Untidy Faith

Acts 15-16 | Megan Nesson & Hector Martinez

January 31, 2022 Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach Season 5 Episode 8
Acts 15-16 | Megan Nesson & Hector Martinez
Untidy Faith
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Untidy Faith
Acts 15-16 | Megan Nesson & Hector Martinez
Jan 31, 2022 Season 5 Episode 8
Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach

Hector Martinez kives in Seattle, WA. Currently filling the “all things media” role at his church in the north end of the city. He loves all things media and believes that music is a love language and spotify playlists are an art. He also cohosts the Pocket Pulpit podcast in an effort to explore social media ministry. 


Twitter and IG: @seatexhex


Megan Nesson lives in East Tennessee with her husband and 3 boys. She helps her husband manage the family ranch operations across 3 states, plus farming the family farm in Illinois. She has 2 MAs from Wheaton College--Theology & Biblical Exegesis--and her goal is to make the “meat & potatoes”  of Scripture accessible to all(Hebrews 5:12-6:3).


On IG & Twitter @megannesson




Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me was the Bible itself. You’ve probably noticed that here on the show we love the Bible, and we take it seriously - but not always literally, and that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But you don’t have to let that overwhelm you. I’ve put together the Big Picture Toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story, learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed, and see new connections between Old and New Testaments with a special Bible Reading Plan. If you’re ready to get back to basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start, and the Big Picture Bible Toolkit can help. Grab yours today free at kateboyd.co/bible.

Kate Boyd - Book | Bible Studies | Coaching | Newsletter | Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

Hector Martinez kives in Seattle, WA. Currently filling the “all things media” role at his church in the north end of the city. He loves all things media and believes that music is a love language and spotify playlists are an art. He also cohosts the Pocket Pulpit podcast in an effort to explore social media ministry. 


Twitter and IG: @seatexhex


Megan Nesson lives in East Tennessee with her husband and 3 boys. She helps her husband manage the family ranch operations across 3 states, plus farming the family farm in Illinois. She has 2 MAs from Wheaton College--Theology & Biblical Exegesis--and her goal is to make the “meat & potatoes”  of Scripture accessible to all(Hebrews 5:12-6:3).


On IG & Twitter @megannesson




Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me was the Bible itself. You’ve probably noticed that here on the show we love the Bible, and we take it seriously - but not always literally, and that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But you don’t have to let that overwhelm you. I’ve put together the Big Picture Toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story, learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed, and see new connections between Old and New Testaments with a special Bible Reading Plan. If you’re ready to get back to basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start, and the Big Picture Bible Toolkit can help. Grab yours today free at kateboyd.co/bible.

Kate Boyd - Book | Bible Studies | Coaching | Newsletter | Instagram

Kate Boyd:

You're listening to happy and holy the podcast where scripture comes to life through a small group discussion. This season, we're walking through the birth of the church in the book of Acts. And you get to be a fly on the wall to see what new things we learn with and from one another, as we engage scripture and community. I'm your host, Kate Boyd. I'm a disciple maker, writer and speaker, who was making space in the church for Christians caught in the messy middle between conservative and progressive, between loving the church and leaving her. We love Jesus, love people and work with God and each other for a better world. Welcome to the show. Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey from the Bible. You've probably noticed that here on the show, we love the Bible. And we take it very seriously. But we don't always take it literally. And that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But all of its complexity doesn't have to overwhelm you. And that's why I put together the big picture Bible toolkit. It will help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story will also let you learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed. And you'll see new connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament with a special Bible reading plan. If you're ready to get back to the basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start. And the big picture Bible toolkit will help you do that. Grab yours today for free at Kate boyd.co/bible. Now, let's get back to welcome everybody. We are back with happy unholy and we are talking today through Acts chapters 15 and 16. And I have some friends with me who are going to talk with me about these very exciting chapters. So Megan, why don't you introduce yourself for us?

Megan Nesson:

Hi, my name is Megan Nelson. And I am a mom to three very active boys. And I help my husband. He manages a ranch across three states. We live in East Tennessee, but we also helped manage one in Colorado and northern New Mexico. And then we also still farm the family farm in northern Illinois, which is where I am today. So right after we're done here, I will happen in green cart and we're going to go combine it so and then it Yeah, but my real passion is scripture. I have a master's in theology and a master's in biblical exegesis from Wheaton, from the days when we lived in Northern Illinois. And my passion is really just to help everybody in the church see what I call like the meat and potatoes of scripture out of Hebrews where they say like, I could bring you mate, but you still need milk. And I feel like we just are given milk so often in the church. And when I went to school, like grad school, I was like, what? There's so much good stuff here. So I just want everybody see like, just the meat that isn't scripture for us to have.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Awesome. I love that. Hector, why don't you tell us about you?

Hector Martinez:

Hey, yeah, so my name is Hector. I live in Seattle, Washington been here for the greater part of the last decade and serve on staff here at our church circly as a youth and family pastor kind of figuring that out as we look, you know, beyond what, what 2020 the pandemic and everything has has given us and the opportunities that are there. But I love I'm a lover of community and one of those ways that I've been able to kind of explore that has been through music and just allowing kind of that art of creating music and space for music. Even for those who can't play and so yeah. Yeah.

Kate Boyd:

Do you play an instrument and what do you play?

Hector Martinez:

I don't I and that's the funny thing. I love music. I love all sorts of music. I played no instrument.

Kate Boyd:

I love that. I am not musically inclined at all. Can't read music can't play anything. But I appreciate all the people who do and I think it is definitely an important part. I think art is an important part of the church that we need to do and do well. So I love that you do that. Okay, starting with chapter 15. Um, so yeah, if we're catching up, we'd finished 13 and 14, we came out of Paul and Barnabas his first missionary journey. And now we were meeting up with some conflict that's arising as the church is growing. So, Megan, why don't you recap for us chapter 50. tene

Megan Nesson:

Yeah, so as you mentioned, Paul and Barnabas have just gotten back to Antioch, which was their jumping off point for their first missionary journey. And they have traveled now through some areas and Gentiles are starting to come to faith as well. And there's Gentiles in Antioch, which is why they're calling them Christians. Now, instead of just like a Jewish sect, they have to have a new name. But now, some Jewish Christians are coming in and saying, hey, you need to be circumcised, like we are a Jewish faith, this has to be done. And Paul, of course, has a very strong reaction to this. So he and Barnabas go back, they traveled to Jerusalem, to bring this in front of kind of the whole church to decide upon and so they call it becomes known as the Jerusalem Council. And Peter is the first one to get up and speak and he makes a convincing case. But then interesting, it is now James, who gets up and he makes the deciding argument, he's the one who stands up with authority and says, Listen, the Gentiles were always supposed to be part of it. So here's what I suggest. And so they write the letter with the recommendations of here's what we will require, like, don't eat meat that's been sacrificed to idols, avoid sexual morality, but that's it, like they're not gonna require circumcision. And they send the letter not with Paul and Barnabas, but they send it with other leaders, including Silas, and they go up to Antioch with them to deliver this letter, and this way forward to the Christians there so that everyone's kind of on the same page, here's, here's where we're at. And so they deliver the message everyone's very excited about that they don't have to get circumcised and then we don't know how much longer they're there. But then, um, they're gonna, Paul suggest that they go back to the churches, probably in part to deliver this message, this letter that they've gotten, because in the meantime, Glacia had been having problems with circumcision ideas, we know from the book of Galatians, they've been dealing with this issue too. But Barnabas wants to take mark with them. And Paul and Barnabas have a fight over whether mark should go with them because Mark had left them midway through the first missionary journey. And it becomes such a conflict that Barnabas and Paul split up the partnership. And Barnabas heads for his hometown of Cypress with Mark and Paul take Silas, who had traveled from Jerusalem up to ENIAC with the letter, and they go off on Paul's second missionary journey.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. So I, it is interesting, because we are kind of at this like new crux, right, like, over the last several chapters, we've been seeing the emergence of Paul as a leader and a missionary, we've been seeing Gentiles coming to faith, and now they're realizing that they're at this place where they actually have to work some things out, because it's not just for, you know, the traditional Jewish people anymore. Which obviously has a lot of conflict. But they still seem to sort of have a setup that's similar to Judaism in the sense of like, you know, the leaders of synagogues and whatnot would have what they would be sent to Jerusalem, probably to connect with councils and stuff there. So we see this sort of dynamic happening that even in the Christian sect, of Judaism now, so what do we think of the council? Like? What sort of surprised you what stood out to you, Hector?

Hector Martinez:

Yeah, I think one of the things when I first read this years ago, it was so interesting to me that in their their final kind of decision right here, we can't make a decision about circumcision. We're kind of in this place of indecision, there is no clear way forward. But the things that were clear were the you know, keep key from sexual morality keep from eating anything that's been strangled up from blood. And really these things that like, the thriving of life is what I kind of see those things that like, if they're in the way standing in the way of thriving of theirs, you know, a lot of it is violence or idols right of this. You are really living a life that is contrary both in the idols, like actively participating, and even something that was strangled something that was you know, there's not necessarily an active participation, but still the idea that this is not where life happens. And so that that was the at least when I think of it that was the exhortation right? I can't tell you about this, but what I can tell you is live your life in a way that does not bring violence or death or or are not righteous living?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, Megan, how about you?

Megan Nesson:

Um, yeah, I thought when we read these, the kind of four tenants that Hector was mentioning that are in that letter that these are these are recommendations, how often we serve still today in the churches gatekeepers, like we haven't met. I'm like, these were these were the gates. These were the pillars that they were saying, and I don't want to say it's a low bar. But it's certainly not like all these gates that we tend to line up today for people like you have, you have to pass through these I mean, the Jews in some ways, they only wanted, you know, one gate circumcision that that was so connected to them. And I think we put so much identification in certain elements of our probably modern Western Christianity, that these are the marks of what it means to be a Christian, and we make those kind of our modern day, our gates, you know, that these will truly mark you. And from the beginning, they're like, No, that is not, it has nothing to do with it.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, and the fact that it's, I mean, the people noted as really speaking, in, like, in big defense of it, are Peter and James, which are really like the very Jewish really, like in Galatians, Paul calls them those two plus John the pillars, right of, of things in Jerusalem, even though Peter spent time in Antioch. But, um, so it's interesting to me that, yeah, Paul and Barnabas get up and talk about all the wonderful things that have happened. But that's, you know, at the same time as like a Peter and James, who are coming from this, who you would have thought would have been much more in line with, with keeping it more Jewish. So I found that really surprising. The long look of things that they are, are bringing in, and I do you think this is obviously on the heels of Peter having his vision, you know, of calling things not calling impure, what God is, God is called pure. And so we're seeing some of those shifts before, but now it's actually playing out in a in a very different and specific way here.

Megan Nesson:

Well, and I had kind of wondered about that, too, like, okay, Peter had this vision years ago at this point. And people were like, oh, yeah, okay. But looking back at the difference, I was like, Oh, they were like, it's okay to go eat with them. Like, they wouldn't have even fellowship with these people. Like, yeah, it's okay. But if they're going to come into the community fully, they do still have to meet this step. And I think, Peter, it takes him some time to to come to that realization, like, oh, it's not just about, okay, now we can fellowship with them. Like, there's no more, there are no more steps to becoming a part of this community. The Spirit once the Spirit is given that as the sign like, that is the circumcision. That is not. There's no other further manmade step that we can do or should do.

Kate Boyd:

And I think it's interesting. I'm like, I wondered why they mentioned like that, you know, Moses had been written or read in synagogues, like, I know that there, again, with the Jewishness. But one thing I was reading also mentioned that it had to do with that it could have to do with that these would have been very familiar to everyone, because they were so regularly read. So the early church, then even though they weren't specifically, Jewish, necessarily, would have at least been very familiar. So these were things that they would have been able to pull from pretty easily. And, yeah, and I love how the gates aren't very, you know, big or many, because I think we can all relate to people trying to like put specific boxes and gates and barriers. When it's really, when what we have seen through Acts already to this point, and what we even see, James, you know, the Jewish of Jewish leaders here, saying is, you know, God incorporated everybody long ago, and now we are seeing that and we can, we shouldn't trouble them with something else. We don't need to give them an extra burden to bear.

Megan Nesson:

Yeah, and like you said, like, if anyone could have claimed exclusivity, you have Peter, who's been there since the beginning, we've James who's like, I share a bloodline with him. You know, Jesus is my literal brother, and they're saying, No, we're not going to keep this small. That's not what we're called to do. We're not called to keep people out. We're called to get as many people into this new family as possible. But also, I would have no pretty sure this is last time, I guess besides before Paul gets arrested in Jerusalem like this is we leave Jerusalem. You know, this is the last time that Jerusalem serves as kind of a hub, like, x takes on a distinctly Gentile flavor from here on out. This is the point where it's like, no, this is not just Jewish sect anymore, we are moving out into the world where the missionary circles get longer and larger. And that authority, that location that they're supposed to move out from in the beginning of x, when Jesus tells them this is this is the mission. This is really where it's like, alright, we're not looking back, we're going for it.

Kate Boyd:

Well, well. Yeah, it's really fun to that's what what's one thing I love about Luke is he's a very organized writer. And so you really see like, step by step by step. Even now, as they're returning to the beginning of the movement, right back in Jerusalem, figuring it out, then they're pushing forward. I think the other thing is, like, this gives us such a great model, I think, for working out stuff like this. Um, I think sometimes we, um, and some one commentary I was reading was talking about how to actually notice, okay, sorry, I'm trying to make two points, and I'm doing it simultaneously, and it's not working. So first thing is that they are working this out in community, right? They're listening to the testimony, they're consulting the Scripture and like their visions, and what they know, right, what God has shown them, and they're making a decision, you know, together that way. But on the flip side, though, they're doing that there aren't really Gentiles in this room. So they're like discussing the nature of Gentiles without them being there to give their own sort of witness. And that was something that somebody in a commentary pointed out. And I thought that was so interesting. Because I think sometimes we do the same thing, right? We like try to decide how we feel about this group of people, but we don't necessarily let them into the conversation. As a woman, I see that happen all the time. You know, I think that happens to you in a lot of conversations. And so it was really interesting to think about that playing out here. That the other that they're sort of like in theory, in the future will have these other people even though those other people existed and could have been there to talk about it, too.

Hector Martinez:

Yeah, I think, excuse me, excuse me. I think the point you were making about it starting in the church, right is this. Megan, as you're talking about how there's a shifting in X, and what what the Spirit of God is doing. Just that it would start in the in the church. And so kind of, I think this turning point of either this is going to be taken care of now. Or as you're saying, Kate, like it's going to become a problem. If this pattern continues, right, because the that meeting could have gone a whole number of different ways. If they had followed in, you know, in the arguing and like, well, we're just gonna go because we think this is what's right. And so we're going to make a decision on this. And really yielding to we actually can't make a decision we can't come up with what the right or wrong thing is. And that changes the way that the Gentile church would then the Gentile believers would engage and be welcomed into the church. Right and so I definitely hear what you're saying and and see that, like the, this meeting could have gone way worse as far as Jintao and inclusivity into the church. And how that again, that gate right that like this is now the gate for you to get into the body, rather than just seeing that there's such a wide not necessarily wide gate into but really just like this, this isn't going to be the thing that we hang membership on, this isn't going to be the thing that we hang value and worth and how the Lord can move, you know that he's moving, but he's not really moving. You're not really in yet. And you don't get a decision on that. So yeah, i Does that make sense?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I think so. I think it is interesting to consider the many ways that this could have gone and even today as we consider like, you know, denominations are making decisions like this, you know, every year at conventions and meetings and individual churches. are making decisions that affect, you know, who's in and who's out and what that looks like. And so, yeah, I think it's important to sort of consider all the people involved and even, you know, look at how it was handled here and say, Okay, how can we, you know, stay in the spirit of this and keep what's important important for people to, to participate and be part of the church, you know. So then they write a letter, and they are gonna send it off. It's a pretty short letter, at least. It's to the point. But yeah, it's exciting. What do we think of the letter and then being, you know, Paul and Barnabas being sent off? At least in Antioch? And, and we're even the response to the letter, I think they talk a little bit about, you know, as they're gathering congregations, it seems people are really relieved and excited, you know, that this is part of it. And I guess, you know, if I was staring down, circumcision, I would probably as an adult, right, I'd probably be pretty grateful that I didn't have to go through that necessarily. Because I think that's part of why we see in a few chapters that you know, women tend to be, or even maybe in 16, we'll see this a little. There tend to be a lot of women sympathizers to Judaism. But that's because, you know, maybe the bar for them isn't quite the same, because the circumcision question is always there. And now there's an opportunity for even more men to come in, which wouldn't have been unusual, but at least would have been important. Obviously, both genders should be able to, should be able to be a part of the church.

Megan Nesson:

It just strikes me like you said, how short that letter is, for what a significant shift this is, like, this is this is where it's no longer, you know, we're making this huge split from being this is the sign of the covenant people like this is this is what it meant to be Jewish. And it's just a short letter, like, Alright, here's, here's the decision, but that they also mentioned, like, we know that this bothered you. But they weren't speaking for us. They didn't have authority from us. And so here we're saying with authority, once and for all, this is it. And if anyone says otherwise, they do not have the backing of the apostles. This is the apostolic word going forward. And how that would relieve you not just because, okay, I don't have to get circumcised. But alright, my faith is genuine. Like, there really wasn't just that they were, you know, whether or not we have to do this thing, but it was almost a question of like, your only half and you're not as legitimate, your faith isn't as valid, you're not as authentic. And, you know, I've had that in for various reasons, leveled at me sometimes. And it's just, it's hard for someone to be like, Oh, you were baptized as an infant? Well, you're not quite as valid as the rest of us.

Hector Martinez:

Right? On an even the, you know, we talked about Luke being very detailed in his writing. And like, I think, being able to see in the letter that there's the, again, like to say, Megan, like the acknowledgement of, hey, this was confusing and really hard. And some people have come out, they're not from us. But then they name Paul and Barnabas, Judah, Sisyphus, they kind of give the like, here's who we have sent to speak from us. And so that it really is preventing further confusion about if someone else comes claiming authority as someone else comes around and says, Well, no, actually, they were wrong. And that isn't what happened in the room. It's like, well, no, Paul and Barnabas are the ones who we have said, and then and then also Judas and Silas alongside them. Like other than those those for now, Luke, you know, there may have been others that have noted, but this is what Luke really wants to understand. Like, there was intention in this letter as well. Like, it wasn't just a letter to say, hey, we acknowledge it and like Sorry, and then they're just going to tell you it was like, We want to help alleviate and prevent more confusion was the acknowledgement and then the like, stepping into to try and help some of that what was happening that created the problem in the first place.

Kate Boyd:

I like that point. Um, I never really thought about the fact that they were named, you know, in the letter and that that's how you know, and that's important. But it obviously is I mean, if we cut over to Galatians and we See how angry Paul is, you know, when they're saying that you need to be circumcised. He's calling that a different gospel than what I gave you. And so this is a bit like it's a big deal to Paul, who wants to uphold this. And granted, I think Luke is on Paul's side. So on a lot of that, so I think it probably skews a lot in Paul's favor in a lot of places. But I think, you know, it's fair and I. And so, yeah, the fact that this was a big deal, and that these are the interested messengers on behalf of the decision makers, I think is really important. So I'm glad you pointed that out. But then we reach some conflict with, you know, after some days, Paul and Barnabas, trying to figure out what to do, and who should go. Yeah, what do we think about this little bit? Because it, it's weird, because I don't feel like we have a lot of detail. And so it feels weird that Luke would even mention it. Because he doesn't give us enough a lot of information to go off of, I guess, other than to maybe explain why new people are entering the mix. But yeah, I'm curious how you guys found or what you thought of this little bit.

Megan Nesson:

I think this part always kind of like, hurt my heart. And it might be like, My peace loving heart, like I don't come. Like let's just Yeah, and to see, I mean, they had stone together. You know, like these, these men were literally beat for the gospel together. Barnabas is the one who took Paul when no one trusted him was like, No, guys, you can trust this guy. This isn't just two people who happen to work together for a couple years. And like we're coworkers, I mean, they had mutually encouraged and, and just served with their entire lives together. And now it just in some ways, it's like really over over one guy like we're, you're splitting up over John Mark, but so it's definitely something I have looked into. And I also have heard sermons in the past, I think it's one of those or the main Bible characters can do no wrong was the driving philosophy. So clearly, like Paul needs to be right. And all that he does. So you know that, well, then all these theories get postulated why Mark left, and it was because, you know, well, he was rich. So he wasn't used to the hard lifestyle, or he was homesick or he was too young at this age. I mean, he's younger than Paul, but he's not that young. And so I've heard I don't know if you guys but I've heard sermons or read studies that postulate on why why did Mark leave? And so then Paul is justified in his decision to like, Nope, we can't we can't take him along. Yeah. But when I read it, Luke doesn't comment. You know, he doesn't say who's right or wrong. And it

Kate Boyd:

is. And I feel like if Paul was right, he would have said,

Megan Nesson:

right, and I just got to UK. It was a couple of weeks ago, and I forget what your exact or what you had in mind, but he said, you know, Paul's always the pragmatist. I forget exactly how you phrase that tweet, but I was like, Paul is a pragmatist. And so, for Paul, someone who's gonna duck out on him who's, you know, in his memory now unreliable, he just, he doesn't have time for that. And that's, that's Paul style. That's Paul. But Barnabas is literally known as the Son of Encouragement, and it's his cousin. And so he's like, No, there's potential here. And so he, he wants to take them along. And so in a way, they're both fulfilling, they're calling their boat, and they're gifting what their gifting is. And I don't know if there's a right or a wrong way. I don't, you know, we can't over coddle people. We can't be harsh with people. I don't I don't know what the decision should have been. But just looks like we're not going to comment on it. This is what happened. And then here's what God did with it. We've got Barnabas doing his his job. Till we see because when we see Mark again, when it comes, he comes out of Paul's mouth again, it's at the end of his life, and asked for three things. He wants his scrolls. He wants his cloak, and he wants Timothy to bring Mark to him, because he's useful in his work.

Hector Martinez:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I kind of saw last. sometime. I think it was last year, maybe at the beginning of this year, but I got to preach on kind of the overall story of Paul, Barnabas and Timothy. And see this is like a very a turning point we're going to get into in the next chapter, but like the turning point of Paul's relationship with Barnabas, his mentor, and then turning around and then also to your point, Megan, like there is no right or wrong. That's spelled out and I think it actually parallels this journey. decision, right? There's like, there is no definitive right or wrong. But God doesn't stop either Barnabas or Paul from doing missionary work. And I think that's the the other part to remember is that, like, if Paul was right, you know, or rather we get more scripture about Paul's journey and what he's doing. And so we can make the argument that will Paul was right, because obviously, we have records of that that are in scripture. But, but again, we don't see that, to that point of, Hey, bring John Mark to me, because he's useful. That means that there was useful ministry being done. And so just the idea that neither was right or wrong. It was just, they weren't going to be right together, I guess. Yes. You know, the thing too, that they threw,

Kate Boyd:

you know, yeah, no, I think that's a good point. Um, yeah, cuz you just sort of think, I think, on one hand, we forget. We forget who Barnabas is, right? And how important he was and how close he and Paul were, like, like you were saying, Megan, when, when nobody else believed Paul had converted, Barnabas stood up and was like, No, I vouch for this guy, he saw Jesus face to face. This, he's, he's good people. And from there, the church in Jerusalem trusted enough to even take care of Paul when people wanted to kill him. Like, that's Barnabas. And he was they were together on their missionary journey. And even if you read the beginning of like, if you read through 13, and 14 at the beginning, it's Barnabas and, and Saul, before it becomes Paul and his companions, like Barnabas was the bigger deal for a minute. And so is really interesting to think about the dynamic that must have been happening. And even just thinking about how Barnabas believes in people, and what that must have meant for how he was, you know, able and willing to vouch for Mark and take him and do the things. And I think that's an important dynamic to remember. And that even though it's this contentious thing, like you guys were saying, Now, there's, there's two teams instead of one. So we do have a good that comes out of the conflict in a way. But it may not have been exactly what they plan to do. Hector, why don't you recap chapter 16. For us, a lot more. A lot of things happening in this one.

Hector Martinez:

Yes, a lot. I'm opening it so I can have it in front of me. But yeah, there's, there's just so much here. And again, like we just talked about how Paul is now without Barnabas, his like, teammate. So as he starts to go on his journey, he ends up in Derby and Illustra, which is an important place to in Paul's history. It's one of the places that he was run out of town and stoned. And so that's like, very important to be coming back to this place. And then finding Timothy, he hears about Timothy first. And then he decides how I want this guy to come alongside me. He's a son of a Jewish blue woman. And so this is very interesting to me when we read about the, the council. And, and just what Paul does is he says, Alright, Timothy, we're gonna have you circumcised and then continue on our journey. So yeah, very, we can get into that a little bit. But Paul, Paul does this, and he keeps going to going through towns and ministry is going well, and the church is growing. And then they end up as they're traveling, Luke notes that the Holy Spirit won't allow Paul to go into Asia to go into this region. And so he and there, it's not that they're not trying. They're, you know, looking to go that way, the Holy Spirit stops them. And then Paul has a vision, the Macedonian man begging to come come and help us. And so then they, they go on their way into Macedonia, they end up in Philippi, which is another region where we get a letter in Scripture, and so they end up there, it's kind of the main city. And then a lot of stuff happens from there. They're looking for a place of prayer, they find Lydia. Lydia is somebody that is open to you know, fears God open to what Paul has to say. All that we get told is that she believes and that convinces Paul and his his cohort to, you know, come and stay at her house. And then next, we're told that as they're on their way to prayer, there's the slave girl that starts to follow them, you know, excuse me, and just starts to follow them and just proclaim to them, right? Hey, these men who are proclaiming to you a way of salvation, I'm reading it now are the servants of the Most High God. Right? Just plain as day, this is what they're doing, this is who they are. And you would you would think that Paul would love this. And instead, we're told that he is greatly annoyed, finally turns around, frees this girl right commands this spirit to leave her, which does not please those who who have enslaved her, they cause a ruckus they go to, to the authorities, and they make accusations against Paul and Silas. And there are a group of people and say, hey, they're, they're trying to cause an uproar. You know, they're trying to do these, these things that aren't okay for us as Romans to practice. And so then they're beaten in public, they're the best brought into imprisonment. And then sometime in the middle of the night, the, the they're praising inside of the jail. And then this is when we get the miraculous, like the jails destroyed, right? Like the foundation just shaken. And now they're free, the shackles are broken. And the jailer who's supposed to be on watch, is about to kill himself. And Paul and Silas kind of cry out, Hey, we're right here, we haven't gone anywhere, please be safe. This man hears the gospel believes his whole household believes it's a place of, again, safety, and they come in and have dinner. But then there's this point where basically, Paul tells them, hey, Roman citizens, and like, I don't want to because they're like, hey, they've talked it out. They're gonna free, right? And Paul says, No, we're gonna be, you know, we're Roman citizens, the appeals to that citizenship, which causes a little bit of fear in the authorities, but ultimately, they're released, they're able to go back to Lydia and the gather believers and encourage them as they leave town.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, a lot of things just happened. Yeah. So we're gonna rewind back to the beginning of chapter 16, where Timothy joins them. Which is, I think, to some of what we were discussing before, Timothy is such an interesting kind of character here, because he's both Jewish and Gentile at the same time, but he's not circumcised. And so we sort of see in Timothy, this sort of like bridge between the two. And as they're sort of setting out on this new journey that includes, you know, further inclusion of Gentiles. Timothy, who has both of these things in him is part of that. And I think that is such an edge. God works in such interesting ways to me the way he picks people and uses people. I mean, even if we look to the end of this chapter, would Paul, the Jewish Roman citizen, and how that gets used throughout his life? Yeah, I mean, Megan, what do you think of this bit with Timothy here? Well, it

Megan Nesson:

always had kind of, you know, maybe go what out on the heels of the letter, you know, like, we just decided we don't have to do this. But you know, Paul is using Timothy to help evangelize. And so you know, I also want to note, some commentaries, and he's gonna he wants Timothy because he is Jewish. He wants him to come to the synagogues with him. And so while Paul is adamant that you do not need to be circumcised to follow Christ, he's also not going to violate the rules of the synagogues. And so if he wants Timothy in that synagogue, Timothy has to be circumcised. He's not going to break. But he's not going to violate and create that barrier with his Jewish brethren immediately by bringing someone who to them is unclean into their clean space. Yeah, yeah. And so then that made correct Mantis, Paul. Yeah. A lot of sense that because then it comes up again, right before he gets arrested. That's what they're accusing him of is bringing Greeks into the temple court area and he's like, No, I would. I would never do that. Like it would never do it. Yeah. He's still respecting those those guidelines of the Jewish faith he's coming If he's respecting the people he's preaching to by not violating their conscience, I guess.

Hector Martinez:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. One of the things I noted kind of as my like, rabid trove, like, what? Because you start to see this, like, Oh, he's asking Timothy to be circumcised. But he, he knew. And he, he wanted the religious law. He didn't want it to be a hindrance to the Gospel. And so he he leveraged it when it was necessary. Right. And it's the same thing that he'll do later of knowing and understanding, like, at what point do I leverage something so that either hinders or doesn't hinder the law. And I think ultimately, when we boil it down, it comes to reputation. Paul didn't want his reputation to go before Him and hinder the the sharing of the gospel in the sharing of what, what his mission was. Yeah, so I think that it was important to him that people didn't discredit what he was doing based on that law. And based on this circumcision thing.

Kate Boyd:

I mean, we see this kind of thing, I mean, missionaries still do this kind of stuff, right? You're, you're aware of the people to whom you're, you're wanting to live your life among, and you respect them. Because A, that's a baseline for you know, being a good human anyway, is respecting people, but be you know, if you go in being like you're wrong, and everything you believe you don't have to worry about anywhere, like that's, you're probably not going to get very far right. And so I'm I appreciate, like you guys are saying that he respects and then he loves these people. And so he's doing what feels right and necessary in order to go and actually be among them so that they can have, so they can share the gospel and share this, these letters in this good news and strengthen churches. And you know, I admire that about Paul. The way he sort of like chameleon eyes is in different communities is really impressive. Um, okay, so what do we think about the vision of Macedonia and all of that I, I've said this in a couple of episodes, but I, I'll call it out here too, because I feel like Luke is intentional, and using the Holy Spirit as sort of its own character. In the book of Acts, I think a lot of times, we sort of see, and certainly the Holy Spirit fills people and they do stuff, but the Holy Spirit, also very much acts on his own, in, in the story, too. And so I think this is sort of an interesting use of that them sort of trying to we tried to go here, we tried to go here. Um, I mean, who else would like a vision of what to do next?

Megan Nesson:

The first, sometimes when I read through that, I think, like, if that was happening to me, like I had these plans, you know, I've been commissioned to go on a missionary journey, and we had these plans. Were like, this is, you know, demonic. This is Satan preventing me from doing God's work. And I just thought like, I mean, obviously, by the time they get the vision, it's pretty clear. But I wonder if the the couple times they kept trying, if Paul was like, Satan ain't gonna win today. Right? Like, yeah, this is where I'm supposed to go. This is what I'm supposed to do. And he kept trying. And so then he, you know, got to be like, Oh, here's the vision. Paul, you got your vision. But here's, here's your actual vision. Like I'm sending Yeah, to these people. This is where you need to go. You know, that he's like, I keep trying to help you. But here, let me really, you know, lay it out clearly for you. This is where I want you to go next, not up there. Because I think it may just be, you know, evangelical upbringing, where you're like, oh, when you meet resistance, when you know, you're on God's journey, like, we have a tendency more than it being like, Oh, we will go both ways. It's, you know, same, right.

Kate Boyd:

It's one extreme or the other. It's never Yeah, it's either like, everything has to go smoothly. And that's how I know that I'm doing what God wants me to or if all I need is resistance, and now I know I'm doing what God is wants me to, but that it looks a whole bunch of different ways. Like in some ways, it's smooth, and in some ways, it's not. So I think we do have a tendency to correct to one extreme or another.

Megan Nesson:

Well, and I just wonder, too, like he expected to go or more Jews were because when they show up at Philippi I was reading in a commentary there like the reason I got on the river is there wasn't a synagogue, like there isn't right place, which means there's less than 10 Jewish men. Like if there have been 10 Jewish men in that community, there would have been a synagogue. I want to You know, for Timothy's like really, there's all that care for me, it was Paul's intent to go somewhere with more Jewish audiences. And you know, God is like, No, you are my apostle to the Gentiles one of these days, you'll get it.

Kate Boyd:

And you'll own it. But it might take a minute. Yeah.

Hector Martinez:

Yeah, that's so good. I think just kind of brings to mind like often Paul's portrayed as this guy who just got it, you know, like, he understood it. And he knew what his mission was. And he got it right. Like he was just blazing ahead because he knew exactly what it was. And and that's true to some extent, but like, to your point, man, like, he didn't always understand he didn't always, he wasn't always in the understanding of the full realization of who God was choosing to, to shape them to be in the mission that God had for him. Yeah, that's so good.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, and I think that leads into Lydia, right? So they left us in a bin Philippi, where you were dead on Megan, that there's not a lot of Jewish people there. That's why they meet by the river, because it's where they can actually get clean, if they're going to, you know, be either sympathizers or actual Jewish people, and which also probably means that there's more women than men who are interested in Judaism at this time. And we meet Lydia, the business lady. And so what do we think of? Yeah, this story with Lydia here. I know I didn't learn a ton about Lydia when I was young. She was sort of like an afterthought. And I know, she doesn't get a lot of space here. But she does come back around later as like the place where they stay. So she's obviously you know, if important, or a woman a means and, and comes to faith, like really quickly.

Megan Nesson:

Well, and just as you said that, that she's a woman of means, and like my Bible say right now we're doing Philippians very slowly. And one thing Paul continually says is like you gave you supported me when I went to Thessalonica. And when he's traveling again, Philippi is the only church that continues to financially support him I've ever where he's been and to give a gift then to Jerusalem. And I mean, it was probably a big part of that lady was the one who I mean, she was the woman of means she was probably the woman who was bringing in other merchants and people of influence and means because of her position and her influence in the city of how much that then was able to keep Paul's ministry going, as he continued on.

Hector Martinez:

Yeah. And so because that's, that's kind of like, as I think about like, she immediately steps in, she knows that she has, she knows that she has been she knows that she has the ability to help, and to be hospitable. And that's like, the first thing she jumps into is like, Okay, I've come to faith. And the next thing I'll do, right, she urges them like, if you consider me a believer in Lord, if you do, like, come and stay at my house, let me be a part of let me play this just small part in this mission. Right. Like, I believe it's so much like, let me just be be a part and probably a little bit of speaks into a little bit of like the women in the Jewish culture as well, kind of understanding like, she's having to, at least it comes to mind that she's having to, like, convince them. Right, let me help you. Let me be of use in this mission. You know, I don't know if that's the best way to word that. But I think just the desire to be a part of that.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, I think she very much is she's ready to insert herself in the story. And I think part of that, too, is maybe her business side, like she's used to just sort of like, we're doing this and you're coming with me and I'm going to be a part of it seems like she's ready to step in and take charge and do some things and she becomes one of the leaders of the church at Philippi. Like, she, she takes charge there and Philippi and you know, they owe a lot to her. So it's really interesting to see that coming through here. As even. Yeah, I mean, among the first, not the first Gentile, but among the first Gentiles that we see. Converted at least by name, because if we rewind, we see Peter encountering some. But yeah, it's really interesting. And then we meet a very different kind of woman who, you know, we've got it. It's interesting because there are extremes, right we have Lydia, the wealthy businesswoman, and now we meet this enslaved. Both, you know, economically and spiritually enslaved because she has the spirit. And yeah, I mean, wow, what? What a next story. What did you guys what do y'all think of? Let's say pre prison, right? So just the encounter with this young woman, and, and the reactions of the people and what they do here

Megan Nesson:

this story cracks me up because it's like, you know, we're talking about you know, is it of God is what Paul was supposed to do. We always think Paul is dead, right? I'm like, I can't make judgments. But literally all we know, as Paul just got annoyed.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Yeah, this is like, which isn't the first time like, even in his first missionary journey. There he meets a magician and then he just like, they hit says, he's filled with the Holy Spirit. And then he calls him a child of the devil. Like, he just like, he goes, he turns on a dime. Yeah, like,

Megan Nesson:

I can just, I, you know, I've got little kids or we've all had like those people in our lives. We're just like, I cannot take it like, and here's this woman, this girl just followed him day after day, like proclaiming the truth. Like you said, Hector doing the recap. He's like, just come out of her like enough is enough. And I don't know if he's restraint was because he knew what trouble it might bring. Or because he just didn't feel like that was his calling there or what you know, why didn't he healer to begin with, but he just loses it. And then it's just like, everything falls apart after that.

Hector Martinez:

Yeah. One and even like that accusation, right? Like Paul is trying, like in inside of the whole story, right? He was trying to get over to prayer he's trying to go and like not be a nuisance to the city. Right? And then here comes this girl following him right is a nuisance of like, I would think it all like he's just trying to get back to the the believers and pray right, probably back to the river, probably off to the outside, you know, of the main happenings of the city. And then this happens. And then the the first accusation is they're bringing trouble to the city. Right, they are causing a ruckus, they're bringing trouble to this city. And then they go into like, it is customs that are not legal for us to practice as Romans, you know, these things that would rile up is like now it's not just Hey, there, they have caused loss to us in the profit and money. But now what they're doing is they're kind of riling up the people against the government against the Roman authority. And so then, of course, that's where the the crowd jumps in as well.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, there's, there's always a mob, like, right, just waiting to, like, it doesn't matter if you're in the gospels, if you're an X, like there's some there's always a group of people just like ready to throw a fit about things. And it happened. Poor Paul haven't seen a lot, you know, like, we, like you were saying back in the last time, he was like, in Leicester in Derby, he got you got stoned by a mob and left for dead. So this is very, like, He's not a stranger to this. And, and, and that he really, I think, you guys, I think you're right, Hector, and that he was trying to be respectful, right, like he wanted he's, he wasn't there to necessarily upset the status quo. He wanted to reach people right and do things but in doing that, it did upset the status quo, and became, you know, a problem. I mean, one of the commentaries I read called them rabble rousers, which is just like really fun expression. But that they knew that they were potentially you know, I mean, at least for this girl's owners, it upset their income stream. Um, and in a way it's sort of even threatened I mean, the, the spirit she had in in there it says a Python spirit is technically what the word is, which is associated with the Roman gods. And so, you know, the fact that she was not only claiming that there's another deity that's like the most high God but now she doesn't even have access to the Roman god spirit anymore. And so there is sort of, there's again, she's enslaved in two ways, but then she's, you know, Semi. Those two things are also affected with, with Paul. setting her free and it costs them something To it cost everybody something, not just the ones that, you know, own turbot. Now we see that Paul is facing some real consequences, because because it did cost other people something, and he's having to face up to that. So yeah, then we, I mean, they don't really have a trial, they just skip to you. Because they don't know that they're Roman citizens. And so they're like, well, we can just do whatever we want with them, because Rome doesn't care. And so they beat them and throw them in jail. I mean, and, and then we have I mean, I feel like the Philippian jailer is a pretty famous story. Um, what do we think of this episode?

Megan Nesson:

One thing I found really interesting was in one of the commentaries, I read because his immediate reaction is like, what do I have to do to be saved? It's like, and they said, you know, they point back to what that slave girl had been saying, which was, these are servants of the Most High who are telling you the way to be saved. And so if he had heard that charge that they've been brought out when there's an earthquake, like, literally, there's this cataclysmic event, like, he probably thought the world was ending, and he was like, oh, oh, hey, you guys are the ones who know, you know, that he'd been, it wasn't just the doors being thrown open. And just the fact that the prisoners were all still there, he had, the slave girl had set him up with expectation. So when this event happened, he knew who to look for, who to look to, for the way to be saved. And they had the answer, so that those events really do are connected. And we never bring the slave girl back into the jailer story and how much her demon possession, you know, what the demons were saying? was proclaiming the gospel truth that he was actually responding to before Paul ever said anything? Wow.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I net. Yeah, I'd never connected that. Um, that is interesting. And I think to one commentary I was reading was really talking about like the conditions of the jail, which I found, like you just never, I had never thought about before anyway, just how it was really filthy. They were probably mostly naked, because that was a humiliating thing. They would have relied on people outside the jail to even bring them more than subsistence food or clothing. And jailers were often paid more based on how harsh they were. And so these are like not good conditions. This is like really, really bad. And they're in the innermost sale cell. So they're not getting, you know, light or any of that, maybe that's why they're still up at midnight, or maybe they just can't sleep, I don't know. But it's very, it's very interesting to even think about the conditions. And then how it gets sort of like, flipped over into a thing that sets so many people free. And because I never also thought to, like, how the earthquake affected things, like it didn't break it down. And it just, it literally like opened gates, and removed shackles, like, that's what we hear that it did, which is such an interesting, like, so in a way, they all sort of knew that it wasn't like earthquake earthquake. Even though earthquakes were sort of associated with deities, I think in the day, um, but it was a very specific kind of freeing earthquake. And we see a lot of like, in Acts, we see a lot of like, shaking rooms and things like that one, God is moving. So this is sort of like another piece in that puzzle. And that they're being able to leave even though they don't leave. And so I think it's yeah, when you think then back to the the girl was freed and what she was saying, and now they're freed, and now he's really recognizing and piecing that together. I really, I like that connection.

Hector Martinez:

Yeah, well, I think of the I mean, it is just such a measure of kindness. For not just like, Grace on on the jailer, not even just word but kindness to say, hey, we're here, like, we are not gone, you know. And even that, right like the, the stark contrast to what he knew was coming as the jailer under Roman, you know, in the Roman role and knowing that like he was ordered to guard these prisoners, it doesn't matter that there was this earthquake that released him by It was on his watch that they hit, you know, if they had left and fled as he believes they have. Because who wouldn't? Right? Like who wouldn't just walk away and run and flee? And so just that, that measure of like, we're here, we have not fled. We are not fleeing this here. And that even sets up that question. Okay, so what what must I do? And Trembley? What must I do to be saved? Like, this is something entirely different happening here.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. And to the point that I mean, even though they're not, they don't leave the jailer takes them out of there. You know, he removes them. And his entire household rejoice that he became a believer and God. So it's an interesting, it's an interesting episode. But then we fast forward. And the magistrates sent the police to say, letting them in Go. And Paul could have just sneaked out, right. And we're like, Okay, it's time to go. But instead, he's like, No, I'm putting my foot down. They need to know what they did was wrong. Which I don't think is necessarily super out of character for Paul, but it based on some of the things that we've been talking about before, like the respect and the way that he sort of like if they were running out of town, he would go, right. But he takes a very different approach here.

Megan Nesson:

I think part of it because they're leveling the accusation that like, he's leading us to be anti Roman, like, this is what he's doing. And he's like, No, I'm a Roman, like, so you're gonna make sure everybody knows that the person who brought this here is a Roman citizen, and he knows he's gonna leave right away, but I think he did it. Less for himself, but more for the flippin church. I am going to leave you guys being respected. Not under this. Miki. There was this huge uproar. And then the leaders got thrown. And then they left town and other still some people meet at Lydia's house, but we're not really sure what's going on. He's like, No, this is for, you know, the people I have brought to Christ like, you're gonna we are respected instead, you know, like, we aren't rabble rousers, and we aren't contrary to your customs, because I actually am a Roman citizen who's brought this word and so that, then they were going to have enough challenges that this big incident wasn't going to be one that continued to impede the progress of the church in his absence.

Hector Martinez:

Yep. Yeah, this was one of the other moments that caused me to think like Paul understands and knows, like the law, and the expectations in a way where he leverages them. And it's exactly what I was going to share Megan, like, again, going back to reputation, like he did not want the actions, the things that he was doing to go before, not just himself, as you're pointing out, but now the church, like the reputation of who they are, is going to hinder or help to advance the gospel, right, and like to be able to discredit or to kind of push aside the church as he's leaving, right, because now he's not even a part of the problem. And so, just the way that he cares for what the church will be seen as, or the people who are carrying that message as he's walking across.

Kate Boyd:

I think it also shows me how much Paul has the long view in mind. I mean, even if we go back to the beginning of chapter 15, and he's like, you know, he hears that people are saying that everyone needs to get circumcised and he's like, wait a minute, that's, I don't think that's going to work. If this is the thing that you know, any mean, like, that's just, that's going to keep a lot of people out. And we need to think about that, as we as this is becoming a different kind of animal than we expected. And so now we see here, how he sort of how he's doing the same thing. He's like, you know, I could sneak out and it'd be fine. But I need them to be set up for in a good way to like, he knows his role isn't just is to, you know, get the gospel to people and to strengthen and establish these churches so that they can get the gospel to more people and they can grow into you know, disciples. And so I think he's thinking about a lot of these variables at the same time, which I think is really hard to do, especially when you're in such like a contentious right, you know, emotional moment. And we know Paul can get like, really he can snap on things. But hear he's really very methodical in the way that he's thinking about setting up all the stuff. Okay, anything else from chapter 16? Before we do take aways? All right, Megan, why don't you share with us your meat thought and your we thought,

Megan Nesson:

I think mine kind of go together as kind of they often do as being the same thought. But just going back to that conflict between Barnabas and Paul, that splits them up. And it's tricky, because I don't want to minimize like, we are especially now in an age where church abuse is coming out. But not all conflict is, is abuse, you know, and there can be hurts. And times you have to say, I need to go, you know, where there's conflict, like I forget how Hector said, it was so brilliant, like, there is that conflict. But now we're each still going to go on our ministry that sometimes we might get our feelings hurt, I'm sure my feelings were hurt by what Paul said, Yeah. And then he went away and had a time of healing and encouragement and growing. And I think Paul went away and had a time of kind of growing and learning, as Hector said, to be a mentor instead of a mentee, like, what does it mean to bring someone else up and along with you? So to be able to look at things and know, okay, like, I'm having this conflict with a person, a brother or sister in Christ? What is it over? Is it? And is, is it something where I can say, we're not going to be able to work together. But we, I'm going to go to Cyprus, and you go to Philippi. And we can still hope that this issue we're not going to agree on but we can continue to serve and be effective ministers of Christ and not to diminish the name, while at the same time having wisdom that there are worse offenses, but not all are terrible offensive. And that's a really fine line to walk in wisdom, but also just reminding myself that, you know, sometimes in church groups, you may not be able to say this person's right, this person's wrong, we just know that we don't get along. And so we need to separate for the good of the gospel and the good of our own callings right now.

Kate Boyd:

Hector, how about you, me? And we who

Hector Martinez:

I think the the me thought is kind of around that idea of? Sometimes there isn't an answer. Like there isn't like, especially like going back to the Jewish Council like out of that. I think there were a lot of people that might have walked away with like, but I really wanted an answer on this. I really wanted clarity, that the thing that I was wrestling with and thinking about and so passionate about, that there was a clear path forward. The clear path forward in this case was that it was kind of we don't have an answer from the Lord. And so we have to shelve it for now. Right? Like, the answer has to be that there's a different way to see this. So I think that for me is like oftentimes, I'm going to be passionate about things that I'm not going to get a clear answer about how, what is the best way to move forward, especially in the church? What is the best way to to walk with my brothers and sisters, it's going to be well, it's actually not make it the most important thing, that it whether I get my way or not. And really even in the case here that like, neither of us got what we wanted. But we still have to walk out in unity and in understanding that there are more important things, that doesn't make it less important, or it doesn't make it not important at all, but rather there's something else that we're united around. So which isn't easy.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, it's hard. Yeah.

Hector Martinez:

I think the we thought as I kept thinking about how the church often wants to kind of be front and center around the issues right of the day. And I think there's place for that I think it's smart to know and understand as Paul did, like, okay, if I'm in this situation, there is going to be a way to honor the Lord and honor who we are, but also not to just to cause trouble to cause trouble. You know, because it really again, Paul's trying just to go to prayer, and this girl interrupts that he's just trying to live in peace among right this the people that he was at and it's only for a few days, but he really like you said Kate is looking for the long game. And so I think ultimately the church has to remember, we, as the church have to remember, like, what is the long game? Is it to be? Right? Is it to be front and center in social issues is like, what is the long game. And if calling out evil or disrupting evil, right now causes problems down the road? We just have to kind of at least think about that as we look at the long game of what we're trying to be involved in.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, and how we go about it and how we go. Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, I would say the meat that, for me, is kind of similar to what you were just talking about. Hector, that I think, keeping in mind, the respect and the care for the long term, effective, whatever it is, like, sometimes I'd sort of act in the moment or I'll act on what feels good now or where I am or whatever. But, you know, remembering that actions have consequences and thinking about, you know, as I move in the world, if I'm here as a Christian, and I, you know, I'm here to not only be conformed more to Christ, but to bring people to Christ, what does it look like, then, to keep that in mind and how my life in my actions builds up to that in every place that I am, I think that's important. And my we thought, goes back to the Jerusalem Council, and even just how they, you know, actually wrestled through something really hard. In community. I think a lot of times, I know, it wasn't everyone. But I think there were probably a lot more people in that room than we thought that we would think we were there, even though we only saw like three people talk. And how often we put maybe on one or two people in a congregation to make those kinds of decisions, when we could be sort of wrestling and discerning that together. And that I think is, is healthy, often and is important, and how we can sort of approach that in a way that we don't sort of silo ourselves off, to make decisions, but that we do that in consultation with other people and in community. To make sure that we're not doing it sort of in a vacuum either. I know that there's a lot of things I used to think before I met people who were not like me, and having stuff like that. And people excuse me like that in my life really helped to round out, you know, a more robust theology for me and a more robust practice of my faith. And so I think, being willing to say, let's all consult Scripture together, let's all talk about this, let's all pray about it together, and come out with something that is at least a consensus on what's important, and maybe what is not important, right? Even if no specific pathways forward are forged, I think it's helpful to at least know that you're not alone in that and that you're coming at it, not just with, you know, your own authority, but that you're working with others, you know, in in concert with the Holy Spirit. And I think that's something we overlook, because I think we all have to individually figure it out. But I think that's what we're here for with other people, you know. Thank you so much for joining us today. If you enjoyed this discussion, I would love it if you would rate and review the show on your favorite podcast player. You know the drill. This helps more people find the show and learn with us as we talk through Scripture. And then I would love if you came over on social media to talk about what your big takeaways were, what your main thought and we thought were from our discussion, or for when you dove into the chapters. You can find me on Instagram at Kate boyd.co and on Twitter at v Kate Boyd. And don't forget to check the show notes to find and follow today's contributors as well. Thank you for joining us, and I'll see you next