Philippians: Two Groups That Threaten Community

Philippians: Two Groups That Threaten Community

I haven’t blogged much, recently and I may go back and look at some earlier, lessons, but I wanted to quote something we’ll be looking at in class this morning. This comes from the forthcoming study guide to Philippians by Bruce Epperly. He has just described two groups, the first those identified in 1 Corinthians who believe their spirituality means they are freed of all constraints, can “eat and drink whatever they choose,” “sleep with whomever they choose,” and that they are “freed from all moral and social norms.” The second group believe that they must observe “strict rituals and diet.”

Here’s the payoff quote:

Paul believes that both groups share a common characteristic. Their focus on the body as the primary reality puts both Christian freedom and the well-being and unity of the community in jeopardy. While Paul is not a legalist, who demands strict obedience to rules, or an ascetic, who scorns the flesh, he subordinates our desires, values, and lifestyle to the well-being of less mature Christians and the harmony of the church.

 

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