose Paul and Paul did well.

  83. Xenia says:

    Jesus says that even to think evil of a person is tantamount to murder.
    Jesus says that to lust after someone in the secrecy of your heart in tantamount to adultery.
    Even without doing anything but only thinking, we are murderers and adulterers, according to Jesus. He said it in red.

    And Paul says:

    Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    But then he says:

    And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    Thank God for Saint Paul!

  84. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Exactly!

    I’m working on the 5th century tonight…be ready for Augustine. 🙂

  85. Here is my view of the Paul thing – “STOP being such a bunch of sissies!!!”

    If you go back and read old, old commentaries on Paul’s writings none of this nonsense comes up. “Oh, crap, that mean Paul told me I have to do this or I can’t do that. Isn’t he insensitive.

    I have to wear a hat,I can’t pastor a church… I am going to burn my bra in protest.

    To be honest, all of this should be written in a commentary called “Paul, As Only Americans Can Interpret Him.”

  86. Alan Hawkins says:

    It is good to be MLD 😉

  87. brian says:

    “STOP being such a bunch of sissies!!!”

    I was sort of thinking the same thing concerning issues like science. Oh and MLD I did look at what you said and there is a conflict a very large conflict. I do hope you have a nice evening.

  88. Although we are all different than each other Jesus finds a way to use every one of us for a reason. The only thing needed to conglomerate it all is that we need to praise Christ for being the answer to the Law. This may sound to simple too be true but it is only complicated for those who want to make it harder to understand because they want to sound intelligent. Neither Paul, nor any of the other writers of the Bible, nor Christ Himself wanted it to be hard to understand. They even chose to say it many different ways so that no one misses the premise. Take the part you do understand and run with it; and leave the rest for other people to deal with, because it is probably addressed to them anyway.

    Of course this is only my own take but this is my story and I am sticking to it.

    God bless you,
    Paul

  89. Bob says:

    Is man made in the image of God according to scripture?

    Yes and no.

    The Genesis text mentioned about Adam is simply this and shouldn’t be complicated; God made Adam ftom the dirt and breathed life into him. From here on out all flesh, including humans, breed and produce in their likeness. It is a Hebrew literary device to say we are a species, Adam, in the same manner as dogs verses cats.
    But since our father Adam was made in God’s image we, because of being of Adam, are like our father and are also in God’s image.

    One can make this a whole thread about original sin and such , but I believe it over complicates the text and its intent.

  90. Bob says:

    As far as Paul goes, I believe that as a Pharisee when he spoke people would listen. The rabbinical tradition of “binding and loosing” would indicate some times Paul intended to make hallakah

  91. Bob says:

    Oops typing on phone. It senty reply before I was ready.

    Paul does intend to both bind and loose and create rules for his converts to live bye. This is the art of making a walk or a hallakah in rabbinic tradition.

    Yes he in a sense interprets and clarifies, not writes a new Law do people can “walk ” according to Jesus’ ways.

  92. Andy says:

    Homosexuality is forgiven as quickly and completely as every sin, since that is the power of the completed death and blood of Jesus given for all of us. The love that Jesus has for every person, includes every homosexual to the fullest. This is clear to everyone that hears the Holy Spirit.

    What is also clear to everyone that hears the Holy Spirit, is that homosexuality is indeed a sin. And I always had to shake my head at those that argue, “well Jesus never spoke of homosexuality”. Because Jesus did speak of homosexuality. Jesus said that the last days would be like the days of Sodom. And here we are, where homosexuality is more talked about than really any other “spiritual” topic out there. A “Christian minister” goes on some TV program, and the subject of homosexuality will come up, every time. You can bet on it.

    Jesus didn’t have to elaborate much beyond those statements about Sodom in the Gospels, since, homosexuality was already fully rejected by that society which was dominated by first century judaism. Once the message of Jesus Christ went into the Gentile nations, which were accepting of homosexuality, then Jesus (through Paul) had to address homosexuality in more detail. The whole Bible is to everybody, obviously. But the original audience of each of the Books, is sometimes an enlightening teaching point.

  93. Bob says:

    Andy:

    Jesus didn’t speak of homosexuality because it was a cut and dry issue with the Jews in His day. What is recorded are only those things of the Torah and Oral Traditions in which he was either challenged/tested over or those He wished to clarify (think “sermon on the mount”).

    This isn’t brain surgery (well maybe spirit surgery) and to say his lack of speaking is evidence is just pure and simple ignorance.

    Homosexual acts are wrong in two ways, design and written evidence. Now is loving people to the deepest levels possible wrong? Absolutely not and its sad the Gay agenda continues to cloud and distort love with lust. And it’s this that followers of Jesus should be up in arms about!

    Oh well I have to work.

  94. Larry says:

    Longtime lurker, first-time commenter at this site.

    Regarding 1: these “red letter” folks conveniently ignore the fact that Jesus spoke about hell more than anybody else in Scripture.

    Concerning 4, I’ve also heard those words directed at folks like myself dealing with unwanted singleness, especially past the age of 30 (in my case, I’m well past 30). On the other hand, I’ve also heard and read far worse things said about older Christian singles.

  95. Andy says:

    Uhh, Bob, I said already exactly what you just said. I didn’t disagree with anything you said, but you make it sound like I attempted to make some contrary point. So I don’t follow you at all.

  96. Nonnie says:

    Welcome, Larry!

  97. Bob says:

    Andy:

    I was affirming what you wrote, and maybe adding to it.

    I’m really tired of the argument that is made by those who affirm gay acts because Jesus, “didn’t say anything about it.” I just wonder why “Christians” are bowled over by such drivel. Could it be the pastors don’t teach the fullness of Jesus and keep repeating the milk stuff?

    No I wasn’t disagreeing at all.

    Thank you for pointing it out to the readers here on PP.

    Andy one question though, how come Christians today won’t talk about the actual sexual acts anymore instead the focus is on “love” and “maybe they were born that way?” To me there’s nothing hidden nor is there a hidden agenda in the scriptures about sexuality. This is the way humans were designed to reproduce, it feels good and attracts us, but there are consequences, both physical and spiritual, when people violate that design.

    Thanks again.

  98. Michael says:

    Larry,

    My apologies for missing your comment.
    Welcome aboard!

  99. Xenia says:

    Hello Larry! Lurk no more!

  100. Andy says:

    Bob, sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Bob wrote: “To me there’s nothing hidden nor is there a hidden agenda in the scriptures about sexuality”

    I believe you are 100% right. I believe that most of the Scriptures are plain and simple and mean what they say plainly. No hidden twist trying to throw off the honest reader.

    It is the agenda of some in Christendom to make it like all Scriptures are filled with endless “mysteries” that nobody really knows what they mean. What a convenient way to read, “don’t do this”, and do it anyway.

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