"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Monday, July 26, 2010

What do you think?

I read all of these in Primal. Agree?  Disagree?  Discuss if you please.

"To do them justice, the people who crucified Jesus did not do so because he was a bore. Quite the contrary, he was too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have declawed the Lion of Judah and made Him a housecat for pale priests and pious old ladies."  -- Dorothy Sayers

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."  -- CS Lewis

"When God wants to initiate a new movement in history, God does not intervene directly, but sends us dreams and visions that can, if attended to, initiate the process." -- Walter Wink


Niki said...

I really like the quote by C.S. Lewis. So true. God has promised us much more than what we believe Him for. With God all things are possible. If you believe that, then you know that He can do anything you need Him to do. Nothing is too big or too hard.

Lat said...

Sorry I don't understand the 1st quote :)

And CS Lewis's words are so true!

Susanne said...

I'm glad you both liked C.S.Lewis' quote. It's really thought-provoking. My pastor often tells us we are like children satisfied with fake pearls when God wants to offer us the real thing!

Lat, I think Ms. Sayers was demonstrating how some people have made Jesus out to be meek and mild (almost boring) when he was really quite dynamic and radical. I just thought it was worth sharing and considering.

Thank you both for your comments!

Sarah said...

Like the first quote.

CS Lewis expresses something of the dangling carrot that drew me into Christianity, and ultimately out of it again. When you get hooked on the idea of perfection, normal life seems grey, dull and passes by without appreciation or contentment. I would rather learn to accept and see the good in my life as it is. Even if it is making mud pies in a slum. There is beauty in that too.

Susanne said...

Sarah, you make a good point. Even as I posted Lewis' comment I thought of the apostle Paul and the verse about learning whatever condition we are in to be content. I agree that making mud pies can be fun, but I think Lewis was thinking of a spiritual realm moreso than strictly physical. I get that because of this part of the quote -- " when infinite joy is offered us." Yes, he mentions rewards of the gospels, but if you read the Gospels you see that it's not riches and wine and fine women that are offered as the Quran does. Jesus said he offers peace and joy... the real, lasting kind. Yet we are often not wanting or knowing how to obtain these things and settling for filling our empty hearts with chasing cute guys, drinking our blues away and so forth. So we can have inner joy while making mud pies or while enjoying the world's most beautiful sights and I think that's the real key to contentment. It's not where you are in life, but Whom you know. And *for me* this is what Lewis was talking about. (But maybe I'm wrong.)

By the way, what "dangling carrot" did people offer you that made you go into Christianity and later out of it? The promises of peace and joy? I'm curious.

Thanks for sharing your perspective! Enjoyed it!

Sarah said...

OK, so if contentment *is* the dangling carrot, then I'm OK with it :) I just feel very uncomfortable with anything that asks us to desire infinite joy because it sounds to me like an unrealistic and unhelpful expectation. I am inclined to agree with Buddhists that craving is the cause of suffering, and joy probably results more from not wanting what you haven't got than from chasing after it.

Susanne said...

Good stuff. Yes,contentment is a secret to inner joy...I think. That along with knowing "all things work together for good" so you can trust God with what is happening to you. I have read of people who have declared what great inner joy they've had even while sitting in prison for doing nothing more than sharing their faith with others. So, yes, maybe contentment is a huge part of it.

I think constantly wanting more, more, more is a great joy-destroyer. One dollar more is never enough when we seek to fill our lives and find joy in things.

Thanks for your comments!

Unknown said...

I like the first quote, and it reminds me of me and my sister both deciding to go to seminary. We were frustrated with church because in ours it seemed there were no meaningful connections and relationships, and nothing really carried into life outside church. We each had/have very optimistic visions of what church could be and what Christianity could look like if we got it out of the pews and started trying to actually make a difference in the world. I have found churches and groups since then that do this already, and I think it would be awesome if more joined them in their own ways.

The Lewis quote sounds pretty but strikes me as too simplistic. Why not both? Make mud pies by the sea. Taking joy in physical experiences doesn't take away the ability to enjoy spiritual ones. If God didn't want us to experience the physical world, why make it? Even Jesus "feasts and drinks" (Matt 11:19), so it doesn't seem to be something we're meant to avoid. I think it's all a gift, and the point is to seek out the good in both. Denying ourselves in the physical world means missing out on half the experience God evidently wants us to have, and the same goes for the opposite.

Amber said...

I have to agree with sanil on the second quote. :)

Susanne said...

Sanil, thanks for your great comment! I agree that the church needs to get out of the pews and make a difference. That's what I really want to do...stop absorbing so much without letting some of it out to help others. :) It's great that you and your sister had optimistic views about what the church could be. I like people with optimism!

I totally get what you (and Amber..ha, ha) are saying about the second quote and I agree that making mud pies is fun! So is "eating and drinking" and other physical things. I believe Lewis meant we are satisfied with this maybe similar to "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die" where one is loving the physical life and not looking out for the other. Then again he may not have meant that at all. I suppose I should now read the whole essay to understand his context!! Thanks a lot! Amber told me I need to read funnier books, but it seems I will be stuck on the serious stuff! ;-P

I appreciate your feedback! Good stuff as always!

Amber, see my comment to Sanil then! :-P

Shocking..you two agree! hehehehe

Unknown said...

I believe Lewis meant we are satisfied with this maybe similar to "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die" where one is loving the physical life and not looking out for the other.

That's probably true. I haven't read it either, or much that he wrote really. I remember a discussion from awhile back, though, where a few people were complaining about the end (I think?) of the Narnia series. Apparently Susan (or the oldest daughter, if I'm remembering the names wrong) doesn't get to Narnia (Heaven) at the end with her sister and brothers, and the reason is given that she is busy with clothes and boys. People were upset that living her life meant she was wrong and deserved to be punished, and also that it made it look then like death was preferable to life because the other three who died (I guess the older sister didn't?) were in a better place and better off than their silly make-up-wearing sister. A couple of other people responded that that was a misunderstanding and she wasn't punished for living her life, she just couldn't get into Narnia because she no longer believed in it and thought that it was the silly and inferior world, and only the physical everyday world deserved her attention.

Susanne said...

Sanil, interesting! I've not read those books in a long long time. I'm glad you shared that. Yeah, I think the physical world is fine. God gave it to us to enjoy. But not preparing for the next life...maybe this was the warning.

It's like people I see who want the very best food/clothes/education for their children, but don't seem to care about their spiritual life. I know some probably think this is good, but I disagree. Of course. :)

Thanks for your follow-up comment! Really enjoyed it!

(You are up early today???)

Unknown said...

Late, actually. I don't know why, I just didn't get tired last night and all of a sudden the sun was up and it was 6 AM. :D