Inconvenient parables of Christ

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by BobRyan, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    The question has come up several times about the use of parables - and how much we can trust in the "details" when Christ speaks in parables.

    But there are a few cases where AFTER the parable Christ speaks literally of the lesson to be learned from the parable.

    Those who have advocated against listening to Christ when He speaks in parables have not explicitly addressed the degree to which we should ignore Him when in His post-parable comments He speaks literally - but here is "hoping".

    There is a parable given by Christ in Matt 13 that is certainly "inconvenient". But in that parble He provides a detailed literal review of the symbols used and the meaning that we are to get from the parable - the question here is ... can we believe Him?

    Should we go ahead and accept the literal details He gives (in this case in Matt 13:37-43 as "valid"?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Some argue that you should not listen to Christ when He speaks in parables. Others state that when HE provides the explanation for the parable – then He is literally correct and can be fully trusted.

    Since this parable provides a full literal explanation – many have concluded it can be fully trusted as to “its details”.

    It is clear from the parable above that the wicked are gathered together at the end of the age – at the time of the 2nd coming and possibly even including the time after the 1000 years if we are looking for the “Fire” mentioned in Rev 20 (the Lake of Fire) as being the fire mentioned “At the end of the age”.

    In Rev 14 we see this same sequence – Gathering (reaping) at the end of the age – at the coming of Christ - and then the judgment of God’s wrath poured out -

    The Son of Man is sitting on the cloud – and the earth is reaped (close of probation, end of mankind’s time for changing sides). At Christ’s command the wicked are taken out and placed into the wine press of the wrath of God.

    The text gives us no indication that they are “Already there” at this time of the end but they are reaped/gathered and placed there at the end of time.
     
  3. BobRyan

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    Others in the list of "inconvenient" parables include the one from Matt 18 "Forgiveness Revoked" and also the one on the Sower and the 4 different kinds of ground.

    All three of these have a parable section followed by the literal explanation of Christ regarding the symbols.

    The issue for the group is - how much will you accept? How willing are you to read these parables "as is"?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. Chemnitz

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    I do not see what makes these parables inconvienent, nor is there any reason to doubt the veracity of Christ's words.

    The only reason I can see that would make the parables inconvienent is somebody desiring to hold on to a theological position that is contradicted by the parables.
     
  5. mioque

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    http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2005/10/lb_selective_li.html#comments
    "This is some fairly trippy eschatology -- harvester angels and fiery furnaces and the like. If you insist, as L&J do, on reading everything in the Bible "literally," at face value, then you're going to have a very difficult time reconciling the figures of speech in this passage (Matthew 13) with the equally vivid, but very different, literary details of this same end-of-the-age sorting that Jesus provides in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matt. 25) or that of Lazarus and the Rich Man (in Luke 16).

    The point of all three stories, of course, is that the kingdom of God is made up of those who do good, not those who do evil -- and particularly not those evildoers (weeds, goats, Dives) who ignore the needs of the poor. To read such stories and ignore this point is perverse. To interpret them as primarily about the specific mechanics of the End Times -- the role of Abraham and angels, the heat-setting of the fiery furnace -- is even more perverse.

    Such a reading makes a good defense mechanism, however, if you're the rich man or the goats or the bad seed. If you've been ignoring the beggar at the gate, giving him only crumbs from your table -- if you've been neglecting to feed the hungry, tend the sick, clothe the naked and comfort those in prison -- then stories like these can be very disconcerting unless you're able to distract yourself with some contorted "literal" reading of all the tangential details."
     
  6. BobRyan

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    Exactly
     
  7. Claudia_T

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    Bob,

    you cant help but to realize when this all occurs in this passage, and its not a parable


    Matthew 25

    31: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37: Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38: When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39: Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    41: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    42: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    44: Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    45: Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    46: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
     
  8. Claudia_T

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    I dont know what Jesus does with those who claim they "just believe" ... it doesnt mention them there
     
  9. BobRyan

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    I agree that Matt 25 is not a parable and it does show "timing" the same timing that we see in Matt 13.

    But Matt 13 is a parable - and yet Christ explains "outside the parable" the real meaning of the symbols - constructing the same teaching on the end of time and the "Sequence" for starting up the fires of hell - that we see in the prophetic statements of Matt 25 (statements which as you have noted are not part of a parable).

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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