A guy was born blind and people were wondering whose sin was responsible. His? His mom’s? His dad’s?
Jesus cleared it up for them: “No one sinned.”
The seven sons of a Jewish chief priest named Sceva were going around casting out demons. Apparently they saw Paul doing it and they thought it was pretty cool; wanted to get into the demon busting business, jump on the exorcism band wagon, impress some chicks. But they didn’t know what they were doing; they didn’t know what they were talking about; they didn’t know WHO they were talking about. So they got the crap beat out of them. By some demons.
I knew a woman who prays for the deaths of the people she does not like. She once asked God to wipe my ex-husband off the face of the earth. “Stop,” I said. “You may not like him, I may not like him right now, but he is my daughter’s dad. And she needs a living dad.”
Knew is the operative word.
My daughter used to be friends with a Christian guy on tumblr who does all manner of ungodly things. But when someone does something he doesn’t like he accuses them of being unbiblical, says, “That’s not very ‘early church’ of you.”
Last week I told you that my Aunt Stella died and I kissed her goodbye. On the forehead.
A commenter told me I was wrong to kiss a dead body. He said I was ceremonially unclean.
I told him that it was a gesture of love and that Jesus wouldn’t fault me for that. Just like He didn’t fault David and his hungry soldiers for eating consecrated bread. Or Himself and His disciples for picking and eating the heads of wheat on a Sabbath. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
And I started wondering whether regulations that had to do with being ceremonially unclean had to do with disease prevention and containment. Don’t touch a dead, decaying body and then bring disease into the temple.
But Aunt Stella was not yet decaying. She was in a clean, sterile, air conditioned environment. And I was heading to lunch afterward, not into a temple.
The commenter seemed to accept my reasoning. He called it an excellent answer.
And then, exactly one week later, I fell and broke my right foot.
And he commented that the break was the result of not heeding his “warning”. His after-the-fact warning.
“You don’t see the connection?,” he asked.
The common denominator to which he was referring is my Aunt Stella. I broke my foot walking to her cemetery plot.
But there are other possible explanations and denominators:
1. I have osteoporosis.
2. I broke the same foot six and a half years ago. Perhaps, as another blogger commented, it didn’t heal properly back then. Which is very likely given the fiasco I mentioned.
3. I tore the tendons and ligaments in that foot back when I was in college. Slipped on a patch of ice. Perhaps that weakened it.
4. As I reblogged earlier today, I sprained that ankle backpacking. In fact, I’ve limped around with SEVERAL sprained ankles over the years.
Were they all punishment for some sin?
Or was the ground just soft and uneven and people sometimes fall when the ground is soft and uneven?
The Holy Spirit doesn’t need a mediator or a translator. He is Perfectly capable of communicating effectively. When He warns me, I hear Him. When He corrects me, I usually heed Him. When He guides me, I steer clear of those possibly well-meaning charlatans who speak presumptuously for Him.
How much does it bug you when Christians use God, Scripture or spirituality to control and manipulate others?
It bugs me a lot. I sigh and cringe.
It gives the rest of us a bad name.
Worse, it gives God a bad name.
And I’ll bet He wishes they would just hush.