Posted by: jaypeemanuel | November 19, 2008

Something To Talk About

I’ve read Ate Abs post and Myki’s concerns toward vices. Myki’s question, “Why can’t they leave it, even if they know that it is a sin?”, got my thoughts rumbling again. As what I have shown you guys, and what I had been really trying to communicate is that I am against vices. I am very much against things that take us away from our God. But in a stricter sense of the though”vice”, where cigars and alcoholic drinks are specifically addressed, I do hold the belief, that those things are not against God’s pleasure. As what the Bible has always told us, God’s aim is to rescure the entire creation, and I believe that IT ACTUALLY EMBODIES ALL THINGS which include CIGARS, ALCOHOLIC DRINKS, SEX and other things that the church have confessed as sinful. I am against the thought that these things are evil per se. As what the group has always stressed, the core of Christianity is not about these things.

Well, hope we made a healthy discussion out of this.


Responses

  1. Are all things created good? Yes

    Does this include cigars, alcohol and sex? Yes

    Are these things evil per se? No

    Are we sinning against God because we consume these things? No

    So, why do we have to leave all these things behind in order to follow Jesus? Because these are not matters of priority.

    Context is key. We live in a church where false emphasis were being given to these things. Both are on the extremes and either were solutions to the problem.

    On the right, conservatives say that abstinence makes us right before God. This is Sin Avoidance.
    People may not be doing it per se yet their hearts always desire it still.

    On the left, liberals say that moderation is the way and exercising control over it makes us mature. This is Sin Management. People may sometimes exercise temperance over their own desires yet its by their own strength and effort. God is not present here. It is by their own doing.

    Now there is always a third way. The way of the kingdom – doing things from the inside-out. We do things because we are motivated by our love for God and our love for His people.

    We leave these things behind because they do not anymore hold our heart’s desire. We seek God and His pleasure alone.

    We leave our vices behind out of love for other people. We know that regardless whether they are good, these vices enslave the people of God in our church and keep them away from God.

    That’s the way of love. That’s the way of God.

  2. Redis mine.
    “Context is key. We live in a church where false emphasis were being given to these things. Both are on the extremes and either were solutions to the problem.”

    I have to agree with this. It was the culture who labeled those beautiful creations as evil.

    “On the left, liberals say that moderation is the way and exercising control over it makes us mature. This is Sin Management. People may sometimes exercise temperance over their own desires yet its by their own strength and effort. God is not present here. It is by their own doing.”

    If the liberals are designing the matter after the “moderation”, then I will have to change my team. I don’t support that issue. My issue is not about moderation but rather, thinking of those things as creations which might be used to lift the glory of God. As what I’ve learned and what I am standing at, I can drink tonight and worry not because God is with me. It’s not an issue of moderation to me, it’s a reason for doing it.

    Now there is always a third way. The way of the kingdom – doing things from the inside-out. We do things because we are motivated by our love for God and our love for His people.

    We leave these things behind because they do not anymore hold our heart’s desire. We seek God and His pleasure alone.

    The Kingdom of God holds more than the entirety of what we see. The Kingdom contains the unseen, and judgment should not fall on the material, but on the unseen as well.

  3. Hindi pala html coded ang comment natin hehe..

  4. Welcome to the Kingdom, TeacherJP…wink. wink

  5. questions

    — when people in church say “the body is the temple of the holy spirit” to defend their created notion that drinking, smoking, blah blah is bad, is it used in the wrong context?

    Anyway, I agree with kuya jp- feeling liberal din ako e though not in the definition given above. hahaha, never really knew that their stand on vices is focused on sin management…I’m not much of a sin manager..hehe..

    May isa pa pala ko question regarding this:
    -Are all things created good? Yes
    **If all things were created good does this mean that they just became bad in the process of becoming bad or they became bad because we labeled them bad.

    Does this include cigars, alcohol and sex? Yes

    Are these things evil per se? No

    Are we sinning against God because we consume these things? No

    So, why do we have to leave all these things behind in order to follow Jesus? Because these are not matters of priority.

    Context is key. We live in a church where false emphasis were being given to these things. Both are on the extremes and either were solutions to the problem. –

    **how then do we know which is evil or if we are sinning if its context based? medyo naguluhan lang po ko, kasi parang cultural na lang siya- if we name this thing sinful then it becomes sinful because of the context but then its really not sinful because its created good? labo. or baka mali ako nang pagkagets. -nosebleed mooooode-

    Isa pa- is it all dependent on how you do it and not what you do? for instance I could say that the best form of worship for me is smoking -ganun- then is it not bad because in experience, it draws me nearer to God? or is this impossible and just plain bad because its too insensitive to your love for others?

    (hahaha…maninigarilyo ko sa kapilya habang praise and worship-tisod to death. haha.)

    ayun, nagulumihanan na ko. mababaw lang kasi akong tao, masaya na sana ko sa belief na hindi siya masama, e nagdiscussion pa kasi kayo e, dinugo tuloy ako. naman. haha.

  6. To answer the cat’s query:

    Is the “temple of the Holy Spirit” thingy uncontextual?

    Definitely yes, Paul addressed the sin of endless adultery of the people of Corinth. According to history, the temple of Aphrodite was in that place. And during their period, 10,000 women devoted themselves as prostitutes of the temple. Christians, in those days, were greatly distressed with the sexual sin. Therefore, Paul addressed the thing there. There were Christians who were greatly suffering from withdrawal from it and there were who were actually enjoying their freedom with the women.

    Historically, that was the thing there. Not of the cigars and wines…

  7. Both of you are doing great here.

    Allowing doubts, Raising questions and figuring things out for yourselves makes one great in the kingdom of heaven.

    You would have probably heard my explanation about “text and “context” when I spoke last Christmas Season.

    I mentioned there that in order to be in context with a particular text, we need to determine the background (historical and literary) that comes with the text.

    Therefore, “temple of the living God” has to be applied to the background of Christians during Paul’s time.

    JP was quite accurate here, sexual lust was rampant during the time Christians lived in Corith. This was brought about their past pagan worship in the temple of Aphrodite. Remember Corithians are majority Greeks (or Gentiles) and not Jews. For them, a “temple” is not place for their God/gods to dwell but a place to enjoy the pleasures a particular god provides to the people. (e.g sex = Aphrodite). This is why prostitutes live in the temple which acts as “priestess” in a sense.

    Now, their way of life greatly differs than that of Paul.

    For Paul, the temple means the presense of Israel’s God, Yahweh. It is a place for atoning for sins and worshiping of the one true God. This was his previous understanding of it since He was a Jew, actually a Pharisee Jew.

    But all of these have changed when he encountered Jesus in Damascus. Jesus didn’t “magically” appreared to Paul that day like what a lot of us would imagine. (perhaps a ghost encounter) Paul witnessed a “resurrected Jesus” – bodily in form yet not like from this world.

    This was life changing for him because as a Pharisee and they always believed that when resurrection happens, the final days (age to come – eschaton) has begun, the Messiah whom they have been waiting has come. This means that the True Lord of the World is now reigning from heaven down here on earth. Jesus resurrection confirmed all of these for Paul.

    Now since Jesus has been raised from the dead (resurrected), Paul and the rest of the Jewish Christian community (Peter, John and the disciples) were convinced that Jesus (his boby, his being, his presense) is now the temple built and raised by Yahweh in which everyone (Jews and Gentiles) are called to worship. Jesus was the fullfilment of the promised made by Yahweh to Abraham – his descendants will bore salvation to all nations.

    But how can anyone be a part of this new temple-body?

    With our own bodies as well. Anyone who would make a bodily participartion of the things Jesus has commanded here on earth. (living in God’s kingdom, living from the inside-out, loving God and your neighbors, following the way of death and resurrection). This is why anyone who is participating in the Lord’s supper (breaking of the “body” of christ) and baptism (the “bodily” washing of water and spirit) is now part of the “body of Christ” – his church.

    How did Paul applies his Jewish understanding of temple in context with the Corithian’s practice of sexual immorality licensed by the fact that they proviously worship a idol Aphrodite allowing such actions?

    By emphasizing on the bodily resurrection of Jesus and by implication, giving high regard on our “bodies” since we are now, as a church, part of that body. We are now called a temple of the living God because Jesus, the head of Church, is and will always be the new temple whom the fullness of God dwells, Emmanuel, God-with-us presence.

    Now being a Corithian, everything said here would be very very hard to swallow. This high regard of the body whom Paul is asserting would be quite foreign to an ex-pagan Greek. They have been so used to an environment where sex is being bought as a common commodity (para ka lang bumuli ng suka sa palengke) but now, they are being summoned to give it all up as a way dying to self and living for Christ.

    Multiply this diffuculty with our very own time, background and context in church. What would be the equivalent of sexual immoratily issue of the Christians in Corith to the Christians here in Baclaran? This is a contextual question therefore everyone would have a difference of opinion here. Christians all over the world would have different cultural issues they would need to take captive under obedience to Christ.

    But just consider our OWN Church in Baclaran. What would be the number one cultural issue that is keeping a lot of us from growing in maturity to Christ?

    For me, I’m convinced it’s BISYO. Alak. Sigarilyo, Sugal at Babae. But you would have to come up with your own answers as well.

    Now being like Paul, when summoning Christians to have a high regard to the bodies because we are now part of Christ’s body, what would then be the reaction of any hearers? Of course, it would be the same as the Christians in Corinth – people would either ignore it, dismiss it or worse, give reasons against it.

    Therefore, we are now “in context” with what Paul was trying to do with the Corithian Christians. We now know BISYO in BACLARAN has become sexual immorality in Corinth.

  8. Parallelism applies here.

    That is the “issue” that I did not see. The cultures assumed the determination of evil and good. In our culture, the church made a standard that these things are evil. So in order not to be a stumbling block to others, we don’t. But far more than this, we all believe that these issues are not the center of Christianity.

    Anyway,

    Pray for me. I’ve sent my applications both to San Beda and GCF-ICS (South Metro). Let God be with me.

    Thanks brethren..

  9. I forgot to ask, isn’t parallelism eisegesis?

    • JP, definition of terms muna.

      Eisegesis – means putting meaning to a particular text or word (say, wine) using our current modern vocabulary. This assumes that whenever the bible says “wine”, it is the same “wine” we have right now. This also assumes that the usage of that particular “wine” before is the same way as of today.

      This leads to bad interpretation and application of the text.

      And this is not what I’m saying in my previous comment. We are not saying that, exegetically, bisyo is the equivalent of sexually immorality.

      Exegesis, on the hand, examines the text but doesn’t impose any modern meaning in the text instead it allows the text to be defined within the parameters of “knowable” data like historical background, literary background and etc.

      Now, whenever the “text” is being examined under a particular historical timeline and literary genre, the “relationship” created between them is what we call “context”.

      When we apply it here in our discussion, contextually, Paul was summoning the Chrisitians to have a high regard of their bodies because it is now the temple of God.

      Context is what comes with the “text” itself. A particular text is being illuminated when applied to the background that comes with it. The “meaning” or how it was understood is then derived from it.

      Now, Context assumes that the “meaning” of the any text is easily understood when I was written and read during it’s particular time in history because of the common background that the “author and reader” shared. Interpretation is not required.

      However, that meaning becomes harder and harder to uncover as time goes by. The text we are now reading (The Bible) is already 2000 years old (or more). The authors and readers of these text lived a different world from us. So that gap needs to be conquered by using informed hermenautics.

      Remember, interpretation is required because of the gap. We don’t need to intrepret if there is no gap. You would easily understand that the term “Hillsong United shook Ninoy Aquino Stadium” doesn’t mean that the grounds moved when Hillsong United was in here in the Philippines. You know it’s a metaphor which means the band “Hillsong United” successfully worshipped that night at Ninoy Aquino stadium.

      But imagine 2000 years from now, someone would uncover this same text. How do you think they would understand the text? Hillsong United would probably be non-existent that time, Ninoy Aquino would not be remembered anymore and Stadiums would be something perculiar to them. Imagine all the possible misinterpretation that they would make along the way.

      Applying again this in our discussion, we know that the issue of the Christians in Corinth is not really “sexually immorality” per se but their low regards of their bodies brought about their pagan worship in the past.

      Again, context is key. Context is the relationship between the text and the background (historical and literary) that came with it. This relationship determines meaning and leads to understanding.

      Therefore,what we are after then in the “meaning” and not necessary the specific text nor the background that comes with it. The hermenautical question that we want answered is “What does the author meant when He said this particular text?” and “How did the reader understood the author when he said this text?”

      So applying this again in our discussion, the contextual issue then in Baclaran is not really bisyo per se but the low regard of our members in their bodies reflected by abusive use of these substances.

      This is not parallelism. We preserved the context “high regard of bodies because we are now the temple of the living God” but in order to apply the text now in our particular “context”, we need to determine which practices that goes against this context. Again, each of us needs to determine this ourselves. I cannot make you decide what it is. I can only say what I know it is but you still need to make up your own mind and determine it for yourself.

      By the way, all the things that I’m saying here can be read in the book I gave you (How to read the Bible for all it’s worth). Read the chapter that discuss Contextual Application of Epistles.

      P.S. Did Paul summoned the Corinthians to moderately practice sexual immorality?

  10. I see. It was just a coincidence that sexual immorality was the issue at Corinth but what Paul was actually addressing was the Christian’s value over their own bodies. So it’s more of valuing our bodies both physically and morally because we now belong the body of Christ.

    Haven’t actually even started the book, just the preface but haven’t gone with the actual content yet.

    about the terms, I was actually referring to the act of using the context to our time, that’s why I thought it was eisegesis.

    See you tonight guys..

  11. About the P.S.

    No, he did not. He summoned them to call for sexual purity, not moderation.

  12. Exactly. Now, when Paul summoned them to give it all up, what was the reaction he got from his readers?

    Were they happy about it? Did they welcome the rebuke and praised Paul for his apostolic authority over them?

    Actually, no. That’s why Paul was even harsher to them in his second letter to them because some of them even questioned Paul’s apostleship.

    That was the entire context of Paul and Corinthians.

    Now, observe in our church. What is the most touchy issue that warrants such defensive attack from our members?

    Mention “bisyo” in the pulpit and expect everyone in church will talk it about after service. Again, it is the most misunderstood issue in our church, either for or against it.

  13. Medyo naguluhan ako nung Wed sa context at text ng “templo ng Dios” pero mas malinaw pala dito (kahit nosebleed ang exchange of thoughts).

    ang iniisip ko kasi nung Wed, kung yung sa Corinthians is about “high regard of our bodies as temple of Christ”, in context nga yung bisyo dhail kahit ayaw nating aminin, big deal talaga ang bisyo sa Baclaran..

    Pero I think, ang nagsink in sakin ay yung sa sermon dati ni Kya Nio – Kung ikaw ang templo ng Dios, san mo huling dinala ang templo Niya? o Ano ang huling ginawa mo sa templo Niya?

  14. Exactly. Kaya nga I ended that sermon with a call:

    “Kung tayo ang tunay na templo ng Dios, pangatawanan natin ito.

    Ibig sabihin: lagyan natin ng katawan, ilagay natin ang mga katawan o isunod natin ang ating mga katawan.

    Now, again, bisyo is only context-specific to Baclaran when it comes to having a high regard in our bodies.

    Like I said before, there are other churches which doesn’t corporately struggle with bisyo. So other things would apply when the same context in Corinthians is used. It can either be sexual lust, self-mutilation, excessive desire to look good, and etc.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: