Monday, February 26, 2007

Warnings from Israel's History

Here at the Round Table, we have shown a propensity to discuss current affairs in light of their historical, as well as biblical, context. This passage from our brother in Christ, the Apostle Paul, is especially edifying because it identifies for us that he too looked backward to see forward.

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13


There is a lot of grumbling going on in our world today, and a lot of it by (well-meaning?) Christians. Even more so, we are listening to and adopting the grumbling of non-believers, and in so doing are courting the Midianite woman. The Humble Apostle reminds us that Our Lord Jesus was, is, and will be the fulfillment of the ages...can we grumble against the times and honor Him at the same time?

Sir Chuck, the Guilty Grumbler

5 comments:

  1. I suppose we can; just as we can commit other sins and be forgiven. However we do not have a priveledge to grumble.
    We must understand what it means to grumble. Many times I have heard people spouting off faddish discontent about subjects they obviously had no knowledge of whatsoever, in a manner which served no purpose except to draw attention to themselves and annoy others. That would certainly be grumbling. At the other end of the extreme is those times when it does serve a purpose. In our society we are all given the right to act as the State's councilours-effectively to take on the role of Nathan the Prophet(in a non-supernatural sense of cource). And sometimes that can actually be done constructively. However that priviledge is often misused and does create a residue of discontent. There is a difference between complaint and rebuke. How does one find the difference? First is it within one's authority-arguably the nature of being a citizen makes that so but it is wise to be more careful still. Second is your desire good? Do you really desire that good come of the "rebuke"? Third are you doing so humbly?
    The second is harder then it seems. Many who grumble are obviously trying to placate their own self-righteousness by condemning others. Self-righteousness is a universal fault and is not only to be found in scribes and pharisees and teachers of the law. I am not tempted to that type of self-righteousnes; but only because I am to cynical to think myself a fine little person("I thank thee oh Lord that Jason is not like other men are..."). I can however be tempted to despise the faults of others and look on them with contempt(Jews are grouchy and paranoid, Evangelicals are ignorant boors, Muslims are barbaric, Buddhists are weird, Hindus are idolatrous and "icky", Unitarians are wussy and Atheists are unholy jerks-have I left anyone out?). That of course is classifying them as publicans and sinners. Which does not mean that they are not publicans and sinners but that focusing on that is not right. And yes I am a Know-it-all; before any of the above mentioned groups wants to shoot back. And I probably have some sin which is even worse then being a know-it-all.
    But evil is decay and the only reason to focus on decay is for the purpose of removeing it. Just as when we look at a mansion we don't ask the tour-guide to show us where all the magnificiant dry-rot is.
    If there is no purpose we should think about evil as little as possible. If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things...

    Sir Jason

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  2. Many times I have heard people spouting off faddish discontent about subjects they obviously had no knowledge of whatsoever, in a manner which served no purpose except to draw attention to themselves and annoy others.
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    You know that sounds remarkably like I was grumbling about other people grumbling. Most interestning, No?

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  3. Third are you doing so humbly?
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    That may be my greatest fault. I am not proud in other areas because I am simply not built that way. But I tend to bridle whenever anyone says "Because I said so". If I want to flatter myself I can say it is because I have an instinctive demand for justice. But everyone has that and in any case even such good qualities can be used to make one stumble. The Scribes and Pharisees and Teachers of the Law were most well read in scripture.

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  4. Jews are grouchy and paranoid, Evangelicals are ignorant boors, Muslims are barbaric, Buddhists are weird, Hindus are idolatrous and "icky", Unitarians are wussy and Atheists are unholy jerks-
    ____________________________
    On the other hand Jews take care of each other most well, work hard and have a fine warlike spirit; Evangelicals are zealous for the faith
    Muslims have a great pioneering history
    Buddhists are gentle and civilized
    And atheists are unyeilding in there pursuit of truth even when it paradoxically leads them into a most gloomy error.
    Unitarians at least, are seldom all that bad.
    I can't think of anything to praise about Hindus though-except the Ghurkas are most admireable soldiers.

    There I got all my prejudices in order

    Sir Jason the Cynic

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  5. Good job, Sir Jason, and good points all.

    :-)

    Sir C

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