Posts Tagged ‘james

11
Feb
09

Drive-by Scripture: James 5:16

Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James chapter 5, verse 16, International Standard Version)

I sometimes wonder if this is where the Roman Catholic Church went so wrong with confession. We’re supposed to bring our sins straight to God, which is possible through hands_raised_upJesus’ life and death and resurrection. And yet the Vatican decided, “Hey, let’s make our people confess to a priest who will figure out the appropriate punishment before you can be considered forgiven.”

Bullcrap.

But I digress, as I so often do.

Confessing our sins to one another is to be honest about our failings. This is necessary to keep us honest and humble among our Christian brethren, and it is necessary to show those who aren’t Christian that while we may not be perfect, we also aren’t going to be hypocritically lying that we’re better people than they are.

A pity that so many Christians fail at that.

Admitting our failings and offenses is also important to keep healthy and honest communication going, with Christians or non-Chrisitians. It doesn’t mean giving a laundry list of every little sin or misstep but it does mean stepping up and saying, “I’ve been guilty of this kind of behavior.” Next step, of course, is to try to improve on that behavior.

As for the second part of James’ quote above, praying is important. We may not see the results of our prayers for ourselves or others in any immediate sense, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. Most things in life aren’t a quick fix.

02
Feb
09

In Praise of the Non-Paulists

bible02Don’t get the wrong impression from the title. I’m not one of those folks who spits on Paul and claims he co-opted the early church to espouse his own doctrine and shape Christianity to his vision and will.

However, Paul gets a lot of play, and so he often overshadows the other writers in the New Testament (outside of the gospel writers, that is), even when what he says supports, complements and otherwise fits like a glove with other of the writers’ spiritual insights and guidance for us.

(By the way, click here for an earlier post I did on Paul the Apostle, titled “St. Paul the Prickly.”)

Each writer highlighted in the New Testament provides an important piece to our overall education in faith and proper action. Each is important, and Paul is no more important than any other just because he gets more words. His was a special ministry and mission and it put him in a position to have to write a lot and talk about doctrine.

No particularly deep thoughts with this post. Just an encouragement not to be mad at Paul for all his face time (nor to misunderstand him and brand him too quickly as a jerk…modern translations don’t always do him justice as to his intent)…nor to push aside the other writers by assuming that their teachings are any lesser.

As the body has many parts, each with its own purpose, and all of them necessary for proper functioning, so do all the writers of the New Testament serve an important role that should never be minimized.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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