I haven’t quite finished the latest installment of the novel, but hope to post that later today.
In the meantime, since it’s been a couple days since the last post, let me keep forging on in the spiritual vein, and since I just had something from Second Timothy the other day, let me stay in that book, and that same general part of the book, in fact, with a little wisdom from chapter 2, verses 24-26.
Here’s the NIV translation of it for you:
And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Now, this was a letter from Paul to Timothy. People often accuse Paul of being a hard-ass and a jerk based on some of his writings. And yet, what does he preach here for people leading the church and spreading the gospel? Kindness, gentleness, patience.
Which makes me boggle all the more at Christian groups and right-wing fundamentalist pundits who keep trying to bully people into lockstepping with their beliefs and who try to twist the legislative and even consitutional system into their tools for exerting specific doctrine on people who don’t share their beliefs.
Seems to me that religious leaders, or political leaders who use religion as their battering ram, are acting outside of the scripture they claim to hold dear when they strive with others to impose religious views on people in areas like same-sex marriage, divorce laws, abortion, end-of-life issues, sexual relations and various everyday vices.
In other words, they’re not simply annoying and bullying, they’re scripturally wrong.