The weakest link


Best get a *cuppa something” before you start this – it’s a long read this morning … 

Ready? 🙂

… … …

We usually find the weakest link when something breaks.

Like the link on a delicate chain … Like our capacity to cope … Like when we didn’t really mean to break something … Or like this …

“Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’  He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’  They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’  But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you.  But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.”  “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’”  Mark 10: 2-9

Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked … bad Pharisees – cruel Pharisees – the enemy within Pharisees …

But we ALL test things.

Like the temperature of this cup of coffee beside me … like whether the keyboard for this computer is just so … Like do I have the right glasses on my nose … Like good Christians test the scriptures …  And like we test plastic garden furniture …  Notorious for passing the sit-down test …

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But not the “lean back test”

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The Pharisees wanted to break Jesus – so they went for the weakest link.

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The Law given by God.  Inscribed in tablets of stone (twice).  God might “speak” – but carving words in tablets of stone (twice) … ? Those are words to revere.  That is evidence.  Hard irrefutable evidence.  See these tablets … feel them – drop them on you toes – punch them with your fist … that is God that is!

Of course that wasn’t enough.  Ten were okay for the big picture but not enough for the detail.  The devil is always in the detail!  So more were needed and were readily provided.  And catalogued.  And defended.  And enforced.  And paid for (no such thing as a free law).

And ALL were “add-ons”.

… … …

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So to the testing …

Divorce – one of the add-ons.

Jesus lays the context …  Creation, Adam and Eve, miss out the big gap between that and Moses, and an add-on, and leaves out the big gap between that and now …

And then a new add-on: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

And we don’t take too much notice of that one either.

“One-in-three marriages” used to be the statistic.  All happily tying the knot in church with God’s blessing.  Until one-in-three broke.  And then lawyers and scribes take their cut.  And the appropriate (biblically correct) “male and female” fight their own corners.  And everyone pays the cost … no such thing as a free law.  

Another “we found that we were the weakest link – who would have guessed” scenario.

So what I am left with is this.

Stuff like these verses today … like these add-ons … these “writings” we lace with “God” … all this religious stuff of which much remains as secular law …

It was all just “testing”.

It was all just doing what we do each and every day in every walk of life – in every culture and society …

We test things.

And we test things to make sure we don’t end up on the floor (when the garden chair does it again) – and then we add things as a result – like these were added …

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

and

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

Chapters 18 and 20 of Leviticus (the Holiness code and prohibited forms of intercourse).

But what about the “add-ons” to those “add-ons” …

“Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.”

And then this “add-on” to the previous “add-ons” …

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

What God has joined together.

As a father I have seen our sons and daughters pair-up with some very odd partners. Some I haven’t even wanted in our home let alone as a potential future “partner” … others I saw no reason (for our wonderfully gifted and talented and sensible and loving children) to see anything good-in as we smiled to those words “Mum … Dad … I want you to meet … “

Yet their choice is their choice.

My role – my choice – is to love.  My role – my choice – is not to demand our children pick someone of whom I approve.  Just like the person I love, the one with who WE created four wonderful children, and who now (some of them) have totally gorgeous children of their own for them and us to love … There were many who loved me AND the person I love who disapproved of the two of us getting married.  We (still are) two “appropriate male and female” (with biblically correct entitlement to get married) – yet the two of us were given very short odds by quite a few.  We were (to be) one of the “one-in-three” for many who came to celebrate our wedding.

And we could have been – we nearly have been a few times.  We have tested each other.  And we have nearly broken. 

But what kept us together was not a commandment or a rule.  The best I can offer is …  love … choice … us.

What God has joined together.

And my thought is this … the holiness code and prohibited forms of intercourse were an add-on … and the add-ons keep coming.

I keep hearing this What God has joined together” argument – but always used to validate “love” we like – never “love” we don’t

And I think I finally get why …  

We need the bible to be inerrant and infallible – to be God breathed and inspired – all so we can pick and choose – so we can use the “evidence from God” to not love all, to not welcome all, to do what we want and call that “with God’s blessing”

Which has one very small – but very important – flaw …

We will never know why “God joins together” some and not others.

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We preach and teach that God is a mystery on one hand – and with the other we preach and teach that we are certain of God because the bible says.  Which means that we do know the mind of God – so God is not a mystery at all – or how can we be so sure of God?

And always the answer I hear is this … We have His Word  – we even have His actual real factual words – it’s called The Bible.

So just where is the mystery?

Because just as we were not given a chance by many who loved us …  Just as I cannot tell you with any certainty why we didn’t become one of the “one-in-three” (or might yet) … Just as I can only tell you my side of things … And even that changes from day-to-day … Just as I cannot tell you my partner’s deepest thoughts because that changes day-by-day … AND just as I can only guess at “God” in all of this …

THAT IS all I can give – these past 35 years and the next 35 – just guesswork and hope and love.

What God has joined together.

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But what if all of this was written by Paulfg about Andrewsc?

What if my “partner” was Andrew instead of an “appropriate female”.  Or what if that “appropriate female” and I had become one-in-three … And now my soulmate was another … Where would the “add-ons” (and your judgement or acceptance of me) fit then … ?

Is none of “that love” relevant to any of “this love” … is God only present in (and approving of) “appropriate love”?

And just how the fuck do ANY of us really know what that is – other than through the same guesswork and hope and love we ALL bring to living and loving day by day?

What God has joined together.

Because if I cannot answer with any certainty about my own relationship …

How do I know with certainty – enough certainty to “test” to destruction – anyone else’s … ?

So it seems to me that we choose to be “God” in this earthly-religious-secular-spiritual court of law … We choose to make the bible our “evidence and fact” … We choose to hang on to the “add-ons” that suit our (current) preferences and biases … our (current) “squirm factors” of fear and disgust …

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And THAT is not the God I know.

What God has joined together.

Now tell me that you really know the mind of God … with the same certainty that you invoke to judge others … that you use to “test” their love …

When you can’t even tell me why your own relationship works or doesn’t.

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If you are still here … thank you!
((hugs))

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One thought on “The weakest link

  1. Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:

    “As a father I have seen our sons and daughters pair-up with some very odd partners. Some I haven’t even wanted in our home let alone as a potential future “partner” … others I saw no reason (for our wonderfully gifted and talented and sensible and loving children) to see anything good-in as we smiled to those words “Mum … Dad … I want you to meet … “”

    Talking about The Law again.

    The bible law, the God law, the sacred law, the law and all its commandments.

    “Of course that wasn’t enough. Ten were okay for the big picture but not enough for the detail. The devil is always in the detail! So more were needed and were readily provided. And catalogued. And defended. And enforced. And paid for (no such thing as a free law).”

    It’s a long read this morning.

    But I stuck in a few pictures – so I hope it’s an okay read …

    “I keep hearing this “What God has joined together” argument – but always used to validate “love” we like – never “love” we don’t. And I think I finally get why …”

    Want to pull up a seat?

    Thank you –

    Paul

    Like

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