Wednesday, March 30, 2011


... a hateful sounding word, isn't it?

it's being thrown around a lot these days.

here's what the dictionary has to say about it:

1. a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.

2. Roman Catholic Church - a baptized Roman Catholic who willfully and persistently rejects any article of faith.

3. anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.

etymologically speaking, it means to be able to choose.

Galileo was condemned as a heretic for supporting Copernicus’s thesis that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice-versa.

do you believe the earth revolves around the sun? if so, you would have been in the same boat in which Galileo found himself.

Paul was described to the Roman governor Felix as the leader of the heresy (aireseos) of the Nazarenes (Acts 24:5). what about you?

all of Protestantism was declared heretical by the Roman Church. possibly still is, behind closed doors.

believing and practicing the priesthood of all believers was declared heretical. anyone who 'preached' or 'taught' who was not a part of the hierarchy was a heretic.

John Wycliffe - because his translation didn’t suit the hierarchy; William Tyndale - tried for heresy, strangled and burnt at the stake in 1536; Jan Hus, Joan of Arc, Thomas Cranmer and many folk under the rule of Bloody Mary.

Billy Graham, Beth Moore, Moody Bible Institute, Max Lucado, Michael W Smith, Baylor University, Chuck Swindoll, NavPress, Intervarsity, Christianity Today, Mother Teresa, Bono, Quakers, Charles Stanley, Chuck Colson, C S Lewis, Franklin Graham, J I Packer, James Dobson, Joel Osteen, John Piper, Martin Luther King, Jr.

just a few who have had the appellation thrown their way.

oh, and anyone who uses any other Bible but the KJV.

there are lots of other words being thrown around - universalism, trinitarianism, ultimate reconciliation, hell, heaven, slippery slope - to name a few.

but - what i am hearing more than the words is that which is behind some of the words. it’s not pretty.

it sounds a lot like hate.

i don't know about any of you, but this really grieves my heart. aren't we - those of us who name His name in some form or other - supposed to find love in our hearts for others who also name His name?

why can’t we trust Him? - trust in His character?

if we trust Him with ourselves, can’t we trust Him with others?

do we trust Him with ourselves - to keep us from harm and deception?

can we not do the same for others?

confession - i don’t know everything there is to know about God. surprise! i have no clue ‘how’ He has and will work all things together for His purpose. i do know, to some degree, what the Bible has to say about salvation and reconciliation. i am aware that a strong case can be made for ultimate reconciliation - a strong case can be made against ultimate reconciliation.

why don’t we slow down, take a breath and a step or two back, consider Him and choose the better way.

why don’t we leave the out-working up to Him?

He can be trusted.

off the map...

[originally posted March 9, 2011]

The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, not into some predetermined, clear plan. The next step discloses itself out of a discernment of God acting in the desert of the present moment. Naked trust is the life of one who leaves what is nailed down  and secure by walking into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future.

~ Brennan Manning

the presence of grace...

[originally posted March 9, 2011]

It's true. We really do only pass this way but once. My hope is that we all come to understand that the passing through is packed full of moments that are full of the kind of happenings that can mysteriously awaken us. And it's the presence of grace and our yielding to that grace that breaks up the hard packed ground and allows the life inside to break through and grow.

~ Kent Burgess

He is...

[originally posted February 22, 2011]

Christianity is not a formula, but the Person of Jesus Himself. Never think that Christianity is a matter of adjusting behavior, but rather, of letting Christ live through us in His strength and power.

~ Malcom Smith

the narrow way...

[originally published February 10, 2011]

eavesdropping on some hearts this morning...

"It is a shock to many who would settle for a life of serving God that, above all else, He fervently desires our friendship. He desires us infinitely more than we desire Him."

~ Malcolm Smith

And that is the most beautiful... and yet hardest thing to find and accept... it's the narrow way... that fits your feet walking with him... apart from all you "think" you know... it's an experience... the wide way is me walking with all those things I "think" I know... as opposed to walking with the one making HIMSELF known... He loves me...

~ Stephanie McEntire

When I read things like this it makes me uncomfortable because I've been trained to see God above all things as Sovereign and Holy, and there is no question that He is those things. Jesus however, most often characterized God as Love and emphasized this in many of his parables and teachings. There's all sorts of things that scream in my mind to minimize that love God has for me as somehow not dignified enough for such a powerful God. It's true however. God is madly, passionately and desperately in love with us, ultimately because of who He is.

His love is driving, personal, extravagant and even wasteful in the eyes of some. It's when I see this God and accept Him and His love for me that I learn to walk without guilt, shame or fear and trust in that love as the greatest foundation of all, undergirding all of my life. 

It's when I set aside all the "buts" and accept that God is indeed this loving that i am free to live and love as He created me to.

~ Bart Breen

quiet places... full of sound

[originally posted January 27, 2011]

standing by a tomb of a knight. Sir Richard Pembridge… a Knight of the Garter who fought at Crecy and Poitiers. he died 1375.

as far as i can tell, there are no other living beings in the Cathedral. it’s late morning, the light is gentle… unobtrusive.

i am aware of all the prayers which have been uttered in this place… the sense of them more than the sound.

yet there is the sound of them...

as unobtrusive as the light… but just as present.

the vaulted stone ceiling which soars far above seems filled with the presence of the prayers. the aisles and chapels and niches... full of their presence... the heart petitions of the people who have gone before.

centuries upon centuries of sound… in the quiet.

photo courtesy of Britain Express