Circus Knife-Thrower

I heard you use the Word

And I looked it up as well

And I felt the sting of shame

And I feel that I must tell

That you used it out of order

That you hurled it like a blade

And the cutting brought no healing

Only schism, Slewfoot-made.

And the shame I feel, for Jesus

He deserves our loving touch

We, His Body meant to comfort

We, His purchase costing much.

Yet you drag us to contention

Where the intellects abrade.

Friend, I will not go there with you

To the pot-hole you have made.

Take a look and see your face there

On the waters, looking back.

It is darkened now by censure

And the graces that you lack.

Not Even Blushing

Jeremiah 6:

13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.

Take a look at the churches today. Are they honestly addressing the hurt of the daughters and sons of their people? Or are they too much dedicated to keeping the merry-go-round of program going. All must be smiles and positive comment. The worldly pre-occupations of the people (covetousness) must be given appropriate “teaching”. So-called sermons on prosperity and fulfilling lifestyle take up precious time from the pulpit.

Jesus said that he came to act as physician for the sick and heavy laden. We won’t even acknowledge that we are sick. Envious. Gossiping. Posturing. Haughty. Insincere. Prayer-less. Cowardly in testimony. Unsympathetic. Unfamiliar with the real Jesus of the Gospels.

I remember Steve Brown of the Key Life radio broadcast saying something to the following effect:

‘Find a church of messed up people who know that they are messed up and not reluctant to admit it, but are honestly in love with the righteous Elder Brother Jesus, and seeking more each day to understand and walk in His footsteps and to seize opportunities to pass on His promises and warnings.’

The prophet Jeremiah, in addressing the religion of his day saw a frail papier mache edifice about to crumble, although many of the right words and religious forms continued to issue forth. Our churches sound the part, but are departing from the heart, honesty and healing of the Gospel. Similarly they are not checked, convicted or found blushing.

Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON

No Wiggle Room

An acquaintance from a former house church gathering has launched an inter-faith group and has set up a point of reference on Facebook. She also works part-time as a hospital chaplain, where of course, inclusiveness is the key word.

She is out and about inviting people to drop by the little periodic gatherings to share testimonies and to identify points of commonality in faiths.

I wonder for a dedicated believer how this measure lines up with John 14, Hebrews 13 or Galatians 5. I recall Paul the Apostle saying that he had become all things to all people, but that had to do with wisdom in moderating the approach to the Good News to different groups; it did not have to do with enjoying regular fellowship/meals with them.

And John in his First Epistle is adamant about this dangerous courting of the world.

This sort of thinking has caused others to call me intolerant, unloving and impractical. But I am told in Ephesians without qualification that I am supposed to speak the truth in love.

I have no time for syncretic elbow rubbing. Testimony…yes as the Spirit leads.

John Four and a Thirsty Woman

Each noon for the water
When others were gone
And Jacob’s well good all these years.
Their gossip was hurtful
Could not get along
Alone I addressed all my fears.
The men had been many
Not all had been wed
To me, or to those gone before.
The present one helpful
Perhaps there was love
Provided I cooked, swept the floor.
But here sat a man
And waiting it seemed
And asking me for a cool drink.
And I of Samaria
And he quite the Jew
Oh what would the gossipers think?
He spoke of a water
That never ran dry
That tasted as fresh as the dew.
A strange living water
Relieving all thirst
As if all my past life He knew.
But no condemnation
Just hope in His eyes
And gentle words thrilling my soul
I must tell the others
Could this be the One?
Long pledged to make broken hearts whole?

Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON

Down the Sideroad

I had been duped
A foolish pawn
Without real pluck
To carry on.
The preacher said
That all was well
No mention of
The fact of Hell.
I simply must
Blend in some Christ
A recipe
That would suffice.
No need to die
To what was mine.
No need to plead
For Light divine.
Insolvency
Quite overlooked.
A “second best”
That had me hooked.
And all around
Folks fell in line
Complacency
That worked just fine.
We missed the Cross
Had never known.
The ransomed heart
Is overthrown.

A Tight Summary of Our Mess

This razor-sharp evangelical heart clarifies the “authoritative message” of the New Testament, and faces full on the hazard of being called intolerant and dogmatic in a liberal Western world that seems to cry out for man’s definition of love (not God’s) through the inclusive and the fluctuating.

Books and books and books on the Epistles may be found on the shelves from this apologist, but here he pin-points our problems and the only solution in 20 minutes.

I believe that the interviewer plays devil’s advocate yet smiles as she watches the old Expositor knock down with holy confidence every pin of unbelief and rebellion, philosophy and vain deceit.

But I know that many watching will be rankled because they have not yet been slapped across the back of the head by the mercy of conviction of sin, and by the revelation and astonishment of atonement’s plan (Isaiah 53). Such matters remain in the hands of Sovereign God and His exquisite timing.