The Fourth Way

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Summary

I continue to look at how consequentialism has affected my life by looking at how it shaped my view of forgiveness. I look at some issues consequentialists tend to have with forgiveness and how that compares to what the Bible says.

Show Notes

*I realized that my statement on hospitality may not be taken graciously or with a full attempt to understand, so I felt the need to have an extended explanation here.

It's important to note that I am not saying the only sin of Sodom was lacking hospitality, but simply that it was one aspect of the problem. Ezekiel 16:49 perhaps encompasses this idea the best, as it declares the sin of Sodom to be, at least in part, their lack of concern and assistance for the poor and needy. Unfortunately, many conservative Christians feel they can't allow both/and answers here, as they feel it undercuts their ability to use this verse as a proof text against homosexuality. Hospitality was a huge issue in the ANE, and even more specifically in the Bible. You can see this in a passage which has several similarities to the Sodom passage, found in Judges 19. There we see that a man enters another city within Israel, and it is emphasized that no one takes him in for the night. Finally, an old man takes him in, but then the men of the city come along and seek to rape the male traveler. The owner of the house shows disgust, emphasizing that it is vile to consider doing this to him because he is a guest. Rape doesn't seem to be as much the issue for the owner, as he's willing to throw out the guest's concubine and even his own daughter to be raped, and when the concubine is thrown out, the men are contented to rape her instead of the male guest. While the rape may be a part of the emphasis of perversion, the aspect which seems to put the icing on the cake is that such a thing would be done to a guest. Again, I am not saying that a lack of hospitality is the biggest aspect of either story, but that a lack of hospitality is a part of the problem. Lacking hospitality may not in and of itself seem abhorrent, but just as lust is a prerequisite for adultery and hate a prerequisite for murder, it seems that being inhospitable is a prerequisite (or accompanying attitude) for at least certain forms of injustice and abhorrent sin.

We see many other references to God's desire for ancient Israel to be hospitable, especially to the most vulnerable (strangers, foreigners, orphans, widows, those in need, etc). Hospitality in this sense is a justice issue - a justice issue for which Israel goes into exile (concomitant with idolatry). We also see in the New Testament that hospitality is a requirement for both elders and deacons (even preceding teaching as a characteristic), and is also an important emphasis in Romans 12, where Paul is describing what the Christian life should look like at its core. For a good overview of ideas, check out the following source. https://www.christianity.com/newsletters/features/a-meal-says-more-than-you-think-the-importance-of-hospitality-11631555.html 


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What is The Fourth Way?

A podcast focusing on issues related to nonviolence