Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why Paul is not Welcomed in Thessalonica (while other "Christians" are...)

I read with disgust an absurd posting at AliElhajj.com (link to post). I thought it worthwhile to parody the posting by substituting Paul (as described in Acts 17, 14, and 2 Timothy 4:10). I suggest you read the absurd posting first, and then my parody below, in order better to understand the parody.

Last week Paul, an evangelical Christian, was arrested at or near the synagogue in Thessalonica. Since then Jason, who lives in Thessalonica, and some of his colleagues have been sounding the alarm- calling Christians to voice their concern over the persecution of believers in Thessalonica and the complicity of the Greek Police in denying the rights of Christ's followers.

This isn't the first time we heard this kind of thing. Not long before, Paul visited the nearby region of Lycaonia and was stoned! He and Barnabas described the incident as: "much tribulation."

What is happening in Greece? Are the Jews taking over? Is Mosaic law coming? Are we at the precipice of the Judiazation of the Roman Empire? Nothing could be further from the truth.

What is happening in Thessalonica is the mobilization of a community against a group that is confrontational and aggressive.

Christians are not banned from preaching the gospel in Thessalonica. Consider this: Demas had a booth in Thessalonica this year. He was not escorted to the rulers of the city and the community did not rise against them. Why? The answer is love and respect. Demas listened, conversed, and had an appreciation for the perspectives they were offered. He had a love, and a respect, for their audience and his audience of Jews and Greeks responded in kind.

Paul has a confrontational style. Now, he claims he was not confrontational and that the testimony of certain devout women of the Greeks will bear this out. Let's grant this. The problem is last year's "outreach" to Lycaonia was so outrageous that the apostle wore out his welcome in that region. The community does not want Paul there and his mere presence is considered a threat to the public peace.

You cannot harass and accuse the ones you are trying to reach with the love of Christ- it simply does not work. Headlining your video entries with "assaulted the house of Jason" is alarmist at best and does not accurately portray the events at the synagogue.

Moreover, if you speak to Thessalonica's residents, you will find that the last thing they want is Mosaic Law. Mosaic law is not coming to Thessalonica. I grew up in the Antioch, and in Thessalonica, and have Jewish family members living in Thessalonica. Thessalonica's Jews do not want Mosiac law. Did anyone notice the support the Jewish community offered to the temple prostitutes this year? Is this a community seeking Mosiac law in Greece? How do you think Jews who see and hear about Paul's epistles and Luke's "Acts of the Apostles" react?

Paul is not unwelcome in Thessalonica because of his faith or because of his attempts at evangelism. He is unwelcome because he is abrasive, denigrates the ones he is trying to reach, and inaccurately represents Thessalonica's residents. Paul did not form relationships with his audience and somehow missed the high value Jews place on relationships and respect.

In short, Paul lost the right to be heard.

(End of Parody)

-TurretinFan

7 comments:

louis said...

Bravo, TF.

natamllc said...

"Classic!"

Hmmmmm, if it is "His" Faith that we are sanctified by, it seems it isn't the "Love" of God that is being taken to task then:::>

"Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'"

Oh well!

Yes, and go ahead and accuse me of speaking with deep words then? :)

Here's my "Biblical" opinion as to why they were not welcomed at the Dearborn, Mich. festival this year or last's:::>

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Col 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.


Even "sinners" love their own.

It's when you are walking in the Spirit that establishes His preeminence that the gloves come off!

It's war time!!!!

Need I say, "with who"?

Michael Adams said...

Very well done

Michael Adams said...

Nice job...
Good analogy...

Anonymous said...

I thought Reformed folks looked at the whole scripture in its context. What happened? Turretinfan, Ali debunks you here http://alielhajj.com/?p=441

Lockheed said...

Anyone watching the videos can see exactly what was going on, spirited discussion interrupted by the police in a free speech-squashing arrest. No riot, no danger, no yelling.

Turretinfan said...

"I thought Reformed folks looked at the whole scripture in its context. What happened? Turretinfan, Ali debunks you here http://alielhajj.com/?p=441 "

He debunked the parody? I don't think so. I think he agreed with the point of the parody, and further qualified his original post.