Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Playing Opposites with "Barnabas"

The second part of Pseudo-Barnabas's epistle contrasts the way of darkness and the way of light.  The only problem is that the way of light has too many "thou shalt not"s, and the way of darkness states its attributes positively.  I will start this blog by listing negative aspects of each attribute of darkness and then state positively the commands of the way of light.

The Way of Darkness

They are lost and have no direct route.  They have no blessings, no break from guilt, are not satisfied with Christ alone, not ever satisfied with life, cannot stand other leadership, are unintelligible, unreal, cannot faithfully decide to follow just one master, impure, they hate life and under-value people, they are disrespectful and intrusive, not kind or gentle, never clear from trouble, untruthful, do not desire for others to succeed, rely on no one, are unhealthy, they must plot and manipulate instead of trust God for his direction and timing, they don't share, they do not fear God, they take away legal protection from the good people, they continue lying, they hate truth and can't handle the truth, their lives are unfulfilled, unlike the righteous who are whole, they have bad tempers, are unaware of a world outside themselves, only work with ulterior motives and strings attached, ignore people's needs, increase burdens on workers, are always complaining, have no ground in life as they completely ignore the Creator, hate that children are alive, destroy nature, deprive good from people who want, only increase suffering and affliction, and they only care for the rich, unjust, and completely depraved.

The Way of Light

The people who live in the light are allowed to love God who created them and gives them meaning.  They can glorify him that redeemed them from death.  They are simple in heart and rich in Spirit.  They join with people who promote life.  They love what pleases God and live sincerity.  They remember and follow God's commands, not as a chore but as a pleasure, they do not compare themselves to others and always exalt God.  If they accomplish something, the credit goes to God.  They defend their neighbors against gossip.  They can be bold but humble.  They have good sex lives because they only do it with people they are married to.  Single people are chaste and have no emotional attachments to people who just use them.  They teach young people to look beyond this present world and to avidly ponder what is clean and happy.  They use God's Word in reverence and honor.  If they have to rebuke someone, then they still love but wait for repentance before accepting them.  They have good boundaries.  They are meek and peaceable.  They tremble at the words they hear.  Even in frustration, they remember the good things about their brothers and sisters.  They believe that something will be.  They speak God's name with love, fear, and trembling.  The love their neighbors as much as their own souls.  They let their children be born, live, and give them high standards.  From infancy, they teach children the fear of the Lord.  They are there more often than not.  They are happy for what their neighbors have and give generously.  They are reckoned with the righteous and lowly while ignoring the boastful guilt-trippers.  When trials come, they accept it as a good opportunity or adventure.  They decide between two things and speak with only one meaning.  They are subject to the Lord, obey the masters he set over them, and honor their servants remembering that God is the master of all of them.  They are honest with their neighbors and lead them to holy activities.  They think before they speak.  They are pure in soul.  They give without expecting a reward.  They highly value those who rightly speak God's word.  They remember the coming day of judgment.  They constantly seek other Christians and work for life and salvation.  They give cheerfully and readily.  They preserve what is given to their care.  They despise Satan.  They judge righteously, make peace between all who fight within the Church, confess their sins, and make things right with God before entering public worship.

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