Archive for July, 2005

Marionettes without a puppeteer

More than anyone else, I guess, I’m concerned for people who seem to have no motivating force in their lives. They remind me of marionettes without a puppeteer. In the hands of a master, nearly every string of a marionette is taut, ready for action, ready for movement. In the bottom of his box, every string of a marionette is slack, not only unmoving but unready to be moved. People who are empowered by the Holy Spirit seem ready to respond to their master’s slightest motion, without the slightest warning.

You are not in the Bible.

It’s good to claim the Bible’s promises, but most of them are conditional: either explicitly conditional, (“If we confess our sins” I John 1:9) or implicitly conditional (“and the peace of God… will guard your hearts” Phil. 4:7)

A Bible promise for which we have not met the conditions is not a Bible promise that applies to us. (more…)

Reducing the Kingdom to its least denominators

We have not rejected the Kingdom. We have reduced it.

— E. Stanley Jones, The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person

The Kingdom is total.

[The Kingdom of God] is a complete totalitarianism in which, when you obey it totally, you find total freedom. I do not argue. I only testify: When I belong to Christ and his Kingdom, I am most my own.

— E. Stanley Jones, The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person

Safer to separate the sinners from us nice people

Now that my former boss Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, it’s become easier to think of him as a ruthless criminal instead of a Baptist Sunday School teacher. It’s more comforting that way. (more…)

Better than rituals and memories is…

The early disciples had little ritual but a mighty realization. They went out not remembering Christ, but experiencing him.

–E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of Experience

Worship the Bible and worship yourself

The problem with loudly claiming the Bible as your only guide to faith and practice is that, at the same time, you may be quietly claiming your own intellect as your only guide to the Bible. If you aren’t, what other guide to the Bible do you claim? Can’t think of one? I suspected as much. (more…)

Now Lord, please don’t go to any trouble for me!

My 93-year-old, blind, deaf, arthritic grandmother hates to be helped. We finally learn to stop replying to comments such, “Don’t go to any trouble!” “I hate to have you wait on me,” “I’m just a lazy bum.” I wonder if, when she arrives at the gates of Heaven, she will say to Jesus, “Now Lord, please don’t go to any trouble for me! I can help myself.”