Reading St. Paul

A lot of people don’t like Paul. I love him. I find him not a bigot or a sexist, but a great loving teddybear of a man who is devoted to helping the Gentile converts live fully as Christians.

Remember: the Gentiles weren’t “protestant Jews” but pagans — a polytheistic, brutal and depraved people. When they accepted Christ, they embraced a paradigm shift of a magnitude I don’t think we in the Christian/postChristian era can fathom.  Paul is devoted to teaching and encouraging and perfecting those people in that conversion.

When you find yourself bristling at something Paul says, like women keeping silence, or about subjecting herself to her husband, think back and say to yourself, “Okay — these people were former pagans.  How had they lived? And what is Paul telling them to do differently? How is his counsel making them nobler, more Christlike people?”

Sometimes the answer might pop into your mind right away, sometimes you have to resolve to just wait and let the connection come later.

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