Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Romans 16

Personal Greetings

He offers his servant to whoever he is talking to and then makes introductions to a bunch of people.

Final Instructions and Greetings

Keep your distance from those who would create obstacles for you.

This seems like good advice to me. I've definitely stopped hanging out with people in the past who always seemed to cause problems.

I rejoice in your obedience.

Obedience is an interesting thing. It is really important in some circumstances. But it can also leave you vulnerable. If you are just following someone else's lead, you can wind up working against your own self interest. So obedience is only a virtue if it is coupled with the ability to determine who should be trusted.

I want you to be wise to what is good and innocent to what is evil.

This is interesting too. It sounds good at first blush, "know about good things, ignore evil things". Sometimes I'll read a disturbing news article and wish I hadn't read it. I often won't share the story with my wife, why have that garbage rolling around in her head too? In that way, I can see how being ignorant of evil is a good thing. On the other hand, it can leave you vulnerable. If someone is trying to scam you, they will have a much harder time if you are familiar with the tricks that are employing. 


An ancient secret has finally be revealed, obedience and faith are the most important thing.

I think my comments above reveal my thoughts on that.


  1. "obedience is only a virtue if it is coupled with the ability to determine who should be trusted."

    This is a really good point! You also talk about the idea of ignoring the bad things.. I think it's important to open our eyes to the things that are unpleasant as well. It's a bad virtue to hide things that you don't agree with. One extreme I think of is that when Germans were hearing "rumors" about the death camps during the Holocaust, they sounded so crazy that many people didn't believe them. I'm not always the best about opening my eyes to things that don't really affect me. I think making others aware of injustices happening is the only way to fix them. I do like your particular spin when it comes to people who run scams etc, but one could also argue that what these people do should be made known in order to warn other people.

    I could see how verses 17 and 18 could be taken to justify disfellowshipping others and shunning them. I've read to many stories of people coming out saying that they no longer believe in their religion and then having their faith community sever all ties with them. Churches can be very cult like in that regard.

    1. Yeah that is a good point. I've heard of people getting completely cut off from family as well, it's very sad.


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