Observations from the Padded Cell, home of the Resident Idiot of Blogdom, who is let out, occasionally.
Friday, April 22, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Deep Dheep Discussion
The fellow over there in the picture is a gent I met on our recent cruise. His name is Dheep, and he hails, originally, from India. Currently, he lives in Canada, where he is a teacher of internal combustion engines.
I'd done what I did several times on this cruise; namely to sit down at a table where someone was alone and ask them where they were from. Without exception, folks were always most cordial, and we usually found lots to talk about.
Even including a 70ish lady on her "honeymoon cruise" .. she'd been married about 10 months ... whose husband had been denied boarding because he'd forgotten his passport. She told him "Well, I'm going anyway!"
In Dheep's case, I eventually asked him if, being from India, he was a Buddhist or a Muslim. He answered that he was "more of an atheist".
Man, I love to talk to atheists! I told him that, personally, I did not have enough faith to be an atheist. To answer his quizzical look, I then said "atheism means someone is thinking they know every possible form in which God could appear, they know everywhere in the universe He could possibly be, they can see all those places at the same time, and that they can guarantee God is not there.
His response, after some thought, was there was certainly some higher power out there. I then asked him if he thought that "higher power" would want to let us know of his existence. To communicate with us in some way. On that point, Dheep became very evasive.
He then asked how there could be so much misery and evil in the world, if there was a "God" Who was good. My response to that was: if he saw a bunch of men with long hair down to their waists, and it was dirty and unkempt, would he believe there must not be any barbers in the world? He said no, and I remarked of course ... you'd simply think those guys had not been to one of those people who could solve that problem. He nodded affirmatively, and I said that was the reason behind the evil and misery he saw ... those folks haven't been to the One Who could help end it.
He then told me of his son, who was diagnosed as bipolar at age 17. He got married in his early 20's, but then took his own life at age 30. He further mentioned that his son had become a Christian. His daughter-in-law, and his own wife had become Christians, as well!
We talked about that a while, and about the Bible. He was somewhat resistant to it, saying "there was still research going on about that".
In light of his hesitancy about Scripture, I left him with a challenge. I told him I was aware that he had studied many books to allow him to teach about things like the Otto Cycle, compression ratios, oversquare vs undersquare, 2-cycle vs 4-cycle, and all the rest of the things he taught. When he acknowledged that he had done that, I challenged him to study the Bible on the same basis. When he came to something he questioned, check it out, just as he had in reading about compression-ignition engines. Maybe get someone else to explain something he didn't quite "get".
I suggested he get one of the Bibles his now-deceased wife had used, and study the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and then go on from there.
Now: we all love to see "conversions" ... people saying that prayer ... but I doubted that was going to happen at that table. So I was content to have made the appeal that I did. Besides, I know that any increase ... in him ... will come from the One Who gives all increase.
As we parted, I asked if I could take his picture. He said "Sure", so I took the picture above. I then told him my name was Bob, to which he responded "I am Dheep". And added "not deep, like the water out there ... that's D-E-E-P. I am D-H-E-E-P which means, in my language, "teacher"
I told him that rang a bell with me ... that, if he finds something which speaks to him in the books I challenged him to read, he may, indeed, have much to teach people in the future.
May it be so.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
I SUSPECT REV. BURLESON GETS IT
Wade Burleson has just finished a new book, entitled "Radically New ... The New Covenant Will Change The Way You Think And Live". I got it on Amazon, and read it last evening and this morning.
Yeah .. I know it's Sunday and folks will say "You should have been in church!!" but I'm coming off a bad cold and a full day of travel, and neither Peg nor I was up to going out this morning.
It's also ironic ... and probably providential ... that I'm writing about Wade's new book under these circumstances. Ever since I've been active in churches, I can recall being admonished about sin, and about "ought to's". What we ought to do and what we ought not to do. About something, almost every week.
Then I read somewhere that John 8:32 promises freedom to those who know the Truth. And, since Jesus said HE is the Truth (and the Way and the Life), I've wondered what we're set free from. Some have said we're free from the eternal consequences of our sin ... free from hell, but frankly that's a promise made to dead Christians. I've wondered what about now? What's the freedom for living Christians?
Rev. Burleson effectively answers that in this book. He proposes that operating as one freed from the Old Covenant ... the one that was offered to Israel through the Mosaic law ... allows one to live free from the "ought to's" that we're always hearing about.
Jesus plainly tells us that the mark of the Christian will be the love we show one for another. And that we're to love our neighbors as ourselves. And that mandates we love ourselves. Plus, He told us we're to love each other as He has loved us! And the language tells us we're to love one another and love our neighbors just as, or to the same degree, as Jesus loved us. And we can't do that unless we love ourselves the way Jesus loves us. Despite our flaws. Despite our failures. Despite our shortcomings.
So bundle up all the actions that "churchy people" have told you over the years .. the things you have to do in order to justify your position as a follower of Jesus ... and leave them on the ash heap from one of those burnt offerings of the past. And exercise your privilege of loving people the way Jesus loves you, and the way He has in mind for us to love others.
It's called abundant life, and it's one of the 2 reasons Jesus, Himself, gave for coming to earth.
I haven't tried to go through and address each point Wade makes in Radically New..", for to do so would require I write his whole book here. But, trust me, he makes a very effective case for moving from the old, works-oriented, action dependant working out of our salvation, to loving ourselves as Jesus loves us, and passing that love along to one another and to the world.
If there are any of the commandments in the Old Covenant ... including what we refer to as the "Ten Commandments" ... that nag at you, then you need to get, and read, this book. Once you see how Wade has woven scripture together to substantiate each point, The book will live up to its title, and up to its sub-title.
"Radically New ... The New Covenant Will Change The Way You Think And Live", available for $4.99 through Amazon. And well worth it.