Paul’s massive ego trip – NTiR (2 Corinthians 7-10)

Bible and magnifying glassThis book has suddenly started to get incredibly boring. I started to fall asleep while reading for the last update. I claim “not my fault” on that one. Paul drones on and on about subjects when he is trying to emphasize a point.

What this book really needs to liven it up is for Paul to go all Moses on the Corinthians, demanding that they follow him because only he knows the mind of Christ. Ego can be a funny thing….

Chapter 7Things are definitely not well in the state of Corinth. Apparently, there were major issues raised after Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, and a lot of people felt that they had been slighted or unjustly accused. Paul takes a passive-aggressive approach to this: “If I made you sad with my letter, I do not regret it, although I did regret it then. I see that the letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while.” Paul is happy that their sorrow made them stronger and more willing to follow, or something.I still think that the Corinthians are right to be peeved. Paul was a major ass towards them in his first letter. I’d still be ticked, too.

Chapter 8“I am not commanding you but testing the genuineness of your love by the enthusiasm of others.” Testing a person isn’t much better than commanding them…

Chapter 9Give money, don’t be outshone by the churches in Macedonia whose members are in poverty but who give a lot of money anyway. Give money, and it will be multiplied for you. Televangelists love this bit, too.

Chapter 10Hey, Paul outs himself as a coward! “I who am humble when I am face to face with you but forceful toward you when I am away!” Why wouldn’t he do that the other way around, which would be braver and more productive? Paul admits himself that he hopes he won’t have to find the courage to say this to people face-to-face.

This is actually a very strange chapter. Paul is on an ego trip here. Actually, it’s more like he is trying to force the Corinthians to bow to his will. He also has no problem saying that he is superior to everyone else (“So if I boast a little too much about our authority, which the Lord gave us to build you up and not to tear you down, I will not be ashamed of it.”) He also has no problems making direct threats against the Corinthians: “We are ready to punish every act of disobedience when your obedience is complete.”

So now, why would the Corinthians follow such a power-hungry man? And one who is so willing to ignore key parts of Christ’s message?

Up next: Paul the dictator

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