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Bind & Loose This

The topic up for grabs right now is "binding and loosing" (a la Rob Bell's , Movement Two) - specifically, Jesus giving the keys of the Kingdom to Peter and the Church-at-large, along with the authority that goes with it: "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:13-20). Running a quick google on "binding loosing scripture", I found some pages that followed in the same vein I've learned in the past about this passage's bent towards spiritual warfare. It's been generally about binding and loosing the demons and angels, the spiritual agents of good and evil, or prayer cover and keeping a hedge of protection around our families and our churches.

But there's a different idea out there that I'd either never heard or never given credence to, and that's the thought that this phrase is more rabbinical in nature and had to do with interpreting the Word. "Binding" meant you're obligated to a certain thing, and "loosing" meant you're not obligated to that thing. In determining what a passage of scripture might mean, if we bind to this then it's a legally and morally defining action, and if we loose it there's more of an optional flavor to the reading. In context, Jesus is including a community-wide action, basing this binding and loosing on knowing God and living Jesus together. I don't have the right to make the Bible say what I want to say; rather, together, what's it saying to us and calling us to in life right now?

Why have I never heard it this way before? How does that effect the way we're reading the Bible right now, how we're interpreting it for our own lives together, and how we might be using it as a standard of judgment against others?

More personally, since I'm seeing and reading stuff like this a lot right now, is this another period for my life to undergo radical dissection and re-construction of my faith and understanding of who God is and who I am in Christ? Because I'm seeing things and hearing things and understanding things in new & meaningful ways that I've never really had come through me before. If this is such a period - why? Why now? Why me? Why again? I'm having a hard time signing up for it this time around... but I'm excited about what might lie just ahead...


Blogger MaryAnn M said...

just when you think you have reconstructed it from the ruins...you need to tear it down and rebuild it again.

i believe the first time has to be the most painful...THAT was when we all first realized that the possibility existed that what we all were taught for years missed the mark and needed clarification and restructuring. I have to believe that once we crossed THAT...at least we are now open to the possiblity that we have to learn things again from a different and better angle, one that makes more of the heart/soul connection that says YES!! THAT IS what THAT MEANS! I never really understood it the way "they" told me it was supposed to be....

1/8/05 5:08 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

yeah - "been there, done that" and been stretched all over the place. just wasn't expecting it so soon, maybe. either way, there's no going back once you tear things down like that. thanks for commenting & encouraging :)

1/8/05 9:01 PM  

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