There’s nae strife up here. Brethren, why should there be strife below?

“No man must be superior to the things that are common to men. This sort of equality must be bodily and gross and comic. Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” 

~ G.K. Chesterton

In general I try to keep my blog lighthearted and at least minimally entertaining. However, in light of several recently written online articles that have caught my eye – just this one time – I feel as if I should give my own response… even if it is largely a silent and negligible one. 

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I find it constantly amusing that a person can claim to defend or legitimize such obvious human gratification as hubris, spitefulness, and insult towards others by citing Holy scriptures.

What ultimate self-indulgence! What vitriolic and righteous judgement have we all so pompously bestowed upon each other in the name of God the Father. What great, victorious efforts of rudeness, disparagement, and ugliness towards others have we all undertaken and accomplished to glorify Him. For isn’t it written in the scriptures that we have the liberty, nay the very responsibility to chide and laugh at those wicked, heretical beings whom we hate in this wretched world? Surely we are so justified!

Is it not the charge of our own Father – that we emerge from our own miniscule existence to tower above men by labeling ourselves over them –  that we wield the very judgement of God? And in this moment of entitlement do we love the Law of the Lord by basking in our own pettiness and pecking at those who we somehow know indefinitely through our most infinite wisdom could never be given the same grace that we have so strangely and so miraculously received.

Surely there is no sanctity in simplicity and humility. Surely there is no power in selflessness, faithfulness, and thankfulness. Surely there is no reason to love one another as God loves us. 

 

In truth I must realize that it is my own hard lesson learned to never consider myself greater than anyone else. It is perhaps an impossible lesson to learn, yet others have silently borne far more for my sake. Some may question my own sincerity here citing the many times I may have written off others in a similar manner of  self-adulating conceit. Of course, those people would be all too correct, and what is more, I have only enough intellect and limited enlightenment to accomplish the same prideful mistakes I have heard and experienced within the increasing staleness of human history. 

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Thomas A Kempis writes, “But God has willed that we learn to bear one another’s burdens. Each of us has some failing and some trail to bear and none of us has the strength to bear them by himself, nor the wisdom. Therefore, we must bear with one another, comfort each other, support, instruct, and advise one another.

Charles H. Spurgeon writes, “Ours is a mission of grace and peace; we are not prosecutors who search out condemnatory evidence, but friends whose love would cover a multitude of offences. The peeping eyes of Canaan, the son of Ham, shall never be in our employ; we prefer the pious delicacy of Shem and Japheth, who went backward and covered the shame which the child of evil had published with glee.

I read a story the other day of an elder of a Scotch kirk, who at the elders’ meeting had angrily disputed with his minister, until he almost broke his heart. The night after, he had a dream which so impressed him, that his wife said to him in the morning, ‘Ye look very sad, Jan; what is the matter wi’ ye?’ ‘And well I am, ‘said he, ‘for I have dreamed that I had hard words with our minister, and he went home and died, and soon after, I died too; and I dreamed that I went up to heaven, and when I got to the gate, out came the minister, and put out his hands to welcome me, saying, ‘Come along, Jan, there’s nae strife up here, I’m so glad to see ye.’ ‘So the elder went down to the minister’s house to beg his pardon, and found in very truth that he was dead. He was so smitten by the blow, that within two weeks he followed his pastor to the skies; and I should not wonder but what his minister did meet him, and say, ‘Come along, Jan, there’s nae strife up here.’ Brethren, why should there be strife below?

Now I can certainly respect the intentions of some modern Christians who wish to preserve their own practicing faith and eradicate that which directly threatens it. Far too many times have those holy things we hold dear been built upon the rock only to be threatened by the erosion of the incoming surf. We see the building of the whitecaps – the ranks of secular criticism, tarnished Evangelical practice, the waning of everyday Christian virtues, and free reigning heretical proliferation.

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But though I may see more clearly, clearly am I not capable of breaking the tide. If this is the demand of Christianity, than I will fail. With or without grace, I am still just a flawed and sinning man – a small gnarled chunk of pumice in the hand of God. And in our desperate, defiant attempts to lock arms, stand tall and heave the sea back we flirt with the inevitable danger of getting caught by the undertow. Surely the sea is deep and strong, and the waves seemingly endless to my eyes.

Has this not been the case for past centuries before? 

And yet, the rock still stands. The rock – the humble and ever serving believers of God, the way of the Lord, His Law, and His ever abounding love – will never be eroded. It will stand fast, and the church will remain as the tallest lighthouse defying the darkest night. It is for this reason that I am comforted – that it is not aged for it is ageless, that the very sea will fail before the final dawn approaches, that the rock is everlasting. 

And let me never forget the coming of His Son. What a strange and miraculous thing that in this fallen world full of waves and rocks and fishes and men, He came to reach a hand to us all and asked us to walk with him in the storm and on the water.

Peace be with you. 

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