A Ready Recollection

The Mind Numbing Ponderings Of A Pulpit Preacher

728b – by Jimmy Bagwell

728b - by Jimmy Bagwell

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Comics | Leave a comment

Blessed Are the Cheese Makers

 

Image

Allow me to use parody to explain a very important point. Imagine, if you will, the scene at the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is speaking to hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. Some strain their ears to her what Christ is saying. Now imagine an elderly lady who is hard of hearing and a philosopher who is standing next to her. The scene goes like this.

Jesus: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Elderly lady: What did he say? Blessed are the cheese makers?  What’s so special about them?

Philosopher: Oh, surely he is making reference to makers of dairy products in general.

Silly don’t you think? My point is this:  Believe it or not, the above is quite an accurate representation of how some people approach Scripture. Scripture renders a doctrine that they, due to their personal opinion or preference, cannot accept. Such being the case, the temptation to “read into the text” something that is not there is very real.

Many people cannot accept the bold exclusivity of scripture. They cannot wrap their minds around the possibility (nay the fact) that the road that leads to everlasting life is indeed very, very narrow.  Under the guise of unity and tolerance they re-invent, re-interpret, and re-word passages they perceive as “politically incorrect”.

In pursuit of inclusivity and diversity they build for themselves, and others, unfounded doctrines that are appealing, pleasurable, and entertaining. The result being a chaotic blend of spiritual and secular babbling that renders the truth of the Gospel ineffective.

When souls are at stake and the eternal destinies of people are at risk; is it really wise to play such word games?

May 8, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

The Shame-Driven Church

shameNow I’ve heard everything. A twisted spin on the cult favorite “Purpose Driven Church” has resulted in an about face of the Christian agenda. The result “The Shame-Driven Church”. A church where if you’re not stepping out of the “traditional” shadows then you’re not doing what Jesus wants you to.

Under the guise of unity and an appeal for acceptance a pseudo-Christian movement has swept our classes, universities, and our pulpits. Constantly berated to feel guilt and shame because traditional values (values based on Scripture) prevent the masses from being in full fellowship with the local body of Christians; many congregations have given in (or given up) and embraced a more fluid and culturally neutral “gospel”. The result; a you-do-it-your way and I’ll do-it-my-way mish-mash of conflicting ideas that have reduced many churches to nothing more that social clubs and half-way houses for the spiritually wishy-washy.

Young Christians are made to feel guilty if conclusions reached from simply reading the Bible cause them to even question the validity of certain opinions and preferences. A “thus sayeth the Lord” is no longer acceptable and will prevent others from coming to know Jesus. At least according to the mantra of many modern “preachers”.

In an appeal for validity, and to sound legitimate, the words of the apostle Paul are hurled about to prove a point:

 “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;”  

1 Corinthians 19:20.

By ignoring the context they conclude that if you want to reach the lost then you must present yourself as one who is also lost. You must adopt their ways and adapt to their lifestyle after all that’s what Jesus would do”. Really? Should Christians frequent bars providing such an establishment with income to save a drunk? Should a Christian spend time at a strip club dishing out twenty dollar bills to save the purveyors of immorality?

I am not saying that we should not make every effort to reach those that are lost. Nor am I endorsing the idea that we should isolate ourselves from the world around us. But let’s get real folks! You cannot reveal Christ to the world by becoming like the world! Being made to feel guilty because you are no longer like the world is not the answer. Being made to feel shame because you hold yourself to a higher standard than those in the world is both immoral and ungodly.

I believe Jesus said it best in John 17 when he prayed on behalf of His followers I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil”.

Christians are not of this world even though we are in it. We are different. The blood of Christ has made us different. Adopting the ways of the world so that we can be perceived as more tolerant and loving is nothing more that superficial sentimentality. It is hypocrisy to the nth degree and brings shame upon the body of Christ.

May 6, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment