Philemon: Only With Your Consent

Many, including myself, have complained the tone of Paul’s letter, even the wording, seems manipulative. How could Philemon make an honest decision, sprung from God at work in his heart, with Paul first complimenting him (ego strokes), then talking about Onesimus in such affectionate terms (pressure) and finally referring to himself as a mere elder asking permission (which seems to pluck the strings of guilt and shame)?

A Better Reading of 1 Corinthians 11 and 14

Paul shook his head and muttered to himself. He could feel his temperature rise, even against the close heat of the small room he’d been given, to spend the night. But, there was no mistaking what he was reading, as the simple, clay oil lamp flickered its light across the papyrus. “God!” he thought. “God! Why!”

Colossians 3: Household Codes

Paul worked from the teachings of Jesus. Everything Paul wrote must be sifted through the Gospels, or it won’t read right. Jesus was very clear—a point we have tragically ignored for most of Christendom’s existence—that we are not to rule over anyone within the kingdom.