2nd Edition, Revised Material

Expressing Gratitude

“Jesus was right in his time. His spirit could not be killed. His spirit confronted Paul and Paul was changed forever. But Paul’s message—freedom from the law and justification by faith alone—got all bogged down and twisted around like all our messages get. Like we get.”
~ Donald L. O’Dell, How the Bible became the Bible (2nd Ed), p. 225

In this new year are we living our faith in the spirit Jesus taught, and as he practiced?

There is no plateau in this lifestyle as I have candidly talked about in my book and in my spiritual journey to discover me.

In this new year are we living our faith in the spirit Jesus taught, and as he practiced?

Like Paul’s exhortations to behave correctly as an expression of gratitude to God for the freedom of his grace, that guidane became twisted to mean rigid, almost pharisaical, codes of ritual behavior. And in the end the later New Testament writers and early Church leaders began the cycle of the Old Testament dance all over—codifying, intellectualizing, institutionalizing—to rationalize the spirit in a way that made it predictable, that put it in a theological straitjacket unable to do anything but what mankind had predicted it will do.

Isn’t this what happened to the Pilgrims that settled New England? They fled the British Empire and other parts of Europe to find religious freedom—to develop and live by their own set of moral laws based on their understanding of Christianity. Once here they established communities based on their (now freely) defined versions of Christian law and moral behavior. Life was hard but wonderful. Then they began persecuting those that disagreed with them. They persecuted as fiercely as the English or French Catholics had persecuted them. One needs only to recall the Salem witch trials. So, what had changed? Nothing, except those that had been persecuted became the persecutors.

I am encouraging you to look over those five lifestyle habits I mentioned in January link is here. As we discover inner wisdom we can apply to daily living.

Blessings, Don
January 25, 2024

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