April 17, 2016: The Apostle Paul was wrong. Flesh is good.

Posted on : Apr 14th, 2016 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

The Apostle Paul was wrong. Flesh is good. The byproduct of Christianity stealing Jesus’ identity and authenticity, then stripping him of his humanness is that “flesh” got a bad rap. The Apostle Paul is the one who is most guilty of this. He is the one who split body and spirit into two opposing entities. Body (flesh) became sinful and spirit became exalted and the place of the holy. Thus began a long history of Christianity embracing an anti- “things of flesh” and anti-sex value system.   There is one glaring problem with this and that is that the teachings of Jesus are not anti-flesh and anti-body. Jesus was very much “flesh.” “Body.” John describes Jesus as “The WORD made flesh.” This Sunday’s resurrection story is very much “flesh” based. Thomas isn’t about to believe the disciples’ testimony that they saw the risen Jesus without first touching Jesus. Thomas says, “I’ll never believe it without putting my finger in the nail marks and my hand into the spear wound.”

Sounds pretty body-centric to me. A little gory, but very fleshy.

For me, the resurrection is about God raising up and transforming our whole selves – our body, mind, and spirit/soul. Part of us is not redeemed and another part left sinful. We’re fully redeemed and all good – including sex. In my thinking and believing, Paul was wrong. Dead wrong. Flesh is good. Want proof?   Read this story:

A priest and a rabbi were sitting in adjacent seats on an airplane.

After a while the priest turned to the rabbi and asked, “Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork?”

The rabbi responded, “Yes, that is still one of our laws.”

The priest then asked, “Have you ever eaten pork?”

“Yes, on one occasion I did succumb to temptation and ate a bacon sandwich.”

The priest nodded in understanding and went on with his reading.

A while later the rabbi spoke up and asked, “Father, is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?”

The priest replied, “Yes, that is still very much a part of our faith.”

The rabbi then asked him, “Father, have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?”

The priest replied, “Yes, Rabbi, on one occasion I was weak and broke the pledge of my faith.”

The rabbi nodded understandingly and remained silent for several minutes.

Finally the rabbi quietly observed, “beats the hell out of a bacon sandwich doesn’t it?”

More on Sunday!

Easter Blessings to You as we seek to become more spiritually alive this Easter,

Dan

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

 John 20: 19-31

(from The Inclusive Bible)

The Risen Christ appears to the disciples and then to Thomas

In the evening of that same day [the day that Mary Magdalene, Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved reported finding the body of Jesus missing from the tomb, on that] first day of the week, the doors were locked in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Temple authorities.

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Having said this, the savior showed them the marks of crucifixion.

The disciples were filled with joy when they saw Jesus, who said to them again, “Peace be with you. As God sent me, so I’m sending you.”

After saying this, Jesus breathed on them and said,

“Receive the Holy Spirit.

If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven.

If you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”

It happened that one of the Twelve, Thomas – nicknamed “the Twin” – was absent when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him, “We’ve seen Jesus!”

Thomas’ answer was, “I’ll never believe it without putting my finger in the nail marks and my hand into the spear wound.”

On the eighth day, the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them, saying, “Peace be with you.”

Then, to Thomas, Jesus said, “Take your finger and examine my hands. Put your hand into my side. Don’t persist in your unbelief, but believe!”

Thomas said in response, “My savior and my God!”

Jesus then said,

“You’ve become a believer because you saw me.

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus performed many other signs as well – signs not recorded here – in the presence of the disciples. But these have been recorded to help you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Only Begotten, so that by believing you may have life in Jesus’ Name.

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