Tag Archives: bible
A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.
His father said he’d make a deal with his son: ‘You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible, and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.’
The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the offer, and they agreed on it.
After about six weeks his father said, ‘Son, you’ve brought your grades up and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.
The boy said, ‘You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair ~ ~ ~ and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.’
You’re going to love the Dad’s reply:
‘Did you also notice that they all walked everywhere they went?’
Genesis: That garden was a total disaster. It had no border protection at all – something that we can thank Bill Clinton for. Snakes were crossing the border, trying to steal fruit and jobs. Wouldn’t have happened had I been there. I would have built a wall and made the snake pay for it. I would have vetted every snake.
Exodus: Let’s talk about Moses. He achieved nothing during the first 80 years of his life. You look at his record. He won’t tell you this, but he did nothing. And are we sure he was even an Israelite? He lived in the Egyptian palace. When he had the chance, he couldn’t even get into the Promised Land. Sad.
Numbers & Deuteronomy: NO ONE has more respect for the Mosaic Law than me. I have never once broken it.
Judges: Don’t like Deborah. No understanding of foreign policy. Don’t like Gideon. No understanding of military strength. Samson endorsed me.
1 Samuel: David’s “election” as the future king of Israel was completely rigged by the liberal media. He was the least qualified of all the candidates! Every poll showed David trailing, and yet somehow he won the position. The media won’t talk about this!
Nehemiah: He understood the importance of walls, which I like. His policy on helping the poor? Disaster. He empowered them by helping them. He probably liked Obamacare.
Job: Job was a man who knew how to run a business (and probably a country). He loses everything and then be builds it all over again. His wife seemed like a nasty woman, though. And he wouldn’t have had so many health issues if Obamacare was repealed. I’m going to turn that back.
Song of Solomon: My favorite book. I’ve said almost all these things to Melania, who I respect. ONLY MELANIA. No one else. I respect all women. No one respects them more. Not even women. Hillary doesn’t respect women as much as I do.
Lamentations: This book is a warning of what America will become without me.
Daniel: I’m not friends with Nebuchadnezzar. I respect him as a bigly leader. I think it would be good if we got along with Babylon. I think it would help us as we fight ISIS, which is a complete disaster right now. But no, I’m not friends with him.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John: Hillary started the birther talk that Jesus was actually born out of wedlock. I am ending it right now. I am finally bringing that to a close.
Acts: Peter and John had no silver or gold to give to the lame beggar. Why do you think that was? Taxes and NAFTA! Both of which crooked Hillary wants to increase!
1 & 2 Corinthians: I’m grateful to have the endorsement of the super apostles who refused to endorse Paul. So who’s the better leader – me or Paul? I’ll let you decide. Also, he says he’s been to the third heaven? But where’s the evidence? This is, yet again, the liberal media at work.
Revelation: Jerry Falwell Jr. has informed me that if I am elected, there is a high probability that the 1,000 year reign of Christ will begin. He also told me that Hillary is the anti-Christ.
The newly retired Moderator of a fellow Scottish Presbyterian Church has an Internet blog, written in his capacity as a Parish Minister in his particular denomination.
He seems to spend virtually every post, criticising, condemning, and commentating negatively on the Kirk.
According to this narrow minded bigoted view, the Church of Scotland has become apostate, heretical, unbiblical – because of recent decisions made by our General Assembly and by words spoken by individual ministerial colleagues. He has actually gone as far as to suggest that the Kirk deserves to die – an appalling and unsavoury remark from a fellow Christian minister.
In the immortal words of Dad’s Army’s Private Fraser (John Lawrie – from just down the road in Dumfries), “We’re doomed. Doomed, I tell ye!”
Certainly, there is a lot happening within the Kirk that is causing strain and stress.
Take for example, the Assembly’s discussion and debate on the Overture regarding Ministers in Same Sex Marriage. Although that comparatively brief discussion was, on the whole, conducted in a civilised manner, before this, there has been so much bile, unpleasantness, and a downright lack of Christian charity.
Several ministers and some congregations have left the Kirk as a result.
Last Saturday, at the Assembly, 215 commissioners voted against the Overture. 339 voted “for”.
Division, disagreement, disruption
Over the years, numerically, we are in decline….. for many different reasons – such as members becoming older and sadly being no longer with us; of younger people who have no interest; of some long term members who – for whatever the reason – have just given up.
The way we were – St Mary’s Church, 1901
I was ordained in 1974. Then Kirk membership was about a million. 42 years on – it’s standing at around 370,000.
I remember sometime around 1990, a member of staff from the Church Offices came to address my then Presbytery – Lothian.
He talked about church decline by way of membership numbers, and mentioned that if the trend continued, Edinburgh (our neighbouring Presbytery) would have no members by 2029 – and would effectively disappear.
Friendly rivalry caused many of us there at that evening’s meeting to guffaw – though it was no laughing matter.
He paused for a moment, then said: “I don’t know why you’re laughing; YOUR Presbytery will disappear the year after – in 2030!”
But – let’s say this…..
- The Church still stands.
Despite knock backs, despite setbacks, despite the downward trajectory we seem to be on – we’re still here….. we always will be.
Do you remember the story of Christ arriving in Heaven, and being asked how many folk he’d left to carry on, and he answers “Twelve”
“Twelve!” comes the incredulous reply, “Is that all?”
And he answers, “It’s enough”.
Things may not get as few as that here, but think of how the Church is actually growing – in Africa, Russia, China…… that’s more than enough!
I read yesterday that in 1900, there were 8 million Christians in Africa. Now there are 335 million. And the growth rate continues to accelerate.
For Christianity the 20th century was numerically the most successful century since Christ was crucified. By 2010, there were 2.2 billion Christians in the world, 31% of its population.
- And we stand for something.
Societal patterns are changing, as are attitudes, and as is need.
What is Church? It’s a group or congregation. Very often interpreted as people coming together on – usually a Sunday – to sing hymns, listen to the Minister say prayers (as to actually praying themselves) and listening to a sermon for ten/fifteen minutes…. then going home for lunch.
That may be “being” Church…. but “doing” Church involves more, so much more.
Helping, feeding, caring for those in need should be the ‘why’ of what we, if we truly want to “do”, not the how or the what. Following Christ’s teaching demands that we share the essentials of life unconditionally.
This is integral not peripheral, the beginning and not a side-line or optional extra. Jesus’ unequivocally states that we encounter ultimate meaning when we treat others as we would wish to be treated, love others as we love ourselves and meet the needs of the vulnerable, excluded and marginalised.
This is the imperative which drives and shapes the Church and its existence as a servant community, taking us back to Christ’s theology as found in his Parable of the Kingdom in Matthew 25
- And the Church doesn’t stand still
If you cast your mind back to the short address I gave near the beginning of today’s service – about the dog and the rabbit……
Let me – as it were – turn it around a bit…… and remind you of that wonderful poem written by Francis Thomson – The Hound of Heaven…..
“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him…”
Thomson’s story is punctuated by sorrow, failure and addiction. The squalor and self-medication of his age come through in every chapter of his life, ultimately ending in his death at age 48. But Thompson’s real legacy is not the opium that consumed his body, but the paw prints of a Hound he says relentlessly pursued his soul.
Thompson knew that Hound as the God Who draws sinners to Himself even as they flee from His voice, a dauntless Hunter of hearts.
In the 1930’s Stalin ordered a purge of all Bibles and all believers. In Stavropol, Russia, this order was carried out with vengeance. Thousands of Bibles were confiscated, and multitudes of believers were sent to the gulags-prison camps-where most died, unjustly condemned as “enemies of the state.”
An American missionary team were many years later to discover that there was a warehouse outside of town where these confiscated Bibles had been stored since Stalin’s day.
They got permission to remove them, helped by several Russians .
One helper was a young man-a skeptical, hostile agnostic who had come only for the day’s wages. As they were loading Bibles, one team member noticed that the young man had disappeared. Eventually they found him in a corner of the warehouse, weeping.
He had slipped away hoping to take a Bible for himself. What he did not know was that he was being pursued by the “Hound of Heaven.” What he found shook him to the core.
The inside page of the Bible he picked up had the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. It had been her personal Bible. Out of the thousands of Bibles still left in that warehouse, he stole the very one belonging to his grandmother-a woman, who throughout her entire life, was persecuted for her faith.
the “Hound of Heaven” who had tracked him down to that very warehouse with devastating effect.
Jesus is truly the ever-present, all-seeing “Hound of Heaven.” He can still track us down wherever we’re hiding!
He called that young Russian man and how many more like him will he seek and find!