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February 09, 2009

Quotes for the Day

Two quotations from C.T. Studd:

1. Christ's call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil's clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. When we are in hand-to-hand conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil himself, neat little Biblical confectionery is like shooting lions with a pea-shooter. God needs a man who will not let go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, in the power of the Holy Ghost. Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count. [Emphasis mine]

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You people are scary. But then, all fundamentalists are.

Rolley Haggard

I never thought of Jesus as scary. . . . but if you say so.

Jason Taylor

Of course He's scary. He's not a tame lion.

But could Andy please define what he thinks "fundamentalist" means?


If we follow his #1, we will lose our influence on our culture, and our children. Oh, wait, we already followed his advice and did.

If we live out our faith, beauty and creativity will flow forth and demonstrate to the surrounding culture that something is here, and more than you'd find at an Amway meeting.

What does he mean by Bible confectionery? How do you interpret what he is saying in #2?

Personally, I think atheists are scary - they murdered more than 100 million people in the last century, and martyred more Christians in that century than in the 19 centuries previous.

Jason Taylor

Well, atheists say, that's "really another religion." But then Christians say Inquisitors,"Weren't real Christians", and Communists say that Communists,"Weren't real Communists". And whatever.
More to the point atheists are annoying and remarkably trollish whether or not they are scary.


What is common to all fundamentalists, whether Christian, communist, atheist or whatever, is the inevitable employment of war-talk. Whenever a movement uses warrior vernacular, I know that it has the potential for violent action. So yeah with the scary.

Jason Taylor

So then, are football teams scary? They use war talk.

And what about elections? Every four years we have a "campaign".

Jason Taylor

And what about weathermen talking about "fronts?"

Jason Taylor

The use of millitary metaphors, not only dates back to the Old Testament, but is common in many cultures and has been so for thousands of years. It is not clear that, the custom makes people any more capable of violent action. I use military metaphors because in fact I am interested in war and knowledgeable about it. Someone has to be. And while I am certainly "capable of violent action" as I slew many a fly when I was young, I hardly think I am more so then many an avowed pacifist.

Chinese say things like "Cao, Cao arives" and "Three tanners overcome one Zhuge Liang". Presumably rice farmers are warlords from Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Computer Geeks talk of "Trojan Horses".

And don't get me started on businessmen reading Sun Tsu.

Ben Winchester

Gotta watch out for them weathermen.. I hear there's a war coming between them and climatologists over global warming.

Hey, let's not get too zealous, though. Zeal leads to the Inquisition, women's rights, and tampons vs. pads arguments.


Back to the original quotes:

Certainly we can't cave or compromise with the spirit of the age, for example as some Christians do with homosexual sin, or divorce, or Darwinism.

There are people who aren't honestly asking honest questions, and it is not inappropriate to call them on that. And the point out that sort of thing, and specious arguments for the sake of the hearers.

But if what CTS said meant to stand on street corners yelling from the King James, that just isn't very effective in this climate, is it?

We do need to live the faith, not merely preach it. That means we need to realize that every part of our lives, every talent and hobby ought to be consciously lived out to the glory of God. Churches therefore ought to be beautiful and look like churches (within budget), they shouldn't be ugly and look like an office complex or a school. There is a 'language' of symbols within architecture and within Christianity that needs to be remembered and used when designing new church buildings.

This does not, I think, mean being haughty, but rather that our own creativities within the congregation can be expressed.

Our lives should show that there is more than work and TV. That life is fraught with meaning, that we realize this, and we live that to the glory of God.

The Great commission is to teach disciples *everything* Jesus taught (and that includes the whole Bible), not merely make converts and move on.

Mary DeMuth

As one who has lived overseas and experienced a target (yes, correct metaphor) on my head, I can attest to the reality of spiritual warfare. It may be muddled here in the land of plenty where complacency dulls our relationship to God. But the enemy is alive and well everywhere and he doesn't take kindly to Christ-followers.

Diane Singer

What struck me most about Studd's words is the idea that Christians (in the West, at least) have been too content with a passive, watered-down, safely "sweet" (confectionary) faith. We want our Christian walk to take place inside pretty buildings filled with nice people -- which is nothing like the Christian experience of a Paul, a Peter, a John, etc.

And, given the very real spiritual battle (one with eternal outcomes) that rages around us daily, we need more passion, more "forked lightning" commitment to live out our faith in an increasingly dark world.

I have a friend, a former Army Ranger, who likes to say, "Jesus Christ is my point man, and life is a combat mission." If you are uncomfortable with military metaphors for the spiritual life, I invite you to take a closer look at your Bible, where they abound.


I think of the Salvation Army's military metaphors here.

Surely noone (even atheists) sees their proven actions in helping the poor, downtrodden as something threatening.

A lot of this whole "scary fundamentalists" language is just that 99% just "scare language".

Researching wht persons of faith are doing in your town to make the world better would almost totally amaze most people. Lots of poor being helped, lots of single / divorced moms helped, some work in training people to have better job skills, inviting people to be part of a community...leveling at least some of the class distinctions thru worship---some real examples of interracial cooperations...Lots of great things... Not to mention probably most of the hospitals near most people were founded by persons of faith...to serve the sick.

Jason Taylor

Admittedly "Reconquer the city for God" does sound like an odd metaphor for,"Pray for the city a lot."

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