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RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 Sept 19, 2011.  3:10-4:00 Reading Matthew 5:17-48 & 7:12, again and again  4:00-4:50 Discussion Groups: Matthew 5:17-48 & 7:12.

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Presentation on theme: "RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 Sept 19, 2011.  3:10-4:00 Reading Matthew 5:17-48 & 7:12, again and again  4:00-4:50 Discussion Groups: Matthew 5:17-48 & 7:12."— Presentation transcript:

1 RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 Sept 19, 2011

2  3:10-4:00 Reading Matthew 5:17-48 & 7:12, again and again  4:00-4:50 Discussion Groups: Matthew 5:17-48 & 7:12 Discipleship, marriage/divorce OR not resisting evil Contextual & Theological Choices ◦ Div G25, Group 1 Leader SIYU WANG Scribe: Jessie Light ◦ Div G26 Group 2 Leader MICHAEL BROADNAX SR Scribe: Conrad Quiros ◦ Div G28 Group 3 Leader SETH TERRELL Scribe: Whitney Mitchell  4:50-5:30 Scribe reports on Theological Choices: Views of DISCIPLESHIP, MARRIAGE/DIVORCE or NOT RESISTING EVIL

3  Last week. I focused on 5 kinds of TEXTUAL choices for reading the Beatitudes  And indeed, for reading the Sermon on the Mount as a whole from Matt 5:1 to 7:29  Today I want to focus on the CONTEXTUAL choices we are making (including the choices of ROOT-PROBLEMS),  and how this is related to our THEOLOGICAL- HERMENEUTICAL choices, and especially our choices of a ROLE OF SCRIPTURE

4  21 "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; …  27 "You have heard … 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. …  31 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  … 38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also…  43 "You have heard …'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

5  The Anti-theses are a series of commands telling us what we should not do  'You shall not murder'; and shall not be angry with others. ◦ The question is: what counts as anger? Rivalry?  27 'You shall not commit adultery' and you shall not lust in your heart (now = adultery) ◦ The question is: what count as lust? Does watching porn on the web count? Texting lewd pictures?

6  Anti-theses are a series of commands telling us what we should not do  31 You shall not divorce, except on the ground of un-chastity (or porneia)  The question is: what count as “porneia” (unchastity?? In what sense?)?  38 Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also… 43 'You shall love not only your neighbor but also your enemies ◦ The question is: what are the limits of non-violence? If my wife and children are attacked, should I not defend them?

7  As most people in Churches in North America do… and so do we, spontaneously ◦ Then, the debate is: are these commands realistic? or not?… Most concluding NOT ◦ No community or society can function by following these idealistic commands… “This would lead to a reign of violence” (Strecker; see Challenge, 142) ◦ Restricted to exceptional believers, communities (monastic communities) & situations (civil rights movement long ago)  PRESUPPOSITION: Matt 5:31-32, 5:38-44 address believers (in the CONTEXT of North American churches!???) who lack KNOWLEDGE of what these texts say about divorce and about not resisting evil and loving enemies…???  Among individual believers & churches in North America & Europe, such contexts is most unlikely  SO most people ignore one or both teachings–with possible literal application of 1 (on divorce) & forgetting the other

8  17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 21 "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire.

9  The PROPHETS are fulfilled by God in Jesus’ ministry: ◦ Matthew 1:22-23 “All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet [Isaiah 7:14]: 23 "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." ◦ See also the (main) fulfillment-quotations in 2:6; 2:15; 2:18; 3:3; 4:15-16; 11:10; 11:17; 12:18-21; 13:14-15; 13:35; 15:8- 9; 21:4-5; 21:9; 21:13; 21:16; 21:42; 26:64(=all over Gospel) ◦ “Types”… Israel (ch. 2); Moses (on the Mount), (Lady) Wisdom (e.g. 23:37-39), etc. are also fulfilled by Jesus (by God in Jesus’ ministry)  = “CORRECTIVE GLASSES” allowing Matthew (and the readers) to SEE what is really going on in different situations during Jesus’ ministry: = God is at work, fulfilling God’s promises as proclaimed through the prophets

10  The LAW is fulfilled by Jesus and others:  Matthew 3:15 “it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness” = to do God’s will  At times, it means doing what is “literally” written: e.g., “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Matt 21:13; Isaiah 56:7) = LAW = LAMP TO MY FEET or RULE OF THE COMMUNITY (CANON)  But most often, fulfilling the law is NOT to do what the Law says “as it is written” ; it is NOT to do the literal meaning of the Law ◦ You have heard that it was said …'You shall not murder'; … BUT I SAY TO YOU’…

11  The disciples’ righteousness = their FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW must EXCEED that of the scribes and Pharisees  = it must exceed what the Law said  The disciples’ righteousness involves  reading the law as a special CALL (= GOOD NEWS) or  reading the law as providing a VISION of God’s involvement in the Disciples’ life = as FAMILY ALBUM, or as CORRECTIVE GLASSES and EMPOWERING WORD  (or Holy Bible)

12  17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. …. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. …You have heard… But I say to you … 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  TEXTUAL CHOICE: 5:1-12 = CALLING the crowds to be disciples; 5:13-16 calling them to a vocation: being salt and light of the world SO THAT seeing your good works people will give glory to your Father in heaven; 5:17-48 vocation of disciples = manifesting in their lives the perfection of the heavenly Father (5:48).  ROLE OF SCRIPTURE: GOOD NEWS of blessings of God (Kingdom, etc.), of being made “salt and light of the world” for God’s sake; and of being “perfect as your heavenly Father is”; 5:17-48 = good news because the Law = the Will of a Loving Parent is internalized to perceive its goal

13  17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. = I SHOW THE GOODNESS OF THE LAW by INTERNALIZING the Law (as in 5:21-48) understanding its intention as a LOVING WORD FROM GOD  5:31-32 = against divorce… WHY? To preserve the good relationship that marriage a GOOD GIFT FROM GOD WE NEED TO PRESERVE; but with a CONDITIONAL CLAUSE (“except…”): of course, only insofar as this good relationship actually exists.  5:38-42 = against revenge towards evil doers, in different parts of life (someone striking you; tribunal; conscription by soldiers; borrowers) … WHY? To sustain the good relationships in society, a GOOD GIFT FROM GOD WE NEED TO SUSTAIN because if we do not contribute to life in society, a fragile network of relations that cannot exist if we enter the cycle of social violence.

14  CONTEXT: A CALL that directly challenges the many Christians (in the West) who as social groups (families or communities) either LACK THE WILL to follow this teaching (about marriage, divorce, not resisting evil and loving enemies; read as legalistic by lack of internalization) or have a WRONG WILL (literal individualistic legalistic interpretations, I must perform to gain blessings and avoid punishments; = a heavy burden)  Choices of Context: 5:31-32 = Situations where good marriage relationships are being destroyed (e.g. by adultery, any form of unchastity, and physical & psychological abuses) and where good marriage relationships HAVE BEEN destroyed (divorce is appropriate)  Choices of Context: 5:38-42 = Situations where good community relationships are destroyed; not resisting evil is costly, but good for disciples’ community life (= killing selfishness); refusal to enter the cycle of violence is individually costly but GOOD for the community (Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship; Arnold (Pacifist Brethren) Jordan (Koinonia)

15  5:17-48 =symbolic message of PERFECTIONIST ethics  The teaching in 5:21-47 is idealistic, not realistic; as 5:48 makes clear: Be PERFECT, therefore, as your heavenly Father is PERFECT.  Nobody (except Jesus!) can do 5:17-47 = the perfection toward which we should aspire, despite our short-comings…  TEXT CHOICE: REMEMBER the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:1—7:29) is a symbolic, figurative proclamation of a new covenant – the Kingdom of Heaven -- by the New Moses – Jesus as figure of Moses – on the new Mount Sinai – the “mount” … A symbolic discourse forming a huge chiasm centered on the Lord’s Prayer 

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17  ROLE OF SCRIPTURE: FAMILY ALBUM, aka, BOOK OF THE COVENANT  COVENANT (= Exodus 19-20) 1) Call; 2) Vocation; 3) Law  1) Call to be disciples 5:1-12=receive an identity ◦ As Israel was called to be “the people of God” through their rescue from slavery by God (Exod 20:1)  2) Vocation 5:13-16 “bring people to glorify God” ◦ “so that they may see your good works (= being salt and light of the world) and give glory to your Father in heaven” ◦ “a priestly kingdom and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6)  3) Law = how to carry out your vocation = how to bring people to glorify God (how to be as a priestly, holy people)

18  By being “perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”. ◦ By being “holy” as God is “holy”  5:31-32 = against divorce… Why? Because “marriage” is “holy matrimony” = a good marriage manifests the presence of God’s holiness in society, so people will give glory to God (marriage = sacrament [Orthodox, etc.]) ◦ but divorce if it does not (= manifests porneia rather than holiness)  Contrast “ethics NOW”:marriage a secular contract agreement  VS “perfectionist ethics of Kingdom” = marriage is a holy sacrament that manifests God’s holiness = people glorify God

19  3) Law = how to carry out your vocation = how to bring people to glorify God (how to be as a priestly, holy people)  5:38-42 = “Do not resist an evildoer.”  A shocking behavior unlike what is found in the NORMAL secular world… “perfectionist ethics of Kingdom” comparable to God’s who “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (5:45)  “Do not resist an evildoer.” Why? because it is recognizing them as SISTERS AND BROTHERS IN GOD’S FAMILY in violent confrontation as well as in trivial issues (not decreasing scale)  Non-violence e.g. Civil Rights movement “freeing ALL (include racist) Americans from the bondage of legalized segregation” (MLK) so ALL can give glory to God

20  CONTEXT: A challenge that directly addresses the many Christians & churches who have lost any sense of their VOCATION as countercultural and thus follow the normal. secular way of life in society  Choices of Context: 5:31-32 = People viewing marriage as a secular institution, foundation of society (divorce is appropriate when it does not function well, for any reason)  living a Marriage life, any intimate relationship, friendship (Christian Century Sep issue) as Holy, as manifestation of the holiness of God  Choices of Context: 5:38-42 = People viewing life in society as competition at all levels (dogs eat dogs), including forcing others to do your will.  having a behavior demonstrating that we view others as brothers and sisters, = manifestation of the kingdom/kindom so that people will glorify God

21  5:17-7:12 = transformative figurative message: Imitating Christ by SEEING AS CHRIST SEES  TEXT CHOICE: transformative figurative message  First the view with which Matt can expect readers to agree: 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” ◦ Fear that “Scripture” will not be respected and obeyed: “It will be!”  Leading to: SURPRISE! 7:12 "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”  = Yes, Law and Prophets are Scripture. BUT, ALSO SEE/RECOGNIZE the Will of God, SURPRISE! In the good things that the Scribes and Pharisees are doing (their righteousness)… and also that the Tax collectors and Gentiles are doing… BUT YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS SHOULD EXCEED ALL THESE … [= safety valve…not everything goes!]

22  ROLE OF SCRIPTURE: CORRECTIVE GLASSES  Look around you through these texts, so as to see people who are doing GOOD THINGS = manifesting the Kingdom & God’s Justice (6:33)  You will see people who do not commit adultery, do not lust, do not divorce, but rather value intimate, committed relationships as good gifts from God and live accordingly… Blessed are those… whomever they might be… their righteousness exceeds those of the Pharisees, and most Christians.  You will see people who do not resist evil, and take the risk of non-violent Blessed are those… whomever they might be.

23  CONTEXT: A teaching that directly addresses many Christians, churches, groups in society, cultures who are BLIND and do NOT SEE the GOOD THINGS –RIGHTEOUSNESS --that are happening among them and that are MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD’S WILL as much as what the texts of Scripture say,  and should be imitated AND EXCEEDED  (utang na loob – GOOD to be exceeded)  Choices of Context: 5:31-32 = People who think, believe marriage and intimate relationships are perverted by business, lust, porn, etc. Look around you… identify GOOD INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS (surprise!)  Teaching: GOOD Kindom relations do exist, imitate them & preserve them

24  CONTEXT: A teaching that directly addresses many Christians, churches, groups in society, cultures who are BLIND and do NOT SEE the GOOD THINGS –RIGHTEOUSNESS --that are happening among them and that are MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD’S WILL as much as what the texts of Scripture say,  and should be imitated AND EXCEEDED  Choices of Context: 5:38-42 = People who are despairing about society, about self-centered, self-profit ways of life… rich are getting richer… too bad for others, the poor.  Look around you… identify the MEEK who value relationships with others above everything else (surprise!). Even a Billionaire (W. Buffett)  Teaching: GOOD Kindom relations do exist, imitate them and preserve them; they should be imitated AND EXCEEDED (we can do better than Buffett)

25  CONTEXT All the preceding teachings (A, B, C, D) are good, great teachings …  BUT they totally fail to apply to a huge group of people, in a most significant CONTEXT in the world  1.4 BILLION people in the world are POOR (out of 6.8 billion) ◦ The majority of Christians (in the 2/3 world) are POOR  46.2 millions people (15.2% of population) in America (“the richest country in the world”) are POOR  Poor = what is poverty?

26  I learned (second hand) in soup kitchen, Room in the Inn, in the Philippines, in Congo, in shantytowns of Southern Africa  POVERTY = HAVING NO CONTROL ON YOUR LIFE  Poverty = having NO CHOICE but “to respond” to situations  having NO CHOICE but to do what is necessary to survive, or for the survival of one’s children  Thus, no choice to do what the text says (Reading A) or to accept a Call to discipleship (Reading B) or to pursue a life of holiness as the people of God (Reading C) or to have the luxury to exceed the righteousness of the good people around you (Reading D) … YOU & YOUR CHILDREN ARE HUNGRY… doing whatever is necessary

27  POVERTY = HAVING NO CONTROL ON YOUR LIFE  TEXTUAL CHOICE: Sermon (5:1-7:29) is addressed TO THE CROWDS… to people who are poor in Spirit (=really poor, depressed people), meek (because they are powerless), mourning, grieving (because people died around them), etc…  PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO CONTROL ON THEIR LIVES…. ARE BLESSED ONES  Now 5:17-7:12 is EMPOWERING THEM  Not denying their situation, but empowering them in their situation, by giving them CONTROL  FOCUSING ON WHAT IS SUBVERSIVE IN THE TEXT  Beatitudes: “Poor in Spirit” = real poor; meek… people who are put down; puts up-side down the structures of power  Saying about divorce and about not resisting evil… do the same thing

28  ROLE OF SCRIPTURE: EMPOWERING WORD  Matthew 5: "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  Wives are abused by being dismissed as pets, or unwanted gadgets by very permissive rules for divorce  BACK IN CONTROL: (Abusive) DIVORCE IS PROHIBITED … women regain control  Conjuring a new Relationship between women and men

29  ROLE OF SCRIPTURE: EMPOWERING WORD  Matthew 5: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.  BACK IN CONTROL: the abused regain control … He/she DECIDES what to do  Solidarity with others (somebody else will not need to carry the load

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32  3:10-4:00 Reading Matthew 5:17-48 & 7:12, again and again  4:00-4:50 Discussion Groups: Matthew 5:17-48 & 7:12 Discipleship, marriage/divorce OR not resisting evil Contextual & Theological Choices ◦ Div G25, Group 1 Leader SIYU WANG Scribe: Jessie Light ◦ Div G26 Group 2 Leader MICHAEL BROADNAX SR Scribe: Conrad Quiros ◦ Div G28 Group 3 Leader SETH TERRELL Scribe: Whitney Mitchell  4:50-5:30 Scribe reports on Theological Choices: Views of DISCIPLESHIP, MARRIAGE/DIVORCE or NOT RESISTING EVIL

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