Thursday, November 20, 2014

What would Paul do?

Is there a line in the sand where God simply won't have you?
Dear Rev. Graham: How bad do you have to be before God won't have anything to do with you? I've lived a pretty wild life and I'm in jail now. Two men on my block have become Christians and are urging me to do the same, but I honestly can't believe God could ever forgive me. -- M.H.
Seeing how the vast majority of US inmates are Christians, they are in good company. And considering the recidivism rate in our country, it doesn't seem that even new followers of Christ change their stripes any. A study found just this year that 67.8% of US inmates are arrested again within three years, and 76.6% within five years of being released.
A: God has promised to forgive anyone -- without exception -- who truly repents of their sin and by faith commits their life to Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear: "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Acts 2:21).
Which just goes to show that there's nothing about Christian salvation that incentivises the person to be good. You can kill the pope and still get into Heaven if you believe in Jesus as your savior. So to answer MH's question, there is no 'too much' for God. He'll forgive anything in exchange for another thought slave to add to his army...
You've probably heard of the Apostle Paul, whom some have called the greatest Christian who ever lived.
Whoa! Paul? The Greatest Christian? Talk about revealing or a case of setting one's sights quite low!
But do you know his story? He grew up convinced that Jesus was a liar and a fraud, and that His followers were both deceived and dangerous to society.
So he didn't see any evidence that Jesus was telling the truth? And here we are 2000 odd years later, still with no evidence that Jesus was who he said he was, or that he even existed at all...
How could God ever forgive someone like that? But He did -- and God not only forgave Paul, but also sent him into the world to tell others about the new life Christ offers to all who put their trust in Him.
And then Paul's teachings were the source of much misogyny. Many views attributed to Paul include 1 Corinthians: 33-35
As in all the churches of the holy one, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate even as the law says. If they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church.
 1 Timothy 2: 9-15
Similarly (too) women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and golden ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds. A woman must receive instructions silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
 Corinthians 11:3-9
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
 Ephesians 5:22-30
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, people have never hated their own bodies, but they feed and care for them, just as Christ does the church— or we are members of his body.
 If this guy is the greatest Christian, my opinion of Christianity just plummeted! 

-Brain Hulk

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