SSB Gathering – February 21, 2016

Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

spring blooms

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Luke 6: 17-36

He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who ask you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Psalm 140:12

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.

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May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

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Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

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photo credit: Kathi – Narcissus blooms in February!

10 comments on “SSB Gathering – February 21, 2016

  1. I thought the lyrics to the Gungor song were really good:

    Rejoice all you who are poor
    The kingdom is yours
    The kingdom is yours
    Rejoice you jaded and torn
    Both sinner and saint
    The kingdom is yours

    Woe to you religious teachers
    Rich and worshiping your book
    Woe to you who use His name to justify the souls you took

    Wake up, wake up
    Oh sleeper from the dead
    Wake up
    Rejoice you lonely and lost
    You sick and despised
    All will be made right
    Rejoice you cynics and freaks

    Those searching for peace
    All will be made right

    Even you religious teachers
    Separating us from them
    Heaven’s found inside us all
    So turn and come alive again

    Wake up…

    Awaken us, awaken us
    Open our eyes and wake us
    Awaken us, awaken us
    Open our eyes and wake us
    Let your church now wake up

    Like

  2. Kathi

    Thanks for the lyrics to the Gungor song… Yes – they are really good words.

    I tried listening earlier…

    But the music, the strange sounds, the strange beat… 😦
    Turned me off – and I turned it off… 😉

    But the words, wonderful…

    Thanks

    Like

  3. I’d like to point out that this passage describes an ideal to which we are all meant to aspire. In point of fact, however, it is precisely this approach of bending over backwards for unpleasant people that has allowed con artists like Bill Gothard and Doug Wilson to survive and thrive. They are all too aware of Christ’s directive here and they use it to browbeat people with “True Christian” guilt in order to get what they want.

    I would argue that this passage applies specifically to “enemies” with whom one is witnessing to, or trying to reconcile with, or make amends with. This passage does not apply to false teachers, because a false teacher is not an open “enemy.” A false teacher is a fake friend who will gut you like a fish when your back is turned. Jess is very clear about dealing with false teachers elsewhere, and he is not charitable about it.

    Feel free to disagree with me if you want, but this scripture has troubled me my whole life, and this is a distinction that I believe has to be made.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dash – I would agree with you that this does not apply to false teachers. And, I fully understand how these verses are twisted around to support false teachers.

    I would imagine that Jesus’ teachings re: enemies targets Roman rule. What he is describing as turning the other cheek, blessing a curse and giving a tunic would definitely stand out as being a different way to respond to treatment by the Roman authority. Jesus definitely calls out Roman authority to not extort their power of control over others, or tax collectors to not take more than required. On the other hand, he calls out Jewish religious authority to not place heavy religious laws on people.

    So you know, I’m simply going through the book of Luke on Sunday’s posts. There are days where I write it up and I think, “Oh, I don’t like how that sounds.” I know what so many of us have been told to do in order to live a Christian life. Twisting of scripture is horrible spiritual abuse. And, I’m glad that people are willing to question, have doubts, or are rethinking what they’ve always been led to believe. Thanks for being willing to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The words to this song are very good but one part gives me pause- what does he mean in this phrase “rich and worshiping your book”? Is he referring to the Bible? Because the Bible being freely accessed by us all is our freedom and equality in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Shy 1 – Yes, I think the song is inferring the Bible. There are many church leaders who are very much into law at any cost.

    Matthew 23: 1-4:

    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and pt them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for your response, Kathi. This is a new thought to me to think of the Bible as law or as something unpleasant. I wonder if it is actually those who are wrongly manipulating the Bible that the writer has in mind. We each have the freedom to read the Bible ourselves and come to our own conclusions as to the meaning and intent and in this way we are free from those who want to act as intermediaries and tell us what [they think] God wants us to know.

    I came from an abusive church that first began to denigrate the Bible, calling it a ‘dusty old book’ and inferring that it was a burden to us, a relic from a past age. Then, they introduced the idea that there are new apostles that “hear from God” and we started hearing “prophecies” instead of reading the Bible. The prophecies turned out to be way more controlling and negative than the Bible. The prophecies were often blanket indictments of our personal motives and shortcomings. Boy did it go downhill and get unhealthy.

    Anyway, I hope my question is not disruptive or disrespectful here, I don’t want to be a thorn in anyone else’s worship. I can imagine how some would see it this way if the Bible has been misused in their lives. It makes me sad to think of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Shy1 – Your questions are not disruptive or disrespectful at all. I think that asking questions about the Bible is good and healthy. Plus, we can always learn from each other! It is great that we are able to have access to the Bible, read it and come to our own conclusions. Think of the many years due to lack of education or religious authority where people were not able to read the Bible on their own.

    We all come from different experiences, and yours was certainly unique in that the Bible was set aside for preference of prophecy. Matthew 23 continues on with many more “woes” toward teachers who misuse authority and God’s word.

    Liked by 1 person

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