Category Archives: Quotations

Bite-Sized Wisdom

Here are more bite-sized nuggets of wisdom from various people. Bite, chew and enjoy 🙂


“Christianity is about helping others and controlling yourself. When it becomes about controlling others and helping yourself, it ain’t Christianity” – Jim Heath

“A lot of people have done it “all right.” [done everything right – Ed] But when you look at them you say to yourself, “If that’s salvation, I don’t know that I want to be saved.” If those are the people in heaven, I don’t want to go there! Is that what heaven is going to be like? A bunch of superior people who tell you when you’re wrong all the time? Is that the life Jesus promised? That can’t be it.” – Richard Rohr

“Does our interpretation [of the Bible] match the self-giving, all-forgiving, radically merciful Jesus? If not, or if the fruit from our interpretation results in misery, fear and suffering, rather than righteousness, peace and joy, then I would suggest we are reading it – or at least interpreting it – wrongly. And then of course our application of that interpretation also bears bad fruit, and so it goes on”. – Me

“When you find that your heart has grown bigger than your doctrine, it is the doctrine that needs to go, not the heart that needs to be restricted”. – Jeff Turner

“The main difference now is that my uncertainty [about spiritual things] is tied to wonder instead of insecurity”. – Wendy Francisco

“Your membership in God’s family does not depend on someone else’s approval”. – Me

“The spilled blood of Jesus says that man is merciless to the merciful.
The unspilled blood of humanity says that God is merciful to the merciless.
The spilled blood of Jesus says that the greatest evil that can be committed, has been committed.
The unspilled blood of humanity says that the greatest evil that can be committed, has been forgiven.
What then does it say about all lesser evils?” – Jeff Turner

“What’s scary is how some people refuse to even consider there might actually be “truth” that differs from what they’ve been taught, and choose to currently believe, as though their personal knowledge is perfect, infallible, and never to be questioned, regardless of all the other ideology that has come before now”. – ‘Steve’

[On the doctrine of Hell in the Scriptures] “…the Old Testament does not actually mention it by name; Jesus mentions it only in a very few passages where it can be shown that actually we have His [formerly assumed] meaning wrong anyway; the Gospel of John does not mention it even once; and Paul is almost entirely silent on it. The emphasis on Hell in Scripture is nothing like what it should be if it were actually real, because … it would be the single most important thing that Jesus would ever have to tell us”. – Me

“Following the Jesus path ensures that one will make enemies, precisely because it calls us to reject the easy path of assuming anyone with whom we disagree, or who disagrees with us, even violently so, is our enemy. Ironically, the refusal to label a person an enemy as a knee jerk reaction, is precisely what provides us with the opportunity to trust the Spirit to empower us to “love our enemies.” “- Jeff Turner

“For Jesus followers, we must accept that those who have come to a different conclusion about the Bible, often have done so through the same study, reflection, and sincere desire to know the very heart of God that we have”. – Mike Douglas

 

 

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Say It Like It Is!

I’m a Yorkshireman. Call it a stereotype if you like, but it’s true for me: we Yorkshire folk like to say it how it is. We don’t pull our punches. We call a spade a spade, not a ‘long-handled digging implement’.

And so, I have named this little piece ‘Say it like it Is’, partly at the suggestion of one of my readers (in the comments for this post) and partly to continue in my Yorkshire heritage 😉 These quotations are from people saying it exactly how they see it – as are all my ‘quotations – style’ posts – and there’s a lot of truth here without all the dogma.

Read and enjoy!


“Jesus is how God has defined himself. Contrary to what many say, this is not a limiting, but a liberating definition, as it locates God within the human experience, not without it.

“Every emotional up and down, experience of bliss or its opposite, becomes a sacred space God inhabits and can be experienced by those whose recognition that Jesus is Lord opens them up to this reality”

– Jeff Turner

 

“If we are looking for a ‘creation narrative’, the best place to start is John chapter 1 and Colossians chapter 1, not Genesis chapter 1!

“Why? Because those [passages] came after the full revelation of God in Christ. Jesus said no one had seen the Father or knew the Father except the Son. So that means neither Adam and Eve or Moses had seen or knew the Father fully and accurately”

– Martin Fell

 

“You could say it’s part of human nature to want to be secure in our answers, where actually little such security exists outside the Relationship with God, where our security is in Him and our questions and answers will not disrupt that security in any way”

– Me

 

“Adam (אָדָם) is humankind imagining a monster god and being afraid.

“Jesus is God saying to humankind, don’t be afraid.”

– Brian Zahnd

 

“…Jesus did not speak in terms of theology—God, sin, heaven, hell, the end times—so we should not be looking for clues to detailed theology in the gospels; Jesus spoke in broader terms of love, positive behavior, relationships, and the expanding kingdom of God on earth”.

– Tim Chastain

 

“Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way”

– Atle Peersen Bakken

 

“I find it completely risible that people who do believe in Hell threaten with Hell those who do not believe in Hell. Some threat, eh?”

– Me

 

“We get to dwell with God NOW and for eternity. That’s salvation! It’s more than religion, more than behavior; more than belief. It’s a new reality.”

– Christy Wood

 

“You do not create faith. Faith is created in you. Faith does not create. Faith trusts That which creates, and receives that which has been created.

“Stop trying to control the world, and simply trust. You will lose what needs to be lost, and gain what needs to be gained. Take the other route, though, and you will lose all that needs to be gained and gain all the needs to be lost, all while pursuing what cannot be gained in the first place.”

“Stop. Rest. Trust”.

– Jeff Turner


Finally, here’s a bunch of Yorkshire lads performing the ‘Yorkshire Haka’, a tribute to the All Blacks’ Hakas that they perform before rugby matches, but with a uniquely Yorkshire flavour. It incorporates four stereotypical Yorkshire phrases: ‘Eeh bah gum!’, ‘Where’s me whippet?’; ‘ ‘Ow much?’ and ‘Ah’ll sithee!’. *

As you have already seen, I have featured these sterling blokes in my header picture.

Say it like it is!


*Translations:

‘Eeh bah gum!’ is a mild expletive meaning ‘omg!’ or something similar

‘Where’s me whippet?’ is a reference to the idea that the stereotypical Yorkshireman always has a whippet dog

‘  ‘Ow much?’ – It costs how much?!! Yorkshire people are legendarily thrifty with their money and object to paying more for something than they have to, although actually they are equal to the Scots in generosity. Yorkshire and Scottish folk are (despite their reputations of being tight-fisted) the most hospitable people ever.

‘Ah’ll sithee!’ – I’ll be seeing you – like ‘cheerio’ or ‘goodbye’. As used by the late legendary Yorkshire cricketer Fred Trueman in his 1970s TV series ‘Indoor League‘.

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Sound Bites

I have run out of ideas for titles for my ‘quotations’ style posts. This time, I will call it ‘Sound Bites’. Next time, I have no idea 😉

Anyway:

“It occurred to me a little while ago that those who are relegating people to hell might want to pause and consider that they are not God” – ‘Sharon’

“Western Christianity has largely stripped Jesus of his teachings and made him merely a figure to worship instead of a teacher to follow. We’ve made his significance mainly as a human sacrifice to appease a distant God that we should accept to go to heaven, instead of a revealer of God’s true nature and what our role is in manifesting this God to the world for the reconciliation of all things” – Jacob M. Wright

“The correct answer to those who do not believe in ‘once saved, always saved’ is this: ‘What about once in Christ, always in Christ?’, because that’s what it amounts to. You can’t drift in-and-out of Christ. Because that nature which was crucified in Christ is dead and buried. It’s a one-way transaction; the only thing raised to life is the New Creation. The ‘flesh’ was not privy to the Resurrection deal. Don’t let anyone rob you of your assurance” – Me

“A gospel that claims to redeem humanity, but that leaves our understanding of God in the clutches of sacrifice-centered, pagan thought, is no Gospel at all. The Good News is not that we are saved from a wrathful, sin-counting, angry God, but that there is no such God from which we need saving” – Jeff Turner

“The “debt” that Jesus paid was NOT to God, but to the Law. The Law demands blood, retribution and death, even sometimes of the innocent. Jesus paid and then cancelled the claim of the Law over us” – Ken Nicholls

“…if you think merely quoting a Scripture verse somehow settles the matter, then you are incredibly shallow and, frankly, ignorant. If you really think the people in those discussions weren’t aware of those verses, then I feel sorry for you. It means you are a child who has wandered into an adult conversation.” – Darrell Lackey

“Q1: If it turns out that Jesus saves far more people than your theology anticipated, will you be mad or glad about it?
Q2: If Jesus saves people who do not fall into the religious category of Christian, will you be mad or glad about it?
Q3: Does it make you mad that I ask these questions because you are certain that such things could never happen?” – Brian Zahnd

“I think trying to get to know God by reading the Bible is like trying to get to know a celebrity by reading only the tabloids. There’s no guarantee the information you’re getting is accurate or complete” – ‘Trilemma’

“The original purpose of the law was to give structure to a people for the best way to live. It was like a finger pointing to the moon. However, the law itself had become the point. The finger became the point, and they forgot about the moon” – Jacob Turnquist

“How are we expected to trust God for our salvation if we believe in a moment’s notice he’s going to snatch it away from us!” – ‘Grandma Ja’

“The Piper Tomahawk has the glide angle of a well-tossed anvil” – Anon [and I disagree; she glides like a dream]

“When you hear faith and belief as a requirement for grace, you are hearing a false gospel.” – Nathan Jennings

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Further Quotes

“Truth does not compromise Love, and truth offered forcibly, out of harmony with Unconditional Love, is no longer truth.” – ‘Sarah’

“The same people who tell you that one sin is exactly as bad as any other sin, in God’s sight, also use Hitler as an example of a really evil person. Think about it. How is that a consistent standard??” – Me

“…we’ve decided that The Bible speaks everything that God ever has or ever will say, and that He’s said it exactly as we’ve determined, translated, and believe it to be. In other words, by elevating the Bible to the same level as God, and by leaning on our own understanding of its 66 books, we’ve crafted a God that seems to think a lot like we do, vote like we vote, hate who we hate and bless what we bless.
[…]
“The question we need to ask ourselves as modern believers, is whether we really trust God to speak clearly and directly to someone, independent of the Bible. Sometimes it seems we believe that the words of the Bible are, as it says, “living and active “, but believe that God is not. The inevitable outcome of thinking the Bible is the last and only word, is a God who is no longer living.” – Mike Douglas

“When we proclaim God is love but then proclaim that God will either destroy or eternally separate God’s self from those who didn’t make a certain decision in this life due to whatever reason (being born in the “wrong” culture, abuse, mental illness, etc), then maybe we should redefine what love really is. We certainly couldn’t use 1 Corinthians 13…” – Nathan Jennings

“The Us vs. Them mentality around [contentious issues] has grown exponentially recently, proving that even in the Church we are wanting to create more enemies, rather than loving those we already have.” – Russell Croft

“For Jesus didn’t die to save us from an angry God, but to save us from believing He is”. – Chris Kratzer

“I don’t do crashes. Just…exciting landings” – Gen. Hera Syndulla, Star Wars Rebels

“The gift God gives me is the peace of knowing I will be ok no matter what happens in this life. The peace that surpasses understanding is the miracle. We so often want the miracle to be circumstances changing. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t… God is renewing our minds, not our circumstances” – ‘Kelly’

“We’re told that if you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. Maybe that’s why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.” – Anon

“No matter what interpretation of Scripture you arrive at, no matter how clear you think Scripture is being or how faithful you think you are being to the words on the page, if your interpretation (and therefore your way of life) does not adhere to the greatest commandment – love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and your neighbour as yourself – then your interpretation of scripture is wrong.” (Attributed to St. Augustine, probably paraphrased)

“My freedom to be me depends on me granting him [someone else with whom he disagrees] the same exact freedom to be him” – Joshua Lester

“Church these days reminds me of going to the dentist – you go there because you are in pain, they inflict more pain on you, then they lecture you that you shouldn’t have been in pain in the first place and then they empty you of your life savings and demand that you come back more often”. – ‘Barry’

“Remember that old saying: ‘Great minds think alike’? It’s correct, but not because we are great, but because we actually receive inspiration from the same Great Mind!” – Dennis Wade

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad” – Anon

“I believe [Jesus] is the exact representation of what God is like, presented in a way that we as humans can understand Him. Genius, if you ask me.” – Me

“…if it is not too good to be true, then it is not the Gospel” – Kurt and Katy Adkins

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Quotes Again

I realise that modern media love their fixation with ‘sound bites’; small quotable lines from politicians and other celebs. And it can get quite samey and predictable.

But, you know, ordinary people come out with some really good wisdom in everyday life. All you need to do is to keep your ears and eyes open, and you will see them – in films, books, songs, even (dare I say it) poetry, although I tend to avoid that like roadkill.

Remember that there is wisdom hidden everywhere, even ‘out there’ in the world – despite what Fundamentalist types might tell you about the ‘wisdom of the world’ being twisted or sinful or some other such tripe. The truth is that the Spirit can speak to us and teach us through all kinds of things, from a song to a sunset. So, here’s yet another batch of gems from various sources, that have made me think, laugh, ponder, weep and feel very smug (the ones I wrote 😉 ). Enjoy:

“The golden rule is [to] treat people how you would want to be treated.
The platinum rule is treat people how they want to be treated.” – Steven Gilmore

“Y’know, if these are Britain’s brightest families…then I’m not sure we should leave Europe” – Giles, GoggleBox

“In reducing God to a state you can understand, you have effectively made him less than a human being. Humans are complex. The God you envision is a machine, and you have the hubris to imagine you’re working the levers.” – ‘Sam’

“Have you ever noticed that self appointed heresy hunters are far more ravenous than those they call wolves? The wolf in sheep’s clothing is not the one who believes wrong. It is the one who devours. Let love be your guide.” – Barry Smith

“There is irony here; the man you fell in love with was a Klingon… There is also Grace: For what greater source of peace exists than our ability to love our enemy?” – Sarek of Vulcan, Star Trek Discovery, Series1, Episode 14

“True justice is not unilateral” – Me

“You cannot stop Ragnarok. Why fight it?”
“Because that’s what heroes do.” – Thor, Ragnarok

“Before you ever speak into someone’s life about any issue, before you utter a single word, make absolutely certain that the person feels unconditional, complete love from you. If you have any doubt about that, if they have any doubt about that, love them more and just hold off on the issue.” – Susan Cottrell 

“Part of trusting God is to let go of the things that you feel are so important that you have to sort them out yourself.” – Me

“The problem is not an interpretation of the text. The problem is [actually, that of] not giving Jesus authority over the texts. The very nature of the fundamentalist’s view of scripture is that it is all inspired equally and that Jesus is just another added voice to the mix. Jesus didn’t add his voice to the prophets but made manifest the mystery they didn’t understand. Jesus, not the prophets, is the explication of scriptures.” – Scott Bennett

“Flying…is like good music. It elevates the senses, and the experience of being alive” – Harrison Ford

“The question we need to ask ourselves as modern believers, is whether we really trust God to speak clearly and directly to someone, independent of the Bible” – Mike Douglas

“If the church wants to be something more than the mirror image of the culture in which it is embedded, it should start by ditching the idea that someone with a differing view on this subject or that, equals someone being a malevolent enabler or purveyor of evil. It could just be that they see the world differently. There’s no need to infer diabolicalness when something as simple as diversity will do.”- Jeff Turner

“Prayer is God’s way of empowering the powerless” – Me

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Even More Quotes

“Faith is not believing in creeds, doctrines or dogmas; faith is trusting the divine presence in every moment”. – John Shelby Spong

“A woodcarver creates his masterpiece, not by addition, but subtraction. The more material he creatively and skillfully removes, the more beauty emerges.

“So it is with God-talk. Sometimes the less we say about God, the more His beauty is seen. The more we remove the generally accepted mythos, the more the Truth is revealed, even without being directly spoken”. – Jeff Turner

“When Jesus said ‘Do not worry’, He was talking about daily needs like food and clothing. If He’d been at all concerned that we were not worrying enough about our ‘eternal destiny’, He would have preached a whole lot more on hellfire and damnation, rather than about us simply not worrying about where our next meal was going to come from”. – Me

I think there can’t be any greater joy in life than knowing someone else’s life is richer because you lived – Rich Mullins

“Is your relationship with your loved ones based upon a book or what’s in your heart? It should be no different with your relationship with God”. – Barry Smith

“I don’t see the Gospel as something that makes your life a sacred experience, or that gives you a sacred life to replace the one you have. Rather, the Gospel is an introduction to the sacred nature of the life you’re presently living, and as an empowering call to live in harmony with it”. – Jeff Turner

“There are bigger issues in life than girls who date girls and boys who date boys” – Anon

“In fact, I believe that the biggest sin is in trusting in ouselves to jump through all the right hoops, in the right order, and at the Pastor’s command. Oh that’s such self-sufficiency, rather than relying on He Who began the good work in us to bring it to completion”. – Me

“The cross was not some kind of blood magic ritual that released the forgiving potential of a formerly mercy-withholding god, but rather an act of human barbarity and cruelty, that allowed for the revealing of the forgiving nature of an always already merciful God.” – Jeff Turner

“Adding your works (performance) to what Christ has accomplished for us at the cross as a means of salvation is an insult to God and the cross. Think about it!” – Chikezie Obika

“If morality is your way of living, you are living way beneath your privileges. Living by love in the power of the Spirit is true living and there are no rules–there are none needed. The one who lives by love will live a life like Jesus lived which is so far above living by rules the difference is like night and day!” – Mike Rough

“The murder of Jesus is a reflection of human, not divine, justice. The resurrection and revivifying of the mangled corpse of an innocent man is a reflection of divine, not human, justice.

“We are not as good as we think we are, and God is far better than we’ve been told he is”. – Jeff Turner

“That death is no longer the end has profound ramifications. Absolutely profound. Rather than spoon-feed you, I’ll just let you think about it for yourself. Ask yourself this question: ‘What attitudes would change in my life if death is no longer the end?’ If you think about this in any great depth, the results will change your life. It did for me”. – Me

 

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More Quotes…

“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” – Anne Lamott

“Listen up fellow Christians. If your path to your understanding of Heaven requires you to provide a little Hell on earth for other humans, you are probably doing it wrong.” – Anon

“The only person more self-righteousness than a fundamentalist Christian is a liberal Christian who believes they have ascended above the petty self-righteousness of the fundamentalist to the glorious self-righteousness of actually being right!” – Jeff Martin

Where is the retribution in the Parable of the Prodigal Son? – Lee O’Hare

Just because everyone believes in a particular doctrine, does not mean that that doctrine is correct. Acceptance of the majority opinion does not make a doctrine true; it is simply more likely that nobody has questioned it! – Me

“Religion has made spirituality so terribly serious. Its a rather eye opening experience that when you launch out into the infinite realm of being with nothing but an open heart, a fierce commitment to truth and a steady hold on a loving awareness for whatever arises, what is actually discovered is a playful mystery seeking nothing from you, but giving to you a love that includes you in its own perfections.

“We’ve called our life “accomplishing a mission”, ” finding a purpose”, “fulfilling a vision”, “discharging a calling”, etc. Its all so gravely serious, sombre, rigorous….

“What if the purpose of your life IS your life? All of it. And what if all this internal and external landscape is nothing more than one infinite playground for your soul to discover its own participation in the delight of its own auspicious grandeur.” – Ron Wright

The only wrath in the Parable of the Prodigal Son is that of the eldest son. – Brian Zahnd

“The Bible is not inerrant, Jesus is. But don’t worry, that should only affect you if you’re a biblican (follower of the Bible), not a Christian (follower of Christ).” – Nathan Jennings

“Your questions aren’t dangerous. The people telling you not to ask them are”. – Jeff Turner

“The more you understand Grace, the more you become empowered to “be” who you already are. You’ll find yourself living more righteous by accident than you ever have on purpose.” – David Jones

‘There is no payment in forgiveness – Lee O’Hare

Religion takes away our greatest power of decision; religion tells you what to do, instead of allowing you to choose……Religion creates a slave, Love sets the captive free! – Jeff Walsh

Restoration to relationship is what the Father considers Justice. And so justice is satisfied – Brian Zahnd

I’d rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned. – Jeff Turner

 

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More Thought-Provoking Quotes

“If it’s not good news, then it’s not the Gospel” – Brian Zahnd

“The power of your own salvation does not depend on someone else’s faith being ‘wrong'” – Me

“If we choose to make understanding the goal in our relationships, it changes the way we diagnose issues and removes the limits of judgment.” – James Arthur

“You cannot reason a man out of a position [that] he did not reach through logic” – Peter Hampe

“If there is a place where God’s mercy ends, be that at death, or after a figurative “three strikes,” then there is a place where God ends”. – Jeff Turner

“But you can use it [remorse] for good, so that one day it will be a jewel in your crown rather than a stone in your shoe.” – Me

“Interesting that the more holy a person is, the more they look like Jesus, the more loving, forgiving, and kind, yet people think the exact opposite of God, that is, they say God is unforgiving, wrathful, and violent precisely because he is holy. Interesting that what people call unholy in humans they call holy in God” – Jacob M. Wright

“The narrow gate that leads to life that Jesus taught us about, is the gate of grace. Few find it because they have been so religionized to law and performance and striving that anything other than that seems like heresy. Law and not grace is the broad way that leads to death” – Don Keathley

“When people are different than you, affirm their ability to see their own path.” – Wendy Francisco

“Repentance is the ability to receive the truth that sets us free. It’s a change of mind that causes us to see as God sees and think as God thinks. Repentance is life-changing! Vital in this process is a desire to come face to face with truth. Truth is essential for there can be no transformation without it. We limit ourselves by idolizing mystery or dismissing truth as unknowable. Mystery is good. Mystery is the flavor of the universe. But behind every good mystery is a greater truth waiting to be discovered. It is the glory of the Creator to conceal things. But to search them out, to discover and learn, is the glory of kings. It’s how we grow.” – Paul Ellis

“If your love for, and friendships with, others are based on perfect mutual agreement / alignment with every theological belief, ethical issue or political view, then your love and friendships are for/with those beliefs, issues and views and not with people.” – Rudy M Zacharias

“The religious spirit longs for our personalities to be cut down in the name of good character.

“Our “good” character must be forged in a culture of freedom.

“People don’t fear freedom; they fear the consequences of freedom and how your freedom will affect them. If we really want to live out how the kingdom of God functions then we will need to start working out the consequences with all its good’s bad’s and ugly’s”. – James Arthur

“When was the last time Satan tempted you to show love and compassion towards another, in order to hurt the heart of God?” – Barry Smith

“Remember, the words “my theology” are only a single space and a letter away from spelling “mythology.” May we all (myself included) walk a bit more humbly, and remember how closely we are bordering on fiction each time we choose to assume our musings on the divine represent ultimate truth” – Jeff Turner

I view the Old Testament sacrifices the way I view my cat when it leaves a mouse at my door. It’s a nice thought on its part. It’s more than a nice thought actually, it’s showing love the best way it knows how. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s kind of gross and annoying. The sacrifices are kind of the same way, it was man’s best attempt to relate with God. God being the cool guy that he was empathized with our attempts, but they never changed the way God looked at us, or thought about us.” – Joseph Masters

If, like the issue of Hell, a doctrine bears damaging fruit, then the very least thing we should due is to research the crap out of it in order to find out if it is correct. Anything less is disrespectful both to the Scripture and to those who are affected by it.” – Me again

Grace isn’t Grace if it cost you something! Grace is free and a gift! – John J. Withington

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Great Quotes

Ok, so the header image is a geeky mashup of mis-credited quote and ill-matched picture (don’t worry; if you don’t get it, ask someone who likes Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings). But it sets the scene for today’s little offering.

Just for a change, then, today I’m posting quotes from various people that are pretty thought-provoking. There’s a particular emphasis on ‘heresy’, because my I nickname my blog the ‘Heresy Blog’, in that it’s a place where I explore new (to me) ideas on my faith, and often challenge the accepted status quo with regard to Christian doctrine.

Right, engage your brain. Here we go – enjoy!

cslewis_bible capon-grace-cannot-prevail

five-years-heretic

george-bernard-shaw

And…

money-is-the-root-of-all-evil-church

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The Throne of Grace

I subscribe to the Bible notes from the UCB (United Christian Broadcasters), based in the UK. It’s a booklet of daily devotions that they will send as a free regular subscription to anyone who asks. Or you can visit their website and read the devotional yourself on a daily basis.

Generally, there are some good bits and some not so good bits, as with any daily devotional, which is partly why they are no substitute for a decent prayer life and certainly no substitute for walking with Jesus Himself. And I appreciate the amount of effort it must take for its authors to generate inspirational reading day after day. It’s a mammoth task which I can only dimly appreciate, despite writing a (fairly) regular spiritual blog myself.

I appreciate that some of my readers may already read the Word for Today. For that reason, I wanted, reluctantly, to take issue with something I read in a recent devotional, namely the one for the 31st of March.* I am writing this only to re-encourage fellow believers who may have been discouraged by something that was written in that piece, and even than I may have taken it wrongly. If so, I apologise.

The piece is entitled ‘Grace’, and, as you know, I am a strong proponent of the nature of God’s infinite Grace extended towards all of humanity. However, there is not much in there about Grace as I understand it, as being the underserved favour of God. There’s a lot about ambulances, but nothing about the extravagant, generous, limitless, wild and free favour of our awesome God! But the passage that I really want to take issue with is this, near the end:

“…. He transported us from where we were to a place that has all the grace we’ll ever need until we go home with Him. One day God will sit on a throne of judgement where there’ll be no more grace, but until that day He’s seated on a throne of grace

What?! There’ll be no more Grace? Clearly this is definitely not Grace as I understand it. Grace is part of Who God is; it’s part of His personality, it’s not just one of the ways He works. Grace is a part of God; it’s not something He does, it’s something He is. It is part of His Character. God doesn’t change, and, just like God, Grace will go on forever.

I will say that again: Grace will go on forever.

To claim that ‘there will be no more Grace’ is not only completely wrong, it is also potentially the source of much hurt, confusion and doubt, especially for new believers. It’s a very dangerous statement to say that Grace will someday end!

If there is indeed a Judgement like the one the writers hint at – one of those judgements like a courtroom where people are found ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ – then it too will be shot through with Grace. Grace will be fully in action at the Judgement Seat! But I personally do not believe that the Final Judgement will be like that. This is our loving God Who sent His Son to die for all mankind. I’ve written before about what I believe happens after death to those who do not yet believe in Him. We are so conditioned in our time to have this awful image of an angry, judgemental God that we can think of no other kind of Last Judgement than the courtroom style of judgement. But when the Bible was written, courtrooms were not as they are now; sure, there was public justice, but I am sure it was very different from our current ‘adversarial’ judicial system. In fact, it would have been different from one town to another; from one society to another. For us to assume that the Final Judgement will be anything like an episode of ‘Crown Court‘ is simply fallacious thinking.

But I digress. Jesus said that, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life“. (John 5:24, NIV) Did you see that? “He…..will not be judged”. Why? because Grace extends even –  and especially! – to the Judgement Seat – despite what our devotional writer friends might think. Grace is God’s chance to show His amazing generosity first shown to us now as Grace, but then it will also be shown also as Grace and Mercy. Grace and Mercy are both attributes of God’s Character and they go hand in hand. Nothing personal, guys, if ever you read this, but those new in Christ need to be assured of the security of their salvation, not placed in any sort of fear of the Final Judgement. Because Jesus also said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3, NIV)

So, let’s not for one moment believe that Grace will ever end. There will indeed be Grace at the Judgement – because God is the God of Grace. No matter what we’ve done, no matter how far we think we’ve fallen, those whom Jesus has called will never – ever – lose all that He’s called them to.

Grace lasts for ever!!


*The piece is reproduced here for your reference, in case the original link ever doesn’t work, with the contended passage in bold type:

“Grace

The Bible says: ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (vv. 15-16 NIVUK 1984 Edition). Dr Tony Evans says that God’s grace is like an ambulance coming to treat you when you’ve a medical emergency. First, it dispenses immediate grace to your most serious symptoms. Then they slide you into the ambulance, which is equipped with more grace – more medical facilities to deal with your problem. Then the ambulance races to the hospital where even more grace awaits. And once you’re admitted, the hospital keeps dispensing grace until your need has been addressed and you can go home again. In the words of John Newton’s beloved hymn: ‘‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home’. One day Jesus heard our emergency call: ‘Lord, be merciful to me a sinner’. He came to earth, found us dying in sin, and reached down to save us. And as our High Priest, He transported us from where we were to a place that has all the grace we’ll ever need until we go home with Him. One day God will sit on a throne of judgement where there’ll be no more grace, but until that day He’s seated on a throne of grace. So anytime you fail or falter, you can ‘approach the throne of grace with confidence’ and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness.”

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