Absent From the Body…

 

Many, many times, I’ve heard the phrase “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

Is anyone else bothered by this?  Or is it just me?

I’m not saying that I don’t believe it’s true–I honestly don’t know and really haven’t studied it.  Maybe we are immediately in heaven when we die–I’d certainly prefer to believe that.  “Soul sleep,” hanging out in limbo somewhere until the rapture, is not a particularly attractive idea.  It’s more appealing to picture my departed loved ones in heaven with Jesus. 

But I am quite sure that 2 Corinthians 5: 6-8, which this popular phrase appears to quote, does not say any such thing.  I’ve checked numerous different translations, and they all say the same thing:  that while we are in this body we are away from the Lord, and that we would rather be away from the body and present with the Lord.  It makes no claim whatsoever that this is what actually happens immediately upon death.  It is a simple statement of our desires.

So why is this catchphrase so popular in Christendom?  Are there other scriptures that definitively show this is true?  And if so, why is this the one I hear “quoted?”  Anyone have insight on this?

 

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About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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3 Responses to Absent From the Body…

  1. Amanda says:

    Jesus speaking to the thief on the cross.  “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23:43

  2. homefire says:

    Aha!  Thank you!  Like I said, I want it to be true…it just irks me when people act as if that verse proves it!

  3. Ronda, you are NOT the only one bothered by this (and many, many other Christian misquotes/catchphrases. We have diluted our message into soundbites and catchphrases and it has rendered the us, and ultimately the gospel, completely ineffective! I am currently mentoring a man who was recently released from prison. The other week we went through, at his request, many of these sniper phrases that Christians like to shoot from afar to keep them from being questioned too critically. It seems that we feel quite smug and accomplished because of our ability to quickly end any naysayer with our phrases; unbelievers, however, are simply rolling their eyes at us and walk away shaking their heads. Is that what Christ has called us to?It’s past time that we let the Scripture say exactly what it says; in context; without our theological preferences superimposed on it. It’s time we realize how powerless we are against the enemy with our prepackaged answers to honest questions!So, yes, it bothers me that most Christians misquote the verse you mentioned. And, I agree, that’s not at all what Paul was trying to say!

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