Thursday, June 27, 2013

A "dynamic" translation of Galatians Chapter Five

With both thanks and apologies to J. Louis Martyn:

A reading from Galatians:
            It was to bring us into the realm of freedom that Christ set us free. So stand y’all’s ground, and don’t get locked up again!
            My Siblings, y’all were called to freedom! But don’t let that freedom be turned into a place the Flesh will ambush y’all from!
            Instead, be captured by love of one another. After all, the whole of the Law was spoken in the sentence: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself!”
            You know the other option don’t you? Acting like two rabid dogs, snapping at one another, threatening to devour one another—It seems like y’all are going that route—good luck with that—you’ll swallow one another whole.
            Look, here’s how I’d teach you if I was there in person: Lead y’all’s daily lives guided by the Spirit—in that way, y’all won’t end up acting all impulsive and be tricked by the Flesh into doing It’s desire.
            Because the Flesh is actively inclined against the Spirit, and the Spirit again the Flesh.
            Check it out, these two Powers, the Flesh and the Spirit—are opposites sides, at war with one another—and in the confusion of that war y’all don’t actually do what you wish to do!
            But if, in the daily life of your community, y’all are being consistently led by the Spirit, then y’all don’t need the Law to fight your battle against the Flesh.
            When the Flesh claims you as an occupied territory it’s really obvious.
            The effects are sexual—for example: fornication, vicious immorality, and uncontrolled debauchery.
            They are spiritual—for example: the worship of idols and belief in magic.
            They are publicly embarrassing: bouts of drunkenness, nights of carousing, and the like.
            Most worrying they are destructive to community: instances of irreconcilable hatred, strife, resentment, outbursts of rage, mercenary ambition, dissensions, separation into divisive cliques, and grudging envy of the neighbor’s success.
            In this regard, I warn y’all now, just as I warned y’all before: those who practice the like will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

            By contrast, when you are rightfully claimed by the realm of the Spirit it’s obvious too—because you bear the fruits of the Spirit. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faith, gentleness, self-control. The Law, the other option in this fight against the Flesh—even the Law which oppresses y’all as much as the Flesh, doesn’t forbid these kinds of things! And remember, those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the Flesh, together with its passions and desires.
            If we live in the Spirit—and we do!—let us carry out our daily lives under the guidance of the Spirit.”
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.

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