It was beautiful weather today but I couldn’t go riding. I had to wait for some kind of periodic mass maintenance at our apartments today; they wanted someone home because there’s a bit of risk involved in using their pass keys. So I engaged in my high-tension workout and stayed home.
It was a good time to work some more on reviewing my book on the Gospels. I’m currently running through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am amazed in retrospect how often folks kept making legalism from Jesus’ teachings there. When you approach it heart-led, you realize how utterly silly that is, turning the whole thing upside down.
For example, it’s real popular among evangelical churches to forbid divorce. The Ancient Hebrews didn’t suffer from absolutist thinking and would have known that the fundamental principle is not just literal adultery, but the deeper concern for betrayal. A Hebrew man was permitted to forgive his wife, as the prophet Hosea did, but we are allowed to see how foolish it was. The real problem with Gomer was she did not support Hosea’s mission, and that is a form of betrayal. The same can be said of physical abuse; you can draw the line where you like, but the point is that it represents a betrayal of her trust. Adultery is almost the same as idolatry, and that’s where the real problem is.
So it goes with the whole Sermon on the Mount. Everything there is meant to push you into seeing with the heart-mind.