Category Archives: Quotations

Hors d’Ouvres

More bite-sized wisdom quotes for your delectation…


Real love accepts people as they are, with room for who they may become
– Susan Cottrell

God is love. Don’t consume anything that argues against this
– Barry Smith

The only reason infernalists no longer have to work hard to prove Hell from the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats is that most Fundies already agree with the faulty interpretation that the parable speaks of Hell.
– Me

Live life in such a way that people in every religion thinks you’re going to their version of hell.
– Ron Doerksen

It seems like the legalistic people, the ultra conservatives, the people who believe in the wrapped and labeled boxes of religion, it seems like they believe God wrote everything down that was important, and then died. Well, I think God is a living spirit. All knowing, loving and all seeing. And I believe it is RIGHT to question, to learn, to understand. I don’t think we should be afraid of that. Are we trying to learn what’s true? Or are we trying to pretend we believe things we don’t even understand? Because we’re not going to fool God.
– Dayle

As with everything else in life, you need to learn to see past the perceived offence and find the underlying joke
– Me

“Eternity” is what happens when we choose love in the present
– Jeff Turner

The problem is not with the Bible or whatever, the problem is that humans just have an innate tendency to be really, really stupid
– Jeff Charest

“But there were millions of lives at stake!”
Romulan lives”
“No. Lives!
– Adm. Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek – Picard, Ser 1 Ep. 1, “Remembrance”

Religion was [about] obeying. And really, religion was about obeying religion
– Wendy Francisco

Bottom line is this: If Love keeps no record of wrongs – and that’s what it says right there clear as day and in nice friendly Fundamentalist black and white in your Rulebook – if Love keeps no record of wrongs, what possible basis does god have for sending people to Hell?
– Me

Through the Law man is conscious of sins. Through Jesus Christ the new man is conscious of God. Allow Him to shift your reality.
– Wayne Shelton

Morality is doing right, no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right
– H. L. Mencken

This may be obvious but I think someone needs to hear this today: You don’t need to be accepted by the Church to be accepted by God.
– Me

I do not see prayer as a practice in which I alter God’s behavior by pleading, begging, or putting in confident requests (not that I do not make requests). Rather, I understand prayer to be a willing and purposeful exposure of oneself to an other-worldly love that, one hundred times out of ten, will regard us and our fellow humans with far more mercy and compassion than we do ourselves when left to our own devices.

To pray is to place one’s heart in the direct path of God’s tornadic love in order that it might contradict our evolved defaults, and awaken us to a love that we would otherwise remain ignorant of and unresponsive to
– Jeff Turner

She’ll probably change her tune. And I don’t want to be there when she plays it
– Anon

Yes, I use both toolkits (faith and reason) in my walk. That’s why I don’t walk with a limp
– Me

I love being wrong. It means I learned something new
– Bob Brow

There is more than one way to interpret Scripture verses. The purpose of Scripture is to lead you to truth Himself, it was never inspired to be the sole source of truth and authority.
– Don Keathley

Our failures elicit the applause of a God who is far more interested in our encouragement than our ability to keep the “rules.”
– Jeff Turner

In response to this:
“This one made me a bit sad: ‘When people go missing from the house of God, they’ve already gone missing from the presence of God’ ”
I said:
“This phrase is just to control those still there. It means, “We have the monopoly on God”. Put like that, it is easy to see how ridiculous it is
– Me

When you have that table prepared in the presence of your enemies – make sure you leave a seat for them. Leave a seat open!
– Derrick Day

‘Not caring’ [about what others think] is the first step on the road to being unaffected by others’ opinions. Like Jesus was. And please be assured that acceptance by God is completely independent of being accepted by churches and, by extension, those who populate them. Your relationship with God is your own; grow it in your own way, not according to the whims of others 🙂
– Me

[Deconstruction] … enabled me to see things more clearly, including Jesus, who was built, for the first time, as the actual foundation of the house, rather than hell. If hell is in there, it’s the foundation. You either have hell hold the house up, or Jesus, but not both
– Wendy Francisco

It’s all or nothing” is the one Christian principle that I’d like to get rid of more than anything! Why has it always been this way? Why do we have to either accept EVERYTHING they teach us, or keep nothing?

Martin Luther was the first person to successfully break out of this. He kept all the parts that rang true with him, and tossed out his list of 95 things that were wrong. He disagreed with the corrupt Christian leadership, but kept Christ.

We can too! 🙂
– Randy Renkenberger

“A mountain is tall but it also has dirt on it”. “A fish swims, but it is also wet.”
Saying God is love, but God is also a just God, is saying that love is inherently unjust. Hmm.

I think this is how I look at it: God is love, and his love includes all the advocacy for our humanity that we will ever need.
– Wendy Francisco

There is no balance in God. The idea that there needs to be is an entirely man-made concept.
– Me

When God tells Adam and Eve they may eat from any tree in the Garden, save the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, it’s like saying: literally the whole world can be yours, or you can choose to live a life of judgment.

Choose wisely
– Jeff Turner

10

From the Menu…

More bite-sized quotations for your upbuilding:


“Religion hates Grace because Grace puts ALL people on the SAME level”
– Cindy DeGroot

“The quickest route to a mediocre life is that of constantly concerning yourself with the opinions of others”.
– Jeff Turner

…and related: “what other people think of me is none of my business.”
– Anon

“Some are so busy desperately seeking their purpose, that their purpose is having a hard time catching them”.
– Jim Potts

“I don’t care how much you screw up. Where sin abounds (whatever your definition of sin) grace abounds all the more! God isn’t running out of patience, love, grace, faith etc. for you. God believes in you and loves you and there ain’t nothing you can do about that”.
– Phil Drysdale

[Said of a Pharisee troll who had got really annoyed with a group of us on Facebook and then disappeared like they always do] “It’s his pets I’m worried about. I do so hope he won’t kick his dog or his cat around the house because of his being in a radge with us…”
– Me

“You are the Crowley to my Aziraphale”
– Ellie

“There are some people who will always find the angry verses in the Bible to confirm their obsession with anger and exclusion”
– Steve Chalke

“To me, the very fact that we can trot out a verse that says one thing, then someone else can come along and counter that with a verse that says the exact opposite, shows me that, despite Evangelical claims to the contrary, the Bible does in fact contradict itself. So, for all those who believe that the Bible is infallible and does not contradict itself, you might want to think twice before contradicting one Scripture passage with another. Otherwise, Foot. Yourself. Shooting. You’re. The. In. Rearrange to find a well-known phrase or expression”.
– Me

“The Old Testament contains an awful lot of violent killing bracketed by “God told me to”. Then along comes Jesus and says, “Love your enemies; pray for those who persecute you”. How you deal with this apparent dichotomy goes to the heart of your theology of God”.
– Rob Grayson

“Christianity is an innocence trip, not a guilt trip”.
– Jeff Turner

“Always remain teachable. But let the Holy Spirit lead you as to who should be allowed to teach you”. – Derrick Day

“There seems to be a presumption amongst Fundamentalists that if someone else is happy or, worse, laughing, then there must be some kind of ‘sin’ involved somewhere along the line 😉 ”
– Me

“People who come pre-loaded with an argument rather than interest aren’t ready”
– Dave Carringer

“A Community of believers that actually takes Jesus seriously will never force a person to choose between being honest and being accepted”.
– Jeff Turner

“The Religious of Jesus’ day complained that He was a glutton and a drunkard. Sounds like He was enjoying life pretty much to the full, while at the same time preaching how much God loved people. To me, what they found offensive was that someone could take life so lightly while at the same time taking God so seriously. Religion can’t cope with that”.
– Me

“I’m arriving at a peaceful place that allows another to believe [a doctrine], and graciously not allow them to tell me I must”.
– Matt Merry

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Hell shall not perish…

“Except that that’s not what it says.

“Belief in Jesus is the core of being a Christian, not belief in Hell”.
-Me

“Let’s be clear. When the Bible speaks for example of the word of God that is quick and powerful (Heb 4:12) or the word of God that builds faith (Rom 10:17) it’s not speaking of the book. It is telling us of the word that God speaks to you. What He says to you can change your life in an instant”.
– Don Keathley

“If we think the Love of God must be balanced out by the Holiness of God, then we understand neither one”
– Jeff Doles


Yes, I realise that ‘From the Menu’ means the same as ‘À la carte’, the title I used for my last item of short and edible quotes 😉

10

À la Carte

Another haul of wise and/or funny sayings. Bon appetit!


It is the love of God that draws out the inherent goodness of humanity, not the goodness of humanity the draws out the love of God.
– Jeff Turner

I don’t work for Jesus. He act through me. That’s the whole difference
– Frank Tværåli-myren

The problem is, many of the people in need of saving are in churches. And at least part of what they need saving from is the idea that God sees the world in the same way that they do
– Barbara Brown Taylor

If anyone calls you a heretic, chances are that they haven’t taken the time to think about whether or not what you say is true
– Stephen Morris

There can be no salvation from something if the thing we need saving from causes the only qualified Savior to squeamishly tuck tail and run away. If sin had the power to separate man from God, God would lack the power to separate man from sin. Therefore, the only possibility for salvation is that God must be able to salvifically sit right there with us in fellowship, even in our darkest moments and biggest messes.
– Jeff Turner

Imagine there is no eternal hell awaiting anyone after death.
And now imagine you have to make a case for why Jesus is worth following.
If you have nothing left to say without the threat of unending punishment, you have missed something important.
– Zach Christensen

I have always believed that people who claim to be Christian but put me down for what I feel and believe are doing nothing but trying their damnedest to be the Holy Spirit in my life. I’m not supposed to be Her in my own life let alone someone else’s
– Kenn Burroughs

“…pride cannot rise to levity or levitation. Pride is the downward drag of all things into an easy solemnity. One “settles down” into a sort of selfish seriousness; but one has to rise to a gay self-forgetfulness. A man “falls” into a brown study; he reaches up at a blue sky. Seriousness is not a virtue. It would be a heresy, but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. It is much easier to write a good Times leading article than a good joke in Punch. For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.”
– G.K. Chesterton

Don’t bore your friends with your troubles. Tell them to your enemies who will be delighted to hear about them.
– Fortune cookie

But at the centre of my walk is Jesus; He never changes, and He’s constant. My understanding of Him, however, is not constant, else how can I ever learn more about Him?
– Me

“Unless you have the power to harness the wind and direct where it blows, don’t assume you get to determine where and among whom the Holy Spirit is at work. If your theology sets limits on the Spirit, it’s not theology, it’s ideology
– Tom Fuerst

We come to God as we can, not as we can’t
– Joy Welford

00

Take-Away Time

Well, it’s not so long since I last published a piece containing bite-sized quotes, but I have read so many thought-provoking things lately that I have collected enough for another one.

Here we go. Enjoy!


“Man made doctrines, religion, and traditions die screaming. God is stripping from the church right now everything He never told her to do and believe, and it is terrifying those in the system who are not willing to let go” – Jamie Englehart

“I think that the only sort of God one can hold on to is the one that they can freely and frequently let go of. When you inhale, you must exhale in order to find breath again. If you hold your breath, for fear that you will lose it, you cease to breathe. When you let it go, however, you will find your lungs inflated almost instantly, and with no effort put forth on your part. A God that you hold onto is one that you will lose, but a God that you lose, and who does not mind being lost, is a God you will rediscover over and over again” – Jeff Turner

“I find it disgusting how Religion takes the most glorious news – ‘Christ within you, the hope of glory’; ‘Your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit’ – and makes it into a set of Rules instead of rejoicing in the glorious truth of it.

“Here’s how it should go: ‘God in us? Wow! That’s incredible!’

” ‘He that is in us is greater than he who is in the world? – Wow! I mean. wow!’

“But instead it’s ‘God in us? And therefore don’t smoke!’

‘He that is in us is greater than he who is in the world? – So you must not dance or go to the cinema!’

What a sad way to live. This is apparently what’s known as ‘abundant life’, btw… 😉 ” – Me

“Prayer does not bring you into the Divine Presence, nor does it bring the Divine into your presence. Rather, prayer is simply a way by which we make ourselves aware of the Divine as it is present at all times, and in all places and people”- Jeff Turner

“Don’t underestimate love at first sight. Many of us might not pass a second inspection 😉 ” – found in a Fortune Cookie

“You can always tell luck from ability by its duration” – another Fortune Cookie

“The most offensive thing about the Father of Jesus has always been who he accepts, not who he rejects; who he includes, not who he excludes. Religion has always gotten this precisely backwards, and this is why the way of Jesus is a narrow way. Not narrow in the sense that it is accessible only to an elite few, but in that those who think themselves elite reject it by default” – Jeff Turner

[In today’s Evangelical church] “…even just questioning something for which there is no Scriptural foundation whatsoever…you can be called a heretic” – Keith Giles

[Writing in response to someone criticising a ‘politically-incorrect’ joke] “You find it offensive; I find it funny. It seems that you will need to look elsewhere to find your humour, just as I will need to look elsewhere in order to find offence” – Me

“What I realised … is that a lot of control is based on fear, and God is not afraid. God doesn’t need to control” – Karl Forehand

“If my Christianity motivates me to “win souls,” attempt miracles, preach on street corners, wear out bibles, and speak in tongues until I run out of syllables, but also encourages me to abandon lifelong friends when it becomes apparent we disagree on a point of doctrine, I don’t believe for a moment that Christianity is what I have” – Jeff Turner

“If the validation of your own faith requires that you invalidate someone else’s faith, then I would say that your own faith is at least partially invalid – until you get rid of that preposterous requirement” – Me

“Nobody in my fundamental-ish church growing up meant to make it like this, but I learned a religion that for me was a lot about shame, guilt, and fear. I’m done with that, but I don’t want to flush the whole thing down the toilet”  – Jedidiah

“Grace is for the offender and the offended, the oppressor and the oppressed, the victim and the victimizer. It makes no sense. It goes against logic. It blows apart all of our boxes. But, alas, it is the Gospel. A Gospel that does not stretch your notion of inclusion is not nearly inclusive enough” – Jeff Turner

“If you think [God hasn’t spoken to you], I’m afraid that says more about your awareness than it does about God’s communication skills. He is always speaking. He is always telling you in countless ways, on countless days, how He loves you. His sheep hear His voice, they don’t just read His book” – Joshua Greeson

“Someone once acknowledged to me that the Church is simultaneously the best, and the worst, witness to Christ there is. I agree with half of that; I will leave you to guess which half 😉 ” – Me

“When the Gospel has become bad news to the poor, to the oppressed, to the broken-hearted and imprisoned and good news to the proud, the self-righteous and privileged instead, it is no longer the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Beth Moore

“Jesus reveals a God who does not put the weight of knowing Him on human shoulders, but on His own. He breaks into our world by becoming human, and does not require we break into His by becoming gods” – Jeff Turner

“I have my own ideas about ‘predestination’, but it struck me just now that the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination/election ONLY works if there are some who are ‘in’, and some who are ‘out’. If full inclusion is actually what the gospel is all about, then the entire Calvinism bubble bursts. And deservedly so” – Me

“Modern religion focuses on filling churches with people. The true Gospel emphasises filling people with God.” A. W. Tozer

00

A Bag of Chips

My regular readers will be familiar with the idea of these ‘quotation’ articles being likened to the concept of small, foody snacks. This one is no different. Note for non-UK readers: Over here in Britain, what some people around the world refer to as ‘Fries’, or ‘French Fries’, we call ‘chips’. * And these are big, fat and tasty, not long and thin like what we would call American-style fries. You get a lot of flavour and a lot of satisfaction from a proper bag of chips, I can tell you, and I trust that these snippets of others’ wisdom will also be tasty in the same way 🙂


“A Flat Earther’s idea of ‘research’ is just to watch other Flat Earthers’ videos” – Sci Man Dan

“And I know that Grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside” – Wm. Paul Young

“Whoever has seen Jesus has seen the Father. Therefore if it doesn’t look like Jesus, it’s not a correct image of the Father. There is no God other than the one seen in the human face of Christ”. – Jacob M. Wright

“Inclusion also ‘includes’ those who are opposed to the Inclusion message. This is something the Lord has been explaining to me over the last week or so, and He’s been showing me His great love for those who are trapped in the kind of hate-filled religion (but marketed as ‘loving’) that causes exclusion in the first place.

“No doubt this [short response] will get kickback from people who, for whatever reason, are not into including others…and to those people, I think the Lord would say again that He loves you more than you can possibly imagine. No strings attached”. – Me

“If Luther and Calvin were right in declaring that forgiveness precedes confession and repentance, then it would mean that forgiveness also precedes belief” – Wm. Paul Young

“It’s not about our free will. You’re not going to hell, and it’s for the same reason you’re never going to buy a unicorn” – David Neal

“…it is a recognised phenomenon, in the study of spiritual growth, that those who move forwards in their faith are seen by those who have not [yet, if ever] moved forwards, as ‘backsliders’. I often wonder if those who claim that we are supposed to be ‘growing into Christ’ have ever actually thought what that’s going to look like”. – Me

“If you don’t use the Bible to endorse slavery or promote women as inferior to men, then don’t use it to condemn queer folk either, otherwise you’re the cherry picker, not those who are fully affirming” – Nathan Jennings

“Every religion on the planet requires ‘separation’ [separation from God] as one of its core doctrines, because then we can tell you how to get un-separated – those of us who are the professionals – and we can charge you for it. We’ll call it something benign, and in fact we’ll make you feel really guilty about it if you don’t (and it’s on the gross, not on the net, just so you know!)” – Wm. Paul Young

“I have nothing to prove to you.” – Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel

[In response to someone asking a question about painful post-death judgement] “I don’t think there is any pain in judgement, save perhaps for a slight embarrassment as I see what I dick I was in certain scenarios. I believe that judgement will be one of restoration and reconciliation, rather than retribution and revenge. God’s wrath is against the damage caused, not against those causing it, and that damage will somehow be put right. And for those who hated me, we will lean on each other and laugh about it, because it’s all sorted out. That way, we are all winners. That’s what divine judgement looks like.” – Me

“If the idea that the Biblical authors sometimes mistakenly misrepresented God upsets you more than the idea that God actually commanded genocide does, then your ethical priorities are in the wrong place.” – Daniel Skillman 

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes” – Anon

“…a simple look at the Scriptural narrative will put on display the sure reality that God always shows up in ways that the religious never expect and almost always detest”. – Chris Kratzer

“Praising God is acknowledging His attributes. I try to be aware when I pray that God is the ever-present, all-powerful, all-knowing, loving heavenly Father. I don’t praise Him because He needs me to tell Him who He is. He knows who He is. I am the one who needs to keep His divine attributes constantly in my mind. I try to keep the knowledge of God’s presence foremost in my thoughts. No matter where I go, He is with me”. – Neil Anderson

“Nowhere does Jesus mention that anyone should try to save others from Hell. You’d have thought if it was that important He’d have told us? You’d also have thought He’d have told us how important it was that we pluck the souls from the brink especially in the context of those parts of His teaching where the meaning is traditionally ascribed to being about Hell.

“Furthermore, if the hell-fire doctrine is true, and if Evangelical Christians claim that a loving God still lets people go to Hell ‘because He is so loving that He will not override their free will’, then it follows that they have to change the definition of Love so that it bears no resemblance to that found in 1Cor 13.” – Me

“It is quite possible to think too much, but those who accuse others of doing it are rarely guilty [of it] themselves”. – Jeff Turner


*And what they call ‘chips’, we refer to as ‘crisps’. And so it goes on 😉

10

Something To Chew On

More bite-sized thoughts and ideas for you to enjoy, to get the brain working and the spirit singing. Here is wisdom* from many people all around the Internet, and indeed all around the world:


“When we come to the realization that we don’t have the power or responsibility to change anyone, our burden becomes a little lighter. We can encourage, we can pray, we can be an example, we can love unconditionally…but ultimately, it’s the Father who molds, potters and reconciles the heart. My prayer for others has gone from begging God to change them to simply this:

“Father, let them see what they look like through Your eyes.”

“Because once that happens, everything changes.” – Chris Martin

“The enemy of the Truth does his best work through the religious folks. He keeps them sin conscious while convincing them that they are Christ conscious. They are the first to throw stones, point out specks and elevate the Bible to the level of an idol. But thanks be unto God that He will bring them too into a realization of Himself through Christ in due course of time. For now ya just gotta love them. They can’t help their blindness.” – C Andrew May

“This is why I refuse to be labelled. As soon as someone has a label for you, they categorise you into a box. So I would rather people heard what I believe, and saw the sort of person I am, and only then can they realise that no box will fit.” – Me

“This is a statement that is true and worthy of full acceptance. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe – The First Letter of Paul to Timothy, chapter 4, verse 10

“When your identity is built on your devotion to God, when your devotion fails then who are you? But when it’s built on Gods devotion to you, that devotion is never going to falter or fail and your identity is secure and you’re set.” – Lecrae

[On religious discussions online] “Maybe people should more often than not just [accept what the Bible says] and shake the dust off and leave when their message is not being received? According to the Bible, saying nothing is actually a good thing and shows maturity and wisdom. But alas… They probably won’t, because such is the religious spirit. It always has to be right and always has to get the last word, or it will eat them up inside. Their comments will never seem to be about correcting for love’s sake, but will more than likely seem to be about correcting because nobody is as right as they are.” – Tim

“For me, it’s all those people who take someone who’s full of awestruck wonder at the Person of Jesus that they have just met, and then little by little, straw by straw, they layer over their victim’s pure Jesus experience with subtle layers of rules, laws, ‘if-then’ and ‘ah, but’ qualifications, do’s and don’ts, nasty-god doctrines, tacit expectations and tacit disapprovals, until the new life is smothered, suffocated, and subjected to the evils of legalism. It’s utterly diabolical to take the new believer and do that to them. “- Me

“The roots of judgment are firmly twisted around a bedrock of fear that is buried deeply within the souls of these people.” – Sharon

“I’m not sure who it was but someone said they define a cult by how they let you leave it.”
– Monica

“If your picture of God is
starting to feel too good to be true,
you’re starting to move in the right direction.” – Greg Boyd

“The awkward moment when the people that prophesied you would break religious mindsets are now angry you’re breaking religious mindsets.” – Matthew Challenor

“If you never hear another word I ever say, hear this and remember it. God is Love, If it doesn’t look like love, then it’s not God, it’s a religious lie…..even if it is found in the Bible.” – Anonymous Baptist Pastor

“Grace doesn’t point out the problem, because it’s the solution.” – Jim


*If you are uncomfortable with the idea that humans can generate wisdom, because all wisdom comes from God or other such objection, please can I respectfully refer you to this article where this is discussed in depth, and hopefully your fears will be assuaged 🙂

30

More Sound Bites

Here’s another post continuing my series of ever-popular ‘brief thoughts’ – style articles, featuring interesting ideas and thoughts from around the Internet and beyond.


“What you know about God changes nothing. Knowing what God knows about you, however, changes everything”. – Jeff Turner

“I realised last night that when Jesus called His disciples, He simply said ‘Follow Me’. He didn’t set any conditions, name any essential doctrines, set any boundaries, make any rules, say anything was forbidden. He just said ‘Follow Me’. How simple is that? It makes me think that anything other than simply ‘follow Me’ must be largely superfluous”. – Me

“No matter how big or small your goal, no matter how motivated you are or what drives you to achieve your goals…. You can only do it ONE step at a time!! My steps are small at the moment but I’m putting one foot in front of the other, moving in the right direction…. Whilst trying to also be in the here and now…. As that is the only moment that truly exists!” – Helen

“The Gospel is not that you can receive Jesus into your life, but that Jesus has already received you into His Life” – Wm. Paul Young

“I really don’t see why we shouldn’t major on the restoration stuff rather than the destruction stuff. People talk about not diluting the Gospel, and about not watering it down. This harsh stuff is not giving it undiluted, it’s giving it polluted with evil. Nobody will respond to a gospel like that, at least not positively”. – Me

“The point of the Abraham-and-Isaac story isn’t that you should sacrifice your kid but that you can leave behind any notion of a god who demands that you sacrifice your kid. Do you see how huge this is?” – Rob Bell

“HYDRA was founded on the belief that humanity could not be trusted with its own freedom” – Dr. Arnim Zola, Captain America: The Winter Soldier…*

“The concept of God as an angry, unforgiving parent – and his church as a domineering grown-up issuing threats to wilful kids – is bad news, not Gospel. Such concepts inculcate only fear: fear of God, and then fear of our own freedom. They lead not to liberty of the children of God, to the freedom with which Christ has set us free, but to a servile mentality that kills courage and breeds resentment.” – Robert Farrar Capon, The Mystery of Christ… & Why We Don’t Get It

“God always backs the underdog” – Emma Higgs

“I’m kind of done with you telling me what I can’t do.” – Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel

“The only record of your sins is in your own mind. There is no other copy”. – David Neal

“I [do] get frustrated, though, when people would prefer to spout the bad news rather than the good. If the gospel begins with ‘god hates you’, then it’s not a gospel anyone would listen to any further than that”. – Me


*[Is it just me, or does that perhaps sound like some parts of the modern Evangelical church?]

00

Solid Food

Continuing my ‘morsels’ – themed titles for my ‘quotations’ posts…

If Jesus saves only Evangelicals who have said ‘The Prayer’, and likely also had to jump through many, many other hoops too (as prescribed by various leaders), then at best only 0.01% or so of humans will be ‘saved’. Given that we can assume that God is not a complete idiot, and that Jesus is not a failed Saviour, I would suggest that somewhere along the line we have gained a total misunderstanding of both the nature of salvation and what it takes to be ‘saved’. – Me

“The incarnation does not suggest that God became human so that we can escape our humanity, but rather that, since God has fully embraced the human experience, we can escape the trap of believing that we need to escape our humanity in order to become like God.” – Jeff Turner

“The authority of Scripture lies in the transformative process itself.” – Brad Jersak

“God’s love for you has never been and never will be based on anything you do or don’t do.
It’s based on who He is.” – Chris Martin

“I’ve just thought: if there is indeed a Judgement Day video where all our life is played back in Blu-Ray/IMAX quality, mine is going to be bloody hilarious… :D” – Me

“The only time you’ll find God in a box is because he wants to be where we are” – Wm. Paul Young

“Double negatives are a no-no for me” – Anon

“It took a real revelation – literally, a revelation – of Grace to bring me out of my pit. Once you have seen the true nature of Grace, you can’t unsee it. But the converse may also be true: until you have seen the true nature of Grace, you can’t see it at all.” – Me

“Your first love is not your love for God; it is God’s love for you.” – Paul Ellis

 

10

Tasty Treats

Any gospel message that instils fear in your heart, is probably not the gospel, but the ministry of death Paul warned us about. – Henry Harris

God is not a being to believe in. God is a mystery to participate in. – Nathan Jennings

The idea we need to fear God, always comes from people that don’t know God. – Kurt and Katy Adkins

“I think the reaction we’re meant to have when we look at the cross is to weep with relief — that there’s someone who understands our sufferings and dealt with it” – Christine

If your goal is to share what you know, to teach people what you know, to make people understand what you understand—if it’s about a subject for which you have passion and concern—then speak to that end.

When you degrade, when you yell, when you vituperate, you can no longer feign that you have a noble pursuit. You’re speaking from your ego, from your sense of superiority, you’re asserting your dominance.

Now, the subject for which you allegedly feel so strongly is on the back burner, and the entire conversation is about winning an argument that you created.

The person to whom you’re speaking has been lost, and will not consider what you know, share, or care about.

Watch your step, and be sure you’re speaking for the right reasons. – Steven Gilmore

I have learnt that to love is so much more important than trying to convince others of my belief. Knowing that all will be well in the end has given me such freedom to be with others whatever they believe. I have found that my attempts to show love encourages hope in others to a far greater extent than was ever achieved when I tried to tell people what was right. – David Bell

For all the criticism [a particular Christian ‘leader’] has had, I think it’s great that he answers to what his own conscience says, rather than to what others think his conscience should say. – Me

Movements

Religious and spiritual movements both tend to come and go, with only Divine Presence remaining constant.

May I respectfully make a suggestion, one born out of personal experience.

Don’t pour your whole identity into a movement, no matter what the brand.

Why not?

Well, it all usually ends up in tears, disillusionment and deep confusion.

Best to open up one’s heart to the One without change, I reckon.

– Dylan Morrison (Irish writer-poet)

As to why people deny [evolution], though, well that’s just fear that their written Divine Contract might not be as watertight as they thought. And I think that’s intentional; God never intended us to live by faith in a Book, but by faith in Christ. If the book is infallible, then who needs the Holy Spirit? – Me

Jesus came to show us the Father’s love, not threaten us with eternal conscious torment for hearing bad preaching & saying no to THAT god. – Karen Belcher

There is only one thing that could ever make a person say “I love you” to a god they believe finds them deplorable without seeing them through someone else… and that is fear of torment.

Your heavenly Father doesn’t need to look at you ‘through’ Jesus to be head over heels in love with you. He sent Jesus to show you who you’ve been in His eyes all along… and that there is never any fear or torment involved in His perfect love.

“May they know they are One, Father, even as you and I are One; and may they know you have loved them… even as you have loved me.” (Jesus)  – Dave Carringer

In fact I would even say that, unless you really believe that you know ‘…where you would go if you died tonight’, then you have absolutely no right to try to sell people the salvation that Jesus offers as if it is indeed a complete, cast-iron assurance, when the reality is that you yourself don’t really believe it is as secure as you claim. Because that sort of gospel, that so many peddle these days, is really no gospel – not good news – at all. – Me

The Bible is not the Holy Spirit’s bridle – Barry Smith

“Ah, but…what about this scripture and that scripture…” yes and it’s always – always! – the negative they are emphasising. It’s really weird. It’s always ‘God is Love, but he’s also just…’, never ‘God is just, but he’s also Love!’ Anyone’d think they don’t want to believe anything positive about God! – Me

Saying “You’re not saved by good works, you’re saved by grace, but you have to prove you’re saved by doing good works” is just a clever way of saying you’re saved by good works and acting like you’re not saying it. – Jacob M. Wright

I don’t have any proof of this. But…

It seems often, as if the people who argue over doctrinal differences, and go about calling those they disagree with names, are coming from inferiority and poor self-esteem, and trying to make themselves appear “right”, knowledgeable, and believable.

When I sense that this is happening, 1) it makes me very uncomfortable, and 2) I feel very sorry for that person. Usually I walk away asap and am careful about future interactions with them. – Sonny Bellotte

Today, be the sort of person whose kindness, compassion and love could be the difference between someone losing their faith in God and the humans he calls children, and them saying, “Eh, I think I’ll give it one more try.”

All the arguments you might win, or energy you might expend ranting on social media, are meaningless compared to this. – Jeff Turner

“There is no more important issue than whether or not the large majority of the human race is heading for a fate that … would make the holocaust look like a joke.” – Jacob Wright

“I choose not to succumb to my circumstances, and become angry at the idea of existence, I choose not to be a person who sees every moment as an opportunity to be disappointed by life—a victim with no options.

Rather, I choose to see myself as one being pursued relentlessly by goodness and mercy. I choose to see opportunities for myself to advance, excel, and be the best possible version of me. I choose to see valuable lessons in my daily interactions with people and events.

I choose to see goodness and mercy all around me—seeking access to my life and family today. I choose to see myself as one entangled in a divine conspiracy in which all that is in the world is seeking to make me better. “ – Charlie Fischer

If all you know of God is from books, you are walking in deep darkness – Don Francisco

Once you realize you can hear your Father’s Spirit for yourself, speaking in a voice you clearly understand… no man or institution can ever control your life again. Run free and enjoy your Father’s love… and don’t be entangled in the yoke of man’s bondage ever again. Wake up to your genesis. You were born free. Live in that freedom… and don’t ever look back. – Dave Carringer

 

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Snack Time!

Here are yet more bite-sized wisdom goodies. I hope you are blessed by them!


Distrust all who make you feel bad about feeling good, and good about feeling bad. – Jeff Turner

 

Whatever a passage of Scripture means, it cannot mean that God is not Love – John Wesley

 

To my mind, the original sin, and what it looks like today, is the belief that God is really, really mad with us. In my opinion, all ‘bad behaviour’ flows from that – from not realising that a good, loving God actually exists and that He likes us. – Me

 

If your heart is kinder than your doctrine, it’s time to look at what you believe. – Joanne Glen

 

The Kingdom of God is not [rules and regulations], but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Why then does modern Evangelicalism major on all the negative stuff: judgement, Hell, conforming to the tribal ethos and all the other stuff? Those are all things that, believed in the Evangelical sense, actually stifle righteousness, peace and joy. – Me

 

“Sin is its own punishment devouring us from the inside. It’s not God’s purpose to punish it, it’s God’s joy to cure it.” – Paul Young

 

Don’t ever allow what someone doesn’t see affect what you do see. Walk your journey. Keep growing. Keep learning. – Chris Martin

 

The Gospel is good news for all, which makes it sound like bad news to some. We like the idea of a table prepared in the presence of our enemies, so long as it means they are forced to watch us feast while they starve. We don’t like the idea, however, when it means we share a table, in the presence of God, with those we consider to be enemies.

If you’re uncomfortable with the notion of an inclusive table, good! That is precisely how the Gospel transforms us – Jeff Turner

 

“I’m glad God’s not the asshole people think he is” – Jacob M. Wright

 

Perhaps if one more person tells me to read my Bible, I might get saved!? – Karen Belcher

 

The nature of God is not primarily manifest in what God says “no” to, but in what God says “yes” to. It is not understood by examining what God hates, but what God loves.

Consequently, then, the nature of God is not primarily manifest in *us by what we say “no” to, but in what we say “yes” to; not through what we hate, but what we choose to love. – Jeff Turner

 

My personal view is that it would be dishonest to read the Old Testament (OT) as if the New Testament (NT) had never been written. When people say, ‘Let Scripture interpret Scripture’, in no other way is this more true than in letting the NT interpret the OT in the light of Jesus – Me

 

It is better to love than to prove that you are right – Jim Palmer

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