Saturday, October 15, 2011

Paul's Example

Restored post, with comments
Saturday, October 15, 2011

Last Sunday, we studied Acts (New Testament). This experience of Paul struck me.

AND Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. Acts 23:1-5

This priest said to someone, "Slap this man on the mouth." Paul, in essence, swore at the priest, and stood up to him. Someone then asked, "You're reviling the leader of God's church?" Then Paul backtracked, saying he didn't realize the man was the head (1) of God's church, and quoted, "Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people."

There's another scripture that is similar to this.

THEN spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Matthew 23:1-4

Anyway, this man who Paul cussed at was a man who had a hand in killing Jesus, the Only Begotten in the flesh. If anyone deserved censure, he did, yet Paul backtracked. He was obedient to the injunction not to speak evil of the ruler of the people. I would take this to mean the spiritual leaders. Seriously, how many of us would react like Paul - or would we keep cussing at the leader?

I hear/read about people looking for fault in our religious leaders. I think there's a fine line between recognizing that they are not infallible and finding fault with them. If we are looking to make a man an offender for a word, what is going to happen to us? We are judged, you know, by how we judge others. If we make others offenders for the use of a word we disapprove of, what's going to happen to us because of all of the words we have used that were not so great? We really are judged at the end by how we judge others. Think about it. Think long and hard. Would you really like to be the recipient of the harsh judgments you put on others? I wouldn't. I am doing all I can to be judged kindly when the day of judgment comes for me.


(1) I used the word "head" on purpose. The head of any religious organization ought to be God, but often the mortal leaders are considered the bosses/the "head".


Jeremy said... [Note from moderator: This was a message sent to L'Jn's google+ account. It was so good, L'Jn wanted it here, and got permission from the original writer. Unfortunately, the "bold" didn't transfer, so the words between the asterisks are what were once bolded.]

Is there a double standard in this scripture? (bolded)

1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
*3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.*
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

If I understand from the post on L'jn's Voice we are to respect the leaders but not do as they do. Is that what the scripture is saying? I find this very confusing.

When the leaders are clearly in the wrong such as having a hand in the death of the Only Begotten they are still to be deferred to and given honor and respect?

So being a spiritual leader means you can get away with murder. Interesting. October 16, 2011 3:31 PM
L'Jn said... [My reply] It does sound like it, doesn't it? Only, they'll have to answer to God someday or, rather, they'll have to deal with their own horrified consciences.

It seems like passivity to the max. Of course, we could fall back on, "Maybe it isn't translated correctly." But what if it is? My understanding is that we need to be willing to take a lot of crap from others without fighting back, and without denying Christ. We need to be respectful.

Still, the bottom line with this, and with everything else, is to follow the Spirit. I expect there are times when the Spirit says not to lay down and let people walk all over you.

Perhaps we would be warned to flee. Perhaps we would be given the power to win with the sword (figure of speech). Perhaps we would be given words which would silence our enemies. Perhaps we would simply be given strength to endure our burdens. There are examples of all of those in the Book of Mormon (with the sword thing being literal).

I think the important thing is that we are gods in training. Can you imagine what would happen if God took offense as easily as we do? A God/god could do an awful lot of damage in a fit of anger. So, we get the opportunity here to learn to have the patience of a God with certain people and circumstances. October 16, 2011 3:34 PM 
L'Jn said... If anyone reading this has some insight to add on these scriptures, as well as on Jeremy's comments, please add your comments. Remember that it's very difficult to add comments to a blogspot post unless your 3rd party cookies are enabled, or you are signed in to your google account.
October 16, 2011 3:37 PM

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