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churchistrue

Lust-adultery Murder-Anger from a Benjamin the Scribe post

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I was hoping to hear from Ben on this on an article he linked on Facebook, but I couldn't tag him on my Facebook post and didn't get much conversation. Would love to hear thoughts here. 

https://www.jasonstaples.com/bible/most-misinterpreted-bible-passages-1-matthew-527-28/?fbclid=IwAR2ah9S1_qkkFV5j1MBrZBsbyw27IB-6w1fOVVYozftbYvPIOx_hkvV1JuM

The gist of the logic of the article is that we commonly assume that what Jesus is doing here is intensifying the law,but he's not, he's simply reminding of what the law already says. And going deep into the word lust and how it is used to infer that he's not really telling us it's a sin to lust. The "why it's important" on this is that it's caused a lot of grief for teenage boys who can't stop lusting or even married men who have interpreted it to mean they shouldn't lust after their own wife (that's just stupid).

The specific points about lust and coveting are well taken. But in the entire context, it just feels a little flat to me. This passage is a critical aspect of my view of Jesus and his message. I think he clearly was intensifying the law. But with a certain reason in mind which will alleviate the "why it's important" aspect of this. He did it three times in a row. 1) with murder/anger 2) with adultery/lust 3) with Golden Rule/love your neighbor. He took a law from the Law of Moses and intensified it by saying the outward act is not just a sin, the condition of the heart is representative of sin. Jesus is concerned not just with going through the motions and checking off a checklist and avoiding another checklist, he wants a complete transformation of heart and mind. Thus the call to "repent". He also hammers the point that all are sinners and that the sin of the Pharisees was thinking they were righteous and sinless and not needing more work on their heart and therefore not needing God. see Luke 5:32 and Luke 15:7.

The way through the problems this could cause in the way of excessive guilt for trying to be perfect is in Paul's view of grace. It's basically no big deal to sin or be a sinner. Stop thinking you can live without sin. Stop guilting yourself. Stop obsessing with perfection. Do your best and rely on the grace of Jesus Christ on a daily basis while you follow him and try to transform your heart and mind to be like him.

I feel like the explanation in this blog article leads us right back to legalism and Phariseeism where we are over focused on sin and outward action.

Thoughts?

 

 

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2 hours ago, churchistrue said:

I was hoping to hear from Ben on this on an article he linked on Facebook, but I couldn't tag him on my Facebook post and didn't get much conversation. Would love to hear thoughts here. 

https://www.jasonstaples.com/bible/most-misinterpreted-bible-passages-1-matthew-527-28/?fbclid=IwAR2ah9S1_qkkFV5j1MBrZBsbyw27IB-6w1fOVVYozftbYvPIOx_hkvV1JuM

The gist of the logic of the article is that we commonly assume that what Jesus is doing here is intensifying the law,but he's not, he's simply reminding of what the law already says. And going deep into the word lust and how it is used to infer that he's not really telling us it's a sin to lust. The "why it's important" on this is that it's caused a lot of grief for teenage boys who can't stop lusting or even married men who have interpreted it to mean they shouldn't lust after their own wife (that's just stupid).

Were it not for built-in human lust, there is reason to believe that there would be no children.  In fact, that is a mammalian fact of life.

2 hours ago, churchistrue said:

............................ Jesus is concerned not just with going through the motions and checking off a checklist and avoiding another checklist, he wants a complete transformation of heart and mind. Thus the call to "repent". He also hammers the point that all are sinners and that the sin of the Pharisees was thinking they were righteous and sinless and not needing more work on their heart and therefore not needing God. see Luke 5:32 and Luke 15:7.

The way through the problems this could cause in the way of excessive guilt for trying to be perfect is in Paul's view of grace. It's basically no big deal to sin or be a sinner. Stop thinking you can live without sin. Stop guilting yourself. Stop obsessing with perfection. Do your best and rely on the grace of Jesus Christ on a daily basis while you follow him and try to transform your heart and mind to be like him.

I feel like the explanation in this blog article leads us right back to legalism and Phariseeism where we are over focused on sin and outward action...........

Both Jesus and Paul are Pharisaic rabbis, and there is nothing odd or unaccountable in their teachings -- which can be found in the Jewish Talmud (the basis of rabbinic Judaism).  If we cannot understand Judaism, then we cannot understand Jesus, Paul, or Christianity.

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20 hours ago, churchistrue said:

I was hoping to hear from Ben on this on an article he linked on Facebook, but I couldn't tag him on my Facebook post and didn't get much conversation. Would love to hear thoughts here. 

https://www.jasonstaples.com/bible/most-misinterpreted-bible-passages-1-matthew-527-28/?fbclid=IwAR2ah9S1_qkkFV5j1MBrZBsbyw27IB-6w1fOVVYozftbYvPIOx_hkvV1JuM

The gist of the logic of the article is that we commonly assume that what Jesus is doing here is intensifying the law,but he's not, he's simply reminding of what the law already says. And going deep into the word lust and how it is used to infer that he's not really telling us it's a sin to lust. The "why it's important" on this is that it's caused a lot of grief for teenage boys who can't stop lusting or even married men who have interpreted it to mean they shouldn't lust after their own wife (that's just stupid).

The specific points about lust and coveting are well taken. But in the entire context, it just feels a little flat to me. This passage is a critical aspect of my view of Jesus and his message. I think he clearly was intensifying the law. But with a certain reason in mind which will alleviate the "why it's important" aspect of this. He did it three times in a row. 1) with murder/anger 2) with adultery/lust 3) with Golden Rule/love your neighbor. He took a law from the Law of Moses and intensified it by saying the outward act is not just a sin, the condition of the heart is representative of sin. Jesus is concerned not just with going through the motions and checking off a checklist and avoiding another checklist, he wants a complete transformation of heart and mind. Thus the call to "repent". He also hammers the point that all are sinners and that the sin of the Pharisees was thinking they were righteous and sinless and not needing more work on their heart and therefore not needing God. see Luke 5:32 and Luke 15:7.

The way through the problems this could cause in the way of excessive guilt for trying to be perfect is in Paul's view of grace. It's basically no big deal to sin or be a sinner. Stop thinking you can live without sin. Stop guilting yourself. Stop obsessing with perfection. Do your best and rely on the grace of Jesus Christ on a daily basis while you follow him and try to transform your heart and mind to be like him.

I feel like the explanation in this blog article leads us right back to legalism and Phariseeism where we are over focused on sin and outward action.

Thoughts?

I see nothing "phariseeic" about trying to understand the written word in the way it was intended when it was spoken/written. I think that is what the blogger is trying to accomplish. However, I don't find anything useful in a claim that Yeshua is intensifying the law. He is pointing to the true import of the law - it is not intended to simply stop certain acts - but it is intended to encourage righteous thinking. Are we loving our neighbor if we go to his house because we desire his wife, but bring him a chocolate? No, we are misleading him, and stepping closer to the act of adultery. The point Yeshua repeatedly tries to make is that righteousness is internal - not external. Outwardly the pharisees were whited sepulchres, but inwardly they were "ravening wolves." 

Trying to say this distinction is not important, and we shouldn't worry about controlling our thoughts because we can rely on His grace, is missing the point. To be clear I am not trying to make young men feel guilty for every sexual thought - but there are those we are allowed, and those we should train ourselves away from. For this reason I have made my own opinion clear about things like masturbation. Looking at pictures of sinning naked adults is an obvious path in the wrong direction according to Yeshua. However, absent that there is nothing in scripture about relieving the desire. I don't understand who that is supposed to be a sin against - nor do I think the Church understands its own position. To me it would seem to be a path away from forbidden acts of fornication and adultery - which are sins against others. While i certainly agree that continual feelings of guilt are not healthy, I do think it important to learn to control one's thoughts so as to avoid sin in the first place. Otherwise we could end up just like the pharisees - being outwardly white and inwardly ravenous. To the extent that we fail sometimes, isn't it wonderful to be able to repent? No longer do we have to go the temple in Jerusalem and sacrifice an animal to remind us of the pain of guilt. That was ended by our Savior - but like always, the sin still begins in the heart - or mind if you will. 

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

I see nothing "phariseeic" about trying to understand the written word in the way it was intended when it was spoken/written. I think that is what the blogger is trying to accomplish. However, I don't find anything useful in a claim that Yeshua is intensifying the law. He is pointing to the true import of the law - it is not intended to simply stop certain acts - but it is intended to encourage righteous thinking. Are we loving our neighbor if we go to his house because we desire his wife, but bring him a chocolate? No, we are misleading him, and stepping closer to the act of adultery. The point Yeshua repeatedly tries to make is that righteousness is internal - not external. Outwardly the pharisees were whited sepulchres, but inwardly they were "ravening wolves." 

Trying to say this distinction is not important, and we shouldn't worry about controlling our thoughts because we can rely on His grace, is missing the point. To be clear I am not trying to make young men feel guilty for every sexual thought - but there are those we are allowed, and those we should train ourselves away from. For this reason I have made my own opinion clear about things like masturbation. Looking at pictures of sinning naked adults is an obvious path in the wrong direction according to Yeshua. However, absent that there is nothing in scripture about relieving the desire. I don't understand who that is supposed to be a sin against - nor do I think the Church understands its own position. To me it would seem to be a path away from forbidden acts of fornication and adultery - which are sins against others. While i certainly agree that continual feelings of guilt are not healthy, I do think it important to learn to control one's thoughts so as to avoid sin in the first place. Otherwise we could end up just like the pharisees - being outwardly white and inwardly ravenous. To the extent that we fail sometimes, isn't it wonderful to be able to repent? No longer do we have to go the temple in Jerusalem and sacrifice an animal to remind us of the pain of guilt. That was ended by our Savior - but like always, the sin still begins in the heart - or mind if you will. 

We're on the same page. At least with regards to the nature of the sin of lust and whether Jesus was declaring lust and anger sin. I believe he was. And I believe he is encouraging to become our best selves by attempting to change our hearts to not lust or hold anger. 

The flip side of this is the concern over people who feel guilty or hate themselves for not being able to be perfect in these sins. That's where I say grace comes and the idea that it is not that big of a deal to commit these sins. We still call them sin. We still try to overcome them. But we don't guilt ourselves or others for not being perfect. We're proud of who we are and working to become despite the obvious failure of reaching such a goal of perfection. 

 

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