Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I Want To Retrace The Steps Of Paul: His Road To Corinth

There is a saying that is no longer used today "your acting like a Corinthian". Corinthians were famously obnoxious. Not in the funny way, but sloppily. There are plays and books that talk of the Corinthians and their lust for the obscene.
They had the temple of Diana or Artemis in Corinth. This was the goddess of fertility to them. The whole basic purpose of the city of Corinth was to guard the temple, to house it so to speak.
Paul, having been a fairly recent convert to Christ, basically birthed Christianity as we know it today. Jesus Christ is the reason, but Paul came through and set up platforms for worship and practicing Jesus's principles. Paul was a zealous man for God. He had experienced both sides. First condemning Christ's followers as a huntsmen of sorts for the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees who's money laundering and power was threatened by Christ's death and resurrection. This equaled all mankind, no longer making God inaccessible outside the temple. Previously when you wanted an interaction or answer from God you paid a temple tax, then inquired of a temple worker. They interceded for you. This was how they made their living. Jesus did away with all of that. He covered us Spiritually with His flawless, sinless blood as a sacrifice, like the temple workers did with animals. But those of us who choose to accept Christ's terms, we have permanent access to God. Whereas before it was limited. There were reasons for this that were our own fault but I will skip them.
So Paul being the recent converted bondservant of Christ, gets charged to reach the gentiles. Which is us, the ones who are not Hebrew by blood. His job is to let the world know that we now have full, permanent access to God, you no longer have to go through rituals to have God hear you. Basically the old Law. Where it was designed to operate off of works. You do good you get good. You do bad you get cursed. Paul was giving us the cornerstones of Christ's ushering in of the New Law, a new Covenant. One that operates off of grace. You accept, you believe, you keep His two commands and you are going to heaven. Paul understood this first hand. He was a murderer, consenting to many deaths and blood spillings.
I want to take history books and knowledge of the real time of Corinth. Its surrounding areas and recreate what Paul seen. The temple of Diana was clearly visible from a sailing ship. It was the pride of Corinth, the reason for their outlandish and drunken states. Imagine for a moment that you have only heard of what the Corinthians do. Orgies and drugs all the time for the purposes of worshipping Artemis. You can't get pregnant? In those days you go to Artemis's temple and do what the temple guardians say. Which is engage in whatever he asks. This was a place of sex for the intent of worship. All kinds of it. This was also an era of slavery, where slave children and adults were being used for sexual gratification against their will. Usually to satisfy the skewed cravings of some aristocrat. So they would dress men up as women and women as men to make them perform the opposite roles sexually for the purposes of idolotry. Then there was sodomy, which is fellatio and sex with animals and anal intercourse, in the Corinthians case it was also used for IDOL worship. 
So imagine poor Paul getting off the boat and witnessing such tragedy. People using other peoples bodies shamefully, against their will and all for the purpose and in the name of worshipping a deity. Paul lovingly went on and started a church there. He took people and converted them to Christianity, then he had to teach them how to behave like Christians as opposed to Corinthians. Which was a challenge because their entire subculture was centered in sex. So when Paul was writing all the cities like Ephesus and Corinth he was addressing specific things that applied to each of them. For the Corinthians it was effeminate behavior and sodomy. As we discussed just a minute ago, he was talking about doing these things outside of marriage and for idol worship. The nature of Corinthians was highly sexual and breaking them must have been a real challenge.
Today, these verses in Romans and 1 Corinthians are rewritten with Puritanical principals which are impossible and not Christ's doing. These scriptures are misunderstood and used to make LGBT people modern anti-Christ's. Which we are not.
What is happening is Satan, our enemy cannot be seen because he is spiritual as well. So we are the face, the manifest enemy they can see. What is happening is Satan has carefully and patiently crafted a way to get Christians to go against Christ's two simple commands. It has take him years but LGBT people are being used make Christians not love. Which separates them from God. Our two commands under the new covenant are a summation of Gods original Ten. Love God with all you heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. For in so doing you fulfill the law. Not loving gays, using twisted scriptures to hate gays, is NOT loving.
Perhaps if some brave director could recreate Paul's journey we could disspell the myth that LGBT people are the enemy. 

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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