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

This is our last pain.

“Let us fight valiantly, for this is our last pain; hereafter we shall rejoice with God in endless joy.”

– Joris, Wouter, Grietgen and Naentgen, Martyrs Mirror, p. 503

Violence produces justice

People who turn the other cheek don’t get much respect. Oh, some admire us for our constancy. But if they really want to get something done, and done quickly, most people count on weaponry.

Before 1966, nearly all of the American civil rights movement was committed to Christian nonviolence. Then some young black leaders began calling for “black power.” They demanded to know how passive resistance could ever bring freedom to their people.

In spite of my non-resistant Anabaptist beliefs, I have to confess that they had a good point. Historically, violence has been one of the most powerful tools for spreading justice and righteousness. Don’t believe it? Read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting to know yourself

It is difficult for the one who loves to talk to get to know himself. If he would think of who he is, he would not have so much to say. Look at yourself! Leave the rest.

— Othmar Roth, Sankt Gallen in Switzerland, 1532, Ausbund 58

Non-theistic space

Another in the series of common yet undocumented heresies: let’s call this one “non-theistic space.” Astrophysicists theorize about alternate universes that we can’t touch. Non-theistic space contains the areas which God can’t control. Read the rest of this entry »

Rolling somewhere

After listening to President Bush’s State of the Union address last night, my Methodist-Buddhist uncle said, “Jesus Christ would have rolled over in his grave if he could have heard that.”

Think about that. Think all about that.

Could I interest you in some insurance?

“The image of God currently popular is that of a distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Saviour of whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. ”

A.W. Tozer

The word of God is a sword, not a vibrator.

Like a sword, the word of God is only powerful when it’s applied to a specific point, or along a specific line. Like a scalpel, its purpose is not to stimulate you generally, but to heal you precisely. It has to cut away something.