Thursday, August 19, 2010

348: 2 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians 1-3
"This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus." - 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

This is the shortest letter yet (only about 2 pages in my bible). Paul again doesn't have anything terribly interesting to say, because he's still just praising the Thessalonians.

In the first chapter Paul says that those who trouble the Thessalonians will be paid back by God. In fact, Paul says Jesus himself will come down with his "powerful angels" and personally punish those who persecuted Christians. Needless to say, the return of Jesus was not as soon as Paul had imagined, and those who may have bothered the Thessalonians are long dead.

In chapter 2 Paul tells the Thessalonians not to be deceived by people that say Jesus has already returned. Paul says that Jesus will not return until the man of "lawlessness" is revealed. This man of lawlessness (presumably meaning the anti-Christ) will set himself up in "God's temple" and proclaim himself to be God.

Paul says that this lawlessness is already at work, but it won't be revealed until the "one who holds it back" reveals it. Wouldn't this imply that, like Jesus said, the anti-Christ was going to reveal himself within the Thessalonians generation? Really there's no reason to imagine they didn't think Jesus was going to return within their generation. Jesus said so, after all.

The final chapter is again about casting certain people out of the church. This time it's those people who are "idle" and don't do any work that should be cast out. Paul even gives the rule, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat". Where was that one in Jesus's teachings?

*News*
I'll start today's news with this gem of English literature (from Facebook):


They're not just homosexual, they're " 'GAY' " homosexuals. The writer of this masterpiece is GOP candidate Jeremy Walters. Upon the realization that people can actually read what you put on Facebook, Jeremy apologized:
I am not against people having a gay lifestyle, and the statements made on Facebook have been taken the wrong way. The statement regarding gay homosexuality was not meant to be offensive and I deeply appologize. As far as the quote from Bible; I was replying to someone elses post. It should have been posted as a comment on their page, not my Facebook wall. I appologize for the mistake and if this statement offened anyone. Both postings have been removed and these comments do not pertain to my campaign or the Republican Party of Iowa. My passion is to listen and learn from the people so I can represent them at the statehouse. Everyone makes mistakes, please forgive me.
Yes, apparently this person running for public office actually thinks the term is "gay homosexual". This is, of course, not to be confused with the "straight homosexuals". I'm not quite sure how we're taking the assertion that gay people are given AIDS by God the "wrong way". What way should be be taking it?

I guess just because he meant to post this as a comment to another thread makes his statement less filled with bigotry and hate. If you don't want people to read the things you say, don't say them.

At least he's retracted his statement, and won't be publicly saying that AIDS is caused by God. Oh, wait:
VOLSKY: I understand that you regret posting it…But do you still believe that AIDS is the result of the sin of homosexuality?

WALTERS: Well, I don’t want to say that I don’t. I just, like I said, had an experience of [gay] friends dying [of AIDS]….But back to the posting, that post when I posted, I do feel sorry and denounce what I said.
He has anecdotal evidence! It must be true. I'm not sure how it could be any more obvious that he's just sorry people read it. He's not sorry for what he said, and he's not really denouncing what he said.

Aside from being completely irrational, these statements aren't even biblical. Sexual immorality is lumped together with all other forms of sin (at least by Jesus). There is no reason that God should be targeting homosexuality for his wrath while he allows unrepentant liars so run free. Not to mention that physical forms of violence seem to be reserved for after Jesus returns (as per todays reading).

People seem to wish for a God that is as petty and cruel as they are.

5 comments:

  1. @Bryan,
    "People seem to wish for a God that is as petty and cruel as they are."

    Are you talking about the writers of the Bible?

    ReplyDelete
  2. 2 Thessalonians is another of the Deutero-Pauline letters that was written not by Paul but by one of his followers, after Paul's death. The author has copied large amounts of material from 1 Thessalonians, but then adds his own ideas, to combat apparently those of other forgers. It appears that early Christianity was just as much, if not more so, of a free-for-all as modern Christianity.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was referring to Jeremy Walters. But this would also apply to the writers of the bible.

    ReplyDelete
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  5. Really there's no motive to imagine they didn't think Jesus was going to come back within their production.

    ReplyDelete

 

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