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Source: (consider it) Thread: Saved by Faith and Goats and Sheep
Anglican_Brat
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Evangeline wrote:

quote:

As a matter of interest how do you, as a good Protestant reconcile Matthew's story of Jesus' words about the sheep and the goats from Paul's words about justification by faith? How do you interpret Jesus' words in Matthew? [/QB]

Short answer, we are saved by grace alone, we accept grace through faith, and the demonstration of this acceptance is through good works of charity and justice. We accept grace from Jesus, and this grace equips us for good works.

I assuming this is an Arminian answer?

The other argument I have heard is that the judgment passage in Matthew refers to the judgment of the nations, not the judgment of individual persons. This strikes me as eisengesis rather than exegesis.

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mousethief

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Trouble is, Jesus says nothing about "faith" in the "Sheep and Goats" passage, so your interpretation also sounds like eisegesis.

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Evangeline
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I tend to agree with Mousethief, even though I'm a Protestant. Going on the Matthew passage alone, there really is nothing to support the argument that either grace or faith trump or must precede good works when we are facing the judgement seat.
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Barnabas62
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The sovereignty of God trumps all human speculations about what He has done, is doing, and will do. We trust that He is both Just and Merciful, since each of these flows from our central belief that He is Love.

It's puzzling, of course. These days I'm more inclined to believe that ultimately, Justice and Mercy will kiss, so that God will be all in all. Exactly how that will happen, I'm not sure. I find I don't need to be.

[ 23. October 2017, 06:05: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Boogie

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I can’t reconcile any of this. Love and compassion can’t be comparable with hell and the gnashing of teeth in eternal torment.

Likewise the wheat and tares.

Our preacher used this passage last week - but he majored on the ‘together sewn’ bit and the fact that it’s not up to us to judge. And the fact that we can’t assume we are the wheat - which we all do.

The only way I can take these parables is as warnings to be good, for our own good, rather like red riding hood.

[ 23. October 2017, 07:13: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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mr cheesy
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I think these are theological points that challenge and question each other:

If we start from the position that giving someone in need a cup of water is the right and godly thing to do.

Ah, but if one gives a cup of water to a thirsty person but exploits workers that is hypocritical.

OK, so one doesn't exploit workers

But there are many people seen and unseen who we interact with on various levels every day. Many of whom are held in slavery and poverty. We can't possibly know about or help everyone.

Right. So we have a "reasonableness" standard. Who can I reasonably help.

OK, but the divine demand is to go beyond what is reasonable. Loving an enemy is not a reasonable commandment.

This is impossible, nobody can therefore do the right thing. It's a standard that nobody can live up to.

Right, so forget that for the moment. Nothing you can do could meet the standard, but at the same time it isn't about meeting an arbitrary pass mark because nobody would meet it.

OK great, so I'm saved by faith and don't actually have to do anything.

But if you give a cup of water..

etc

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Barnabas62
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A topic explored, Boogie, and IMO rather well, by Rob Bell in his book "Love Wins". A book which got him into a lot of trouble with many traditional believers.

Some people seem to need the certainties of belief in Hell and eternal punishment. I'm not sure I ever did.

Refinement, purification, learning how to behave better, be more loving, less selfish, those are different matters. I'm still processing C S Lewis's quote that God in His mercy made the fixed pains of Hell. There's a lot of metaphor going on, I think. Some Orthodox believe that when faced with God's presence, some folks cast themselves into the 'fixed pains of Hell' so as to emerge at some stage 'purified by fire'. Also that Hell and Heaven are essentially the same place, simply reflecting the different human responses to the eternal Light of God's presence. What warns and illuminates and comforts some is intolerable to others.

In general I think many traditional beliefs about Hell and eternal punishment have been far too literal, used by church leaders as means of control. Inner conviction of sinfulness is the work of the Holy Spirit, not much helped by scare tactics.

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Martin60
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Just clicked on your sig. I felt a wave of hysterical laughter rise but some repressive mechanism kicked in, an ancient 'BLASPHEMY!' response I suppose. Rats. Still smiling.

As for the thread, Jesus and Paul were inspired in their cultures. Making it up as they went along as we all do.

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Love wins

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
A topic explored, Boogie, and IMO rather well, by Rob Bell in his book "Love Wins". A book which got him into a lot of trouble with many traditional believers.

Some people seem to need the certainties of belief in Hell and eternal punishment. I'm not sure I ever did.

Refinement, purification, learning how to behave better, be more loving, less selfish, those are different matters. I'm still processing C S Lewis's quote that God in His mercy made the fixed pains of Hell. There's a lot of metaphor going on, I think. Some Orthodox believe that when faced with God's presence, some folks cast themselves into the 'fixed pains of Hell' so as to emerge at some stage 'purified by fire'. Also that Hell and Heaven are essentially the same place, simply reflecting the different human responses to the eternal Light of God's presence. What warns and illuminates and comforts some is intolerable to others.

In general I think many traditional beliefs about Hell and eternal punishment have been far too literal, used by church leaders as means of control. Inner conviction of sinfulness is the work of the Holy Spirit, not much helped by scare tactics.

I agree that there must be a lot of metaphor going on.

It wouldn’t bother me so much except that the words are attributed to Jesus. Did Jesus really say (as an ‘explanation’ of the parable) “Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!” ?

If he did he said stuff I simply can’t agree with. Even the worst psychopaths deserve oblivion over eternal torment imo.

[ 23. October 2017, 12:04: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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Lamb Chopped
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We talk as if oblivion were possible, as if God could uncreate or decreate anything. But what if we are wrong and in some way this is a logical impossibility--that is, a contradiction of the divine nature itself? In that case hell would be the natural result of the continual unrepentant refusal of some creatures possessing free will to love, do good, be happy, and so on. Such immortals would create hell by their very being, and have to be quarantined to prevent them taking their selfmade misery out on others.

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Jengie jon

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An old one.

The first thing to note the 'least of these my brothers'. That is terminology that is recognised as referring to the Christian Community. So the judgement is primarily based on the way people react to those who belong the Church. Yes, I would personally extend that action towards all human being. Claiming in as much as they are made in the image of Christ so I need to consider them. However, I like to let the original stand as well particularly when considering the fragile setting of the early readers of the Gospels.

Secondly, we read the statement of faith through a cultural ideology that Jesus would not understand. The idea that faith predominantly rests on holding a set of beliefs may only go back to the Emperor Constantine and the first Council of Nicea. More widely in the world today religious faith has little to do with actual doctrine but a lot to do with loyalty. The predominant idea of belief is a case of Western exceptionalism. I can quote the literature in full if you want me to.

Christ is here making a strong connection between loyalty to him and loyalty to other members of the Church. The acts of kindness towards the members of the Church are signs of God's Grace active in the individuals. You get into a world where Matt 10:42 makes sense. This act of faith is seen as 'sanctification' and classical Reformed look for its activity in just this manner. Claims of great belief are no match as evidence of faith compared with the good will and kind actions you show to your fellow Christians and the wider community. Show me where your loyalty lies by your actions and that will show me your faith.

Jengie

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
The first thing to note the 'least of these my brothers'. That is terminology that is recognised as referring to the Christian Community.

Recognized by whom?

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
The first thing to note the 'least of these my brothers'. That is terminology that is recognised as referring to the Christian Community.

Recognized by whom?
We have had at least one long thread on this topic. Unfortunately I don't have time to look for it. What I remember is that there is strong evidence that this refers to the Christian community.

Moo

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Kwesi
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Jenjie jon
quote:
The first thing to note the 'least of these my brothers'. That is terminology that is recognised as referring to the Christian Community.
I think, Jenjie, it could be argued that 'these my brothers' has an even narrower focus than the one you imply, and refers simply to the disciples because the words are specifically addressed to them as part of a private discourse that begins in Matthew 24: 1-3., and ends at the conclusion of chapter 25, as indicated in 26:1.

More generally, I think we just have to admit that in whatever way we make sense of the God revealed in Jesus Christ it will be difficult to do so without editing out of our understanding parts of scripture, including the NT, which don't fit.

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LutheranChik
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There's also the issue of whether you take this parable to be prescriptive or descriptive.

Is Jesus' point really, "...so you all need to get out there and do more good works so that when the time comes you'll be a 'sheep,' not a 'goat'"? Or is he just describing The Way Things Are -- that some people who portray themselves as Christians really aren't, whereas other people may be Christians even if they don't identify as such or even know the Jesus story -- "Christians by desire," I think my RC friends would say -- who in the end will say, " Yes; this; I somehow knew it and trusted it all along."

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blackbeard
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
An old one.

......

Secondly, we read the statement of faith through a cultural ideology that Jesus would not understand. The idea that faith predominantly rests on holding a set of beliefs may only go back to the Emperor Constantine and the first Council of Nicea. More widely in the world today religious faith has little to do with actual doctrine but a lot to do with loyalty. The predominant idea of belief is a case of Western exceptionalism. I can quote the literature in full if you want me to.

........
Jengie

Thanks Jengie.

The next comments are mine entirely.

I have been astonished, puzzled and infuriated by the mess the Church, and what it claims to be the Christian message, have got into. (Don't get me started on the Nicene Creed.... ). It's evident to me that "faith" and "belief" are not at all the same thing, and if that wasn't already obvious then have a look at the epistle of James.

Bluntly, if you define membership of the Church as adherence to beliefs, then what you have isn't Christianity, it's a cult. As, again, should be obvious.

And salvation. By works, or by faith (as defined in the Bible rather than by a creed); or is salvation ultimately, though it may be a long and rocky road, available to all? All 3 positions can be justified by Bible verses, so should we assume that the principle of Bible infallibility has to go? or should we rather assume what should already be obvious, that God's justice and mercy far outrun human understanding?

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Martin60
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Boogie, Lamb Chopped, we talk as if this briefest flicker of existence is anything to go on, to be judged for, to be stuck in, twisted, frozen in the sublime.

Jesus saves.

Jesus spoke as a MAN. The most inspired, the only divinely natured human, unlearnedly morally perfect, other centred, at every stage of His development. Unimaginably unselfish, non-violent as a two year old. And ignorant. Until and in His death. Partially knowingly so. So He made up culturally constrained stories to motivate His followers. Stories surrounded by white space where metanarratives can be told.

As in every other area, we vastly overstate our condition and infinitely underestimate His transcendent capability.

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Love wins

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
The first thing to note the 'least of these my brothers'. That is terminology that is recognised as referring to the Christian Community.

This is a relatively recent interpretation popular, for obvious reasons, with Christian supremacists and theocrats. They find a radically inclusive Jesus an abomination.

quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Christ is here making a strong connection between loyalty to him and loyalty to other members of the Church. The acts of kindness towards the members of the Church are signs of God's Grace active in the individuals.

This exclusivist attitude is illustrated elsewhere in the teachings of Jesus:

quote:
In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he said 'Screw that guy! I only help other Samaritans', and he passed by on the other side as well. The end."
I understand there are variant translations with a more heretical, universalist themes that don't restrict kindness and mercy to one's co-religionists, but obviously they don't really 'get' what Jesus was all about.

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Jengie jon

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
The first thing to note the 'least of these my brothers'. That is terminology that is recognised as referring to the Christian Community.

This is a relatively recent interpretation popular, for obvious reasons, with Christian supremacists and theocrats. They find a radically inclusive Jesus an abomination.

You are overlooking something important, the judgement is of people outside the community and how they react to those in the community. It says nothing of the people in the community in that reading. It could be read therefore as saying, those who are kind towards you are part of your community regardless of where you draw membership lines.

Not really recent either. I am afraid it is a case of interpretation of the text by the text. I had a whole post with Bible references from the gospels backing this interpretation.

Jengie

[ 23. October 2017, 17:39: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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LutheranChik
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I agree with Jengie. Furthermore, I rather resent the implication that anyone who suggests that texts were dorected to the faithful community, not the world at latge, is a reactionary loon. Obviously yhe texts were addressed to the faith community!

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mr cheesy
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In case anyone is interested, one of the Pauline themes of Mark is suggested to be the notion that the gospel was for the gentiles.

Which indirectly touches on the discussion above. If Jesus was first/primarily about the Jews (or a subset of the Jews) then it makes sense that Matthew 25 is talking about Jews (or even disciples as suggested above).

However if the thing is taken within a Pauline understanding, it makes sense to see it as a much wider - perhaps universal - instruction.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
I agree with Jengie. Furthermore, I rather resent the implication that anyone who suggests that texts were d[i]rected to the faithful community, not the world at latge, is a reactionary loon. Obviously [t]he texts were addressed to the faith community!

It's not a question of whether they were directed to Christians, but rather whether it's only about Christians. "Love your [Christian] neighbor as yourself" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, and implies your non-Christian neighbors fall outside the legitimate range of caring.

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Ian Climacus

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Mmmm... I'd always assumed the "neighbour" passage was universal and the "my brethren" one was somewhat more restrictive. Not sure why... Perhaps the "my" and the situation in which it occurred. Or perhaps I was told that; can't remember.

That's why I love this place. One is challenged on, potentially false, assumptions.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
We talk as if oblivion were possible, as if God could uncreate or decreate anything. But what if we are wrong and in some way this is a logical impossibility--that is, a contradiction of the divine nature itself? In that case hell would be the natural result of the continual unrepentant refusal of some creatures possessing free will to love, do good, be happy, and so on. Such immortals would create hell by their very being, and have to be quarantined to prevent them taking their selfmade misery out on others.

Two other possibilities imho:

1. Hell is more or less literal, but it is an earthly dimension. Not quite Kafka's "hell is other people" but more "we make our own hell". One need look no further than the current POTUS who seems to have acquired everything his heart ever desired and also to be entirely miserable, trapped in a hell of his own making (or is that sinful wishful thinking on my part?)

2. There is a real, literal, other-worldly hell-- and it is quite empty (the obscure 1 Peter 3:18ff)

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Martin60
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Sartre.

[ 23. October 2017, 21:29: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Mmmm... I'd always assumed the "neighbour" passage was universal and the "my brethren" one was somewhat more restrictive. Not sure why... Perhaps the "my" and the situation in which it occurred. Or perhaps I was told that; can't remember.

Well, the Bible tells us to love those who hate us, and not to restrict our kindness only to those who are good to us. All of which, to me, suggests non-believers as well as believers, since our 'fellowship' with believers is more or less expected.

I think the story of the good Samaritan makes this explicit. The Samaritan wasn't an orthodox (or pure-blooded) Jew, but he helped a man who was. The 'good' Jews didn't come to the aid of another Jew, as would have been expected of them.

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LutheranChik
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The ethic of inclusion, generosity and kindness are expected to be extended to all. But the actual instruction is to the faith community. And admonitions/discipline are intended for the faith community, not the world at large ( and thus are not an argument for theocracy.) Did I totally misunderstand the issue here?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
The ethic of inclusion, generosity and kindness are expected to be extended to all. But the actual instruction is to the faith community. And admonitions/discipline are intended for the faith community, not the world at large ( and thus are not an argument for theocracy.) Did I totally misunderstand the issue here?

Yes. The issue is, whom is Jesus referring to by "the least of these my brethren" -- the people who were not fed, watered, clothed, etc. Not the people who didn't do the feeding, watering, clothing, etc. The recipients of the good works, not the doers (or not-doers) of the good works, who are the ones being addressed. Who THEY are is not at issue in this particular conversation. Yet.

[ 23. October 2017, 23:43: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Sartre.

Agh, I almost said Sartre, then self-corrected to Kafka. Need that set of existentialist playing cards...

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I don't think this passage has much to do with love of neighbour, however much such sentiment is a central part of the gospel; nor do I think it's got much to do with the righteous actions of gentiles meriting salvation. Remember the context: the deadly crisis of Christ's ministry following his entry into Jerusalem and the rejection of his Messianic claims by the Jewish leaders which was accelerating the culmination of the murderous conspiracies against him. Here Jesus is indicating that the manner of his death was likely to be visited in similar manner on his disciples. The virtues of the gentiles are used as a foil to contrast with the failures of the righteous, those who should have recognised God's anointed. In other words the focus is less on who shall be saved than on the judgement against the Jewish goats. (I hasten to add this has nothing to do with anti-semitism).
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
I don't think this passage has much to do with love of neighbour, however much such sentiment is a central part of the gospel; nor do I think it's got much to do with the righteous actions of gentiles meriting salvation.

OK, well I think it matches the "love of neighbour" teaching so closely that it makes zero sense to see it talking about caring for fellow believers.

If it was just about the disciples, I can't see why it got retained in the gospels tens of years later - presumably at a point where a lot of the disciples were dead.

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arse

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Kwesi
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mr cheesy
quote:
If it was just about the disciples, I can't see why it got retained in the gospels tens of years later - presumably at a point where a lot of the disciples were dead.

You raise an interesting point as to how this passage has been used in Christian teaching and preaching, particularly at the time the gospel was being complied. Quite frankly, I have no idea as to why the passage was included in Matthews gospel, and I guess you are in a similar position. In my ignorance might I suggest, however, that eschatological passages in which sheep are separated from goats and individuals are summarily sent to heaven or hell would be a great comfort to Christians subject to intense persecution. It's not a theology that resonates with mine, but it's there in scripture.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
You raise an interesting point as to how this passage has been used in Christian teaching and preaching, particularly at the time the gospel was being complied. Quite frankly, I have no idea as to why the passage was included in Matthews gospel, and I guess you are in a similar position. In my ignorance might I suggest, however, that eschatological passages in which sheep are separated from goats and individuals are summarily sent to heaven or hell would be a great comfort to Christians subject to intense persecution. It's not a theology that resonates with mine, but it's there in scripture.

It is one of the parts that most resonates with me. Declaring that it is effectively a "spare part" or trying to limit the target of the audience seems to me to be a travesty.

But there you go. I should never underestimate the ability of people to find ways to make the gospels not-apply-to-them.

[ 24. October 2017, 08:04: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Boogie

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# 13538

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This makes sense but would still require Jesus to be saying something to them for their comfort rather than the truth, wouldn’t it?

Rainbow Bridge style. (A story told to comfort people who have lost loved pets)

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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Boogie
quote:
This makes sense
Boogie, it would be helpful if you could indicate what the 'this' is that makes sense, and why you come to your conclusion.
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Boogie

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Sorry -

I meant the idea that the story would be a great comfort to Christians when they were under intense persecution.

Jesus told the story (I assume?) or did they simply attribute it to Jesus to give it credence?

[ 24. October 2017, 08:50: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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Kwesi
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Boogie
quote:
Jesus told the story (I assume?) or did they simply attribute it to Jesus to give it credence?
I think the question, Boogie, is how the eschatological passages in the NT fit into the more universalist themes and our understanding of how salvation comes about. What Jesus thought about these issues and how he integrated them is an intriguing question that I'm not competent to address.
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shamwari
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That there is a challenge in the words of Jesus is undoubted. But are they to be taken literally?
Given the Wheat and Tares parable is Jesus saying that, at the ultimate separation/judgement the only alternatives are Heaven ( for the few) and Hell ( for the vast majority)?

And why is annihilation not a possibility? Given that faith and repentance are essential to 'salvation' what if wee can't repent? The real punishment of sin is that it degrades our moral sensitivity and awareness. If we get to the point where we cannot recognise the difference between Good and Evil, Right and Wrong then we have effectively 'ceased to be'. The real difference between us and the rest of created life is that, as humans, we have a moral discernment. Lacking any moral discernment we are unable to recognise Good from Evil and therefore incapable of repentance.

Annihilation is not something which God inflicts upon us. It is something which we bring upon ourselves. As has been said; " We are not punished for our sins but BY our sins". One such 'punishment' is the dulling of any moral awareness and sensitivity. This reduces our capability to respond and the inability to respond precludes any genuine repentance.

So we simply "cease to be". Call it annihilation of you wish.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Is it annihilation, or is it simply not resurrection? Is the Christian idea really that we have these ghosts inside us which are immortal, and can go to heaven or hell, or is it that we have a hope of a life beyond death through resurrection? If we're not resurrected, we stay dead?

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Doone
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Though I change my mind a lot, I most often come back to this, Karl.
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Brenda Clough
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Perhaps it's more like software. We are down here running 1.0 on fairly primitive systems without a lot of processing power. Knees, spinal discs, nearsightedness -- clearly these are not perfect machines. When we die, God downloads us into storage -- the Heavenly Cloud. The physical machine, your body, goes to the cemetery and we, our real selves, are safe with Him. Come the new creation, a new Earth 2.0 will be there, without the many issues that plague us now. This is why it can only be described in metaphor; we can't really access it now because we haven't the power.
The sheep and the goats come in, if we ourselves bollix up our program. Because we can do that. We can jimmy our file so that the data doesn't download into the new Heavenly system. At that point the angelic software engineers have to resort to difficult things -- this is where the doctrine of Purgatory fits in. Either they can get the bugs out of the corrupted file (downloading it into some other device so the code can be tinkered with) or they can't. Dante envisioned Purgatory and Hell as quite different places with different activities (torments). But other thinkers had them as the same place; the only difference was whether you were there forever or only for a term of penal servitude.

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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Talk of 'real selves' makes me splutter a bit these days. I'm not sure what this means. But at least, various nasty bits of me have been pretty productive for me in life, just as much as the nice bits. I'd hate to separate them.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Is it annihilation, or is it simply not resurrection? Is the Christian idea really that we have these ghosts inside us which are immortal, and can go to heaven or hell, or is it that we have a hope of a life beyond death through resurrection? If we're not resurrected, we stay dead?

So some of us are so broke we can't be fixed? Does that only apply to those of us who are complicit in our own brokenness? Have made free, sane, fully informed decisions that have hurt others so badly, that we could easily not have done, and thus ourselves irrevocably, unforgivably, unrepentably?

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Love wins

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W Hyatt
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# 14250

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Talk of 'real selves' makes me splutter a bit these days. I'm not sure what this means. But at least, various nasty bits of me have been pretty productive for me in life, just as much as the nice bits. I'd hate to separate them.

For anyone who believes that there is a God, how big a leap is it to also believe that there is more to us than our physical body?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Is it annihilation, or is it simply not resurrection? Is the Christian idea really that we have these ghosts inside us which are immortal, and can go to heaven or hell, or is it that we have a hope of a life beyond death through resurrection? If we're not resurrected, we stay dead?

So some of us are so broke we can't be fixed? Does that only apply to those of us who are complicit in our own brokenness? Have made free, sane, fully informed decisions that have hurt others so badly, that we could easily not have done, and thus ourselves irrevocably, unforgivably, unrepentably?
Dunno. Perhaps it's no-one.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Karl:
I think it cannot be known, even though some of convinced and persuasive of themselves in their certainties seem to know. I find myself returning to Ecclesiastes where we hear in 3-20ff (which I like in KJ because of poetry):

quote:
All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
So drink ye the beer now. Let eternity be what it is, also reflected in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan:

quote:
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into Dust Descend;
Dust to Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer and — sans End!

--and no more of thee, and me.

[ 24. October 2017, 18:52: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
I agree with Jengie. Furthermore, I rather resent the implication that anyone who suggests that texts were d[i]rected to the faithful community, not the world at latge, is a reactionary loon. Obviously [t]he texts were addressed to the faith community!

It's not a question of whether they were directed to Christians, but rather whether it's only about Christians. "Love your [Christian] neighbor as yourself" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, and implies your non-Christian neighbors fall outside the legitimate range of caring.
The theological argument is also complicated by the contrasts between the picture of Jesus painted by Matthew and the picture painted by Luke. The Luke picture is significantly more 'light to the Gentiles'. And it provides a strong challenge to exclusive views in the Samaritan parable.

And of course there is Paul, in a very early letter, proclaiming (in Galatians) that the faith community transcends nations and gender and social standing.

Of course the exegetical journey is complicated by weighing contrasting sources. But it can hardly be regarded as bounded just by the more Jewish emphases of Matthew.

Anyway, as Moo hints, it may be that Kerygmania would be a better forum for this more detailed discussion. Thinking about that, with my Host Hat on.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Is it annihilation, or is it simply not resurrection? Is the Christian idea really that we have these ghosts inside us which are immortal, and can go to heaven or hell, or is it that we have a hope of a life beyond death through resurrection? If we're not resurrected, we stay dead?

So some of us are so broke we can't be fixed? Does that only apply to those of us who are complicit in our own brokenness? Have made free, sane, fully informed decisions that have hurt others so badly, that we could easily not have done, and thus ourselves irrevocably, unforgivably, unrepentably?
Dunno. Perhaps it's no-one.
Karl. We've had this before. You seem to respond as if the worst case God could be true. It's just the case. The graven image. Graven even at best in the mind of the man Jesus.

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Love wins

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leo
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# 1458

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Maybe Matthew 25 is talking about non-believers - oi ethnoi

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Maybe Matthew 25 is talking about non-believers - oi ethnoi

AIUI oi ethboi referred to gentiles rather than non-believers.

Moo

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