Purity is Backwards. (Joseph)

Joseph was in a line of several men* who slept with their slaves.  In a great reversal, Joseph became a slave who didn’t sleep with his mistress.

*Abraham with Hagar, Jacob with Bilhah and Zilpah.

Re-discovering Temple Prostitution…

In a devastating piece of satire, one author puts common arguments for the allowance of certain once-banned “sins” by the Church to bat for another ancient practice…

Helpful Reminder from Uncle Screwtape…

My wife and I have been listening to the newly released audio drama of CS Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”–it’s very well done and enjoyable.  Below is an important thought I heard last night.  For those who haven’t read this great book, Lewis creatively uses a fictional demon named Screwtape to mentor his young nephew Wormwood in the art of temptation, and therefore provides round-about advice for Christians.

(from Chapter 25…)

Screwtape says…

“But the greatest triumph of all is to elevate this horror of the Same Old Thing into a philosophy so that non-sense in the intellect may reinforce corruption in the will.  It is here that the general Evolutionary or Historical character of modern European thought (partly our work) comes in so useful.  The Enemy loves platitudes.  Of a proposed course of action He wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions; is it righteous? is it prudent? is it possible? Now if we can keep men asking ‘Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time? Is it progressive or reactionary? Is this the way that History is going?’ they will neglect the relevant (emphasis mine) questions.  And the questions they do ask are, of course, unanswerable; for they do not know the future, and what the future will be depends laragely on just those choices whcih they now invoke the future to help them to make.  As a result, while their minds are buzzing in this vacuum, we have the better chance to slip in and bend them to the action we have decided on.”

An Elder Brother’s Elder Brother…

Yesterday our pastor preached on the second half of the “Prodigal Son” story in connection with Thanksgiving this week.  Elder brothers are no fun.  Elder brothers are so disconnected from the heart of the Father they end up killing him out of jealousy.  Elder brothers don’t bother trying to rescue their younger brother, a true sign of love for the Father.  They complain when younger brothers get juice on the carpet or turn up the music too loud.  They complain when their preferences are infringed upon by kingdom work.  They just don’t get it.

I really can’t stand elder brother-types.  I wish they understood the heart of Jesus as well as I do or were as willing to sacrifice as I.  I’m really glad to see Jesus taking this parable and turning it into their heart…serves them right.  They deserve to be left out of the party.  The rest of us can have a great time because we loved Jesus rightly and they didn’t.  There’s a sweet satisfaction in seeing the self-righteous get their due comeuppance.

I’m just glad that their pride and self-approving judgments hasn’t brushed off on me…