Friday, September 6, 2019

UPDATED: I'm Amazed ... At These Modernist Times

Some of you may have heard that there's going to be a Synod soon in the Amazon. In that regard I was reading last night from an ancient letter that seemed pertinent:

6 I'm amazed that you're so quick to desert the One Who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.[1] 7 There is no other good news,[2] of course, but there are some who are disturbing you and trying to distort the good news of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim a gospel contrary to the good news we proclaimed to you, let them be accursed! 9 As we said before and now repeat, if anyone proclaims a gospel contrary to what you received from us, let him be accursed! 
1 'I'm amazed...' marks an even more drastic departure from the usual epistolary format, for in place of the usual thanksgiving Paul gets right down to business, without any attempt to hide his concern.
2 Or, 'There is no other gospel.'

And there are some who chose to see this pop song as a sort of parable for these modernist times:

UPDATE: From the second chapter of that ancient letter--also seems strangely relevant:

5 We didn't give in to them for a moment, so the truth of the gospel would be preserved for you.[1] 6 Those who were regarded as important--who they once were makes no difference to me; God pays no attention to a man's status[2]--those who were held in high regard had nothing further to add for me. ... 
11 But when Kephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly wrong. 12 For before certain men came from James, Kephas would eat in company with the Gentiles, but when they came he began to draw back and hold himself aloof because he was afraid of those who favored circumcision.[5] 13 The rest of the Jews also joined in the hypocrisy--even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their actions were inconsistent with[6] the truth of the gospel I told Kephas in front of them all, "If you, a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?" 
1 While Paul constantly preaches respect for the consciences of others, he will not compromise on a matter of principle--to compromise 'the truth of the gospel' is not true charity.
2 Lit., 'God doesn't regard the face of a man,' i.e., a man's status in human terms.
3 Kephas; 'Peter' in Aramaic.
4 The poor.' The Jerusalem church. Paul was eager for his Gentile converts to contribute to the Jerusalem church as a sign of the unity between Jew and Gentile which Christ had brought. 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans contain numerous references to the collection Paul took up among his new churches.
5 For a Jew to eat with Gentiles was to become ritually impure, since Gentiles were considered 'unclean.'
6 Perhaps more literally, 'were not in step with.'


  1. Just so you know, I love it when you refer to Scripture. Galations wonderful Book.
    Plz keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks. FYI, this is my own translation. It revises in some respects the previous one.

  2. BTW, and inter alia, I thought the Bastille Pompeii video was fantastic...and very thought-provoking. Thanks for calling it to our attention, Mark.

    1. Tx. I picked it up from Steve Skojec at 1Peter5. It does capture, quite evocatively, the experience so many are going through and the wish to deny it.