Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Woe to Roman Numerals

The bad news is I reread some stuff getting the 40s confused with the 50s.  XL and L look so much alike.  The good news is I finished first Clement and will go on to other literature.

I think I'm finally glad that Clem urged the Corinthians to not be divided over Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else.  With so much antagonism toward the church these days, we need to stand together.  If that means debating theology till Christ returns, fine, but we still need to stand together.  "Is there not one Spirit of grace poured out upon us?  And have we not one calling in Christ?"  Those who have the same undivided calling from Christ, need to make much effort to be undivided and united on the truths of Scripture.  Clement repeats what I said in an earlier post about schisms.  "Your schism has subverted the faith of many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all."  The true believers do not need to argue over petty details, and they need to not tolerate those who worship idols but insist that it's not idol worship.

Chapter 55, Clem gives examples of love from the heathen.  People who sacrificed themselves for other people's good.  For some reason he mentions Judith and Esther on this list.  Though apocryphal, Judith was a part of Israel.  Esther certainly was.  It was a bizarre tangent, IMO.

Let us then also pray for those who have fallen into any sin.  It is also good to continue to receive correction.  Exhortation and admonishments "tend to unite us to the will of God."  So, Clement repeats me: there will only be unity if people finally solve their differences or realize they are not really part of the church.

Lastly, he implores the people who started the sedition to submit themselves to the presbyters or elders of the church for correction and discipline.

So looking back, it seems much of this congregation's shame came from within itself, much like when Paul wrote to them.  Clement comforted the true believers who sincerely work for the Gospel.  He also implored all believers to not be divided over doctrinal differences.  He counts the people causing true persecution to not be part of the church and to be sinning greatly by opposing the church leaders.  This is good advice for Christians today: solve our differences, expel those who do not have a high value of Christ, and submit to church leaders for remedy.  In fact, the church leaders should also submit to each other and continue following what Christ says in the Bible.  They need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid of popular opinion and risk verbal abuse as a result of standing by beliefs and values.

No comments:

Post a Comment