But I can still put stuff up here periodically. Once again the internet connection at my house is down, or so sporadically functional it's as good as down. Harumph I say. Harumph.
So I've continued to read through 2 Chronicles and 1 Corinthians. I have a thing for numbered C-books, what can I say. I also just realized that I've been sittin in the coffee shop with my headphones on for about 35 minutes, but I haven't been listening to anything in the headphones. I should try to fix that, or something. iTunes has a radio function, it seems to work rather well. Better than any streams I got from Winamp.
Yesterday as I read 2 Chronicles 9 a couple things stood out at me. Basically this chapter is talking about how magnificent Solomon's kingdom was. First the queen of Sheba visits, she is totally overwhelmed by Solomon's wisdom and his kingdom, and in verses 5-8 it says:
She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw it with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.
Emphasis mine, of course. I think it's awesome how the queen visited Solomon and saw all these wonderful things but Solomon made sure she understood why he had them all. He made sure that she understood it was because God was with him, that God provided it all. Not only that, but it was clear to her - she saw his life and what God had given him and actually praised God because of it. That's what I want my life to be like. Not that I have all these things or am particularly wise...but I want to make sure I am always giving credit to God for the good things in my life. I want people to look at my life and praise God, and be able to see him.
Now on to 1 Corinthians 5. Paul spends this chapter talking about "expelling the immoral brother." I note that this letter is addressed to the church at Corinth which apparently is going through some division and lack of unity. People within the church are trying to get supporters for themselves, they're carrying out their own selfish agendas within the church and messing it up. So Paul may be specifically talking about these people. He definitely does speak rather harshly about someone claiming to follow Christ but living differently. I tend to err on the side of mercy and not judging at all, though it would seem Paul wants me to think a little bit about that.
He differentiates between people that claim to be Christians and those that don't. He says:
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people - not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you." -1 Cor. 5:9-13 (NIV)
I'm glad this isn't the only passage dealing with intrachurch discipline. There is a process to go through, you don't just 'expel' people when they do something wrong, because we all do wrong things. But this does communicate the idea that there comes a point when you have to tell someone that what they're doing is wrong and you will not tolerate it within the Body, especially if they are causing strife.
That's all for now.