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Old 04-04-2010, 05:19 PM   #105
Avalon Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lunar Base II
Posts: 3,093
Default Re: Red Letter Church

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." Matthew 5:31,32 NIV.

Wow! Strong words! Too strong? Is this one of the hard sayings that Dr. F.F. Bruce wrote about? I think so! This is actually a new covenant teaching which is tougher than the old covenant teaching! The teachings of Jesus have veto power over the Old Testament! The teachings of Jesus have veto power over the New Testament! The teachings of Jesus have veto power over all Christian leaders in all of Christian history! If a Christian leader thinks they have veto power over the teachings of Christ...they are not Christian leaders! They are simply the bland leading the bland!

It is always helpful to look for the underlying principles and concepts, especially if you like being able to see with two eyes! I was wondering...if you took this text literally and your heart was filled with burning desire for the married girl next door, and you gouged your right eye out...what should you do if your heart is still filled with burning desire for the married girl next door?! Thank God Jesus didn't say anything about the left eye!

Seriously! How do we know when to take a text literally, and when to start rationalizing! Use your brain! It should be obvious that Jesus is using the technique of exaggeration to make a point! He is telling us to take sin very seriously, and to understand how destructive sin is if it is followed to its logical, or actually illogical, conclusion! Obviously, Jesus does not want people to gouge their eyes out! But think about it...if an affair with the married girl next door led to lying, jealousy, anger, and even murder...perhaps a missing eye would be the least destructive option!

So...if we see an extremely sexually attractive married member of the opposite sex in a tiny swimsuit with a nice dark tan...what are we supposed to do?! Darned if I know! WWJD? OK...the general rule is to think through who would get hurt, and how badly, if you actually did what you are thinking! This requires more than a simplistic, "what's wrong with it?" It requires reasoning from cause to effect, and asking, "what's right with it?" This requires a lot of effort, and I'm afraid that most of us are moral wimps! Myself included!

Thinking sexual thoughts is a part of life! For those that have a life, that is! If you don't think lustful thoughts, you are probably one screwed-up human being! The secret is to constructively redirect one's thoughts when they become destructive! And be honest about what constructive and destructive thoughts are! Do they teach this sort of thing in school? Are you kidding?!

And what about hell? Is hell still a burning question? If gouging out your eye is not to be taken literally...well hell...maybe hell, especially an eternally burning hell, should not be taken literally either! Hell? No!! And the Devil...well he's a helluva guy (or gal)!
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