The title for this blog borrows a quote from Matthew Henry.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” – John 3:19
It’s amazing what one can find on the internet and social media.
Remember this “controversy” about Candace Bure’s shirt?
What a collection of ironies this story presents! I’ve noted six (ironically the Devil’s number!!):
Irony 1) A cultural subgroup believes that someone coined a phrase about the devil in 2014. This cultural subgroup likely does not even believe in the devil.
Irony 2) A cultural subgroup apparently believes that no one ever said “Not today Satan” before it was uttered by Bianca Del Rio. They therefore say Christians have “stolen” this phrase when it’s more likely that the phrase was borrowed from the Christians.
Irony 3) A cultural subgroup claiming to defend the rights of women, cross dressers, and everyone’s right to wear what they want is viciously attacking a woman for the way she dresses, for wearing what she wants.
Irony 4) A cultural subgroup who is unhappy with Christians (a group drawing their moral convictions from the Bible) are claiming controlling ownership of “Not today Satan” when the very idea that there is a spiritual battle being waged (and that Satan is an adversary of mankind) comes from the Bible. To repurpose a phrase, it’s as if the cultural subgroup is sitting on the lap of the Christian group so that their arms will reach to slap the Christian group in the face.
Irony 5) A cultural subgroup advocating for tolerance, acceptance, and even celebration of all forms of diversity refuses to tolerate or accept Candace Cameron Bure. And they certainly don’t want her celebrated.
Irony 6) The cultural subgroup that calls itself Christian believes in a mighty God, magnificent Bible, ruling Lord and Savior, and a very real and evil Devil. This group says it rests upon the Word of God, the provision of God, and the fellowship of God’s people. And then this group, too often, latches onto trite phrases that can tend (if not careful) to diminish the seriousness and difficulty of the spiritual war Christ followers claim to be fighting.
There are probably more ironies to include, but I’m going to stop now so that I can go listen to an Alanis Morissette song.
By the way, someone pushed back on these thoughts, saying,
“My question is, why even wear a t-shirt that acknowledges Satan? You wouldn’t catch me dead in a t-shirt like that.”
To this I say, “Fair point! We don’t want to give the devil free advertising! LOL Of course, we don’t want to ignore the existence of the devil, either. So, I’m willing to cut Candace a little slack.
One of the most famous misquotes of all time was recently shared on social media.
The quote is: Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words” – St. Francis of Assisi
This led to a slew of trite responses, including:
“Acts of kindness, volunteering, treating others how I would choose to be treated. No words needed.”
“I believe the thought is that he lived his life that way, expressed things of that nature, maybe.”
This is definitely one of those thought provoking statements that’s been heard many times, and the point is well taken. From a certain angle, I like the quote (whomever said it). Francis of Assisi certainly emphasized living out a life of faith that exemplifies the message of the Gospel, but let us never forget it is a message that Francis also taught by using words. Words are necessary.
As for attribution, the quote is almost always attributed to Francis of Assisi, but I don’t think he really ever said it. I wonder who did? Someone suggested it’s from Emily Stimpson. This doesn’t sound likely to me. I believe Emily is a Roman Catholic writer who has been published only sort of recently. The supposed Francis of Assisi quote has been floating around for at least several decades (perhaps much longer). It does not appear that Emily is old enough to be the originator.
So much sin in this world. It’s heartbreaking.
A book you might consider reading. One reviewer writes:
Dr. Barrett has gathered a full stable of blue-ribbon theologians for this winning volume. All the essays are carefully contextualized, the Reformers judiciously selected, and the bibliographies thoughtfully assembled. Some chapters are especially notable for the breadth and depth of the author’s research, others for their adroit summaries of complex themes. There is little doubt that Reformation Theology will ably serve the church and academy as a textbook for students and a reference work for scholars. It is already reshaping my own teaching on late-medieval and early-modern theology, and I commend it heartily.
An article you might consider reading. One person comments:
The Bible isn’t the sayings of a dead sage, but the truth of the living God. He’s near as you seek Him in His word.
A video you might consider viewing. One theologian shares:
“If you don’t know about Third Millennium Ministries, watch this video. If you are involved in the work of the international church, you should use Third Mill’s materials. Either way, you should support their work however you can.”
A link you might consider checking out. One verse from the Bible says:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” – Matthew 25:35
A question you might consider for your personal practice. One guys I know writes:
“Many people were saying he was being sexist but in really he understands his boundaries very well. To not be put into a situation where temptation and alcohol can lead to a bad and damaging decision, I give a thumbs up!”
A random musing that led to a short exchange:
Musing: “I’m not that perfect Christian; I’m the one who knows he needs Jesus.” To this I joked, “I hope you’re not the only one.” He responded seriously, “I hope not either. Just putting green out because sometimes Christians get accused and I just to set it straight I know I need help.” Taking a turn for the serious myself, I ended with, “Indeed. Christians still sin, and if they say otherwise, they are lying (as we’re taught in 1 John). Fortunately, Christians have the help that you mention we all still need!”
A pithy quote as this blog draws near its close:
“God is not in the business of asking us to consistently neglect our families in order to further His kingdom.” – Steve Farrar
A pithy self-quote quote with which to end:
I’m not sure if anyone has ever successfully borrowed a book from me. Oh sure, I’ve agreed to lend my books to others, but if the books are never returned does that count as “borrowing”?
P.S. MercyMe is one of the most consistently good bands of the past 20 years. Just saying.
Until we meet face to face,
Pastor Troy Skinner