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Proverbial characters;- The Wicked Man

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posted on Mar, 15 2019 @ 06:00 PM
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The collector of the Old Testament Proverbs makes his purpose clear from the beginning.
“That men may know wisdom and instruction, understand words of insight” (ch1 v2).
Then he further defines this wisdom as “fear of the Lord” (v7). This phrase, when used in the Bible, means respect and willingness to obey.
I’m studying the different characters of Proverbs, as one way of organising and understanding the teaching.

“Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely” – ch28 v5
The Righteous Man, by definition, fears the Lord.
And the Wicked Man, by definition, does nothing of the kind.

This rejection of God begins in his mind, which takes the value out of his judgement;
“The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the mind of the wicked is of little worth” (ch10 v20).
Obviously this judgement is expressed in his speech, which takes the value out of what he says.
“The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse” (ch10 v32).
“A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire” (ch16 v27).

The effects can be seen in the way that he treats people.
While the righteous man hates falsehood in behaviour, the Wicked Man “acts shamefully and disgracefully” (ch13 v5).
Instead of giving generously, like the righteous man, he “covets all day long” (ch21 v26).
So his intentions cannot be trusted;
“The counsels of the wicked are treacherous” (ch12 v5).
We are then told that “the words of the wicked lie in wait for blood” (ch12 v6) , but I think this may be metaphorical blood. That is, they persuade people to join them in rejecting the wisdom of God, and endanger their lives in that way. For the converse is that “the mouth of the upright delivers men”.
Or again, when the mouth of the wicked “conceals violence”, that is the exact opposite of the “fountain of life” provided by the righteous (ch10 v11).
His wicked persuasions are capable of destroying whole cities;
“By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked”, and that is why “when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness” (ch11 vv10-11).

These people have a natural resentment of the righteous man;
“An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but he whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked” (ch29 v27).
On the other hand, they have a common sympathy amongst themselves;
“Those who forsake the law praise the wicked” (ch28 v4).

However, the Wicked man himself is not acceptable to God.
“God scorns the wicked” (ch14 v9).
The sacrifice of the wicked, and even the thoughts of the wicked, are “an abomination to the Lord” (ch15 v26).
That word “abomination” is significant, because it normally refers to idolatry, the worship of other gods.

Therefore there is no need to be envious of their apparent liberty;
“Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day” (ch23 v17).
We ought not to envy them, because they are filled with unrighteousness;
“Their minds devise violence , and their lips talk of mischief” (ch24 vv1-2).
And we ought not to envy them, because of the fate that awaits them;
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers and do not be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future, and the lamp of the wicked will be put out” (ch24 vv19-20).
The connection between these two reasons is that the behaviour of the wicked leads into a state of sin, which leads to judgement;
“The gain of the wicked leads to sin” (ch10 v16)
“The violence of the wicked will sweep them away because they refuse to do what is just” (ch21 v17).
Most of all, he brings judgement upon himself by attempting to persuade others into the same ways;
The evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips” (ch12 v13).
“He who misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit” (ch28 v10).

Even in the short term, this man’s coveting brings him no substantial benefit;
“A wicked man earns deceptive wages” (ch11 v18).
“Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit”, and the Lord “thwarts the cravings of the wicked” (ch10 vv2-3).
In fact he loses the more genuine rewards which are available to the righteous;
“When wickedness comes, contempt comes also and with dishonour comes disgrace” (ch18 v3).
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot” (ch10 v7).

Even in this world, he is headed for destruction rather than prosperity;
“The wicked flee when no man pursues” (ch28 v1).
“What the wicked dreads will come upon him”(ch10 v24).
“When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more” (ch10 v25).
The strong tower of the wicked comes to ruin (ch12 v12) and the lamp of the wicked will be put out (ch13 v9).

In fact their real destination is death;
“The years of the wicked will be short” (ch10 v27).
“The way of error leads to death” (ch12 v28).
“He who pursues evil will die” (ch11 v19).

And then he will be subject to judgement;
“He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out” (ch10 v9).
“The expectation of the wicked is wrath” (ch11 v23).
“When the wicked dies, his hope perishes, and the expectation of the godless comes to naught” (ch11 v7).

The permanent result of the difference between the wicked and the righteous is that;
“The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land” (ch10 v30).
This is as close as the Old Testament tends to get to the difference between having and not having eternal life.




posted on Mar, 15 2019 @ 06:01 PM
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Threads in the current series will be looking at these characters;
Wisdom
Foolishness
The Righteous Man
The Wicked Man
The Wise Man
The Fool
The Quarreller
The Troublemaker
The Friend
The Son
The King
The Rich Man
The Poor Man
The Sluggard
The Wife

Most of these characters can be paired off against each other.
The Quarreller, the Troublemaker, and perhaps even the Friend, are subcategories of the Fool.
The Father will be brought into the discussion of the Son, just as the Servant will be brought into the discussion of the King.
I may find reason to take the Sluggard and the Wife as another contrasting pair.



posted on Mar, 15 2019 @ 06:12 PM
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Be their fruits shall you know them.



posted on Mar, 15 2019 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko
It won't be "the Tree of Life", anyway.



posted on Mar, 15 2019 @ 06:24 PM
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I was just reading that list of characteristics and thinking about the interplay of modern society when I made that comment. There are some very sharp distinctions that can be drawn that are illustrative of the characteristics outlined.



posted on Mar, 16 2019 @ 02:28 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

People obsessed with evil become evil.



posted on Mar, 16 2019 @ 03:37 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015
This piece was balanced, in advance, by the piece on the Righteous Man (which you know about).
So, following your own logic, I have already become Righteous.



posted on Mar, 16 2019 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

"The collector" you keep using this term as if it was Biblical (which it is not), so where in God's loving word did you find this term? Address please? Chapter, paragraph and verse please.


edit on 3/16/2019 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2019 @ 10:25 PM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn


Proverbs is not merely an anthology but a "collection of collections" relating to a pattern of life which lasted for more than a millennium.[2] It is an example of the Biblical wisdom tradition, and raises questions of values, moral behaviour, the meaning of human life, and right conduct.[3] The repeated theme is that "the fear of God (meaning submission to the will of God) is the beginning of wisdom."[4] Wisdom is praised for her role in creation; God acquired her before all else, and through her he gave order to chaos; and since humans have life and prosperity by conforming to the order of creation, seeking wisdom is the essence and goal of the religious life.[5]
wikipedia: Book_of_Proverbs


1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; -Hebrews 1:1,2 KJV


Note: There is no Prophet Wikipedia. Many people using many different scholarly resources from many disciplines over many years have produced Wikipedia.

Scholars of Biblical Languages and Biblical Literatures have written commentaries about the makeup of Proverbs centuries before Wikipedia.
edit on 16-3-2019 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2019 @ 11:24 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I'd like to commend you for your fortitude


Since I responded to a detractor, thought I should give a shoutout to the host of the thread.

I've come to terms with the fact that most of my ethics, both individual and communal, grow straight from Christianity; the best parts anyway.

My World View also; though I've re-channeled the Heavenly view(spirit) into a co-channel of Earthly view(spirit). The most likely non-Christian Heavenly view/spirit which I hold, while co-equal with the Earthly, is still different from a purely Earthly view/spirit. If that makes sense.

Any way: Your English Christianity and Biblical Theology beats the heck out of what has grown up in the U.S. as far as moral values go. The best U.S. churches, in my opinion, are the ones that Immigrated without much change from the UK and Central/Northern Europe, and perhaps Assyria, and my apologies to the good areas I didn't mention.

Keep up the good work.



posted on Mar, 17 2019 @ 03:12 AM
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originally posted by: ChesterJohn
"The collector" you keep using this term as if it was Biblical (which it is not), so where in God's loving word did you find this term? Address please? Chapter, paragraph and verse please.

This is a trivial objection. I wll show you the word "collector" when you have shown me the word "address". Or, if that is too difficult, try finding the words "chapter" or "verse".



posted on Mar, 17 2019 @ 09:21 AM
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originally posted by: pthena
I've come to terms with the fact that most of my ethics, both individual and communal, grow straight from Christianity; the best parts anyway.

Even as a teenage atheist (my diary confirms) I could not see how atheism offered any rationale motivating individuals into ethical conduct. I was still fairly virtuous in practice, but I put this down to wanting to be liked.

Your English Christianity and Biblical Theology beats the heck out of what has grown up in the U.S. as far as moral values go.

Having an Anglican background certainly gives me several benefits; being able to see merit in a middle way between extremes, not being brought up on the Schofield Bible. Also useful phrases (thank you, Cranmer), like "blessed company of all faithful people" and "outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace".

I know the American churches only at a distance. Half of what I know about American Christianity comes from ATS, which may be an unbalanced perspective. But I think I can guess some of the reasons for the differences.
One is the absence of an "Established Church". That vacuum, together with the sheer size of the population, encourages "every man doing that which is right in his own eyes" and undermines the traditional consensus.
It also opens up the commercial aspect of religion, which is another temptation to novelty and differentation, as people try to establish their "brands".

Besides that, I get the impression in various ways that there is a strong legalistic streak in the American psyche. I remember Charlie Brown falling for one of Lucy's promises because "I've had it notarised". Anything that is written must be sacred in its most literal form. That outlook has prompted several of the sillier conspiracy theories that I've read on ATS. The problem is that legalism has entered into interpretation of the Bible, leading American Christians into reading even the Old Testament as literally as possible.
As far as I can see, the over-literal interpretation of the Old Testament is responsible for Creationism in hostility to the theory of evolution, "the prosperity gospel", Dispensationalism, Christian Zionism, and probably many other things.
That's why one of my projects for the summer is a short series on the true Christian understanding of Old Testament promises like "blessing" and "return to the land".

Thank you for your kind words, though I suspect that Chester John will hold them against me.


edit on 17-3-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2019 @ 10:24 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


I know the American churches only at a distance. Half of what I know about American Christianity comes from ATS, which may be an unbalanced perspective. But I think I can guess some of the reasons for the differences.
One is the absence of an "Established Church". That vacuum, together with the sheer size of the population, encourages "every man doing that which is right in his own eyes" and undermines the traditional consensus.
It also opens up the commercial aspect of religion, which is another temptation to novelty and diffentiation, as people try to establish their "brands".

ATS is probably unbalanced in that the more vocal members are the ones that "have a unique, more profound, take on things". The more traditional don't have any special message to push. Novelty sells.


The Burned-over District refers to the western and central regions of New York State in the early 19th century, where religious revivals and the formation of new religious movements of the Second Great Awakening took place, to such a great extent that spiritual fervor seemed to set the area on fire.
...
The historical study of the phenomena began with Whitney R. Cross, in 1951.[2][3] However, Linda K. Pritchard uses statistical data to show that compared to the rest of New York State, the Ohio River Valley in the lower Midwest, and indeed the country as a whole, the religiosity of the Burned-over District was typical rather than exceptional.

It's hard to describe in abstract terms, so:
When I was in High School in the early 70s, 85% of the student body were some brand of Christian; RCC, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist; those were traditional brands. American brands were: Mormons, Jehovah Witness, Seventh-day Adventist, Southern Baptist, Jesus People, Assembly of God, etc. Proselytizing was viewed pejoratively; considered to be predation of one sect upon another. Traditional Denominations did not practice this uncouth predation, that was what the Americans did, went around converting regular Christians into "enlightened real, true" Christians.

That's part of it. The other part is American tendency to divide into twos like Republican vs Democrat. Binary choices. So Traditional Christians formed an Ecumenical group, National Council of Churches. The Evangelicals formed National Association of Evangelicals (I think this is the one, but I could be confused). Then, there are many non-affiliated groups.

This binary choice actually threatens to split all denominations internally too. Kind of a mess really. That's America!
edit on 17-3-2019 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2019 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


The problem is that legalism has entered into interpretation of the Bible, leading American Christians into reading even the Old Testament as literally as possible.

"the prosperity gospel"

Since I'm already in this thread...

My general impression of the Proverbs, especially the Righteous Man verses, is that there is a sort of Karma expectation presented; that the righteous will prosper in the end. Judgement seems to be a sort of law of nature. A selective and literalist reading would tend to support a prosperity gospel.

I've got no idea when Psalm 73 was written. It would seem that it would fit a time when temple (priesthood) was ascendant as opposed to Royal. In the old days kings would pass judgements. Not karma, but royal judgement. Psalm 73 seems different from both.

1Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2But as for me, my feet were almost gone. My steps had nearly slipped.
3For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4For there are no struggles in their death, but their strength is firm.
5They are free from burdens of men, neither are they plagued like other men.
6Therefore pride is like a chain around their neck. Violence covers them like a garment.
7Their eyes bulge with fat. Their minds pass the limits of conceit.
8They scoff and speak with malice. In arrogance, they threaten oppression.
9They have set their mouth in the heavens. Their tongue walks through the earth.
10Therefore their people return to them, and they drink up waters of abundance.
11They say, "How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12Behold, these are the wicked. Being always at ease, they increase in riches.
13Surely in vain I have cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocence,
14For all day long have I been plagued, and punished every morning.
15If I had said, "I will speak thus;" behold, I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16When I tried to understand this, it was too painful for me;
17Until I entered God's sanctuary, and considered their latter end.
18Surely you set them in slippery places. You throw them down to destruction.
19How they are suddenly destroyed! They are completely swept away with terrors.
20As a dream when one wakes up, so, Lord, when you awake, you will despise their fantasies.
21For my soul was grieved. I was embittered in my heart.
22I was so senseless and ignorant. I was a brute beast before you.
23Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You have held my right hand.
24You will guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
25Who do I have in heaven? There is no one on earth who I desire besides you.
26My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27For, behold, those who are far from you shall perish. You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to you.
28But it is good for me to come close to God. I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. A contemplation by Asaph.

Not only do the wicked prosper, but they have followers "9They have set their mouth in the heavens. Their tongue walks through the earth. 10Therefore their people return to them, and they drink up waters of abundance." Followers who drink up their words.

Here's my random, chaotic MO:
So I looked up Psalms in Wikipedia. The only reference to Psalm 73 was " Psalm 73 (Brueggemann's crux psalm) faces the crisis when divine faithfulness is in doubt". So I did a Google search and came to this article: I (Still) Believe: Walter Brueggemann
That article is sort of a book review for The Prophetic Imagination. Too many good quotes in that article, can't narrow down a favorite.

A note on UCC (United Church of Christ): Could possibly be the most liberal and ecumenical denomination in the U.S. If someone were to mistake me for a Christian it would probably be mistaking me for a UCC type. There are worse things in my opinion.

edit on 17-3-2019 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2019 @ 01:56 PM
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originally posted by: pthena
My general impression of the Proverbs, especially the Righteous Man verses, is that there is a sort of Karma expectation presented; that the righteous will prosper in the end. Judgement seems to be a sort of law of nature. A selective and literalist reading would tend to support a prosperity gospel.

But a non-literalist reading would be asking "What is meant by prosperity?" Or, to be exact, "What is meant by blessing?"
I'm going to be arguing (because I've written the piece already) that God's blessing means "life".
For the Old Testament, life means lots of children, lots of cattle, lots of sheep, lots of goats, lots of camels, lots of grain and grapes and figs, and that's how the Israelite understands prosperity.
For the New Testament, "life" is what comes via Christ, that is the Holy Sprit and the resurrection. So the prosperous Christian would be the one who has received the Holy Spirit in full measure.


Not only do the wicked prosper, but they have followers "9They have set their mouth in the heavens. Their tongue walks through the earth. 10Therefore their people return to them, and they drink up waters of abundance." Followers who drink up their words.

But from v17 onwards, as you quoted, they are "in slippery places". So this matches up with the teaching of Proverbs;
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers and do not be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future, and the lamp of the wicked will be put out” (ch24 vv19-20).



posted on Mar, 17 2019 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


For the Old Testament, life means lots of children, lots of cattle, lots of sheep, lots of goats, lots of camels, lots of grain and grapes and figs, and that's how the Israelite understands prosperity.
For the New Testament, "life" is what comes via Christ, that is the Holy Sprit and the resurrection. So the prosperous Christian would be the one who has received the Holy Spirit in full measure.

Let's say that one of the most important ethical lessons that I learned from the Jesus of the Gospels is that Teachers and Experts in the Law should not conduct themselves like Actors ( Hypocrites ). I don't think that Jesus was indicting actors for being actors but rather the Teachers.

Actors in those days wore masks. All they had to do was know their lines and put on the mask, no melodramatic display of emotions. If anything, in these modern days in which actors must work up a certain emotional state in order to act out dramatically without benefit of masks, the condemnation against hypocrite teachers is greatly increased.

When I was young the concept of resurrection was something like waking up from sleep and knowing that I am still myself; self aware continuity of being. I'm of the opinion that that view is common in Western thinking. It seems that even Westerners who talk about reincarnation have that notion tucked away in their minds somewhere, while speaking words from a script.

No god or spirit ever taught me any notion of personal eternal life or personal resurrection. Those were only words.

So one Sunday morning I was preaching a sermon to the congregation that featured eternal life. The thought crossed my mind "wait, do I even believe what I'm saying? Do I feel that it is real in my soul?" then the counter thought "But important lessons can be conveyed nonetheless." I think that's what is known as crisis of faith.

I don't feel like telling the whole story, but it involved an incipient split in the congregation over my teaching. I fled.

So whatever spirit I had before, as a Christian, I seem to still have. It doesn't promise me anything like personal immortality or personal resurrection. Yet, I feel no condemnation for acting charitable to my fellow man.
==================

So there you go. Good thing this is in the wicked man thread.



posted on Mar, 18 2019 @ 06:18 AM
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a reply to: pthena
My early drift into atheism was made official in the middle of someone else's sermon. It was "Midnight Mass" on Christmas Eve, which makes it worse. The preacher was talking in a very unctuous voice about "the little baby Jesus", as if he were addressing a group of children. Since I was seventeen at the time, this did not appeal to me. "I don't believe in this stuff...", I thought. And that was it, for a couple of years.
But this is encroaching on the theme of the Scoffer, who gets his own half-topic on another occasion.



posted on Mar, 18 2019 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I assume that you were confirmed before that; had your first communion.


Also useful phrases (thank you, Cranmer), like "blessed company of all faithful people" and "outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace".

Reformed terminology, and quite true. Caused me some difficulty before confirmation in the Lutheran Church, but I didn't lie, and they let it slide.

Never having been an Anglican, I didn't know much about Richard Hooker.

Because of the various theological movements which have influenced Anglicanism throughout history, there is no one sacramental theory accepted by all Anglicans. Early Anglican theologians, such as Thomas Cranmer and Richard Hooker, held to a sacramental theology similar to John Calvin. Cranmer's belief was substantially Calvinist, receptionism and virtualism, as shown by Peter Brooks in 1965. Hooker's was a more nuanced combination of receptionism and real presence but agnostic as to what the elements were in themselves but insistent that "the sacrament is a true and a real participation of Christ, who thereby imparteth himself even in his whole entire Person as a Mystical Head..." He brushes aside transubstantiation and consubstantiation and urges people to meditate in silence and less to dispute the manner 'how.' The views were congenial for centuries to the majority of Anglicans.
wikipedia: Anglican_eucharistic_theology#Varieties_of_eucharistic_theology

Later, as an Adult Sunday School teacher, teaching on the Eucharist, I took the same approach as Hooker. That was because it was in Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a very ecumenical group. Similar conditions, same reasoning, same purpose.

When it comes to Eucharist, no scoffing from me.

edit on 18-3-2019 by pthena because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-3-2019 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2019 @ 02:55 PM
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originally posted by: pthena
I assume that you were confirmed before that; had your first communion.

Yes, as it happens. Though I had been brought up in a parish at the "high" or "Anglo-Catholic" end of the church. Therefore when I did get into the "adolescent rebellion" stage, it was the Catholic version of Christianity that I was rebelling against rather than the Evangelical.
I had to work out the evangelical version of teachings for myself after conversion. On ATS, as in the recent "church unity" thread, I tend to evade the technical side of the eucharist question. E.g.

On the one hand, it is ”the table of the Lord”, the meal in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, as on the night before the crucifixion.
On the other hand, it is also the meal of corporate fellowship, or KOINONIA.
The central features of the Supper, the cup of the blessing and the bread, bring about a KOINONIA in the body and blood of Christ.
Fortunately, there is no need for us to get into the heated controversies about how this works, though my own preference is to understand Christ as present through the Holy Spirit.


I used to have a copy of Hooker, but it was second-hand and eventually fell apart.



posted on Mar, 18 2019 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

Some people fight to maintain the blue.
Others fight to maintain the purple.
How 'bout not fight and do the red;
that's rather plain, clear, and beyond misunderstanding.

The blue and the purple are still there whether we mentally grasp it completely or not.

KOINONIA: The life is in the bread and wine. The congregation receives the life all together. That is communion.
---------------------------------
That's the way I used to teach.
edit on 18-3-2019 by pthena because: (no reason given)




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