Saturday, October 13, 2012

1 Corinthians, Chapters 1 & 2: Intellectual midgets

Chapter 1

Paul writes a letter to a congregation in, duh, Corinth, to tell them how to prepare for the End Times, which are, of course, coming right up. First, they all need to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (v. 10) because he's heard they've been fighting about whether Paul, ApollosCephas (Who was Simon Peter, then just Peter and has now taken on a third fucking name) or Christ himself. Paul points out that he wasn't crucified, nor does he baptize people in his own name. In fact, he shouldn't even baptize, since really he's only here to preach, but he has done it for a few powerful donors friends, most of whom shall remain anonymous. 

If you think the story about the cross is a bunch of baloney, you're doomed, because as god said, he's going to destroy the smart people. You know who else did that? Pol Pot. I feel this is an acceptable violation of Godwin's Law because in the grand discussion of crazy 20th-century dictators, Pol Pot does not come up nearly enough. He has an extremely complex argument for this: god's wisdom makes us look like intellectual midgets, but he did allow us to get saved through foolish human preaching.

Stereotyping time! Jews want to know their Messiah through miracles, the Greeks insist on wisdom. So when you tell them that Jesus was crucified, both think it's bunkum. He next admits that god can be both foolish and weak, but he's still smarter and stronger than any human. 

Paul reminds the congregation of how they were before they got saved: not educated, powerful or noble, but they were chosen by god to overturn the power structure. 

Chapter 2 

When Paul first came to Corinth, he was a poor speaker and sort of dumb and weak, nervous and shaking, because he had resolved to forget everything except Jesus.  He didn't rely on rhetoric to convert them, but on parlour tricks miracles. He admits that he speaks with wisdom sometimes, but not earthly wisdom, because our leaders are so quickly forgotten. Of course if our leaders had any wisdom, they wouldn't have crucified Jesus. 

Paul goes on for weeks and weeks about divine wisdom versus silly human wisdom before finally concluding that only spiritual people can understand what the spirit means. They are also capable of judging all things, but should not be judged in return, because he has the mind of Christ. 

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