Thanks to Facebook, I'm slightly irritated now. Of course the website is innocent, this is about a friend's post. We grew up in a tiny little town with hardcore Christian values. I escaped. She didn't. She posts Christian messages on her Facebook page every day. Today we were treated to this gem:

"The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue - if sin rules in me, God`s life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is nothing more fundamental than that."

There is a single response: "That is absolutely SO TRUE! :) Thank the Lord for His sincere, saving Love!"

I sniggered, but then wondered where this lady got that quote from. Not to be mean, but she's not bright enough to come to such a conclusion herself. I assumed she's got one of those daily Bible verse diaries or something. I googled the quote and found this website. The site's name is "With Christ" (complete with horrible design and animated gifs, start at the main page for the full horror: http://withchrist.org/).

I expected to see praise for the theological depth of the quote or something similarly inane, but what's this?

The quote is from a book by Oswald Chambers. "The book contains some outstanding insights..." they say, but then "It needs to be said and revealed that the doctrinal dangers of this book far outweigh the benefits it contains". Well now!

They've listed some of his quote under headings, "the good", "the bad", "the very bad" and "the worst". Here is "the worst":

"It would seem that Mr. Chambers attempted to set some kind of record for sheer error when he came to June 23rd: "Either God or sin must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue. If sin rules in me, God's life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is no possible ultimate but that.""

So now I am confused. This appears to be a pro-Jesus site, my friend is pro-Jesus (to the MAX! Go Jaysus!), why then does she post the quote as though it's brilliant, but Miles J. Stanford "Christian Author" says it's awful?

Of course I am tempted to comment on her post with faux shock and horror to point out that she must stay away from that devil-worshipper Chambers, who will only lead good Christians astray, but it would only hurt and confuse her, because she wouldn't be able to understand it. She is a very simplistic girl; she reads her daily Bible verse and makes sure everyone sees how devout she is. It is mindless worship.

Entering into a discussion with her would clearly lead nowhere and like I said, I don't want to cause unnecessary pain and confusion for her and her similarly minded friends. What irritates me is that what took her 5 seconds to do and probably left her feeling smug because she's so close to God, caused me to think and Google and blog and wonder and worry for a lot longer than 5 seconds! I can't afford to see more of these time-sucking messages of hers! :)

If someone could explain to me why Stanford disagrees with Chambers' theology and which side a good Christian should take, I would be grateful.

As payment, some more quotes from my friend's Facebook page:

"Salvation is easy for us, because it cost God so much. But the exhibiting of salvation in my life is difficult... Remain faithful to your Friend, and remember that His honor is at stake in your bodily life! O.C"

"You honour God's name by calling Him your Father and living like HIs Son!!"

"What makes God so dear to us is not so much His big blessings, but the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us - He know [sic] every detail of our lives."

Someone commented on the last one, asking whether that was from Chambers' book, "My Utmost For His Highest". "I just finished reading it. It's so true, right?"

Excuse me, I'm going to go hit myself in the face now.

Views: 3

Comment by Gaytor on June 24, 2010 at 10:52am
I would suspect that Stanford disagrees because of the absolute nature of Chambers position on behavior. The assumed New Covenant allows Jesus to make up for the implied weakness of humans to follow God's law. I'll avoid poking holes in that and stick to the point. Chambers is setting himself up for failure and says that if he does in fact fail then God doesn't exist. So if he can live a life free of sin, then what did Jesus have to die for? I like the joke, "If you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing." Most Christians don't like to take an absolute position and would rather believe that God is guiding them like you might a 1 year old saying no no no! But offering no punishment for bad behavior as long as you believe.

As an aside, you have a spelling issue worth changing. You wrote that you "sniggered" and I assume that you mean snickered? Oh noes!
Comment by Shine on June 24, 2010 at 10:57am
I'm convinced that religious quotes just need to follow a very simple formula in order to appeal to religious people. First, there must be some mention of Jesus/God/Lord/etc. Second, there must be some misappropriated literary device such as an alliterative analogy or rhyming metaphor that, upon further examination, holds no actual logical relationship between the concepts which it introduces. This lack of any logical relationship is key because it imparts a sense of "mystery" upon the religious quote. And because religious people generally confuse nonsense with actual philosophy--as is evidenced by their status as "religious people"--this sense of "mystery" makes them feel as though they have struck upon a genuine insight.
Comment by Prazzie on June 24, 2010 at 12:07pm
Gaytor, thank you for your response. I like that joke too! "Snigger" is a variant form of "snicker" that is used more often in my country. Suffice to say "I lol'd" :P

Shine, your comment made me laugh as well. I love your simple formula. Wait, wait, I know exactly the right phrase to use: "That is absolutely SO TRUE! :)"

Thanks to this lady's post today, I learnt about Arminianism. I attended Sunday School in the Dutch Reformed church for years and they never mentioned Jacobus Arminius.

I tend to stick to essays by rational folk and this brief journey back into theology reaffirmed for me what a load of bollocks it all is. I also wonder why this particular book (My Utmost For His Highest) is suddenly so popular that at least two people in my circle of friends read it recently? Maybe Bargain Books had a sale or something.
Comment by Galen on June 24, 2010 at 3:10pm
Oh wow, that website... I think I built that site on Geocities when I was in college. LOL!
Comment by Shine on June 24, 2010 at 3:34pm
Prazzie, it's all about the formula! Hmm...I wonder if I can make some up. "With the LORD, we swim in the sea of salvation. Without the LORD, we are marooned on the shore of sin." "Jesus' light fills the believer like a beacon of glory that illuminates the darkest shadows of sin." "The Bible is not the only book that I READ, but it is the only book that I NEED." (Including extraneous capitalization for authenticity!)

This is too much fun; I want to start posting these on Facebook and see if anyone catches the Poe. Does that make me a troll? ;)
Comment by Prazzie on June 24, 2010 at 4:19pm
Geocities, lol! Did you happen to see the xkcd tribute when Geocities went under?

Shine, I think if you took screenshots and shared them with us, it wouldn't be trolling, it would be pure art. The "READ - NEED" one nearly choked me.
Comment by Reggie on June 26, 2010 at 8:56am
Prazzie, I enjoyed your use of "sniggered". I haven't seen that word in too long and I always enjoy seeing old friends like that. I chuckled in delight when I read it.

Facebook. It is a force of nature, is it not? I have tried a policy of not confronting people on their "turf", so to speak. I do my best to let their inanities slide by without response from me. I am not 100 percent successful, but I am in the high 90's.
Comment by Prazzie on June 26, 2010 at 9:21pm
Facebook, yes, it's something else. I mainly play Facebook games on it, but I recently got a new phone and have been spamming my photo wall with pics to make a friend jealous. Oh, and I've also been updating my status during the World Cup matches, to make sure everyone knows I'm yelling at my tv.

Generally I'm immune to the drama (although I love reading about the make-ups and break-ups and divorces), but every now and then a particularly soppy Jesus post gets to me. There's a new one doing the rounds today, a chain-status, if you will:

"Greatest Man in History, named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called him master. Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him healer. He had no army, yet kings feared him. He won no military battles, yet he conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified him. He was buried in a tomb, yet he lives today. Repost if you believe in your heart this is true."

That one just made me laugh. I'm with you in the high 90's. I couldn't resist starting a fight by replying to a "JESUS IS KING" post with "www.godisimaginary.com", but it's not worth the all-caps comments that ensue.
Comment by Reggie on June 26, 2010 at 10:43pm
Sounds like our failure to censure ourselves are caused by similar posts!
Comment by Prazzie on July 5, 2010 at 3:16pm
Bwahahahaha! That lady posted a Bible verse today. It's a real winner. It's Psalm 111:10, but the translation she uses just makes me laugh out loud. I've translated it into English for you: "The fear of the Lord is the principle of wisdom; everyone who practices it, has a good intellect."

I am so tempted to click the "Like" button, but I'm afraid people will think I like it for the wrong reasons! Hahaha, I'm still laughing.

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