Sermon 15-9-13


James 2:

[14] What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? [15] If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, [16] And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit? [17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. [18] Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Doesn’t this speak for itself? But are there not even Christians who would speak poorly of the unemployed today?

We should overcome our own fears:

James 2: 6: But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

How relevant is this today. Don’t we fear being drawn before the judgement seat, because there is something we can’t pay, while we do exactly the same, draw those who owe us before the judgement seat, just to protect ourselves to make ourselves strong so that we will survive and not our competitors?

We have to have faith, we have to believe, (James 2: 8) in the Royal law, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,’ to do well.

Mark 8: 35 to 37: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

How can a man do this? Doesn’t a man have to care for his wife and children first and foremost? Well, shouldn’t the wife be emancipated in today’s world?

Many are, but many others are not. And you have to take care of your children.

However, should we organise our society so that it is easier for us to give? Should we bring up our children in common, trusting each other in having a common faith or culture (this word contains the word cult! Is our life – style the cult of the bull – god of whom there is an image outside the Wall Str. Stock Exchange?)

The early Christians must have kept their women and children in common. Titus 2: 4, literally translated, admonishes old women to ‘… sober up the young men – lovers to be children – lovers.’ (A Fail Grade To The Translators) with men as well as children in plural!

The Apostles, including the brothers of Jesus and Cephas, who most likely is St. Peter (see Greetings from Paradise, Chapter ‘The Letters’), had sex, according to 1. Cor. 9: 5. The verse speaks of a ‘sisterly woman’ being led about by the Apostles. Verse 11 says, ‘If we (the Apostles) have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?’ It seems Paul addressed a complaint by the Corinthian Congregation concerning the apostles. It appears that once an Apostle came to town, all the women only wanted to have sex with the cool dude Apostle. This chapter addresses this complaint and justifies the Apostles.

But let us look at the setting of 1. Cor. 9. The Apostles led about a sisterly woman for carnal things! The apostles travelled mainly on foot, sometimes by ship. Would they have travelled with a pregnant woman or a woman carrying and feeding a recently born baby? Or would a woman have travelled with one of them and then when she was pregnant she would remain with the next Christian Congregation and the Apostle would take another one on his journeys?

The child would be raised in the Christian faith by a congregation who greatly respected the Apostle. If the Apostle would die or become a martyr, there would be no negative effect on the child!

Jesus said:

Matt. 10: 37: He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Should women and children be kept in common? Today, maybe not all women. We do live in times of emancipation, in times of medical care, with very low mortality at a young age. We live in times of population explosion. In the old days, when your child became sick and prayer didn’t heal it you just had to have another child. Nothing else could be done. Children meant extra labour to help with chores. Today circumstances are very different. There certainly is room for women not to become mothers and to live a life similar to the way a man lives. This applies to earning her own living as well as living an uninhibited sex life.

However, a happy life in the ‘Image of God’ (Gen. 1: 27; Greetings from Paradise, chapter ‘In The Beginning’) can only be led in a community of common faith and cult.