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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Another Angle on Outsiders

due to ongoing problems with global warming we continue to experience regular snow and ice storms as well as temperatures some twenty degrees below normal. I am snowed in today, my classes and a Memorial service cancelled...

"All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law."

For most of us, today, this makes sense. It seems reasonable that God would hold people to a standard which is fair.

Now judging God is not a good idea, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are creatures. There are limits to what we understand. I regularly encounter the limits of my knowledge and understanding. The temporal perspective is always different from the eternal. 

On the other hand, this mind is all I have to figure out what God is revealing. In the end, I cannot have an eternal, all encompassing perspective. So I try to be humble in asserting what I can know.

Gentiles who do what they are supposed to do "by nature" will be okay with God (it seems to say). Now let's be clear, there are lots of other Scripture passages to support folks hungry to deny heaven's door to any but the "(s)elect(ed)." I am not doing a fully developed Biblical theology here---that takes a book. But I do think it worth while to ponder that Paul says, "according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Jesus Christ" in reference to the consciences of "Gentiles."

Whatever else it means, it is clear that JESUS is the Judge (something the Gospel of John has mentioned this week as well). I am not always clear exactly what Paul thinks, but it gives me peace to know God desires to save everyone and that God apparently is just and fair (in my limited understanding of it). Perhaps, however, the verse more important for Christians (especially the ones who think they have replaced the Jews as the Chosen People!) is the final verse we read today (2:24).

For as it is written, "The Name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." Hard words of judgment for Christians who think being saved is merely a personal affair. God apparently has a mission minded approach to the world. We need to set a good example. He cares about that. Always.     

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