Friday, May 25, 2007

"Where do you get off ...????"

I get lots of emails that start that way ... "Where do you get off ....????" (or a variation thereof) and I may do another "Mail Bag" blog one of these days and we can look at some of them together ... but for the moment (given it IS Memorial Day Weekend and I'm trying to have a life here!) here's an easy answer to those asking a variation of the question: "Where do you get off saying Jesus' "invitation list" is about what we do in the world rather than what we believe in our hearts?"

And the answer is ....
.

Matthew 25: 31-45



31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.


34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'


44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

19 comments:

David said...

(parody ON)

Why this is just a load of politically correct bunk! You guys and your MDGs, you're playin' right into the hands of the UN! Next thing you know, they'll swoop down in their black helicopters and take away our freedoms!

(parody OFF)

:shakes head:

Oh, sorry - musta had too much of that cold medicine... ;)

Gerti said...

Way to go, Susan. Who said Episcopalians can't quote Scripture to prove a point?

Kirstin said...

Yep!

David Ould said...

Susan,

do you believe that those who don't fulfil these requirements will be cursed and sent into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels?

Susan Russell said...

david ... I believe in a God whose quality is always to show mercy and so I leave the judgment to Her.

Your mileage may vary.

David Ould said...

I see,

so you're dogmatic about the bit of Jesus' speech that you're happy with and the other bit, well, it doesn't fit your theology.

Why quote Jesus in the first place if you're going to be selective about which parts of His word you accept?

That's a serious question. You quote Jesus as authoritative but when He says something else in the very next breath you dance around it.

Susan Russell said...

david ... why quote Jesus? Because he's my Lord and Savior and I strive to follow him all the days of my life.

... and in the end I think we're all selective literalists ... some of us are just honest about it.

Again, your mileage may vary.

David Ould said...

thanks Susan. The clarity is refreshing.

Now, I wonder if you could lay out your method by which you select one thing that Jesus says but then reject another? In particular how do you go about this method of selection when the two pieces between which you select are part of the same saying?

Bill Carroll said...

I'm surprised that two days before Pentecost, the fiftieth of fifty days of Easter, Susan needs to remind us all that Jesus is alive and that he gave us his Spirit to lead us into all Truth.

Bill Carroll said...

What Jesus left us was a collection of self-contradictory stories, which nonetheless as a whole consistently make some pretty strong points about justice and inclusion, and some simple sacraments which point us in the direction of egalitarian relationships.

David Ould said...

out of interest,

you call Jesus your "savior". (I'll forgive the spelling - it seems your entire continent drop the u!)

What do you understand Jesus has saved you from?

Susan Russell said...

bill and gerti ... thanks

david ... "Now, I wonder if you could lay out your method ..." ???? I'm wondering if maybe you've gotten blog comments confused with cross-examination!

Honest to Pete ... you know and I know whatever my "methodology" is it isn't going to fly because if I don't mean the same thing you mean when I say "Lord and Savior" it doesn't count because you have the absolute truth as received by the apostles through the ages and I don't.

As for the "Jesus Saves" part I'm deeply hurt you didn't read, mark, learn and inwardly digest my sermon on that precise topic posted to this blog back in February.

Not to late to check it out at:

http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/2007/02/jesus-saves.html

Have a great weekend!

David Ould said...

Honest to Pete ... you know and I know whatever my "methodology" is it isn't going to fly because if I don't mean the same thing you mean when I say "Lord and Savior" it doesn't count because you have the absolute truth as received by the apostles through the ages and I don't.
Thanks for this. But I wasn't looking for an endorsement or otherwise or a particular position, I was simply trying to understand on what basis you decide what is or isn't authoritative.

Again, can I ask - when you have a single "saying" of Jesus, on what basis do you determine which part of that saying to accept and which to reject? What are your criteria for the decision?

David Ould said...

david ... "Now, I wonder if you could lay out your method ..." ???? I'm wondering if maybe you've gotten blog comments confused with cross-examination!

no, not at all! (at least that's not the intention). I understand blogs to be an invitation to conversation.

One lays out one's thinking on a subject and, by virtue of inviting comments, asks for a dialogue on the subject. All I'm doing is seeking to delve deeper into a subject concerning which you've initially put out your thoughts and interpretation into the public domain.

uffda 51 said...

I've always wanted to ask a conservative, when looking at the admonitions in, say, Leviticus, on what basis do they determine which admonitions to accept and which to reject? What are their criteria for the decision?

Well said, Bill Carroll.

David Ould said...

I've always wanted to ask a conservative, when looking at the admonitions in, say, Leviticus, on what basis do they determine which admonitions to accept and which to reject? What are their criteria for the decision?

Seriously? I mean, have you never been exposed to a conservative explanation of these things? I find that hard to believe.

What do you imagine their answer would be?

David said...

David Ould asked "What do you imagine their answer would be?"

If they were honest, you mean ? ;->

Something on the order of, "I still abide by the Biblical admonitions that don't affect me personally."

So bring on the shrimp, the bacon, the usury (gotta have returns on those investments!), the divorce, the "preemptive war",.... But gays, liberals, and uppity women ?!? Simply beyond the pale!

David Ould said...

Something on the order of, "I still abide by the Biblical admonitions that don't affect me personally."
This honestly staggers me! Isn't there meant to be a listening process going on? How can we claim such a thing if people are not paying attention to even the most basic arguments?

As a first start I would point readers to the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. What particular hermeneutic do they see there?
Also Anglicans, since that's what we are, are surely familiar with Article VII?

What I mean to say is that it's quite incredible that even the most basic arguments of the conservatives aren't known. It can't be because we don't articulate them because they're constantly articulated.

Is it, dare I suggest it, because there's not really that much listening going on?

Anonymous said...

Actually, David, people did hear what the Articles said. And they found them quite uncomfortable and at odds with their world(ly) view. So when the latest BCP was created they got the Articles of Religion, which had been crafted as a central exposition of what Anglicanism was all about and relegated them to the back of the BCP as "Historical Documents".

RonF