archive

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Love Letters

So how indeed did I spend my Christmas Eve? Well, yes, extended family. And my son is visiting from foreign lands. But I'm a dour man, and have no truck with frivolity -- Bloated Monster not withstanding. So I found the odd moment to blast off several missives to M, with whom I'm engaged in a sort of correspondence. I was last man on a long line of comments, upon which I'd been invited to kibitz. M represents himself as having lost his Christian faith. I don't believe such a thing is possible, but that'll be clarified as we proceed. So here, reported rather than recorded, are my judgments:

What is the basis of faith? Judas walked with Jesus, and didn't believe. Moses and the prophets could have appeared and preached, and some wouldn't believe. The stones could have cried out, and the dead did rise, and unbelief. So it's not ever about specifics. What is the basis for faith? Not the success or failure of the people around you, nor of intellect, nor of promises. Faith is a religious word, and I don't care much for it. As I've said before, a better word is trust. It's not what do you have faith in. It's who do you trust. Well? Who do you trust?

Clearly not Jesus.


What of disillusionment and conflict with the Bible and the church? Well, disillusionment is a good thing -- you'd rather be deceived? If you're disillusioned, it should be with yourself. The problem is neither the Bible nor the intellect, it's the ego. The problem isn't the church -- how could any conflict with some church cause disillusionment with God? If you see a connection, then you acknowledge, at the least, God. And haven't you been paying attention your whole life? People are the pigs the prodigal son slept among -- so what if they're Christian? Christians are not better, just saved.

Your pastor has expressed confidence that God still holds you as his own. Even from here in the heart of darkness I can agree that God can do this. As should be clear to any who've read my blog(s), I have a son. I won't go into specifics, but several years ago he wanted to do something I thoroughly disapproved of. He had it all worked out, and because he trusts me, he talked to me about it. And what I said, over the phone, was "Son, I know you're not going to do this." "Yeah, Dad, I am." "No. And here's how I know. You would not dishonor me. You would not bring shame to me." And it was true. I not only had his trust, I earned it. I have his respect, because I deserve it. And he was faithful to how I raised him, because I was faithful to him.

The pastor believes that you have the same relationship with God, that my son has with me. He knows you better than I do, so his opinion counts for something.

Then there followed a lot of noise that just irritated me. What can I say? I'm a practical guy. The pastor, doing his best, had posed the question, "What would God have do to..." and there was a bunch of replying, to which my response is that I know a boy who needs a smack across the head. Upshot? M assures that "God does not have to do ANYTHING to convince me..." Now, "liar" is such a harsh word...

M, if God doesn't have to do anything, and if you don't have faith, then what is to be done?


Well, apparently possessed of a strong support group -- family and friends ... or are they enablers? ... far be it from me to judge -- many well-wishers have flown to M's aid. "What about this? What about that?" they cluck. No, that's not it, and not this either, M graciously replies. Again, when my son was a very little boy, and in a mood, I comforted him. But it was up to him to give up the mood. Sometimes he wanted to hold onto it for a while. That was okay. I'd say, "Well, I see you're pretty upset right now. You know how much I love you. And when you're ready, you let me know, and I'll give you a great big hug." And he did, and I did.

But the question remains, whence cometh faith? It is a gift. How can we get this gift? Ask. How can we ask? Well ... ask. But how? Oh, I get it. Well, what I needed to do, was to humble myself. But the objection remains, not everyone will get it, even if they ask. True, only the chosen. And true, Jesus didn't answer every question. He was a practical man, with no patience at all for the kind of question that thinks it is an answer. Jesus didn't answer his accusers, because he knows what swine do with pearls. Give faith to pigs, and they're still pigs. The demons believe, and tremble.

By this point, M had said he'd had a kind of saving faith, but in reverse. Hmm. The pastor replied, "That's chilling." No, scorching: "Some seed fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. ...He who has ears, let him hear." (Mt 13:5-6, 9)

By now my impatience solidified. If he's just got no roots, then what's he playing at? I don't have time for fertilizing dead plants. And I said, Cut to the chase. Where are you now. If you're still stuck in the past ... I've got books to read. I'm more than just an entertainer, or an audience. If you're being challenged enough to come to conclusions, or moved enough to make a change, then here I am. But I really do try to never argue. Of the making of arguments, there is no end. And I've heard enough people unwind their lectures at me, that I'm not interested in hearing any more well-rehearsed lists about opinions about God. I've got opinions of my own that I'm busy rehearsing.

So?

And there it sat for a few hours, while the festivities roiled about me. But I, being a brooder, returned like a dog to its vomit ... er, no ... like a faithful and monogamous dove, and continued:

I confess, I was getting irritated with all the ... ahem ... well, onanism. But I did come back, and read some more. Or rather, all of it. Two points -- 1) Ah. You're a pastor's kid. That explains so much. 2) You sound like the guy who says, "No, I'm not gay. I'm just experimenting. I'm just curious." Christianity is a marriage, mate, and the bonds are called faith. No faith, no marriage. The pastor wrote soothingly about how you really must actually be saved, because God is faithful. He knows you and I do not. But I do have a certain critical capacity, a certain analytical facility, and it sounds like you're God's grandchild. Time to get real, lad. Don't capitalize Scripture if it's not true. That's the kind of hypocrisy we all hate. All except you, maybe. Yeah, it's lukewarm.

The word, my friend, is unfaithful. You got the patter down just right. You really rolled it out for the pastor -- a list of wonderful Christian experiences. Really, impressive. I have nothing like it. When I used to go to church, before rage immobilized me, I was around these alien and godly people who were really the good kind of sold-out. I respected them. But I've never had the lingo down. I got saved when I was 32, and at that age you don't learn a new language without having an accent. But as for you, despite any emotion or conviction or passion or certainty or mastery of jargon, if ... no, since you don't have faith, you are not and never were saved. Period.

That's the danger of being a pastor's kid -- they end up thinking they've always been saved, when it's only that they've always been around saved people. I can be wrong -- my crystal ball sometimes gets murky. But the word is faithless, and that's crystal clear. Mighty big of you, to consider raising your children in an incorrect religion, though. I'm sure the God you don't believe in would be grateful, if he existed. What, you think I'm being sarcastic?

I can think of something worse.


All this talk about love -- kindly supporters intoning their feeling ... I'm tempted to be vulgar. LOVE DOES NOT FAIL. If it fails, it wasn't love. Don't say you love something, unless you'll die for it. I love my son. Jesus loves me. Get it? These soft-bellied, gutless Christians with their meaningless comfortable droolings about love. Love bleeds. But, oh, babies are hungry in the world. So that means Jesus is a liar or a fool? Who could argue with that? Not me.

What's the difference between a whore and a wife? Money? No. Love? No. Commitment -- or shall I say, faithfulness.

I'm done.

---------

And I was. Yes, it is rambling and disjointed. And irratic. But I don't know this fellow -- I can't hear his tone or see his eyes to gauge his sincerity. I've dealt with fools and conmen and lost souls seeking salvation. I've been lied to like nobody's business and I've held crying children who sob so deep your heart would break. I've learned that time is too precious to waste on manipulations, and when someone starts talking about Jesus solely in the past tense, the matter seems settled to me. Let the Holy Spirit convince you. I've cared too much about hopeless causes.

As for M, however.... I'm sure he thinks he's sincere. He'll most likely be offended to read this. Fortuately, I'm just some guy, so my opinion doesn't matter -- and in any event, my opinion is not hardened. I haven't bought anything with my time and words -- I'm owed nothing. Listening to his own words, and slogging through the waffling, he is not Christian. If not, then never was. If he has the eye balls to
stop looking at the crappy world and take a hard look at his crappy self -- if he has iron in his soul enough to cut through the self-indulgence, to grab his ego by the throat the way the high priest slaughtered a goat -- if he has courage and humility enough to love Jesus enough to die for him -- well then. Well.



J

37 comments:

TRUTH_FINDER said...

Dear Jack,
Merry Merry Merry Christmas for you and for all people you love.

Best Wishes,

Youssef

Jack H said...

Thank you so much, Youssef. I have the blessing of my son's company, and I could hope for nothing more.

Kindest Regards,

Jack

Miroslav said...

Jack,

Merry Christmas friend!

Not offended, just not had time enough to process it all and respond.

I assue you I am sincere (in as much as a man can be a good judge of his own heart)... and I have no problem answering your tough challenges and questions. Will take a bit of time though as I'm out celebrating Christmas with family and such.

Enjoy the day... we will talk more soon!

Miroslav said...

oh, one quick thought... as I see you making strong judgements about my lack of faith as evidence that none ever existed... what make you of the story of Hezekiah? Wasn't he a faithfilled man... and wasn't it taken for a time?

I believe the God of the Bible is more mysterious than you are making Him out to be.

And I can put a S on Scriptures if I want too. :D

Jack H said...

Yeah, I *do* come on strong. It's your own words, though. I'm not the sincerity police, and I don't mean that you're just playing games -- not everyone want's to bleed in public -- that's why I take moderate pains at anonymity. Plausible deniability, m'lad, plausible deniablility.

Who's this Hezekiah character? Never heard of him.

;-)

In this post I didn't draw out Mr. P's fellowship/relationship idea. It is excellent, and in fact it's MY problem. But you don't hear me denying my faith, and I do hear you denying your faith. Git it, punk? Well? Do you?

For all my harshness, I do suspect, here in Babylon, that my use of the word "enablers" is not entirely wrong. But maybe it's a matter of style. Considering what a betrayer you are, I'd not be so gentle. ("Betrayer?" you sputter. "How...how DARE you!" And "Yes," I sternly reply. "You've gone a-whoring.")

I'm inconsistant with my capitalizing, He/he Him/him. I have reasons for it, inscrutable and wise.

J

Jack H said...

And what's with this "I believe the GGod of the BBible" noise? *I'm just expirimenting! It's just a phase!*

Miroslav said...

Jack,

just posted my epic comment response on my blog FYI.

Your humor cracks me up man.

RE: "Enablers" - I prefer the word "gentle." There has been at least ONE friend of mine who brought it REALLY hard. A Reformed Thinker btw. You too? His comments here under Aaron: Various Responses

RE: "Betrayer" - Galations 6:1 does not apply? Just saw Chronicles of Narnia. Curious as to why Aslan's first face to face with Edward the Betrayer was not a ferocious roar. Now, I DO imagine the second, or acutally probably fourth discussion between the two would be a bit more, um, strong but not the first.

But, hey, a mute point if my doubts are accurate I suppose. (I get to use sarcasm if you do... hehe...)

Miroslav said...

doh!

Forgot that last little blurb you wrote. (and here I am telling YOU to consolidate your comments!).

When I say "the God of the Bible" its only because I don't have any other way of clearly referring to who I'm talking about. To say God seems to not be a very true-to-my-faithless-condition way to refer to Him. So...

And just cause I don't know it to be true doesn't mean I can't argue from the Bible's positions. Remember, I've been a thumpin' that thing for nearly 20 years now.

Jack H said...

Since *I'm* not the one being betrayed, I don't have to be gentle. Oh, and are YOU a 10 year old boy?

RE "gentle" -- is it working?

RE "God" of the "Bible" -- how about, "god" of the "bible"? -- "your so-called god"? --

RE thumping from a false position -- this is what we call, a Pharisee.

Reformed ... reborn ... whatever.

moot -- but I'm not much of a speller, either.

J

Jack H said...

Yeah, so I've just looked at Aaron's ides. *Golly, I sure am sorry I was so vicious and hateful with you. We have to remember how delicate you are. So we'll just repeat platudes* -- your list only includes 16 -- *and you just be as rebellious as you want to be. Really, honey, Jesus DOESN'T come back with a sword. There are no goats, only sheep.*

Son. Son, tremble. Job's comforters were a-holes. You're no Job. But you can be.

Miroslav said...

Jack,

Aaron had some other, more aggresive/harsh words to say with me via email. I'm sure you'd have been proud. Here is the comment of his I meant to link the last time, his stuff is second to last I think. For Who I am...
Oh, and btw, on the Various Responses post, Aaron's response is 16, and 'edo' gives 17 (just bringin' it up 'cause you mentioned it...)

You wrote: "Since *I'm* not the one being betrayed, I don't have to be gentle." - whuhuh? Where is THAT liberty given in the Bible? I musta skipped a book or two.

RE: Grace - If you believe 'working' to be measured by an immediate about face, then I suppose not.

Job's friends a--holes? Really? Not my interpretation at all. I see them much like I'm hearing your words. Well intended men trying to squeeze God in to a box that they can understand. (ie. we've seen God curse people before for their sins therefore this must be the case here!) They were not speaking "what is right" of God.

RE: Thumping from a false position. Are you referring to me thumping now? or still holding to your opinion that I obviously was never saved to begin with?

........

I read "A Tale". I'm confused. But I liked the story. :)
Maybe I shall now pen a little story about my faith that may bring more understanding and empathy. I think that sometimes with words like disbelief, faith, God, betrayal, Hell, etc. ... lots of strong stances are taken. (not just talking about YOU here, me too).

Miroslav

Jack H said...

Skipped a book? Yeah, like James. I wasn't aware that my liberty came from the Bible. I figured you might object to "I don't have to be gentle", but so much multiplying of words. My reasoning is contained in Reconquista -- fourth paragraph from the bottom. Would you like a lollipop?

By "immediate" -- how long has it been? Intimations of last year...hardly immediate. Your words are my evidence. They're all I have to work with.

Re Job's friends -- except they were wrong ... point being, mouthing platitudes doesn't cut it. Why would we listen to those who do NOT speak "what is right for God"? I hope I haven't seemed to need God to be in a box. A major theme of mine is that it can't be done -- witness all that stuff about the Trinity, with Youssef.

Re thumping -- yeah, sometimes I'm too eliptical. "And just cause I don't know it to be true doesn't mean I can't argue from the Bible's positions. Remember, I've been a thumpin' that thing for nearly 20 years now." To argue (thump) from a position you don't know to be true (Pharisee).

Re 16/17, I said YOUR list.

Re A Tale -- never mind.

Miroslav said...

RE: Immediate - Well, Jesus sure did put some urgency to his message so I can't knock you for doing likewise.

Gotcha on the Pharisee/thumpin' thing.

But come on now, don't leave me hangin' on A Tale. I just need a LITTLE more to go on than what was shared in the allegory. Or are you getting frustrated with a young chap like me?

and how come Youseff gets kind regards and I just get nuthin' but 'never mind'. :)

Jack H said...

The word "immediate" is yours, not mine. However long it takes, is it working.

Re my little allegory -- what more can I say. Words.

Not "kind" -- "kindest." Y was raised in darkness. You, my friend, have heard the word. With him, I will give every courtesy, and I will be gentle -- he merits all compassion. I have decided to love Y. Hell might not extend its borders, by one. But you, who have tasted the heavenly gift, shared in the Holy Spirit, tasted the goodness of the word... The guts that Judas exploded? Full of the Last Supper.

Deborah said...

Jack and Miroslav,
Jeremiah came to my mind -- more than Job's friends.

Miroslav said...

Jack H,
My epic comment response can be found under the topic "Comforting Words" where your thoughts were left. Just FYI, in the future if you look at the right hand column on my blog, below profile and Ten Most Recent Posts, ... you will find Ten Most Recent Comments. You can keep up to speed using that section. Shows who posted what, where, and a brief intro... Click the first hyperlink and it will take you straight to that comment.

Jack H said...

Mama -- weeping, or whining. It's a matter of perspective ... or rather emphasis. In my bid to seem humble, I'll pretend I don't have an opinion. [Oh, McGoo, you've done it again.] But I do have an opinion, and it's this: [there followed many words of analyses, omitted.]

Re "concolidating" -- well, pardon me all to hell.

I don't think I used "boy" ... well, "a boy who needs a smack..." If you feel patronized, I've been misread. A common phenomenon. (How would you feel about "bucko"?) I wouldn't mock a blind man.

Now that I'm done (for the moment) being defensive :-)...

Glad to hear you don't trust Jesus. There's not really much more I can say. I don't expect anyone to have *studied* my sundry postings, but I've said a fair bit about such issues, and don't wish to repeat myself.

You've "trusted in Him completely (to the best of my ability that is) and believed His claims to be the Christ. Now… I’m not so sure." No, you are sure. *Who do you trust?* "Not Jesus" -- forget all this "at the moment noise." *I'm only committing adultary at the moment.*

The paragraph "RE: Mr. Pastor’s opinion of me and ..." I think a careful reading of what I've said will resolve any apparant inconsistancy. I'm a careful guy. I sense some irritation, here. I bring a different perspective, and there will be no apology forthcoming for that. If I'm wrong, you've only been a little annoyed. If I'm right, the consequenses are more grave. So I dare be annoying. You use your past walk as evidence. That walk brought you to unfaithfulness. There's no debate in my mind, puke or not. "I know my sheep..."

Comparing your denial to that of Peter is dishonest, or at best muddy. I'm not going to explain it.

"I don’t claim it to be a “phase.” That *WOULD BE* weak." Compare with: "at the moment."

"My faith WAS real and it was MINE." But you lost it, because God cannot hold onto his own. Poor, stupid, weak, feckless god.

"love does not fail" ... what does the word "fail" mean, here? Don't make me call you "lad."

The whore/wife analogy was meant to be concidered from the man's perspective.

"Have patience … I’m doing my best." Yeah, the ego is a tough serpent.

Yeah, God can remove his blessing. For a time. Those who would not be patronized, remain faithful. Curse God and die? No. Though He slay me, yet shall I love Him.

"rambling" "disjointed" "irratic" -- a rhetorical device, meant to disarm the hostile reader. Didn't work, I guess. :-)

"never answered this question on your blog, 'What is the basis of faith?'" I didn't answer it, because, as I say, it's not about specifics. But I did answer it.

"You also stated that faith cannot be lost." This is not a new teaching. You haven't done your homework. I should quote scripture to someone who doesn't trust scripture?

Oh, I love Calvin. Funniest comic strip ever.


J

Miroslav said...

Jack,
I've posted the above comment on my blog and deleted your last entry there referring people here. Why did you do that? Confused.
Thanks for the input! Will look for more from you in the future.

Jack H said...

Because I didn't want to clutter up your comments with multiple entries. No sarcasm, there. In any event, I'm not real comfortable, intruding.

J

Victor said...

J...

1)Do you have any friends?

2)Your words speak the fullness of your heart. They seem angry and self absorbed. Neither are much like the Christ you claim to love and are called to reflect. (Most of His work was quite humble considering who He is!)

3)Do you have a place of fellowship where you give to others considering them better than yourself?


PS. Your computer stuff doesn't count. I'm talking bout people in front of you that you touch with your hands.

We had a "drive-in" church here in the south area. For real. Just like a drive-in movie. Everyone stayed in their cars and "watched" the service through their windshields and heard it through the speaker placed in the window of their cars.

Rich.

And safe.

I am a rock...I am an island.

Jack H said...

Victor --

While it is true that I am self-absorbed -- as I frankly state given any opportunity -- I use such foolishness as a tool. Likewise, my anger with God and the world. Am I wrong? Of course I'm wrong. Am I Christ-like? Not in the least. Am I arrogant? I am a bloated monster of arrogance. Do I "claim" to love Christ? I'm not sure I've made that claim anywhere in this blog. What I'm sure about is who Jesus is. Jesus saves fools like me. When I'm not busy being arrogant, I remember this and I'm grateful. Should I be perfect even as my father in heaven is perfect? Yes, I should be. But I'm not. Good thing salvation doesn't depend on my perfection, eh? Should I live a sanctified life, as well as justified? Yes, I should. Do I? No. The difference between M and myself, is that I believe and he doesn't. We're both prodigal. Have I seemed to imply otherwise? That misapprehension is herewith corrected.

Friends? No. Fellowship? No. I'm certain I've created no false impresson, in this regard.

J

Victor said...

Well my brother, in the words of S. Crow, (with a slight change...)

"If He makes you happy, then why are you so damn sad?"

-Victor

Jack H said...

Did I say he makes me happy?

J

Jack H said...

Just for the high drama of it, I've moved M's response and my further statements here, altered in no meaningful way.

______


Miroslav said...

Jack H,
I've posted your comments here for those that can't navigate easily to your blog. If you want to have a private email conversation, we can certainly do that.

Only a couple of things I'd like to respond to:

1) I'm not 'annoyed' at your writing. I'll tell if you I am. Promise.

2) I wasn't comparing my situation to that of Peter's denial. I was referring to his DOUBT when walking on the water. Perhaps you knew that and were calling THAT incident denial for some reason?? Either way, I am not comparing me to Peter any more than I am Israel... my point was to show you that there are clear examples in the Bible where true faith doubts in mind and even fails in deed. Neither of those things prove the faith to have never existed.

3) You seem quite content to lay the burden of my lost faith at my shoulders. I just can't understand this coming from a Reformed Thinker (which is the tidy box I've put you in, btw). My other Reformed Thinker came with the same approach. I know that the Bible teaches of an incorruptible seed... but isn't it at least *possible* that even this period of faithlessness is of God's sovereign ordination?

Much luv to ya.

__________________________



Jack H said...

Greetings -- no private correspondence meant.

Not annoyed? I'm losing my touch. (tee hee).

I took your Peter reference to be his famous thrice denial. Your context seemed to suit it, perfectly. (Didn't bother to look up Mt 14 ... still haven't. I don't have the thing memorized chapter and verse, ya know. Do you think less of me? Again, tee hee.)

Here's the thing. I use harsh-seeming, extreme examples, for a reason. Peter's denial was from human failing -- fear and confusion. It wasn't a considered opinion after a long journey of doubt. Your words have hardened into a flat denial -- "I've lost my faith." That's the pretty way of saying it. The ugly way is, "God is a liar, and there is no God, anyway." But you didn't have this instance of Peter's doubt in mind -- rather, walking on water.

Well. If you're comparing having some doubt about walking on water after having just walked on water, with what you're doing -- well, in logic this is called the equivocal fallacy. All the two have in common, is the word doubt, which has different meanings. And doubt is not denial. If you're using words with less rigor than I would expect, there's ample opportunity to correct such usage. Doubt is not denial, and you've been clear that the issue is denial. "I've lost my faith."

There is never going to be someone who does not doubt, and fail. To point this out is to say the sun can set. Denial, however, is to say the sun will never rise again.

What is the unforgivable sin? That's the only doubt/failure/denial we need concern ourselves with, here. Everything else is obfuscation.

I'm not a "Reformed Thinker." I haven't smelled tulips for years, but I seem to recall there's something I disagreed with. I've been clear that salvation cannot be lost -- Jesus knows his sheep. So as I see it, you're either a lost sheep that he'll come find, or else you were not his sheep -- let's say goat, rather than wolf. My opinion, based on your very clear words of denial, is "goat". But lost sheep is fine, with me. I'm not the one who’s adamant, here.

Someone calling himself Victor has commented on my blog, alluding to my "anger." Indeed. I am quite content to lay the burden of my anger on my shoulders. It's not God's problem, it's mine. You seem unwilling to take a similar responsibility. I might be very harsh with such an attitude, if I felt I had authority in your life. It's the way a father raises a child -- to be responsible, and to take responsibility. But I am nothing to you but some guy -- and communication is hard enough, without being harsh. Instead, I commend you to your conscience.

I've used the analogy of adultery. Repent of it, and it is forgiven -- everybody's favorite example: the woman taken in adultery. Forgiven, because repentant. This forgiveness does not extend to you, currently, because you are unrepentant. You might even say you're not an adulterer, because you were not the "bride" of a false Christ. If so, then I repeat, "if not, never was."

I suppose it is possible that God ordains unfaithfulness. I suppose it's possible. I suppose. Like, the way a wife might be ordained to harlotry. "Honey, go out and be a whore, for a while." But I prefer to assign responsibility for harlotry not on the righteous, patient, loving husband, but on the unfaithful wife. (No slam at women, here.) Maybe I'm wrong, and God is a pimp.

[BTW, this is another reason why I would have posted this at my site -- perhaps you don't want these rather graphic examples in your comments.]


M, I am a deeply flawed man, and I hold myself up as no sort of an example. I have been given a few gifts, and I try to use them as a blessing to others. We speak/write to each other, as if we were friends, but we're not. We're friendly. There is some number of people around you, who DO know you, and genuinely care about you, and who are doing their best a Christians to aid you through this, um, "phase." I've used images like "slobbery" and "gutless." I'm certainly wrong in this. They know how important all this is. But regardless of approach -- my thunderings or their lamentations and pleas -- to be unfaithful is a vile thing. To be unfaithful to Jesus is more vile. But to repent is beautiful, and inspires many jubilations.

But enough.

J

_________________

Victor said...

Happy.

The Bible does:

"Happy is that people whose God is the Lord."

If you are, how come you aint?

-so-

Which is a more grave condition:

1) Saying you see, but being unable to reflect what you claim to behold?

-or-

2) Claiming you are unsure, and being honest in reflecting your doubts?


Grafted in,

Victor

Jack H said...

Ah, Victor. You're talking about statistical averages: Happy is that people. But the individual is promised, among other things, hardship and a cross. Quibbling aside, Jesus was NOT "happy" on the cross -- words do have meaning, after all. To be forsaken and to cry out in anguish is not "happy". And how can we forget that Jesus wept, for the individual and for a people -- Lazarus and Jerusalem. Am I sometimes content? Sometimes playful, sometimes happy? Surely this must be so. But my smile is not plastic.

As for what I may reflect, let each man decide what he sees in me. Jeramiah cannot have been happy, weeping prophet that he was. Did he reflect what he "claimed" to behold? Job, and Elijah, and every prophet you might care to cite ... I recall no "happy prophet."

Regarding M and his being "unsure" -- for so I take your reference -- you've changed the terms. "I've lost my faith" -- "the God I no longer believe in" ... this is not "unsure." This is sure. I have no respect for the honest adulterer. Being tempted is unavoidable. To waiver is to be human. Even to fall is to be expected. But to affirm that fall as proper, is contemptable. I would consider "backsliding" or "apostasy" or flat-out denial, to be a far graver condition than not being happy.

I'm the judge of no man's soul ("judge not, that ye..."). I am the judge, and properly, of every man's actions, insofar as I need to have an opinion (any of the Pastoral Letters). This cannot be a new teaching to you, grafted in as you are.

It is proper for you to challenge and question. But I'm pretty careful about not contradicting myself, and I've written enough about complexity, on this blog, for any careful reader to get an insight into what I'm about.

As for the specifics of "how come I ain't" -- I shall retain an enigmatic silence. Perhaps I've seen the world destroyed. "O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem."

"O my son Absolom! My son, my son Absolom! If only I had died instead of you - O Absolom, my son, my son!"

Jesus wept. So might I.


J

Victor said...

"I've lost my faith..."

"Father, why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus

I understand why you can't have the father's love for Miroslav...you're not his father.

I am however, and I feel his wounds. He'll live again...his God is able to raise the dead.

-Victor

May 2006 be good for you...be careful with your words. You have a gift for stringing them together. Without love however, they are noise.

Get back to the body...take a chance, be obedient and stop forsaking the assembling.
You'll be surprised at how much Jesus loves His messed up bride.

You should too.

Jack H said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Victor said...

gHe is the way...isn't He?

the Truth

and the Life.

Or have you believed in someone else?

Or have you lost your way also?


Sorry to hear about your sons. I will pray for their return to you and to Him. I have and I will.

Do the same for my boy. Deal?

Miroslav's father

Jack H said...

I believe in the Jesus who is a shepherd, not a goatherd. I can't tell the difference, but he can. I don't know how far I am from the flock, but I know which flock. I don't know if I'm so far he has to come find me, or if I'm close enough to hear his voice. Maybe that's lost, and maybe not.

My boys cannot return.

But we have a deal.

J

Victor said...

Truly sorry about your boys.



He always has to come find us.

Everyday.

That's why His mercies are new each morning. We need them.
New.
For we are all lost as soon as we wake.

But we have to want to be found.

And when He finds us He expects us to follow Him.

I feel you Jack H.

-Victor

You got a post office box where I can send you a thing?
It's not sappy...I promise.

Jack H said...

Greetings V--

Yeah, sheep are the stupidest animal.

For me, though He slay me, yet shall I love Him.

For you, love covers a multitude of sins.

And visa versa.

As I've implied, God answers so few prayers. Perhaps he'll be impressed with a multitude of words. Or maybe these hearts are not broken enough, yet.

No need for a package. Vertical, not horizontal.

Peace

J

Victor said...

And peace to you my friend.

It's probably child like but it has seemed to me that God has answered all of my prayers...

Yes
No
Not now

-victor

Miroslav said...

holy blog-o-rama batman!

See there Jack... you got my pops all fired up. ;)

Happy New Year to you Jack. May 2006 bring nothing but goodness to you and your family.

Jack H said...

What'd I do, what'd I do!?!??



J

paul asjes said...

interesting.

i love this:

"be careful with your words. You have a gift for stringing them together. Without love however, they are noise."

Jack H said...

Love love love. What's everyone always harping about love for?

I kid, because I love.


The reference ("without love...noise") is to ICor 13, of course. But you knew that.

J