2 Corinthians 5-9
The Bad: blah blah blah… and then v 7 – we live by believing rather than seeing. Arg…. Another verse that encourages people to deny what they see with their own eyes and instead stick to what they choose to believe. And then back to the zzzzzz
Quotes: Christians lap this stuff up. They love the ‘new body in Christ’ idea. And v 7 – sigh.
The Bad: V 16-19 looks like one long quote from the ‘scriptures’. In the NLT it reads
“As God said: ‘I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’ ”
Hahaha! This little ditty is a mishmash of verses from (in order) Leviticus 26:12; Isaiah 52:11; and 2 Samuel 7:14. They obviously don’t belong together. And if you’ve read the OT, you know that they are waaaay out of context here; the god they referred to was the Hebrew god, Yahweh, and the unbelievers were the surrounding Canaanite tribes.
The Ugly: V 4-10 – Paul just loves to play the victim, and if he can suffer for his beliefs, and claim persecution, then so much the better. Poor Paul! He`s such a good person, look how mean people are to him…. Boo hoo…. This same sympathy/martyrdom card is being played today by religious right in the ‘War against Christianity’.
And v 14 – 15. In the KJV, the words are familiar – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Generally used to restrict dating and marriage. But my NLT interprets it as ‘Don’t team up with unbelievers’. And thinking about it, it certainly could apply in a more general sense, and restrict friendships, too. Those unbelievers, they are sure a bad influence – another tactic used by cults and fundies to discourage outside influences that might lead tolerance – or worse, acceptance of other viewpoints. Being ‘Unequally Yoked’ is a biggie for those who experience it. Check out this link for lots of helpful info, including further links.
Quotes: v 14, of course.
Not good, bad, nor ugly – just complete drivel. Sounds like there was some kind of rift in the church, but now everybody’s happy and apologies accepted, and they can live happily ever after…
This one’s all Ugly: V 1-4 Paul is thrilled that those who can ill afford it are donating the little they have to support the church. Disgusting! But that’s not all – this whole friggin’ chapter is nothing but a pledge drive. A blatant request for money – it’s not even subtle. First butter the people up (v 7) – that’ll make ‘em more generous. Then try a little psychological blackmail (v 8) – tell them that they are not required to donate, but that the amount they contribute will be an indication of their level of faith and that they will be compared to the other churches. Mention that Jesus was poor, so that means it’s good to be poor (v 9). Next, treat people like children, and like a good parent, remind them that the responsible thing to do is finish what you started; and since they donated last year… (v 10-11). And finally make them feel ashamed if they don’t give eagerly! (v 12) There are no words for my feelings about this chapter…. Well there actually are, but I won`t print them here.
WTF! Paul wasn’t done! Now he feels the need to remind people to have their money all collected and be ready when the church representatives show up to collect it! Gotta keep up appearances, and wouldn’t it look bad if the lackeys showed up and the money wasn’t there! (v 3-5). Give as much as you can, and make sure you look happy when you hand it over – god loves a cheerful giver (v 7). And don’t worry about yourself – god will provide (v 8-11). Your generosity will prove that you are obedient (v 13), and the recipients will pray for you (v 14). Oh, goody – will that put food on the table? I feel sick…
Quotes: v 6-8.