Monday, May 23, 2005

Sacred Text

A young Christian packing his bag for a journey said to a friend, "I have nearly finished packing. All I have to put in are a guidebook, a lamp, a mirror, a microscope, a telescope, a volume of fine poetry, a few biographies, a package of old letters, a book of songs, a sword, a hammer, and a set of tools." "But you cannot put all that into your bag," objected the friend. "Oh, yes," said the Christian. "Here it is."
And he placed his Bible in the corner of the suitcase and closed the lid.

The study of God's Word,
for the purpose of discovering God's will,
is the secret discipline
which has formed the greatest characters.
J.W. Alexander
The devil is not afraid of the Bible that has dust on it.
No one ever graduates from Bible study
until he meets the Author face to face.

When you read God's word,
you must constantly be saying to yourself,
'It is talking to me, and about me.


Jenni said...

I've had problems staying focused on positive things in life but I'm noticing that when you really read the Word, really get into it and really let it sink into your heart so that it never goes away then there's no problem staying positive because all you can think about are Godly things and what's better than a God of mercy and grace?

Anonymous said...

Sunday morning Pastor Edgar described Napoleon Bonaparte as a skeptic, and I think that was perhaps the understatement of the century. Actually, Napoleon was an Enlightenment hero, a worshiper of Reason with a capital R, someone who thought that man was the measure of all things, and one of the major figures of history responsible for secularizing European culture.

When it came to Christianity and the Bible, Napoleon was an absolute unbeliever all his life. He was a man militantly opposed to Christ and the Church, at war with God and the Bible – that is, he was until the very end of his life, when he was exiled to the island of Saint Helena. After an ungodly life, Napoleon came to his end on that lonely island. Reading the Scripture each day, he eventually surrendered to God and became a Christian, after which he wrote the quote you cited (about the living power of the Word of God) and came to these conclusions: “I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man.” “Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity. We can say to the authors of every other religion, ‘You are neither gods not the agents of the Deity. You are but missionaries of falsehood, molded from the same clay with the rest of mortals. You are made with all the passions and vices inseparable from them. Your temples and your priests proclaim your origin.’ Such will be the judgment, the cry of conscience, of whoever examines the gods and the temples of paganism.” But Jesus Christ, he said, astounded him and filled him with awe.

The point I wanted to make was this: I don’t think we’re hearing the voice of the skeptic or the unbeliever when we hear these quotes from Napoleon. We’re hearing the voice of the believer, because that is what he had become, and at an earlier stage of his life he never would have said those things.

Bob said...

Very thought provoking response.....

Perhaps Napoleon being a "skeptic" was an understatement. That is, if a skeptic is merely someone who "isn't sure if they believe" some particular philosophy or religion. However, if a skeptic is “one who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or DISAGREES WITH ASSERTIONS OR GENERALLY ACCEPTED CONCLUSIONS" (American Heritage Dictionary), then perhaps "skeptic" may not be too far off.

Regardless of the lexicon meaning of the word "skeptic," the thought provoking points of history, beliefs, and timeline presented in the above response seem to only make the quote offered Sunday all the more powerful.

The quote was, "The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it."

Though, this may have been stated by a man who had become a "believer," it was stated by a military geniuses who had bar-near conquered all of Europe. He has been acclaimed one of the greatest military commanders in history. His life had been filled knowing the rush of victory and the ecstasy of conquering. He knew well what it meant to "oppose" someone or something, most notably the Person of Christ and His claims.

Yet, on the Island of Saint Helena, this military Conquer knew what it meant to be conquered by the Greatest Military King and Commander in all of History– the King of Kings.

(what must it have been like for such a conquer to have sat meditating/reflecting on his life, everything he had lived and fought for, compared to the life of Christ and everything He had lived for...and then to come to the conclusions that he did...Imagine the reflective conversation one could have had with him on that Island... anybody read anything about that.... in greater depth than what happened, but his personal reflections on life etc???)