I have been reflecting on the Pauline letters and how they are relevant today. Christians have had these important guideposts and the example of Paul and his cohorts for two thousand years. It seems to me that mankind, through the exposure to these insights, should have progressed in making the peace in the world that God intended through His sending His son to save us from ourselves.
Let’s reflect a little through the ages. The Bible seems to begin somewhere during the Iron Age. The people depicted in the Bible were largely nomadic, settling for short times to feed their flocks of goats and sheep. Then they would move on to the next grazing land. There were many wars between tribes, a propensity toward assuring a tribe’s ‘pedigree’, or their genes. Some of which would have enabled mankind to progress in the midst of hostile territory and a movement toward morality and peace.
Fast forward, and I do mean fast, to Paul’s time– then to the movement toward civilization in Europe, and finally the civilization of the world, including the Western Hemisphere.
What has changed? Has man remained static? Or has there been a progression in morality and a movement toward peace?
During the 1950’s people attended church in droves. Some would argue that there was resurgence in religion, and people prayed and stayed together. Yet, a black family could not take a walk in a predominantly white community without police scrutiny. It was commonplace for an employer to expect sexual favors just for hiring a young woman. (Yes, I have heard many such stories.) Men would spend hours in a tavern after work instead of going home to his family. (Also commonplace in that era.) But on Sunday, everyone went to church.
Fast forward to today. Race and sex bigotry are generally not tolerated. People have a fair shake at not being jailed for their beliefs. Child abuse is not tolerated in any community in the U.S. Yes, progress has been made.
The Apostle Paul, through the inspiration and wisdom of God, taught us the ways of Christianity. Perhaps, not perfect, but the best God could offer us at the time.
Through our thoughts and actions, we create our own worlds. For the most part, I choose the world of Paul. Have faith.