The Sexual Ethics of Ancient Greece and Rome

Part 2 of the series:The Measure of Acceptability In this section, I will review the pertinent findings of my extensive research into the subject of the ethics of the society into which the Letters of Paul were sent. This is of vital significance to the quest for understanding those Letters. Paul knew the language and …

The Measure of Acceptability

This quest, this desire to know the truth, drives on the desperate pilgrims – us. Beliefs that lead to a misunderstanding of Paul’s statements lead the pilgrim, inescapably, to a universe without hope. The pilgrim strives to find hope, fervently desiring to believe in the Hope offered by Jesus, yet comes to teachings of Paul that indicate that for some classes of sin there is no forgiveness, no love, no family, and no hope. For the pilgrim that ponders the depths of meaning, this becomes the ultimate nightmare – an unavoidable eternal collision with terrible and empty fate.

Spending Spiritual Resources

In the middle of the book of Luke, there are some teachings from Jesus that foster very widely divergent concepts. Among these is a parable that has been given many names: “unjust steward”, “shrewd manager”, “dishonest manager”, etc. Many acknowledge the difficulty of understanding this parable. And the reason for the divergent views is plain: …

The Difficult Case of David, Bathsheba, Uriah, Nathan, and the Baby Boy

In 2 Samuel 11 and 12, we find the story of David and Bathsheba and Uriah, a story of sex, conspiracy, betrayal and murder. Bathsheba gets pregnant, Uriah carries his own death sentence from one friend to another, then gets murdered by his friends, and the baby dies. If the story itself is not enough …

Who Pays?

The underlying sense of inadequacy is an extreme burden to carry. The hidden hope for Love and acceptance is already battered by the constant struggle to continue to trust the nature of God. The fleeting glimpses of Love, pure and complete, fade, occluded by the noisome vapors of retribution, in the howling gale of inescapable …

Madly in Love with People

A man goes to a city to tell them about Love. A prophetess follows him around. He gets beat up and imprisoned. An earthquake sets him free, but he doesn’t leave. But he later writes a letter to the people of that city. And he makes it quite clear that he loves them. And he …

Love Lost, Life Found

How can a seemingly random discussion of past husbands and other sexual relationships lead a whole town to recognize that Jesus saves the whole world? This story is about a woman seeking water but finding more. It is about prejudice and tribal hatred left behind. Love shattered, yet springing to life with mere words. But …

The Kingdom of Heaven

The Kingdom of Heaven is a common phrase that evokes a large variety of concepts. For some, it refers to a movie about war, subterfuge, sex and honor in two opposing groups, each claiming to be working for the Kingdom of Heaven. The producers of that movie did well at communicating their concept of the Kingdom of Heaven. For other people the phrase is less about meaningless existence and more related to the concept of the domain of the Supreme Being. People who hold such a concept perceive varying levels of integration between the Kingdom of Heaven and the material world. For many, the concept of human justice is paramount in the Kingdom of Heaven: the Kingdom of Heaven is the ultimate expression of human justice: Good vs Evil.
Jesus used the phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” often. What did he mean? I found that a careful review of the Gospel of Matthew leads to the answer: None of the above.

Forgiveness – Too Hard

A friend asked this question: The teachings in the Bible about forgiveness are hard. People in my life are so stupid. Their actions hurt and offend me. So I avoid them. I pray for them but I can not let my life be affected by them. It makes me feel bad. I know Jesus says …

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