September 23, 2010

there's a bathroom on the right

Credence Clearwater Revival has a song called "Bad Moon Rising" and in that song is a lyric that I will never hear correctly. "Don't go around tonight/Well it's bound to take your life/there's a bad moon on the rise" will forever end "/there's a bathroom on the right" in my head. I've heard it incorrectly for so long, that the right way just can't break in.

It is not uncommon to hear a song lyric incorrectly. Survey's, like this one at the Telegraph, are done all the time about the most well known mondegreens (a word I learned of just a minute ago).

All that to say there is just such a minunderstanding/misquote in Sunday's lesson from 1 Timothy. We all know the line, "the love of money is the root of all evil." It get's quoted all the time. People are very careful to remind us that it doesn't say money, but the love of money. I'm grateful that they work so hard to get the first part right, but wonder why they then ignore the second half, which is misquoted over and over again. The line from Paul to Timothy actually reads,

"the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains."
Huge difference. Like bad moon/bathroom big. The love of money is NOT *the* root of all evil but *a* root of all kinds of evil. There are plenty of other roots of evil things; lust and pride, just to name a few from religion headlines this week.

And Paul's real life warning is not less true for those sins. In their eagerness to be rich (to get laid, to puff themselves up, etc.) some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. What it really comes down to, is that Paul is using wealth as an example of how pursuit of self-interests leads to death, while the pursuit of the kingdom leads to "life that really is life."

Which sort of life have you chosen? To misquote Moses for a moment, "I have set before you this day life and death. Choose the life that really is life."

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