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Friday, May 3, 2013

Cultural Realities

Thursday I met with five men with whom I have been studying Ephesians.  We are working through chapter 3.  One of my observations on 3:1 was that Paul’s statement was counter intuitive.  If I were Paul I would have written something like. “Rome threw me in prison for preaching the gospel, please pray for me or come bail me out.”  Probably why I was not asked to write any epistles…
It is the case that our cultural experience colors how we understand the Scripture...
But look at what Paul does say.  He is not Rome’s prisoner, he is Christ’s prisoner.  Further he says that his imprisonment is for the sake, or benefit of the gentiles.  What?  Again it would seem more of a benefit to the gentiles if Paul was out of the hoosegow sharing his faith.  This is certainly not how I would do things if I were God…  But thankfully I am not.

This morning I met on Skype with the Moroccan pastor.  We are also studying Ephesians together and also on chapter 3.  I shared with him my observations on verse 1.  His response floored me.  He said:
“Oh yes.  We see that all the time.  When someone is arrested for being a Christian, the papers print it.  All sorts of people wonder why they were arrested and begin asking questions about Christianity.  They seek out members of the underground Church to find out more about Christianity and Christ.”
It is interesting to me the different reaction to Ephesians 3:1 from Thursday to Friday.  Thursday was puzzled, Friday is living the passage.  Makes one yearn for persecution.

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