Friday, February 08, 2008

Thanks For Your Answers!

Thanks to the thirteen persons who took time to answer the questions posted below, and to the hundreds who came by and read the questions.

I posed these questions because we are exploring the idea of the faith entrusted to the saints here at Parroquia San Cristóbal during Lent. On Fridays during Lent, I usually lead a bible study or give a talk about a subject of interest. In the past we have looked at the rites in the Book of Common Prayer, we have explored different styles of prayer, we have studied Early Christian spirituality, for examples. Last year we discussed the various conflicts in the World Wide Anglican Communion. This evening we are going to do some exegesis on the Epistle of Jude to try to understand what Jude may have meant by the faith entrusted to the saints. I got a little carried away and read Enoch I, and researched first century Jewish and Christian attitudes in regards to the Hebrew scriptures, especially since the author of Jude quotes non-canonical (to both the Hebrew and Christian canons) sources rather than the usual Hebrew scriptures. I find the idea of antinomian gnostics dividing the church with their interest is sex with angels to be very interesting. I wonder exactly how they proposed one hook up with an angel? I suppose using the method of so many religious frauds over the millennia: "Yeah, I've been possessed by an angel (or I am the Angel Raphael), and if ya boink me you will reach enlightenment! Yeah, that's the ticket!" Prophesying Celestial Love during the love feasts would cause a lot of trouble and dissension and tear-up a community.

How do I answer the questions? I believe that to Jude, the faith entrusted is: Jesus Christ is the Messiah who died and rose again on our behalf. We who accept his Gospel or Good News will obey his commandments: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, heal the sick, visit the prisoner, welcome the stranger. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and we are to love one another. We are to help each other live the lives God calls us to live, and we are to show love and mercy to each other. We are to prepare for Christ's coming, and we are to tell others of the Good News of forgiveness of sins and the coming of God's reign.

That's it. Nothing about biblical authority or literal readings of scripture; nothing about casting others out. From my own research and reading of the earliest Christian scriptures and writings, the idea of loving each other was the most important thing to these first Christians. Kirsten stated this fact in the fewest words.

So, thanks for contributing. I might let you know how the conversation goes tonight!

No comments:

I See You!

Sign by Danasoft - Get Your Free Sign