Monday, September 10, 2012

Ephesians 4

Unity in the Body of Christ (v. 1-16)

I am a prisoner of the lord and urge you to walk in a manner worthy of his calling. That is, with humility, gentleness, and patience.

I'm not sure the purpose of the 'prisoner of the lord' statement, it sounds pretty negative to me. But apart from that, this is a good message.

God created the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers so the saints could learn from them and build the body of Christ. Their goal is for us to all join together in Christ and mature so we don't have to follow the doctrine of man, but instead work together in Christ. Christ is the head and we are the body.

This is another one of those passages that I don't necessarily find offensive or anything, but it is really weird. God created all of those people primarily for the benefit of the saints, this is a strange idea. And the idea of us being the body and Christ being the head is also weird. To me, it implies that we can't do our own bidding, but instead just have to follow instructions given from Christ. This seems to fit well into the ideas of us being slaves to Christ, so I don't think I'm being unfair in interpreting it that way, but it seems really bad to me. Why do people want to follow a faith that makes them slaves?

The New Life (v. 17-32)

You must no longer act as the gentiles do. They are separated from God and have given themselves to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But this is not what it is like to be in Christ, put away you former life of corruption and deceitful desires. Instead be renewed in the spirit.

Fuck that! This basically says if you are not a Christian you are a piece of shit. If you are a gentile then clearly you want to practice impurity and your life is full of corruption and deceitful desires. This message is absolute poison. I try to line up the good vs the bad in these pages, but it really isn't that simple. A lot of the time the bad stuff cancels out the good. If you tell people they should be nice to everyone, but then also tell them that people who aren't like them are evil pieces of shit, then in a lot of cases the "be nice to people" part will fall away when dealing with an out group.

Do not lie.

This is good, I guess it should get a mention in the summary.

Be angry but do not sin, don't let the sun go down on your anger, don't give the devil the opportunity.

Now this is interesting, I'm not sure if this is actually all that good of advice. There are definitely times when it is important to hash things out and not let them fester, but there are also times when it is to everyone's benefit for everyone to cool off. There are certainly times that I get all worked up over something that doesn't really matter. Part of me knows that it doesn't actually matter, and yet I'm angry about it. Why get in a fight over something that doesn't matter when I can just sleep on it and in the morning I won't care? As often happens, real answers require some nuance, blanket rules like this can lead to problems.

Do not speak 'corrupting talk'. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander be put away from you.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving.

I like that it tells people not to talk shit. It also tells people to be nice and forgiving. It also says to stay away from those bad things.

For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation) 


4:2 encourages humility, gentleness, and patience

4:25 Don't lie

4:31-32 avoid bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander. Be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.


4:19,22 If you are not a Christian you are evil

Noteworthy: (I'm not sure if this fits in good or bad, but I might want to reference it later)

4:26-27 don't go to bed angry


  1. Go, Haus, go! There's the F bombs :-)

  2. You bring up a good point about mixed messages. "All that God creates is good.. non-Christians are evil and are no good." It just leaves me with a "hunh?" It's easy to be mean and cruel to people you believe are inherently evil.

    1. It just keeps making me think of the phrase "the bible is a big book of multiple choice". As long as the bible has both positions, everyone can say they get their ideas from the bible. It's a wonder more people aren't upset that the ideas they disagree with are also in there.


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