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a beautiful inspiration or an evil inspiration 
29th-Nov-2005 01:26 am
Is this
a beautiful inspiration or an evil inspiration?

But where there was a will, there was a way. To
the four friends, a beautiful inspiration arose, as the sun rises in
the east. What did they do next? Look at verse 4. "Since they could not
get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof
above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed
man was lying on." In doing so, they offended many people. The owner
of the house might have called the police. Other patients who lined up
surrounded them to punish them. But to the friends, it did not matter
what might happen to them.
They say that a friend in need is a friend
indeed. They were indeed beautiful friends to the paralytic. Their
compassionate hearts toward him were flaring intensely, so intensely
that they could not stop themselves from climbing up and digging a hole
through the central part of another's roof and lowering the paralytic in
front of Jesus. They brought him to Jesus.
Though paralysis was known
to be incurable, it did not matter to them. They brought this man to
Jesus believing that Jesus would make him whole. They had a great faith
in Jesus' healing power. May God give this kind of faith to each of us.
Comments 
29th-Nov-2005 07:31 am (UTC)
Part I

The excerpt is from Mr. Samuel Lee’s message on Mark 2:1-5. The passage is about four men who brought their paralytic friend to Jesus. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Here Mr. Lee calls it a beautiful inspiration for the four men to make a big hole in the roof of other’s house to help their friend. He also says that the four men did not mind doing this because their compassionate hearts toward him were flaring so intensely that they could not stop themselves from climbing up and digging a hole on another’s roof. I think Mr. Lee is too much emotional here that he is almost losing his spiritual sanity.

Mr. Lee is again confusing helping a friend from breaking other’s property. On one hand he has helping a friend and intense compassionate heart. On the other hand he has breaking other’s property. He doesn’t seem to handle these two very well here. He seems to say that it doesn’t matter much to break other’s property such as a roof of other’s house as long as it was to help a friend or it was from intense compassionate heart. Mr. Lee seems to have a lot of problems with this kind of theology as we have already seen in many places of his messages. He calls this kind of theology a beautiful inspiration. He also calls it intense compassionate heart. Now what if a church leader separates a member’s family by force? Is this a beautiful inspiration? Is this intense compassionate heart? Mr. Lee ordered abortion and divorce on UBF members probably to help(?) them. Then are abortion and divorce beautiful inspirations? Did he order them out of intense compassionate heart? The UBF theology seems to say yes to these questions. The UBF theology is to violate human rights to help its members. The UBF theology is to break other’s property to help a friend. The UBF people, especially its leaders, believe that this kind of theology is a beautiful inspiration and intense compassionate heart. Moreover, they think that anything that argues against their theology is unspiritual and humanistic. Even if they deny all these, they clearly have this kind of theology written in their public sermons. But they don’t seem to know about what they are immersed into.

Then should we never break other’s property even if it is absolutely necessary to help a friend? For example, should we never break a door locked to rescue a friend caught in fire? Probably we should if there is no other way but to break the door. Maybe even that sounds too restricted in this case. Maybe we should just break the door and rescue the friend. But the problem with UBF theology seems to be it is therefore ok to break the door to rescue the friend. It is never ok or a beautiful inspiration to break other’s property even to rescue a friend caught in a fire. Actually it is a big moral dilemma rather than it is a beautiful inspiration. But to Mr. Lee and his people, it is no dilemma. For them, it is ok to do almost anything to help a friend. Is this really justified biblically? Is this even justified in the context of the related passage, Mark 2:1-5?

According to the passage, Jesus didn’t rebuke the four men for breaking other’s property. However he didn’t praise them for what they did either. He saw their faith. He didn’t see the big whole that they made on the roof. This seems to be the most critical part of the passage in relation to what they did. When they broke the roof and lowered the paralyzed man before Jesus, they were absolutely at the mercy of Jesus. It was Jesus who could have decided to call them either law-breakers or men of compassionate faith. But instead of looking at the big hole they made, Jesus saw their faith. So is Jesus saying here that it is ok to break other’s property as long as one has faith to help a friend? Mr. Lee thinks the answer is yes. Well to answer this question we need bigger context of the Bible maybe the whole Bible and more spiritual maturity. That is the reason why I said Mr. Lee is losing his spiritual sanity here.

Continues in Part II...

29th-Nov-2005 07:32 am (UTC)
Part II

I think the Bible says that it is not a good idea to break other’s property in general. The Bible also tells us that we should do everything in our power to help a friend. But the dilemma is what if I have to break other’s property to help a friend. As I said above, I think we are at the mercy of Jesus in this case. Breaking other’s property to help a friend does not justify the act of breaking other’s property. It absolutely has no merit in itself. It can only be justified by the mercy of Jesus. As we can see in the related passage, it was Jesus who justified the act of breaking the roof by the four men. It was not the four men or their act of breaking the roof to help their friend. Jesus accepted their act of faith even though it was very controversial one. It was amazing mercy of Jesus. But it is absolutely not to say that it is ok to break other’s property. It was just that Jesus’ mercy accepted the four men’s breaking the roof to help their friend. So what is really amazing is Jesus’ mercy that could accept even the four men’s weird act of faith. It was not that their act was beautiful inspiration that Jesus was impressed by their amazing faith. But we do see in other places in the Bible where Jesus was greatly impressed by faith.

We can then say that the main point of Mark 2:1-5 is Jesus’ mercy that accepted the four men’s faith. It is not the four men’s beautiful inspiration or their intense compassion to break other’s property. What is really amazing is that Jesus is so merciful that he can accept even the four men’s obnoxious behavior. This amazing mercy of Jesus enables us to help a friend even in the case of great moral dilemma. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on breaking more properties to help a friend since Jesus is so merciful? By no means! It would be much better if we could establish more improved emergency-handling system in our community. It would be much better if we could support our churches so that this could happen.
29th-Nov-2005 12:27 pm (UTC)
Correct observation. Whenever UBF (i.e. Mr. Lee) comes to this passage, they do not fail to emphasize how it approves their "end justifies the means" ideology. I remember how my Korean shepherdess stressed the "somehow-spirit" so much in this passage. If we as UBF members have a goal, we shall accomplish it "somehow", no matter whether it hurts people, is illegal or unethical.

It is also typical for UBF that they fail to consider or even think about the historical background. If you do that, nearly nothing of the speculations about "breaking another's property" is left. All good lectures would consider the historical background, like this one:

http://www.growingchristians.org/dfgc/roof.htm

Now it's important to recognize that this "tearing up the roof" was not a destruction of property. Historical background information is helpful and important when interpreting and applying Scripture. A first century home in Palestine had a flat roof composed of large stone tiles which were easy to remove and easy to replace. The tiles were sometimes covered with dirt or sod for insulation purposes. So there was no need to rip up shingles and saw through plywood and beams in order to make a sizable opening in the roof! God is certainly not teaching us from this portion of His Word that it's OK to break the law and destroy property as long as it's for the purpose of getting a person to Christ! The roof was not destroyed or damaged--only temporarily opened up. Remember also that a first century home had an outside staircase up to the flat roof. This enabled the four men to carry their paralytic friend and his bed up to the rooftop without spilling him and without employing an elaborate ladder or block and tackle system! The "bed," of course, was not a heavy inner spring mattress and frame but a lightweight pallet or mattress-like pad. Thus the hole in the roof was not gigantic in size! All of these basic background considerations preserve us from visualizing impossible situations and making wild applications.

We also do not know whether the 4 men excused themselves and promised to repair the house or they were friends of the owner and things like that. We should not speculate in both directions. Since the Bible does not mention it, it is obviously not considered an important element.
1st-Dec-2005 01:53 am (UTC)
Thank you for the excellent background info. That puts things in much better context. Praise God who gave us the internet!

UBF disregards all other background infos unless they pass through Mr. Samuel Lee's flawed theology. But in actuality, they do not want any background infos for their Bible study. Mr. Samuel Lee is the only legitimate background infos that exist for the UBF theology. Mr. Samuel Lee is the only spiritual sanity established in UBF. All UBF programs and activities are organized to enforce this idea on its members. Any other background infos other than Mr. Lee is blasphemy in UBF.
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