Jason (jcreed) wrote,

Do any christians (or non-believing/non-practicing fans of biblical text) have anything to say about the context of Galatians 4:9-11 that I might not know? NIV translation has it as

But now that you know God --- or rather are known by God --- how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

Our pal Pauly T seems to be admonishing the Galatians for having holidays. Is it the idea of having any holidays at all (and being so enslaved to ritual) that is objectionable? Or is it that they are celebrating their old pagan holidays in particular?

Anyway, I always kind of knew during my christian upbringing lo those many years ago that christmas and its trappings were essentially all nonbiblical in origin, but I never supposed they might be antibiblical. Anyway in my current belief-state it's just interesting to look at behavior and (apparent) instructions and compare them.

The other thing that's been getting at me lately is how clear Matthew 6:5-6 seem to be on the issue of public prayer. NIV again:

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Even though I think there are some interesting first-amendment arguments to have about public performance of religious rituals, it's funny to me that christians should struggle with it so much, since this looks like a no-brainer instruction to not worry about it. Also the church I grew up in had a tremendous lot of talking about prayer, prayer groups, people telling each other they were praying for each other, etc. etc. etc. Would love to hear about how I am missing context here, too, if anyone knows.
Tags: religion

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