Archive for November, 2004

This way has no retreats.

“Behold, my children, this way has no retreats; there are also no byways, that lie on the right hand of the left… If you do what I write, you will see me again in great glory…”

– Maeyken van Deventer, Martyrs Mirror, p. 977-979

When you can’t see clearly

You can look through your glasses, but you can’t look at your glasses at the same time. Your perspective is the same way. Only God and your brothers and sisters can give you any different perspective. That’s why you don’t see your needs. We need community, a closer community than most have ever experienced, in order to break free and be healed. In most of our religious organizations, we don’t get close enough to really see each other’s needs, let alone really help them. It’s as if your cancer surgeon greeted you warmly, pointed to the tumor bulging through your skin, waved his scalpel with a smile, but never began operating. The scalpel has to get close enough to cut before it does any good.

Adorn yourself with the fine linen of righteousness.

“Therefore my dear sister in the Lord, adorn yourself with the fine linen of righteousness, in honor of your Bridegroom until the days of tribulation shall be at an end.”

– George Kleemaecker, Martyrs Mirror, p. 966

Redemption and lift

Sociologists decry the weaknesses of single-parent families, but how many of them speak out against the socially-acceptable sins that made them common? Historically, repentance and conversion, not social programs, have been the only effective solution for a myriad of problems such as child abuse, child exploitation, poor working conditions, low incomes, high unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse and teen pregnancy. God helps a father to stop drinking and start working, God helps the father’s employer to provide job training and increase wages, God helps the employer’s teenaged daughter to seek love from himself instead of boys. Social scientists have even coined a term for the phenomenon: “redemption and lift.”

Except, the anointing oil of James healed the sick…

“I do not believe the anointing with oil of which James writes has anything in common with your oil, for the oil of which James writes healed the sick.”

– Jacob de Roore, the Chandler, Martyrs Mirror, p. 774-785

Cheap grace and false conversion

If I had cancer, I’d want to know in time. It wouldn’t be a kindness to wait until nothing could be done. Particularly when my soul is at stake. Nowadays few people think about their soul. As Jesus says, “What does it profit a man if he gain the world and lose his soul,” the world yawns. But the word “soul” means “mind, emotions and will.” As your “harmless sins” grind away at your unkept conscience, can you see that you lose your ability to think clearly, to feel deeply and to force yourself out of your rut into a decision?

What a dark place it was formerly with you.

“My dear friends, what a dark place it was formerly with you, and what dark places there are still; but you have obtained mercy.”

– Jan Thielemans, Martyrs Mirror, p. 731-736

True prayer must be aflame.

“True prayer must be aflame.”

– E. M. Bounds