Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Faith Blog

"God, give us men!  A time like this demands strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;  Men whom the lust of office does not kill.
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;  Men who possess opinions and a will:
men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog in public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds, their large professions and their little deeds, mingle in selfish strife, lo!  Freedom weeps, wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps"

Josiah Gilbert Holland (d. 1881), a poet and the founder and editor of the popular Scribner's Monthly, penned these words.  They simply can't have been as perfect for their times as they are for ours.

"Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully."  Proverbs 28:5

Have a good Sunday......pray hard......We know how much our country needs it and 'strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands.'



Silverfiddle said...

Unfortunately, our public education system, hijacked by union syndicates, does not encourage such virtues, and our trashy society no longer cherishes or rewards them, so here we are...

Ed Bonderenka said...

Silver, I wonder if the homeschooling movement isn't providing society the next generation of brilliant thinkers and doers.
There is some evidence of that.
Small in numbers, mighty in deeds.

Z said...

SF: And we have about two generations of parents now raised in that awful system; kids don't even get it at home anymore. SOME DO, I see it all the time, but not most of our kids.
It's one thing to have a terrible economy and laws that aren't good for us, etc., but when our kids are ruined...that's a tough spot we may not recover from.

Z said...

Ed, I hope you have any idea how many kids are home schooled? just how "small in numbers" is it?

Ed Bonderenka said...

From :
In 2007, the number of homeschooled students was about 1.5 million, an increase from 850,000 in 1999 and 1.1 million in 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.9 percent in 2007.

I.H.S. said...

"Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully." Proverbs 28:5

"God give us men..." Who will help us to seek and understand The Man; You gave to us over 2000 years ago.


FreeThinke said...

This may not seem t be a direct response to today's post, but if you stop to think, I'm sure you will be able to see how it applies. Universal Principles apply to ALL people in ALL situations at ALL times.

Scottish Theologian Oswald Chambers on Defending Oneself Against Attack from the CHRISTIAN Perspective:

I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also — Matthew 5:39

"This verse reveals the humiliation of being a Christian. In the natural realm, if a person does not hit back, it is because he is a coward. But in the spiritual realm, it is the very evidence of the Son of God in him if he does not hit back. When you are insulted, you must not only not resent it, but you must make it an opportunity to exhibit the Son of God in your life. And you cannot imitate the nature of Jesus— it is either in you or it is not. A personal insult becomes an opportunity for a saint to reveal the incredible sweetness of the Lord Jesus.

"The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not, “Do your duty,” but is, in effect, “Do what is not your duty.” It is not your duty to go the second mile, or to turn the other cheek, but Jesus said that if we are His disciples, we will always do these things. We will not say, “Oh well, I just can’t do any more, and I’ve been so misrepresented and misunderstood.” Every time I insist on having my own rights, I hurt the Son of God, while in fact I can prevent Jesus from being hurt if I will take the blow myself. That is the real meaning of filling “up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ . . .” (Colossians 1:24). A disciple realizes that it is his Lord’s honor that is at stake in his life, not his own honor.

"Never look for righteousness in the other person, but never cease to be righteous yourself. We are always looking for justice, yet the essence of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is— Never look for justice, but never cease to give it under every conceivable set of circumstances".

What most of us fail to grasp most of the time is that the principle illustrated in this biblical text, and Oswald Chambers' elaboration on it applies equally to the Powerful, the Humble, to Victims, to Oppressors, to Management, to Labor, to Doctors, to Patients, -- to EVERYONE at ALL times in ALL places.

THAT is the BEAUTY -- and the BURDEN -- of making a serious attempt at following Christ Jesus. That most fail -- miserably -- to heed His extraordinarily challenging advice does nothing to diminish it value and significance -- or to dim our hope for Salvation.

In applying Matthew 5:39 to the Martin-Zimmerman case one could only conclude -- if one thinks logically instead of emotionally -- that because NEITHER Zimmerman nor Martin understood the meaning of "turn the other cheek" a terrible tragedy occurred. If EITHER one ha stopped to think of Jesus, NEITHER one would have had to suffer or die.

You see being "right" from a legalistic perspective doesn't matter -- neither does being "wrong."

Being WISE -- and always protective of Christ (i.e. the perfect embodiment and personification of our finest hopes and highest ideals), even to the point of permitting ourselves to be KILLED rather than betray Him -- DOES matter.

A sincere belief in continual Self-Sacrifice as The Highest Good is the only way we could ever hope to break the vicious cycle of Attack and Retribution that has plagued the world since Cain slew Abel.

Bob said...

FT said, "You see being "right" from a legalistic perspective doesn't matter -- neither does being "wrong."

That was a very thoughtful and powerful comment, FT. Thanks for those words to remind us of what we are supposed to be. It is not easy living a Christian life, and I fail at it all the time.

Yes, I do try to forgive those who trespass against me, especially if I cannot do anything to exact revenge. I admit to that even though it is not what I am supposed to do.

If I spent all my time being angry at bankers, stockbrokers, politicians, and others, I would have no life at all. It is tough to remember that is not my purpose in life as a Christian. We know better.

Once again, thanks for the thought provoking post.

As to Z's original subject, I don't believe men exist to meet all those ideological requirements, and never has existed. I do believe that men (and women) can step forward and do good things in spite of their personal agendas which we all have.

Z said...

The point is WE STRIVE....and we strive for GOOD.

sue hanes said...

Amen to that - Z. Have a good Sunday.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Watchman Nee wrote a great book that changed my life. It's called The Normal Christian Life.
The point is that there's nothing normal about it.
But we can't do it on our own.
We need to ask God to live it through us.
"who shall deliver me from this body of sin? I thank God..."

Ducky's here said...

Ed, there is no evidence that the home schoolers are part of a movement that produced anything extraordinary so what are we to expect?

I had an evangelical radio channel on in the car the other day driving up to Vermont and the preacher was explaining the meaning of the term Leviathan in Job.

Was it an elephant?
Was it a Nile hippopotamus?

No, the preacher is sure was a dinosaur and went on to go through contortions to support that idea.

It's a fundamentalist ideal that is present in a lot of the home school movement and isn't a promising source of creative thought.
It's more likely to produce the kind of thought that just shuts out talk of climate change because the hydrocarbons are there for us to use until the end times.

No Ed, the thinkers you are looking for and the ones we desperately need are elsewhere.

Bob said...

Ducky's here said...
" I had an evangelical radio channel on in the car the other day driving up to Vermont and the preacher was explaining the meaning of the term Leviathan in Job.

Was it an elephant?
Was it a Nile hippopotamus?

No, the preacher is sure was a dinosaur... "

You have a lot more patience than I when it comes to listening to radio preachers. It may interest you that literal people like this guy populate not only the religious world and conservative ranks, but also the liberal intellectual wannabe's, also.

We conservatives do not have a monopoly on ignorant people within our fold. Look at all those so called liberal people who believe everything the Obama govt says. That is as ignorant as believing that dinosaurs roamed the earth during the civil war, or that the earth is only six thousand years old.

There are literally millions of people saying ignorant things, and not a few have PhD's. Surprised? Don't be.

Science has a black eye when viewed historically. After all, science upends itself every few years, and many of the things we thought were absolute, or sacrosanct, change with new data.

This is what happened to global warming scientists. As new data and new studies rolled in over twenty years, the scientific underpinnings of climate change theory simply eroded away. All they are left with are loonies like Al Gore and a plethora of greenie advocates just as ignorant as the preacher you listened to on the radio.

Damn. I agreed with Ducky :-(

FreeThinke said...

Thank you, Bob, for your understanding and appreciation. It's a great help in making me realize I am not totally alone out on the fringes of The Great Beyond, as I sometimes feel I must be from the deafening silence, mockery or stern disapproval that so often accompanies my remarks.

Notice one thing please about our friend Canardo. He almost never seizes on anything he might be glad about, or in sympathy with. He searches only for the worm in every apple, the hole in every doughnut, and the stain on every carpet or upholstered piece in the room.

You know who The Great Negator is, of course. I shall not give his more familiar name. Those who serve him are in this world only for the purpose of leading us astray -- rather like an army of Pied Pipers tootling their way toward Perdition -- and taking every lost soul in the world along with them.

Whenever we feel we must be in harmony with a naysayer, you may be sure we are headed for Big Trouble.

Z said...

Ducky, don't waste time listening to the nuts then act like they represent most Christians..silly.

FT...I often think that "if they'd stopped and thought about Jesus.." this tragedy could not have happened; you are right.