"I am much more serious about Jesus than many people might legitimately
presume from my attitude sometimes. Usually people mention Jesus
with all the seriousness of a funeral. I want to say the name of Jesus
with a smile, with a certain sense of frivolity...We need to use order
and decency to achieve something greater than order and decency."
Robert S. Humes
1920 - 2012
Gump was right.
Yet those who know Him and how it ought to be with His if they're really into Him flush it from the family for Someone better.
My old friend called because we had to flush it from what was separating us if we were/are to have any integrity about proclaiming peace, unity, and purity in, through, and for Jesus.
It's kinda hypocritical to suggest what Jesus can be/do for others when He hasn't been able to be/do much for us.
Twain: "The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little by way of example."
Adamson: "Who the anything but heaven are we to tell the world how to get along together through Jesus if we can't get along together through Jesus?"
Really, why would anyone want to hang out in churches that are hating each other for Christ's sake?
I spent the first four of my thus far eight years on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois irritating/salting with a rhetorical and declarative: "Why would anyone want to come here and learn how to be as miserable as you are? Please don't tell anyone that I'm your pastor 'cause I don't want 'em to think you got what you got from me!"
It had the same salty effect as gettin' on a bus with a T-shirt reading Let's Talk About Jesus! Seats cleared/clear for those who really wanna!
Things are much better/Christian on the corner of Lincoln and Main.
Anyway, back to my buddy.
After admitting we'd better start being reconcilable with each other if we're gonna exhort others to the same, we started talking about the older days in Pittsburgh Presbytery.
Bob Humes came up.
He died about a year ago (6/17/12).
But long before he died, he gained the reputation as an "Outspoken Pastor Who Urged Presbytery to Stay Focused on Jesus" (see that article by Ann Rodgers on 6/19/12 by going to www.post-gazette.com).
Friends of my friend and me, Ann quoted Jack, "Bob challenged the presbytery to keep Jesus Christ at the center of everything that we do. He was always questioning how we could make so many decisions as a presbytery without referring to Jesus."
Ann: "In the early 1990s, he came to meetings wearing sandwich board signs with slogans such as 'It's Jesus, Stupid'...He argued that the presbytery's biggest problem was failure to talk about what Jesus wanted the church to do."
Daughter Patsy: "One day when he was in the hospital this past month we talked specifically about the centrality of Jesus, that Jesus was the center of everything...He really wanted me to understand that that was his purpose in life, to get that message out."
It wasn't easy.
Some said he was a prophet; while others wrote him off as a pesky gadfly to be swatted away.
Beverly, who beat me for moderator by less than a handful of votes almost two decades ago, observed, "He really believed that we were missing the point of what it meant to be Presbyterian when we slavishly followed the docket."
Ann: "When he was asked if he could keep the required 'decency and order' at meetings, he replied: 'I'm sorry you brought that up. I am much more inclined to indecency and disorder.'"
I'll never forget when my old friend and I confronted him: "You're making it very difficult for us to advance our agenda because you're coming off kinda...crazy."
He acknowledged what we said...and paid no attention to us.
He was a precursor to Francis Chan.
I don't know why he came to mind as my old friend and I began reconciling.
Maybe I do.
Bob Humes heralded the only thing/glue/One who can keep us together is Jesus; and if we really believe in Jesus, the gates of hell will not...
O.K., now go to the right column, click on CYA in the PCUSA, and put it together.
If you've got the time/inclination, go to Ann's column and check out the obit via www.soxmanfuneralhomes.com.
Now you know why I can't/must...
"This is the best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.
You are my friends when you..."
Blessings and Love!
Did I ever tell you about my ordination process in Blackhawk?
Since I only became a Presby. halfway thru GCTS, I wasn't ready to be ordained when I graduated and so Balto. Presby. moved my ord. process to Blackhawk.
1. Since I had convictions about how ministry should be done [ie, discipleship, not just going thru the ecclesiastical motions of baptism, wedding, confirmation, visiting sick, burial, etc.] the candidates comm. asked me to write a paper on grace. OK, I probably deserved that--and I haven't always been the most gracious guy to my wife.
2. Then when I did my sermon, one of the comm. guys said, "You obviously haven't done a careful job of exegesis because if you had you would know that Satan is not really part of the orig. Biblical text, but is merely an influence from Zoroastrianism." Well, so much for joining a Biblically faithful denomination!
BUT, I'm glad to hear you think Blackhawk is a great Presby. [& I trust it's better than it was].
First, your witness needs to be heard in a John 3:19-21 kinda way.
Second, Kathie removed names to protect identities because there are very vicious people on the left and right who would try to hurt you in a John 7:7 kinda way.
Third, while I have yielded my safety and security to Him because of Beruf, I found this line from Ann's wonderful column on Bob Humes that I pray will encourage whomever needs to be encouraged to announce the emperor(s) are naked: "He told me once that being free of a congregation...[having retired]...that would be upset about what he was saying gave him a newfound freedom."
I guess that's why I've always prayed/asked for financial independence.
It's awfully tempting to water down and tone down when the sheep are compensating the undershepherd.
BTW, I still pray/ask for...
Blessings and Love!
How will you celebrate moving up to the Presbyterian Section of Church and World?
Will anyone bother to read to the end of Church and World again?
Permanent it is not!
Brothers, do not worry about this. I received a royalties check for my last book this week. $18.66. Methinks I will never be able to get a FLHTCU; though there's a rumor that not having received a remunerative raise for five years... Nah! Blessings and Love!
Amazing! Though it's all about God, and the truth of EVERY matter is that: Christ IS All! Most of us don't even aspire to an "Ivory Snow" Christian life (You remember, 99.9/100ths pure). So, at best, there's some that's about God, and a whole lot that isn't. And Christ, is, well, to be honest, so very much less than all to us.
Here's the amazing thing. HE knew this, yet still entrusted His kingdom to us (His Church)! This is why, when a tipping balance is reached in a congregation, and a critical mass (which can be surprisingly small) get it/Him, remarkable transformations start taking place. If only we would live as if we really believed what we believe...
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