Opinions on faith and life

Handy Sayings

2007-06-28

In today’s surf-and-skim world, you don’t have a lot of time to step back and think about the Big Picture. These snippets can help.


Atheist: Someone who demands that God stay out of their life, but then rages at God for not preventing bad things from happening.

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Misogyny: The belief that God can speak through a donkey (Num. 22:28), a plant (Ex. 3:2), or a rock (Luke 19:40), but never a woman.

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If something in scripture is sharp, don’t try to blur it. If it’s blurry, don’t try to sharpen it. If you have astigmatism, don’t call other people blind.

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The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. --- George Orwell

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There are no shortcuts for maturity, nor any “cheat codes” for wisdom. These are only gotten in small installments as you walk along the path of life. All walk, but few pay attention to the scenery or look under rocks and logs for treasure. So have your goals in life, but don’t let the pursuit of them make the trip a waste of time.

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How can anyone look at the space station and say “Design!”, yet look at the people who designed it and say “Accident!”?

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To trap a monkey, all you have to do is put something it really wants into a jar with a narrow opening, and tie the jar securely to a tree. The opening should be so narrow that the monkey will have trouble getting its hand inside. Once the monkey has its prize in its fist, it can’t remove its hand. The monkey could get free by dropping the object, but it will refuse to open its fist and be free, because it refuses to let go. Satan knows we could easily get free from his trap if we just let go of our pride, but he’s betting we’re no smarter than monkeys. Prove him wrong.

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The spiritually dead need to be reborn, not made to look natural.

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Religion is like a vaccine against a disease: it gives you just enough peace of mind to keep you from catching the real thing.

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Religion is man creating God in man’s image.

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An open mind is like an open window with a screen: it lets in the fresh air but keeps out the bugs.

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When non-Christians tell Christians how to act like Christians, they act just like the Christians who are not acting like Christians!

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Legalism: doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons.

9 Comments

Truthseeker

Love these sayings! They would be great on t-shirts...let us know if you do this! One of my favorite sayings, though not Christian, is: ’If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.’ It speaks to me of complacency vs. moving forward more than it does of its likely message of radical adventuresomeness.

Paula Fether

Good one, Truthseeker! I’ll add it to the list if that’s okay. Hmmm, T-shirts... know anybody that would be able to sell them, and make me rich? ;-)

Truthseeker

Paula, you are welcome to add it to your list though I don’t know who the originator is. As for the t-shirts, ebay and/or a website for such things could be an interesting way to test the venture. Go for it! (and let me know when you do! I am a ready consumer!) :)

Paula Fether

Most references say "anonymous" but I found one Here that attributes it to Dr. Alan Zimmerman. An Amazon book (Here) by that name is authored by Will Willis Jr. So I guess it depends on who you ask. Now I don’t know whether I can add it or not, since I don’t have a firm source.

Truthseeker

I am a bit confused. Under your ’Features’ heading you list two conflicting headings: "Responding to the Pro-Gay Theology" and "Who Wrote Hebrews". I say conflicting because the article under the ’Pro-Gay’ heading correctly and appropriately condemns such a life-style, especially in the church. In fact, it quotes 2 Thess. 3 as an appropriate reason "not" to associate with such deceived persons in the church. Yet, at the same time a ’click’ on the "Who Wrote Hebrews" icon takes us to commentary from Ruth Hoppins where it indicates in her introduction that she attends the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, in San Francisco. A cursory review of that church’s web-site indicates that they are quite "pro-gay" and, in fact, activists in the movement. Seems very inconsistent to me.

Paula Fether

Hi TS,

I do not know the position Ruth Hoppin takes on gay theology, but if I know anything about GWTW, they would drop her immediately if she were sympathetic to it. They did not hesitate to drop The Source NT by Ann Nyland when she came out with her "gay and lesbian study Bible"; they do not associate with authors who are pro-gay. What church Ruth Hoppin attends is something between her and God, and surely we cannot assign guilt by association here without due investigation.

If you do discover that she has any involvement with her church’s pro-gay activities, please inform GWTW as they will surely want to know.

As a general rule, bad scholarship on one topic should not disqualify good scholarship on another. I know of many writers who are spot-on in one area and practically heretical on another, so I keep the wheat and let the chaff blow away. But if I found out that she were pro-gay, I would not link to her article anymore, and would seek out other sources.

You’ll also find that some articles here by me, that were written before I knew of Nyland’s pro-gay stance, have references to The Source, and it would take some time to find them all and change them. Should I be condemned by someone who finds one of those references, and all my writing be discarded, even though I personally have made it clear I believe the Bible condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms?

Paula Fether

PS: We also need to find out whether she still attends that church. The bio could be out of date.

Truthseeker 2

My wife pasted your site as one of MY FAVORITES on my laptop and so when I submitted my question it had automatically filled in her user name (Truthseeker) and email address. She wanted to clear this up.

First of all, it is not my responsibility to search out or define your sources. You are the one who is promoting or endorsing them by including them on your website. The very simple fact is that this particular author, to whom we are directed from your website, promotes the fact that she is a member of a pro-homosexual, gay activist church. So much so, that the church itself was in fact cheering the recent passage of pro gay marriage laws. It has already been pointed out that 11 Thess. 3 instructs us as believers to flee such affiliations let alone such churches. Those facts alone speak for themselves. And further inquiry with the author directly would clearly be muted by her open affiliation with a church that in God’s eyes is not only not a church but is an abomination.

Paula Fether

Hello TS2,

Basically, I see your accusation like this: "You are the sister of the second cousin of the father of my boss’s ex-wife who ran over my cat! That makes you the friend of a killer!" Given your tone, I’ll be blunt with you.

First of all, either you didn’t read my disclaimer in the Pages tab or you don’t comprehend it. Read it and pay attention.

Second, you obviously DID consider it your responsibility to check my sources. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Third, you are making a claim, so it is your claim to support. Can you prove she is still a member of that church and that she supports gay theology?

Fourth, let’s test your rule and see how consistent your are with it. John MacArthur has been a respected Bible teacher for many years. But he is also staunchly male supremacist. According to your rule, I must never cite any article on any topic he ever wrote. Likewise with bible.org, who is promoting contemplative spirituality and male supremacism. They are teaching falsehood on those topics, yet I cite their work on other topics.

In fact, I could probably find dirt on just about anyone you could name, and forbid anyone to associate with them if I use your rule. We’d all be left with no associations at all.

The problem, TS2, is that you equate citing an article with "association". I have made it clear I reject gay theology, and the article I cited by Ruth Hoppin never mentions it or even hints at it. Would I associate with her if she does attend such a church? No. Does quoting her on an issue on which her theology is correct equate to "association"? No. Did not Jesus "associate" with "sinners"? Did Paul not sometimes quote heathen poets and prophets?

Remember that Jesus will judge us all by the standards we use for others. Take a hard look at where your rule takes you and re-read what the Bible says about "association". What it actually teaches is that we are not to FELLOWSHIP with people who claim to be believers but show by their actions that they are not. It is therefore incumbent upon you to prove that the author I quoted is an unbeliever or false teacher and that I "associate" with her.

If you really want to follow your rule, then you must confront her and throw her out of the church. You are the one who went looking for dirt and passed judgment upon her, so you are the one who must administer the discipline.

Live under your own rule, and I’ll live by the examples I see in scripture.