Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The Week That Didn't Change My Life
I just spent a week with "the J.B. Phillips of our time" and three of the most authentic and consistently Christocentric undershepherds to ever cross my path.
If you'd like to know more about what happened, go to www.bnnsradio.com, click on Kopp Disclosure, and listen to the archive of the 10/19/11 edition that commenced at 6:00 p.m.
While I studied under the guy who wrote the RSV, became a colleague and close friend of the guy who wrote the NIV, and was graced to listen to and only lately learn from so many of the great saints of the mid to late 20th century, last week didn't change my life in terms of faith; but definitely deepened how I will practice it as an undershepherd, husband, father, friend, and even presbyter.
As I told Chuck, Jeff, and Ken, "I wish I had met him 35 years ago; but, of course, I knew everything back then and wouldn't have paid any attention to him."
Tony, who will be joining Kathie, Bill, et moi every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. on Kopp Disclosure via www.bnnsradio.com, observed during the broadcast on 10/19/11 which you can, uh, experience by going to the site, clicking on KD, and listening to the archive, "I've noticed the great saints of the church have always been kinda detached from the church, people, what's happening..."
Let me explain.
Detached doesn't connote a lack of interest, concern, sensitivity, or sympathy; and it certainly does not exclude/eliminate/diminish a saint's sadness over sheep who lose His way in favor of theirs that never satisfies.
It means a saint's sanity - and remember the Biblical definition of saint is anyone who truly believes in Jesus as attested by behaving like Jesus more than less - is not captive to the whims and emotional/intellectual/spiritual dysfunctions of others because of increasing intimacy with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It means a saint's joy in, through, and for Jesus is not disturbed, distracted, derailed, detoured, or dissipated by the meanness, madness, and misery of life in the world.
Read Psalm 1.
Read Galatians 2:20; 5:16-26.
Though my covenant brothers Chuck, Jeff, and Ken get it/Him, they are not immune to the attacks of those who witlessly or consciously cooperate with darkness.
You know what I mean.
As the sage's wife had to explain to him long ago, "There are farts in the elevator...It only takes one and everyone suffers and can't escape the..."
Or as a shrink lectured my doctoral study group back in 1980, "Problem people in churches are usually constipated. That's why they dump on you."
Whoever said loving Jesus means escaping the attacks of the enemy and its witless or consciously cooperative accomplices never took a long look at the cross.
We aren't immune.
We overcome sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end.
Sage's translation/paraphrase of some verses in Psalm 32: "These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray; when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts we'll be on high ground, untouched."
Read Psalm 32.
Read Matthew 7:24-27.
You've probably heard this old saying: "You're damned if you do and damned if you don't."
Here's how we talked about it last week: "You're damned if you do and damned if you don't; so you may as well be damned for trying to be righteous."
Aside from the eternal consequences, which should be enough to persuade, here's another way of putting it, "People are gonna bitch and moan about whatever you say and do - it's their nature - so you may as well let 'em bitch and moan about you trying to be faithful as exemplified in Jesus and explained in the Bible."
People who are in league, witlessly or otherwise, with darkness may put you through hell; but going through hell is a lot better than ending up there.
Read Psalm 2
Read Colossians 3.
Now stop wondering why I haven't named the man/saint who took us deeper last week.
Tune in to the archive as recommended in the first section of this edition for his name if you haven't already guessed.
Besides, we know him as "a man of primary source."
He would prefer we talk/concentrate on Him rather than him: "Worship God if you want the best; worship opens the doors to all His goodness."
He likes to quote Baron Friedrich von Hugel who said this about approaching truth as revealed in Holy Scripture, "It is more like sucking on a lozenge than gulping a meal."
Or as our newer mentor has written, "Chew on Scripture day and night."
Or as he said during our last session, "Take a breath before..."
What's that word to describe that spiritual discipline?
It/he didn't change my life.
Jesus did that.
Our triune God used him to take us deeper as...
Now take a breath and...
Blessings and Love!