Although these words are commonly spoken in political contexts, they are hard to apply in some settings. You can't really put on the other team's uniform during halftime at a football game. A superstar athlete can, however, forgo the best contract available to sign for less money with the team he thinks can win a championship. This idea of joining the opposition can describe a wide range of choices from minor compromise to total submission. In any form, these words speak directly in opposition to the thinking that “winners are winners and losers are losers.” As a correctional chaplain, it was within my mandate to provide pastoral care to staff. Very few reached out, as it would be seen as a sign of weakness. In fact, it was just as likely that officers would follow the phrase above by engaging in criminal behaviour such as bringing drugs in for the inmates. All staff were required to take a course called “anatomy of s set up” which warned of the dangers of sliding into the “if you can’t beat them, join them” camp.

1 Corinthians 1:9-10
We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did,
and were destroyed by serpents.
And do not complain as some of them did,
and were destroyed by the destroyer.

The “join ‘em if you can't beat ‘em” philosophy depends on the particular circumstances and the answers to a number of questions. The chief ones being “Are you sure you can't beat them?” and “Is it even possible to join them?” A common biblical theme is that those called by God usually resist that calling. In giving this history lesson of Israel to the Corinthians, Paul is bringing this theme to mind. You will never defeat God with your idolatry, so you are better to join with God in worship and prayer. Although Paul does not answer the two questions explicitly his answer is implicit: you are not going to beat God, and you can join by saying a simple yes to God's invitation.

Views: 60

Comment by James C Schultz on 4th mo. 13, 2017 at 3:43pm

Underlying the Gospel message is that the wisdom of the World is folly which leads to the conclusion that who we consider winners aren't necessarily so.  As a Man of La Manch fan and admirer of the Cross I think that it isn't whether you win or lose but how you play the game, Leo Durocher not withstanding ("good guys finish last").  As Resurrection Sunday approaches the greatest victory in History rose out of apparent defeat.

Comment by Glenn Morison on 4th mo. 13, 2017 at 4:35pm

James - Exactly!

Comment

You need to be a member of QuakerQuaker to add comments!

Join QuakerQuaker

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Profile IconQuakerQuaker.org

Why didn't early Quakers celebrate Chriatmas?

Why didn't early Quakers celebrate Chriatmas?: In these questions is found the substance of the… See More
1st month 3
Profile IconQuakerQuaker.org

New Beginnings

New Beginnings: That blog was very much of its time: named after an obscure Quaker quote, on… See More
1st month 3
Profile IconQuakerQuaker.org

A Closer Walk with Gandhi

A Closer Walk with Gandhi: As I walked down that raucous street afterwards, Gandhi taught me… See More
1st month 3
Profile IconQuakerQuaker.org

Quakers Welcome Spiritual Seekers

Quakers Welcome Spiritual Seekers: In the spirit of the beginning of a new year, I created a new… See More
1st month 2
Profile IconQuakerQuaker.org

That of God in Donald Trump

That of God in Donald Trump: So. Assuming that Donald Trump has that “principle of God in him”… See More
1st month 2
Profile IconQuakerQuaker.org

Preparing for a Trumpian Administration

Preparing for a Trumpian Administration: Brent Bill: The question for many of us today is how to… See More
12th month 29, 2016
Profile IconQuakerQuaker.org

Gordon Ferguson revisits John Macmurray

Gordon Ferguson revisits John Macmurray: In January 1932, the Quaker philosopher John Macmurray… See More
12th month 29, 2016
Profile IconQuakerQuaker.org

The Challenge of the Manger

The Challenge of the Manger: That isn’t to say the Nativity stories don’t reveal important… See More
12th month 23, 2016

© 2017   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service