Monday, May 11, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different

Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat." (John 5:8-10)

From the helps in my Life Application Bible regarding the Jewish leaders: "They threw the miracle aside as they focused their attention on the broken rule, because the rule was more important to them than the miracle."

A couple of headlines that have caught my attention:

"Teen suspended for going to girlfriend's prom" because he attends a Baptist school and they forbid dancing. Sadly, "suspended" includes being prohibited from attending his own graduation. I guess the plus side is his instant celebrity. "Frost didn't go to school Monday. Instead, he and his girlfriend are heading to New York for a Tuesday morning TV interview." Priorities, you know.

The other, "Celebrity priest backs celibacy but may marry". I guess this popular priest, dubbed "Father Oprah" was spotted by a tabloid getting too touchy-feely with a woman on a Miami beach. According to Father Alberto Cutie (ironic last name, no?) he's been "romantically involved" with this woman for two years. Oh, he said that on the CBS "Early Show".

Oh, to be a Christian celebrity.

I don't want to throw either of these under the bus. But I do want to point out how their respective denominations care more about the rule than the miracle, so to speak. Biblically, based on what's publicly known anyway, neither has done anything wrong, but are being disciplined by human institutions based on long-held traditions.

Jesus said, "Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'" (Matthew 15:6b-9, referencing Isaiah 29:13)

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