Archive for February, 2007

Love our enemies or die

“In the face of all-annihilating weapons, the natural next step may be the use of no weapons. It may be the only possibly effective defense against the ultimate weapon is no weapon at all. It may be that the presence of nuclear weapons in the world serves notice that the command to love one another is an absolute practical necessity, such as we never dreamed it to be before, and that our choice is not to win or lose, but to love our enemies or die.”

— Wendell Berry, Property, Patriotism and National Defense

Six degrees of Bob Jones

  1. Bob Jones was a famous fundamentalist leader who believed you should separate yourself from believers who haven’t separated themselves from errant believers.
  2. Bob Jones once met C.S. Lewis, and is supposed to have said, “That man smokes a pipe, and that man drinks liquor – but I do believe he is a Christian!”
  3. Fellow professor J.R.R. Tolkien (and Roman Catholic) was a major influence in moving C.S. Lewis toward Christ.
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote “The Lord of the Rings.”
  5. Ian McClellan had a prominent role in three films based on “The Lord of the Rings.”
  6. Ian McClellan is an avowed homosexual and is active in the call for gay rights.

There you have it… from Bob Jones to Rome to gay rights… in just six degrees.

Well, what do you know?

People talk about revelation, and say it has ceased; but what ignorance it bespeaks, when man knows not the least thing on earth without revelation.

— Elias Hicks

Be half-filled with the Spirit

Being completely filled (controlled, dominated, etc.) by the Holy Spirit of God can be inconvenient and difficult. What if customarily you prefer to be filled with something else, perhaps yourself? What if you fear, with good reason, that the Lord of the Universe will guide you into personally-compromising places? (more…)

Follow you? Follow who? Who, me?

…If you had been living in Jesus’ time and had heard him teaching, would you have been one of his followers?
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Jesus had an eye color.

When at 14, I first heard the claim that Jesus was the son of God (somehow my previous church had missed this teaching), I remember that I was most offended by the specificity of the claim, not by anything else.

I reasoned, “There are five major world religions. What are the odds that I just happened to be born into the right one?”
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Don’t get specific with me.

What makes the gospel offensive is sometimes not its message but its specificity. We aren’t bothered by generalities about spirituality, but we bristle at specifics about our own lives. (more…)

On being a doormat

God has a will and work for us to do, and it doesn’t really matter how we get treated by others along the way. But he doesn’t intend for his purpose to be replaced by someone turning us into a doormat. If I’m going to be a martyr, I want it to be because God commanded it. I have been known to turn the other cheek very belligerently: “I’m laying down my life for you because of what Jesus did for me, buster. This doesn’t mean you’ve won over him or over me.” But that’s not exactly the right attitude! Also, we can replace God’s compassion with human sympathy: “You know, if you really cared about your neighbors, you wouldn’t sleep until they had all been converted”… or until you were hospitalized with exhaustion.