Jesus vs the Church

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Charles Graham, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. Charles Graham

    Charles Graham New Member

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    The reason why Churches get such a bad rap for hypocrisy is because they don't practice Jesus' teachings.

    I was shocked to find so many differences between what Jesus taught in the Gospels and what Churches around the world teach today.

    Here are just a few differences I found

    The attached video further supports the argument that Church hypocrisy comes from them not practicing what Jesus taught.

    Jesus says: Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:44)

    The church says: Bomb them before they bomb us.

    Jesus says: Don't pray in public like hypocrites do in church. (Matthew 6:5-6)

    The churches say: If you won't 'lead in prayer' you must be ashamed of your faith.

    Jesus says: Go into all the world preaching the good news. (Mark 16:15)

    The churches say: Settle down and get a job, so you can pay someone else to do it.

    Jesus says: Don't work for food that perishes. (John 6:27)

    The churches say: John 6:27 is an isolated passage and doesn't apply to everyone.

    Jesus says: Take no thought for food or clothes. (Matthew 6:25)

    The churches say: It's irresponsible not to make plans for your future.

    Jesus says: Sell what you have and give to the poor. (Luke 18:22)

    The churches say: Jesus only said it to the rich young ruler. It's not for everyone.

    Jesus says: You sell what you have and give it to the poor too! (Luke 12:33, Luke 11:41)

    The churches say: I'll have to talk to my pastor about those verses. I didn't know that they existed.

    Jesus says: If you don't forsake all you own, you can't be a Christian. (Luke 14:33)

    The churches say: NO COMMENT (Best to ignore it and hope it goes away.)

    Why do you think Churches oppose what Jesus taught so much?

    21 Differences Between Jesus and the Church
     
  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    There are monastic orders that follow Christ's teachings on poverty. But understanding that not everyone can do it, the church also serves as a general moral guidance for ordinary working and family people?

    I think perhaps many faiths have an inner sanctum of core teachings for the truly committed, and more out-spreading influence upon the general mores of society for ordinary family and working people.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John 6:27&version=NIV
    John 6:27
    New International Version

    27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

    Is there a contradiction between 'Paulism' and the words of Christ?

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2 Thessalonians 3:10-13&version=NIV
    Thessalonians 3:10-13
    New International Version

    10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
    11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
    12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.
    13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what
    is good.

    ... Or are they both expressing two different ideas? Is John saying man should not work only for physical food?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the 21 points are not so much what churches do or say, in fact there are factual errors on that score, but rather what people do and say, which is why Christ came in the first place, and why He referred to Himself as 'a voice in the wilderness' (cf John 1:23). He knew what He was taking on.

    While my own faults are beyond listing, I will stand up and speak for the many, many, many, anonymous saints, sages and simple people of faith who do try to put into practice the words of the Scripture they follow. RJM mentioned the monastics, and I would add those uncounted, untold, myriad believers who try, as best they can in their own small way, to put the teachings they have received into practice.

    And furthermore I'd shout out for those who, by so doing, have given up everything, including their freedom and even their lives.

    So in answer to the question, I think an examination of conscience is the first and most useful step.
     
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  5. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    Nothing new I suppose. Of the seven churches referenced in the Book of Revelations, there where but two teaching in God's word, Smyrna and Philadelphia.
     
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  6. Krisha Mitra Das

    Krisha Mitra Das Ethical Vegan Yogini

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    You will find devouts, and the not-so-devouts not only in the churches but also people who are of a philosophical faith, or anything that has certain rules by how it's defined (Like veganism; there are some people who say they are vegan but still eat meat during the holidays, and many more people who wear or use animal products).

    I have found in life there are MANY, MANY people who LOVE to be called something just for the sake of having the title, like Christian, or follower of Christ, but don't want to practice what it means to be of that group. But then, thank God, there are those who practice what they call themselves as RJM and Thomas mentioned.
     
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  7. Miken

    Miken Active Member

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    Although metaphors are found throughout the NT, John shows Jesus speaking metaphorically much more than the other writers.

    John 6 (ESV)
    25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

    It is not only ‘bread’ that is metaphorical. It is ‘work’ as well. Working for the food that perishes is concentrating on this life as if it were all that there is and not seeking the eternal life Jesus can offer. John continues with an elaboration of this metaphor leading up to:

    48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

    In contrast, Paul really does mean literal work and not leaching off the community.

    2 Thessalonians 3
    6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

    According to Acts 18:3, Paul was a tentmaker. The word used is σκηνοποιοὶ. This refers to makers of small portable tents of the type used by travelers. Paul ought to have found work in any of the crossroads cities that he visited.

    To understand what the several writers of scripture meant you have to look in context and not just pull out one liners.
     
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  8. Miken

    Miken Active Member

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    Jesus says: Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:44)

    The church says: Bomb them before they bomb us.


    Can you identify which church said this and provide some supporting evidence for the claim? Defense of one’s self and those put in imminent peril without cause is allowable. There has long been debate about how this principle can be applied to the concept of just war.

    Jesus says: Don't pray in public like hypocrites do in church. (Matthew 6:5-6)

    The churches say: If you won't 'lead in prayer' you must be ashamed of your faith.


    A legitimate criticism.

    Matthew 6
    5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    Jesus says: Go into all the world preaching the good news. (Mark 16:15)

    The churches say: Settle down and get a job, so you can pay someone else to do it.


    Marl 16:9-20 is not original. It does not appear in earlier manuscripts. It does not appear in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus. It is only one of two different add on endings to Mark that were making the rounds. It is totally unlike Mark’s ‘put you in the story’ style. And it is recognizably a collection of references to later writings.

    Mark 16:15 is a reference is Matthew 28. The setting is that after the resurrection the Eleven (Twelve minus Judas Iscariot) have gone to Galilee to meet Jesus as they were told.

    Matthew 28
    19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

    Jesus is speaking to his Apostles separate from everyone else. This is not a universal injunction.

    Jesus says: Don't work for food that perishes. (John 6:27)

    The churches say: John 6:27 is an isolated passage and doesn't apply to everyone.

    As I have addressed at length already, John is very clearly metaphorical referring to the means to eternal life beyond mortal life. I have never heard anyone claim this is an isolated passage. This imagery is in fact a key element in John's message. OTOH Paul is referring to slackers in Christian communities who do not want to pull their own weight.

    Enough for tonight.
     
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  9. Miken

    Miken Active Member

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    …continued

    Jesus says: Take no thought for food or clothes. (Matthew 6:25)

    The churches say: It's irresponsible not to make plans for your future.


    This is an interesting passage. That it is meant for everyone is clear. After all, this is the Sermon on the Mount. The theme is to not be concerned with material thongs but with heavenly ones as seen in v. 24. Yet he is pretty explicit about what that means. Matthew likes his figures of speech as in the vivid images he presents below about God providing. However, he is not big on subtext metaphors as John is. One usually cannot read into Matthew any more than he says. What does he say? Do not be anxious about material things. Do not be anxious about tomorrow, Today is enough trouble. He does not say not to do anything about today and points to having to do things about today.

    Matthew 6
    24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

    Much of the preceding part of Matthew 6 is about the hypocritical practices of the Pharisees. (I suspect the rule-obsessed Shammai Pharisees who wanted to be seen as ‘holier than thou’.) In his extended diatribe against Pharisees in chapter 23, Matthew says “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (Mt 23:25) The passage in Matthew 6 can be seen to be part of that same sentiment, refocusing on spiritual matters.

    Modern churches mostly adhere to that attitude. For the congregation anyway.

    “Jesus says: Sell what you have and give to the poor. (Luke 18:22)

    The churches say: Jesus only said it to the rich young ruler. It's not for everyone.”

    That is correct. It is not for everyone. This story appears in very similar form in all the Synoptic Gospels. In each version, selling possessions is not mentioned until after Jesus has given the ground rules for getting eternal life. It is when the man mentions that he has always kept those rules that Jesus sees that the man is a good candidate for joining his itinerant band of followers.

    Mark 10
    17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

    Matthew 19
    15 And he laid his hands on them and went away. 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

    Luke 18
    18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.

    Jesus was setting out on the road. What do you think “come, follow me” meant? Much more concerning this subject in a subsequent post that I do not have time to properly address at this time.

    “Jesus says: You sell what you have and give it to the poor too! (Luke 12:33, Luke 11:41)

    The churches say: I'll have to talk to my pastor about those verses. I didn't know that they existed.”

    Luke 11 has nothing to do with selling one’s possessions. It is about Pharisees (surely Shammai type) who are obsessed with rules but neglecting the intent of the Law.

    Luke 11
    37 While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. 38 The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.

    42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”

    The business about not washing before dinner refers to the argument with the Pharisees about ritual practices not found in the Written Torah that in practice contradict the Torah as described in Mark. It is a hand washing ritual involve merely splashing some water on one’s hands and having nothing to do with cleanliness, only ritual purity. Luke is using this image to lead into the next image of seeming to be pure on the outside but “full of greed and wickedness” on the inside.

    The Pharisees “neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others”. Giving alms would be an act of justice and the love of God. If the Pharisees would do that and similar things beyond mere ritual, they would be clean inside as well.

    Nothing to do with selling possessions.

    Much more to say on the topic. But no time now.
     
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  10. Miken

    Miken Active Member

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    …continued

    “Jesus says: You sell what you have and give it to the poor too! (Luke 12:33)

    The churches say: I'll have to talk to my pastor about those verses. I didn't know that they existed.”

    Jesus was originally talking to a crowd. Then he was talking to his disciples. This is the little flock that he tells to sell possessions.

    Luke 12
    13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

    22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.

    32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.


    “Jesus says: If you don't forsake all you own, you can't be a Christian. (Luke 14:33)

    The churches say: NO COMMENT (Best to ignore it and hope it goes away.)”

    No, it does not say you cannot be a Christian.

    Great crowds were following Jesus. He tells them that to follow Jesus on the road as part of his traveling company you must give up ties to your old life. If you cannot do that, stay home.

    Read verses 28-33. Is Jesus talking people out of being a Christian?

    Luke 14
    25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. [i28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.[/i]

    That being a disciple of Jesus means going on the road with him is plain from these passages.

    Luke 9
    57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

    Luke 8
    9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables,

    Matthew
    10:1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction
    11:1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
    12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.

    John 2
    1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.

    John 6
    66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”

    Matthew 28
    16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.

    19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

    Red is μαθηταὶ
    Green is μαθητεύσατε

    A different word is used for those who literally followed Jesus on the road and those that will be taught after Jesus is gone.

    Why would Jesus tell those who followed him on the road to give up their former lives? Because they will be required to go out in pairs ‘to proclaim the kingdom of God’/ They had to be trusted to do that with no temptation to go back home or to go off somewhere else.

    Luke 9
    1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.



    “Why do you think Churches oppose what Jesus taught so much?”

    As had been shown, they do not oppose all that much. The biggest exception is the injunction to pray in secret in Matthew 5. When questioned about this, the answer given to me was that this was just hyperbole, referring to the ‘holier than thou’ attitude of the Pharisees and not to be taken literally. As proof these verses get trotted out.

    Matthew 16
    And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    Matthew 18
    15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Notice the common language in 16:19 and 18:18. It is clear that by the time Matthew wrote ca. 80 CE the idea of an organized church already existed. I will withhold further comments on this particular subject because it would lead us in a different direction.
     
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  11. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I think all the debate over two millennia has not changed the effect of Christ's words. They still reach into the heart of man through all the centuries.

    EDIT
    Which is not meant to diminish the value of the debate. The debate will go on for centuries ahead.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020 at 8:30 AM
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  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I think it's clear even the very earliest Roman Christians practised the eucharistic sacrament, which is why Tacitus mistakenly talks about their depraved ways -- where the Eucharistic Sacrament of consuming the body and blood of Christ in form of bread and wine even a short decade or two after the crucifixion, is interpreted as literal cannibalism and used against them?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020 at 4:21 AM
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  13. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Miken —

    First off, thanks for the exhaustive commentary, really enjoying it.

    I've always read it that way — the injunction to "enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret" is to turn inward, rather than go into a secret room at home.
     
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  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Matthew 18:20
    "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them"

    A lot of Christ's words seem apparent contradiction? It's often possible to read one thing here, and another there. This leads to discussion and different interpretations by different people. New atheists love to point out these apparent contradictions as obvious evidence that it's all nonsense.

    But spiritual truths aren't simply expressed in natural language. Much of Christ's message was lived in the symbolic events of his human life. The truth behind Christ's words does sink in/shine through?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020 at 4:04 PM

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