Sunday, August 26, 2012

Romans, Chapters 7 & 8: Not my sins

Chapter 7

Men are bound by the law until death, but women only are until their husbands die. This also means she can remarry, which she couldn't do before, if I recall correctly. Why? Babies.The old laws are dead, which means we will be able to keep our pants on and think of new ways to serve god instead. My prediction: that edict didn't even last until he'd finished saying that sentence.

Is the law sin? No, but it's how we know what sin is. Can't argue with that. Also, it will kill us. So: keep to the laws, which are holy. It's humans that are sinful. The author admits that he's a little confused: he doesn't do what he knows is right and instead wastes a lot of time playing Angry Birds like the rest of us. But the fact that he knows it's wrong proves the law is right. These people really need to learn what tautologies are. Then he claims that when he sins, it's the sin, not him what's doing it and he wants to do what's right, but can't because of the sin. And this is yet another one of those chapters that makes me so glad I'm not a Christian.

Chapter 8

Now, thanks to Jesus, there is no sin. Also because if you require people to wear tassels on their sleeves and kill goats all the time, your recruiting numbers go way down. People who only think about the flesh only do fleshy things, but people who are more spiritually-minded only do spiritual things  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (v. 6) because if you're always thinking about sex, you can't think about god. Or go to heaven. This must have made Christianity awfully hard on teenage boys.

People filled with the spirit are children of god and co-inheritors along with Jesus. And they don't even have to go through that whole nasty crucifixion bit! Nope, they just leave this terrible world for the spiritual reward beyond it. The description is vague, of course, because paradise is boring. Hell is much more fun to describe.

The spirit is right alongside us the whole way, because we're so dumb we don't even know what god wants us to pray for. Also, your fate is sealed, a concept I've never understood. If god already knows what's going to happen to me, why shouldn't I sleep until noon every day and steal from my neighbours? It's not like not doing those things will get me into heaven.

The author asks another question that has always been a personal bugbear: If God be for us, who can be against us? (v. 31). How do people who think god told them to run for president then justify it when they lose? Or on a simpler level, people who pray for their football team to win, only to be disappointed? Anyway, nothing can separate us from god.

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