This book is really starting to wear on me. Believers live by Paul’s letters. Non-believers either roll their eyes or ignore them all together. I think I am the only non-believer stupid enough to read through them and try and write about them. Either that, or I am really crabby.
Paul hopes that the Jews will be saved, but has doubts since the Jews don’t know the righteousness of Jesus. Anyone who believes in Jesus and proclaims his name will be saved. Oh, and believers should preach, in hopes of saving others. Hey, wadda ya know, the Christian denominations that proselytize and try to “save” everyone are right: that command IS in the bible. Of course, it’s Paul who is saying it, not Jesus. But at least they are correct that it is in the Bible.
The Gentiles are being saved to make the Jews jealous, in hopes that the Jews will follow Jesus. Seriously, Paul spent 36 verses making that one single point.
Ah, just when I was thinking that this whole book was crap, I come across an interesting chapter. Paul lists everything that his followers – er, I mean Jesus’s followers – should strive towards. It’s a good list. This is another one of the parts of the Bible that I wish Christians would actually follow/live by, instead of telling others to live by them. Or worse, judging others for not living them. Some of the big ones are:
- Use the talents you are given, and don’t be jealous of others who have talents you don’t
- Love without hypocrisy
- Extend hospitality to strangers
- Don’t think you are wiser than you really are
- Be humble
- Do not pay back evil for evil, forget that “eye for an eye” stuff
- Live in peace with others
- Conquer evil with good
Ayup, that is good stuff. Finally.
Paul is all over the road here. First, he says that everyone should submit to the government, because authorities are God’s servants. Huh? For that same reason, people should pay their taxes. Don’t borrow money from anyone. Love your neighbor as yourself. Put on an armor of light. Again: huh? Oh, and then Paul decides to be a party pooper, saying that followers should not have wild parties, nor get drunk, nor have sex, nor be jealous. Talk about bumming one out!
Up next: Thank God, this letter is OVER!
New installments of The New Testament In Review will be posted each Monday and Thursday. The new posts will always be on my blog, http://biffster.org. The entire series is accessible via http://biffster.org/ntir. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can get an advance preview on my Facebook page. You can also follow me (@biffster) on Twitter to be alerted to new posts.