Blasphemy on Sunday morning

“The misuse of meaningful songs, or even only a lack of understanding and feeling in singing them communally, has a devastating effect. When we sing them in real community with the Holy Spirit, we sense something of innermost holiness. Such songs should be sung only at very special moments, only at times of God-given experiences. To suggest songs that were once written in the Spirit, with the idea of producing an atmosphere that does not exist, to sing ‘God is present with us!’ when no one feels that God really is present, to dare to sing ‘Lord of all, to Thee we bow’ when there is no real honoring of God’s greatness in the atmosphere of the meeting is a misuse that borders on the sin against the Holy Spirit.”

— Eberhard Arnold, God’s Revolution: Justice, Community, and the Coming Kingdom

Holy ignorance of our shining

Oh, for closest communion with God, till soul and body, head, face, and heart shine with Divine brilliancy! But oh! for a holy ignorance of our shining!

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Pornography: the new minstrel show

Pornography, if it’s defended, is defended in the name of freedom of expression. The creators of pornography, it is argued, are making an artistic statement. Okay, few defenders of pornography are willing to call it art. But they claim that pornographic performers are proud of their bodies, free from sexual hang-ups, and eager to share their worldview with the rest of us.

That makes pornography the direct counterpart of the 19th century minstrel show. Both pornography and minstrelsy depict an idealized world that doesn’t really exist. And both involve the exploitation of the people they are supposed to be depicting.
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The Josiah Generation

A generation is coming that will not follow the faith of their fathers. They will go beyond the faith of their fathers. Like King Josiah, they will look at the promise of God’s Word and the state of typical religion, and they will choose to follow God’s Word. They will strive to make God’s Word alive in their world. They will not seek to entertain themselves in their minds, but will entertain God in their homes and hearts. They will not compromise. They will not leave God’s work undone.

The Process of Justifying Yourself

“Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus’ commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective ‘Christian’”
― Wendell Berry, Blessed are the Peacemakers: Christ’s Teachings of Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness, via Relevant Magazine.

Back to nature

Jolly Blogger makes several good points in his comments about Silent Spring, a book which helped to launch the environmental movement.

  • Believers should care more about the natural world than unbelievers do, because we know the one who made it
  • We should care about the natural world, not because it’s purer and superior to us, but because it’s fallen like us.

Imaginative conversions

For years, I was involved with Christian theater. In fact, three of my acquaintances became Christians through evangelistic drama and films. Later, the first became a Marxist. The second became a Rotarian. The third murdered his wife.

God would never make you uncomfortable.

Today’s heresy is related to my theory of proportional discipleship, that no Christian’s devotion to God should be more than one standard deviation above society in general. Today’s heresy suggests that God is bound by a similar rule. He will never say anything or ask you to do anything that’s more than one standard deviation outside your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is sacred and God will never violate it. Read the rest of this entry »