church nonsense, Jesus, Light

Passionate About Paul?

 

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I love Jesus.  Not just because He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  Not just because His is the Name above all names.  At least it’s supposed to be.  Unfortunately, sinfully, at my church, and perhaps at yours, it isn’t.  It’s Paul’s.  For a while I kept track.  Two columns.  A hash mark every time Paul was mentioned or quoted and a hash mark every time Jesus was mentioned or quoted.  It was pitiful.  Jesus, I began to realize, is almost completely left out of Sunday morning services, and I miss Him.

I commented the other day that elevating Paul above Jesus is a nuance of false teaching.

The post garnered quite a bit of debate.  Some of it involved my comment:

One fellow commenter wrote:

“Paul and his gospel were “In Christ,” as long as that is acknowledged it should not be a problem. The ascended Christ hand picked Paul for the revelation of the secret which God kept hidden from the beginning. Through that revelation we are here in Christ’s place just as Paul was. Paul’s words were Jesus’s.”

This is a common church teaching, but are we sure it is actually true?  When did Jesus say that He hand-picked Paul to reveal these mysteries? I know Paul said it, but when did Jesus say it? Nowhere in Scripture does a voice from heaven say, “This is my servant, Paul, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him”. Paul certainly earned the right to speak by all he suffered, but I don’t think we should elevate his words to the status of a prophet. He never claimed to be a prophet. He was a church planter. We Protestants criticize Catholics for ascribing inerrancy to their Popes and yet we do the same with Paul. As you know, Paul was well-steeped in the teachings and traditions of the Pharisees, and ingrained teachings die hard. Perhaps that is why Jesus told His disciples to beware the yeast of the Pharisees. Perhaps that is why, high atop the Mt. of Transfiguration, God said to Peter, James and John, “This is my Son, whom I love, listen to Him!” [italics added].

Another commenter quoted 2 Timothy 3 :16-17:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be Perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.(K.J.V)”

Except that when Paul wrote those words to Timothy, he wasn’t referring to his own letters.  He was referring to the Law and the Prophets.  Extrapolating that verse to include all that man has canonized may be a mistake on the church’s part.  No where does God include New Testament writings as part of His Holy Scriptures.

You, like this commenter, might be thinking:

“During the lifetime of Peter and Paul there was an understanding that what the Christian prophets were writing was “Scripture” (2 Peter 3: 14-16). 2 Peter 3:14-16 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Peter tells his audience that Paul’s letters are equivalent to “the rest of the Scriptures”. Of course the “rest” means that remaining of what was considered Scripture at that time; basically this means what Jesus considered Scripture. For those who do not regard Paul’s letters as Scripture as much as anything else, please read the above verses many times before making that determination.”

My response:  You may not be reading this correctly. You are linking Paul’s letters with “the rest of the Scriptures”. But, if you read it carefully, the link is actually between “these things” (the difficult to understand Scriptures that were being distorted) and “the rest of the Scriptures”.

Peter was linking the distorted Scriptures that Paul was writing about with the other Scriptures that were being distorted. In other words, Peter was saying that Paul was writing to them about these things that the unstable distort – just as they distort the other Scriptures.

If you diagram the sentence, you may see that I am correct.

Finally, a third commenter warned:

“Beware of those who try to remove the inspiration of the books of the New Testament away from the time period when they were written to the time when they were “officially recognized”. Those who do so have an evil agenda to try and subvert and overthrow our confidence in the New Testament books handed down to us as the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God.”

A few years ago I wrote a Bible study which included two chapters on the subject of Paul.  I was on my knees as I wrote asking the Holy Spirit to be my Editor, to guide me into all Truth and to prevent me from writing a single thing that was incorrect or untrue.

Now I am turning that Bible study into a book and my prayers are the same.  I ask God whether my thinking has gone astray.  Our conversation often goes like this:

Me:  “Am I unwittingly promoting an evil agenda?  Stop me if I am!”

Holy Spirit:  “Judge a tree by its fruit.”

Me:  “You and I have produced lots of good fruit together over the years, but what if it has become worm-infested?

Holy Spirit:  “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit.  What is your aim, friend?”

Me:  “My aim is to know You rightly and to make You known. To lift high the name of Jesus and give Him His due.”

Holy Spirit: “Fear not, loved one, because there is certainly nothing evil about that.”

Turn on your television, your radio or your computer and you will be smacked in the face with the harsh reality that today’s church has been woefully ineffective at stemming the tide of darkness.  Why?  Because there is no power in the name of Paul.

The only name that has any power is Jesus, and if we Christians are going to be effective, we are going to have to bring Him back to church.  How is your church doing?  How much of Christ is in your Christianity?

I would love to hear your thoughts, but I will not approve comments that merely throw knee-jerk Scripture at me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Scripture.  But what I want to know is how your church is doing.  I want to know how this post strikes you emotionally, spiritually, logically?  Does it elicit any fear?  Fear not, if your faith is built on Christ, it will not crumble just because you question a few man-made things.  Jesus did it all the time.

© The Reluctant Baptist, 2014

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24 thoughts on “Passionate About Paul?

  1. I’m glad I read this since the comments on my blog are what led to you writing it.

    In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, I believe Paul wanted to reemphasize to Timothy the crucial role of God’s revelation in his present ministry. Paul reminded Timothy that all Scripture is God-breathed (“inspired”), that is, God’s words were given through men superintended by the Holy Spirit so that their writings are without error. This fact was virtually taken for granted by the Jews. Then Paul asserted the “usefulness” of the Word. For each aspect of Timothy’s ministry, whatever it might be—teaching (instructing believers in God’s truths), rebuking those in sin (1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2), correcting those in error (2 Tim. 2:25; 4:2), and training in righteousness (guiding new believers in God’s ways)—for all of these and more the written Word of God is profitable. With it the man of God (one who must provide spiritual leadership to others) is “complete, capable, proficient in the sense of being able to meet all demands.” To drive home his point still more emphatically, Paul added equipped for every good work (2:21). Paul placed heavy burdens of ministry on his young disciple in this letter, but he did not do so irresponsibly. He was confident of Timothy’s commitment to and dependence on the Scriptures, and he was even more confident of God’s ability to supply all Timothy’s needs through the Word.

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    • Pastor Joe, Thank you for your comment. You gave a nice summary of the passage and I agree with it. Where we may disagree is whether or not Paul included his own writings in the Scriptures to which he was referring. He may have, but I don’t see proof of it in this passage. We hang a lot of our church doctrine on the assumption that he did so we ought to be sure. The Berean Jews were commended as noble for examining the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true. I believe Christians in every generation should do likewise rather than just parroting what has been handed down to us.

      I applaud your gracious handling of the accusations leveled against you by another commenter. You set a good example.

      Eliza, I did not approve your comments because they were too long and too harsh. Paul said that God’s kindness leads to repentance. (Romans 2:1-4) If I am in error, I trust that whoever/whatever God uses to correct me will be kind. Accusations are the tool of the devil (Revelation 12:10).

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    • Jeremiah, Knee-jerk means “occurring quickly and without thought”, so by knee-jerk Scripture I mean Scripture that is just thrown out there without taking the time to understand what the other person is saying and, more importantly, what God might be saying.

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      • The Bible doesn’t mention “knee jerk scripture.” It does mention “all Scripture.” It also says that when rebuking, use scripture.

        “He showed me how the church has gotten some things wrong. I don’t believe we will be effective until we get them right. It is going to take the courage to question a few things and the humility to admit that we may have gotten some things wrong. Scripture is without error, God is without error, but the church is certainly not without error.”

        You are confusing the Church with God’s Word.

        The church certainly has error. God’s Word has none.

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  2. End Times Prophecy, How do you know they don’t obey His commandments? Do you know *all* of them? Romans 2:1-4 might apply here.
    “Who questions His Word?” If you are referring to me then I assure you I am not questioning His Word. I am questioning man’s interpretation of it. Nothing wrong with that. Jesus did. Paul did – he got chased from town to town by those who were seeking to discredit him, shut him up. Martin Luther did.
    I don’t think you have to be fearful about questioning a few things. If your faith is built on Jesus, then it is secure enough to withstand some questions. If your faith is so fragile that it crumbles under scrutiny of the Bible, then your faith is in the Bible and not in Jesus. Jesus is powerful enough to sustain our belief. No one can snatch us from His hand. On the other hand, I see all kinds of red flags when people use force, accusations and coercion to “defend the faith”. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict us of error and to lead us into all Truth. Our job is to demonstrate the love of God. If we are not allowed to question anything then we are merely a cult.

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    • Romans 2:1-4 might apply, but it does not–unless you somehow are talking about Jews and Gentiles. Which you are not.

      ” If you are referring to me then I assure you I am not questioning His Word. I am questioning man’s interpretation of it. ”

      Sly.

      “I don’t think you have to be fearful about questioning a few things.”

      What ever would give you the idea that one who questions your attack on Paul is operating out of “fear?” You are free to question as you see fit. I am free to put such questions in their proper context.

      “If your faith is built on Jesus, then it is secure enough to withstand some questions. If your faith is so fragile that it crumbles under scrutiny of the Bible, then your faith is in the Bible and not in Jesus.”

      My faith doesn’t crumble. It compels me to answer such semantics with scripture.

      As per 2 Tim 2:4, you’re being rebuked with doctrine.

      As per 2 Tim 3:16, when you try to uncouple Paul’s writings from the Scriptures, you are wrong. When you say “No where does God include New Testament writings as part of His Holy Scriptures,” you are wrong.

      The article you cite gives chapter and verse as to why.

      Again, you are free to question and to undermine. I am free to rebuke it and to mark it. As stated before, to one who does not believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word, no conversation is possible.

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      • Again, I am not attacking Paul. I admire Paul. Paul had passion and perseverance in the face of an angry mob of Pharisees dogging him and trying to silence him. What I am “attacking” (I’d call it questioning) is the church’s propensity for making Paul their king. I would prefer to see Jesus on the throne. He died for me, not Paul. There is nothing sly, evil or undermining about being saddened by seeing Jesus’ glory given to another. And I’ll bet Paul is saddened by it, too. Paul might just be in heaven cheering me on.

        And, yes, I am free to question the practices and teachings of the church, just as you are free to rebuke me if you deem it necessary, but just remember that it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance, so be careful to not be harsh in your rebuke. And make sure you know a little something about the person you are rebuking lest you falsely assign motives. God knows my heart and He knows yours. I rest in Him as Judge.

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      • I am not imputing motives. We are not to judge motives. We are not to judge to condemnation.

        God does know your heart as He knows all human hearts.

        “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
        –Jeremiah 17:9

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        • The questions “What are we to think of people who … don’t obey his commands… Who question His Word? … Who plant doubts… Those questions sound somewhat like motive imputing to me.

          That verse in Jeremiah is why I often, as I lay in bed at night, ask God if and how my wicked heart has deceived me that day. And since He is perfectly capable of telling me, especially since James assures us He gives wisdom generously to all who ask, I will trust Him to let me know if my heart is deceiving me.

          Now, are you sure your wicked heart is not deceiving you?

          I would like to end the discussion here, please, because I need to move on to other things. Thank you for your insights.

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  3. Pingback: Going There Again | The Reluctant Baptist

  4. Nobody says:

    Hello, ma’am ,

    It is a boon to see that someone online —even someone from an evangelical setting –is emphasizing the teachings and legacy of Jesus of Nazareth .So often in evangelicalism and even more in Fundamentalism (with some exceptions) the writings of Paul has been allowed to sadly , marginalize the profound ethical teachings of Jesus and the profound legacy of what Jesus did (even when he lead by the example he taught in healings and miracles he did ) .

    Paul himself did not proclaim that all of what he wrote was equally authoritative
    It is worthwhile to note that Paul himself in the letter of 1 Corinthians , in the 7 chapter verse 6 , states *after* giving advice to married couples in 1 Corinthians 7-5 , then states ,

    ‘But this I speak by permission, and not of commandment ‘ . Notice the phrase ‘by permission , and *not* of commandment ‘, thus indicating that it was not imperative to follow the advice of Paul as to the advice he gave in I Corinthians 7-5 .

    In I Corinthians 7 verse 7 , Paul also adds , “For I would that all men were as myself . But every man hath his own proper gift of God, one after this manner , and one after that ‘ ,

    Thus Paul indicates in I Corinthians 7: 7 that NOT all instructions that he gives are central tenets of Christian belief .

    In yet another Epistle / letter of Paul one finds that Paul presents the statement , ‘where the Spirit of the Lord is , is liberty ‘ .
    One question (among others ) I would ask the fundamentalists is , when Paul writes that where the spirit of Lord is , is liberty , is what sort of liberty is meant by that verse ?

    It is also worth noting that Paul also rejoices that Jesus is being preached even if Jesus is preached by those that *reject* the leadership of Paul in I Philippians 15 through 18 , Paul indicates that even those who are against him are indeed preaching the same Jesus .

    There are quite a number of good , edifying messages in some of the writings of Paul . The sermon on Paul on charity is especially excelllent .The teachings of Paul concerning the importance of the sacrifice of Jesus to take away the sins of humanity and the importance of the Resurrection , those specific teachings within the writings of Paul are without error , for they are central tenets of Christianity , but not all of the positions on every point of doctrine that Paul wrote are central tenets of Christianity . Not all of what Paul wrote in the letters he wrote (such as the marginal areas of doctrines such as ‘wives submitting to their husbands, and the writings where he forbids women to teach preach in church ) are as central to the teachings of Christianity as the sacrifice of Jesus and the Resurrection of Jesus are ) .

    There is so much more profound insights to be learned about Jesus when one reads and rereads the teachings of Jesus found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark , Luke , and John . In reading about the actions and teachings of Jesus directly , while he travelled about on earth is where one finds fellowship with Jesus directly and comes into contact with the very character of Jesus , more so than in the writings of Paul .

    It is in the scriptures , such , as for example Luke 7 chapters 37: 50 that one finds how profound , poignant , and awe inspiring the character of Jesus is , in how he related to other people . It is in verses like Luke 7:37-50 you find how the deep , profound spirituality of Jesus of Nazareth is so very different from the weirdly dry, and prosaic sensibility of fundamentalism, especially dispensationalist sorts of fundamentalism (which often marginalizes and glosses over the actions and profound teachings of Jesus found in Matthew , Mark , and Luke: that Jesus who is a social iconoclast and extreme idealist who opposed prosaic , mundane ways of thinking , insisted on going against the superficial ways of thinking ) .

    The kindness where he welcomed the woman who had been a sinner and yet had the generosity to anoint the feet of Jesus with ointment , and wipe his feet with the hairs of her head , and who wept and kissed her feet …..and then blessed that woman for having faith (a faith which was DIFFERENT from the sinnners’ prayer as it is written often in evangelical or fundamentalists brochures on “how to get saved” , although it was not contrary to that sort of expression ) .

    It is in reading the teachings and actions of Jesus found in the gospels that one can draw far closer to Jesus of Nazareth , for the way in which he approached the lepers, the poor people , the Roman soldier who came to him wanting his son to be healed , treated women as equals .and how Jesus who drank wine with the poor and was more concerned about the children than he was about himself , telling people that ‘whosoever receives a child in my name , receives me’ , reveals a Jesus who is fascinating and a Jesus that is far more than the dry conception that happens when people speak of ‘Christ’ , as if it were a last name , rather than a Messiah who is taught such profound teachings (teachings which he likened to a house planted on a rock that winds and waters could not shake) and lived such a profound way of life ,,,,and still does !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nobody says:

      CORRECTING SOME TYPOS

      In the post immediately above there are some typos .

      With regard to the woman mentioned in Luke 7 verses 37: 50, who had kissed Jesus feet, yours truly had meant to type that she kissed ‘*his* feet (Jesus’ feet) and accidentally ‘typed kissed her feet’ by accident .

      Also, I had meant to refer to the Roman soldier, mentioned in the gospels, who had came to Jesus wanting his *’servant’* to be healed and had accidentally typed , the phrase “wanted his son to be healed’ .

      Also, there is a phrase in the last paragraph wherein I accidentally typed “Messiah who is taught such profound teachings”, wherein in that space I had meant to type the phrase ‘taught such profound teachings’ .

      There are a few punctuation problems in the post above also .

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        • Nobody says:

          Hello, Julie, thank you for the thoughtful response .

          I consider myself Eastern Orthodox, although I still attend some other churches from time to time : including Episcopalian and Pentecostal churches .

          I have a high regard for some forms of Charismatic/ Pentecostalism , for they emphasize experiencing the Holy Spirit directly in fascinating ways .

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    • I agree with you completely. Paul preached some wonderful truths but his teachings were not inerrant. He was just a man and nothing/no one this side of heaven – except Jesus – is perfect. Paul’s upbringing was steeped in Pharisaical teachings and the ideas we humans are brought up with tend to seep out – especially in stressful situations, and Paul was certainly under a lot of stress. That may be why Jesus warned his disciples to “Beware the yeast of the Pharisees,” and why the voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, listen to Him!

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  5. Nobody says:

    In addition to how the teachings in the letters of Paul are often wrongly ascribed higher priority than the teachings and actions of Jesus in the gospels , due to the influence of some types of fundamentalism , especially dispensationalism , there is also a tendency for some fundamentalists to take very loose *interpretations* of a number of verses in the letters of Paul—interpretations which are rather weird and not very plausible as to what Paul even meant .

    For example , the verse in 2 Corinthians 11: 4 which reads ‘For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus , whom we have not preached , or if you have received another spirit, which ye have not received , or another gospel , which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him’ (KJV)
    is a verse than some fundamentalists weirdly like to interpret *as if* it were allegedly some sort of warning against people who advocate theologies that they consider very different or unusual . Yet a more plausible interpretation of the warning in 2 Corinthians 11:4 is that Paul was warning not against different theologies, but, instead, against some people claiming another man who had the name Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) who was a different person than Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah (after all , there were some other people in ancient Israel at that time who had the name Jesus (Yeshua) who were not the same Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth . The warning against those who preach a different gospel also could be more plausibly interpreted as a warning against some people proclaiming someone who taught that which goes against to what Jesus of Nazareth taught in *the Sermon On The Mount* was somehow Jesus ; taking some other historical figure at the time and falsely claiming it was Jesus .

    At any rate, there is no explicit indication in the text of 2 Corinthians 11:4 that Paul was warning against the sort of theologies that many fundamentalists dislike and consider very unusual .

    Furthermore, it is odd how arbitrarily selective some fundamentalists are at which sorts of different theology are somehow to be thought of as ‘preaching another Jesus’ and which are to be thought of as some sort of permitted variation among various types of fundamentalists .
    Are fundamentalists who insist on baptism only for adults to be considered ‘preaching another Jesus’ than those who practice infant baptism , or vice versa ?

    Are Calvinist fundamentalists preaching another Jesus, or another gospel than those not-Calvinist fundamentalists who believe that free will and not predestination determines salvation , or vice versa ? Do fundamentalists who advocate the doctrine of once saved always saved , preach another Jesus or a different gospel than those fundamentalists who do not believe in once saved always saved ? <—If not , and such differences in doctrine do not mean that one of the parties is serving another Jesus , or preaching another gospel than what Paul approved of , then why are such differences permitted variations , yet other different types of theological positions , such as , say, liberation theology, messianic Judaism , open theism , or emergent church theology to be considered somehow cases of "preaching another Jesus , or preaching another gospel "? What is the criteria that makes one a permitted variation in doctrine among fellow "true Christians" and the others somehow the same as "preaching another Jesus" or "another gospel" ?

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    • “Yet a more plausible interpretation of the warning in 2 Corinthians 11:4 is that Paul was warning not against different theologies, but, instead, against some people claiming another man who had the name Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) who was a different person than Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah”

      In reading the NIV, Paul seems to be frustrated that the church in Corinth is fickly listening to anyone who comes along: “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”

      Different Jesus, different Spirit, different gospel. I don’t see the verse as a choice between different Jesus and different theology, he was concerned with both.

      Read the rest of the chapter and you will clearly see Paul’s flawed humanity – defensiveness, pride, etc.

      With regard to the other gospel, he may have been referring to the circumcision group. I wrote about them in Hated, Hounded and Human.

      “At any rate, there is no explicit indication in the text of 2 Corinthians 11:4 that Paul was warning against the sort of theologies that many fundamentalists dislike and consider very unusual.”

      I agree with you here. It’s a real turn off when I hear a pastor dis another denomination, especially when he does so from the pulpit. Our job is not to judge and condemn other believers, our job is to love one another. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict us of errors and to lead us into all truth. When Jesus sent letters to the seven churches in the opening chapters of Revelation, He had words of correction for almost all of them. It is arrogant of any denomination to think they have it right and anyone who sees the Scriptures differently is wrong. We can all learn from one another if we keep our spirits humble. And we can’t go wrong with love, mercy, kindness and humility.

      “Are fundamentalists who insist on baptism only for adults to be considered ‘preaching another Jesus’ than those who practice infant baptism , or vice versa?”

      Interestingly, Jesus didn’t say anything about who could or couldn’t be legitimately baptized. He did, however, say “Let the little children come to me.” The Scriptures also don’t record John stopping any children at the edge of the river saying, “Sorry, kids, adults only!”

      “What is the criteria that makes one a permitted variation in doctrine among fellow “true Christians” and the others somehow the same as “preaching another Jesus” or “another gospel”?

      Any teaching or statement that is not corroborated by Jesus and/or the Law and the Prophets is man made. The whole concept of determining who is a “True Christian” and who is not is yeast of the Pharisees. Read what Jesus said in Matthew 23 – especially verses 4, 13 and 15.

      As far as I’m concerned, any “gospel” that piles on burdens and judgment is a gospel other than the good news that Jesus proclaimed. I’m too old to care about exactly how a believer dots his or her theological i’s and crosses his or her theological t’s. If he/she believes in Jesus and listens to Him, that’s good enough for me. Oh that we would all just listen to Jesus.

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      • Nobody says:

        Interesting proposal you present, with regard to the response above concerning 2 Corinthians 11:4 .

        One caveat I must mention however, is that it not necessarily arrogant for a cleric /minister to proclaim that interpretations of Scripture that are espoused via a certain other sect , or group of evangelists, are wrong with regard to some matter .Arrogance is pride is one’s personal self , and one can earnestly maintain that some beliefs are superior to other contrary beliefs *without* having any pride in oneself at all–since (A) maintaining a belief, or a set of beliefs, are superior to contrary beliefs is not the same as (Z) maintaining one’s personal self is superior to other people .

        One could , for example, rigidly state that those who advocate a white supremacist , quasi-Nazi doctrine in the name of Christianity , like the Aryan Identity movement does , is completely wrong in how they interpret the scriptures of the Bible, and yet do so without having any arrogance/pride in self in denouncing that ideology/bad theology of such quasi-Nazis as being totally wrong .

        Rigidity of a good sort is not tantamount to arrogance .
        The type of theology that claims that consumerism , status seeking , crass commercialism that wants to keep up with the Joneses in the name of “economic productivity” and/or “the American way of life” is somehow in keeping with Christianity , when clearly it is not, would be another case in point of a case where it would be good to denounce a theological school of thought as misinterpreting the bible in a way that is totally wrong .

        Just some caveats I must mention , though overall the tenor of the response pose you posted was quite insightful otherwise .
        The problem with *some* factions of fundamentalism , is not that they are adamant about being against this or that way of thinking , but that instead that the criteria as to why they are against this or that way of thinking is flawed and in some cases quite a murky criteria . We ought to chide them not for being one-sided, but, instead, for taking a murky and superficial approach .

        It is good , nonetheless, to encounter someone like you , ma’am, who has a keen appreciation for the nobleness and profound nature of the teachings of Jesus …sadly , so many of the nuances , profound insights of the teachings of Jesus are glossed over, marginalized by the usual fundamentalist shtick of wanting to truncate the Christian message as if it were somehow about avoiding punishment in the afterlife or gaining crowns in the afterlife , all of which they often conceptualize in a crude sort of way .
        What is fascinating about what Jesus was about (among other aspects of how he was fascinating ) was that he conceived of what He called the Kingdom as a process rather than merely some place in the afterlife , a process that could impart a sense of the sacramental into daily life and indeed also into the very fabric of the created order : an insight that some thinkers such as Leo Tolstoy , C.H. Dodd, and numerous others have noticed .

        At any rate, may Jesus bless you , ma’am , for putting together the essay that helps people to take stock in how wonderful the Messiah indeed is .

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  6. Nobody says:

    Hello , Reluctant Baptist .
    Was hoping that we could dialogue in the thread of responses above .
    I had sent a message to you regarding how it is right of you to oppose the tendency that many fundamentalists (especially dispensationalists) display to marginalize the teachings of Jesus , by giving more priority to the teachings of St.Paul, than they do to the teachings of Jesus . The teachings of Jesus in the gospels should have precedence over the teachings of Paul .

    I also mentioned how some fundamentalists often (weirdly)
    misconstrue the meaning of 2 Corinthians 11: 4 .

    Was hoping we could engage in dialogue with regard to such matters , ma’am

    Sincerely ,
    Jas

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    • I’m so sorry, it has been a very busy time for me and I haven’t been on my computer much these last few weeks. I’ll pour myself a cup of coffee and take a minute now to read both your comments.

      Like

      • Nobody says:

        No, problem, ma’am .

        I can relate to busy hectic times .
        So many of them have many time made it to where I wanted to take a break from the internet .

        Like

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