Saturday, August 31, 2013

Game is Not a Four Letter Word For Christians

A grown man knows the world he lives in, and for the present, the world is Rome.
In the film Ben-Hur, Pontius Pilate gives this advice to an angry Judah Ben-Hur who, after climbing from slavery to the top of the Roman social order, has decided to turn his back on everything that is Rome. He returns a signet ring to Pilate (signifying his giving up his Roman citizenship), and declares his disgust for Rome and anything associated with it. It's a powerful scene. Pilate comes across as little more than an amoral pragmatist; Judah Ben-Hur seems courageous and principled.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ephesians 5:21 is Not a Good Place to Start

One of the phrases I keep running into is "Ephesians 5:21 is a good place to start." Usually followed by a quote of the section.

Ephesians 5:21-33
21 subjecting yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without defect. 28 Even so husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly; 30 because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones. 31 “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh.”? 32 This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly. 33 Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
But, 5:21 isn't a good place to start. It's like starting with the last line in the movie "Casablanca" ("Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.") and ignoring the 90 minutes of dialog that came before it. You can't understand the last line, unless you understand what went before it. And, you can't understand 5:21 without knowing what went before it.