Tag Archives: Bereans

A Sabbath Summer

14 Jun

The good is the enemy of the best,” as the adage goes.  Some attribute it to Voltaire or Ben Franklin or even Shakespeare.

Seeking the best for me, I am taking a summer break from writing and reading on line.

I have NOT abandoned reading or thinking or journaling.  I’m choosing to give myself a gift. A most excellent gift.  A Sabbath rest or fast.

Risky, it feels, and sudden. But then again, maybe it is not so abrupt.  I turn 60 soon. For this entire past school year (I teach and my life is marked and bounded by a school calendar) I have pondered and traveled along deep and sometimes melancholy paths. Bouncing between two worlds:  the one beautiful, sad and fallen that I share with all of humanity, the other true, eternal and rich with promise that I enjoy with Christian brothers and sisters as a privileged child of God.

So I am going to read BOOKS and JOURNALS whose paper I can FEEL.  And walk, savoring this world that our good Father has created, tasting that the Lord is good.  And investing time talking with and listening to flesh and blood people.  I will cease rushing from God’s crowning creation to that slave master – my computer screen or iPhone.

Would you call that an addiction, to feel driven to get to the bottom of what feels like a perpetual To Do list?  Some of you know what I’m talking about – those self-curated email feeds, written by people to whom we are connected.  They and new posts on Facebook clamor to be read.  What if there is something I’ve never thought of before?  Or some news that changes my life?

And then there is that weekly goal I have assigned myself, to write posts for 2 different blogs, this one and Reflections on God’s Word .  Out of pride?  Probably. I know from Jeremiah 17:9 that my heart deceives me, daily.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

So this summer, I will journal, but for ME, not because I want to remember a nugget or way of thinking that YOU might appreciate.

However, fellow logical friend, please don’t stop thinking and reading and giving thanks to God.  May we be like the Bereans:

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

May God bless you this summer as you ponder whatever is True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent and Praiseworthy. Phil 4:8

Maria

 

Logical Gal – who’s to judge?

16 May

Beware of facile slogans that slip off the tongue!

They say that the most oft-quoted Bible verse in America is “Judge not, lest ye be judged!” (Matt 7:1)

judge not

 

But is that ALL the Bible says?  How does a Logical Gal or Guy think about this?  What questions would he or she ask?

First of all, we need to look at not just ONE Bible verse, but others, to see if one or more concepts might be in question.  If the term is the same but the concept is different, then a fallacy might be lurking!

Just a few verses further along from that famous one-liner is this instruction about judging: ” You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and THEN you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matt 7:5)  That sure sounds like we ARE to judge, once we get ourselves squared away.

Not only is there an appropriate time to judge, we are actually exhorted TO judge and given a standard.  Consider THIS verse, also from the Bible –Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. (John 7:24) 

There is also this command: The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.” (1 Cor 2:15) 

Judge righteously

There is one group of people whom God commends for being skeptical and judging BY the standards of the Bible.  They practiced discernment, a form of judgment.  They did not take what they heard at face value, but ‘judged’ rightly.  These men and women were the Bereans. (Acts 17:11) They listened to  new teachings and judged or filtered them by God’s grid of righteousness.  They WERE judgmental and were held up as an example for us to emulate.  They would have told Paul to his face, courteously but directly, that he was WRONG had his teaching NOT lined up with the Bible.  That’s being pretty ‘judgmental’ by today’s shallow standards.

Bereans

So the next time someone tosses in your face that bit of trite bumper sticker ‘wisdom’ about judging, just ask them politely: Why?   and then wait for them to fill the airspace.  And if they say, “Because it’s WRONG to judge!”  Ask them “Who says?”  and then be prepared to show them what Jesus taught!