Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Having posted a half a dozen of Beecher's practical quotes, I thought I would jot down something more theological; so this quote summarizes his thoughts on "What is the Christian religion?"--

The Christian religion is not a system of laws. It is a state of the heart. The Christian religion is not a philosophy of truth as it relates to man's nature and duty. It is a soul-life. It is not an inventory of truths as they existed before man came into the world, and will exist after he passes away. The Christian religion, in respect to each particular man who believes in it, is a state of facts in his own consciousness. Christ in a man - that is the Christian religion. It is Christ dwelling by love in his heart, or dwelling in his heart by faith. Out of this will grow many doctrines, and many inferences; but it is the seminal form, the germinate element, in Christianity. It is the personal relationship of the individual heart to the Lord Jesus Christ as its supreme head and lover. That not only makes a man a Christian, but brings him into the central point of the Christian system. Everywhere in the New Testament this one element stands forth - the personal identification of the human heart with the Lord Jesus Christ."

Well said Henry, in my estimation.


Trudy said...

Praise God..Amen and Hallelujah! I love this post...that is the essence of CHRISTianity...Our Savior, Our Friend, Our Redeemer!

This is a great post Fred, thanks for sharing it.

God bless you!


FCB said...

Hi Trudy,
I take that as an approval :)

It is a difficult thing to reduce Christianity down to a paragraph, but I think he did as well in this as any I've read. All being said, it is better felt than told, wouldn't you agree?
God bless,

fcb4 said..., it's headship, moral purity, singing songs, attending services, titheing, duty, telling people you don't know stuff they don't know and warning them about a lake of toture if they don't believe you, it's about being better every day and making sure others know it and then thrashing yourself for how far you still have to go to be good enough, it's guilt based activity, it's forced programs that you wouldn't fo elsewhere but suffer through out of religious sufferage, it's isolation and cultural uppityness, it's a lot of fantasy, pretending, game playing and false hope, it's often angry dysfunction masked as preaching, it's unskilled people practicing on vulnerable and trusting people, it's cheaply earned knowledge passed on lazy minds, it's parental abuse in the form of indoctrination, it's poorly educated misapplication, intolerance masked as convictions, it's greedy lazy sloths sucking off the hood will of sincere but stupid followers, it's sexism, ageism and ethnocentric bigotry played as biblical requirments, it's unhealed, untrained, untested lunacey that would be fined, fired and arrested in most professional fields, it's dangerous, difficult, deadly mental and spiritual sewage passed as healthy drink...forced on people who are holding thier noses while gagging to swallow, all while faking plastic smiles. It's sad.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

Excellent summary of what Christianity means. This is a very inspiring post.

I wonder if this meaning of Christianity is understood by the modern generation.

The photo is fantastic. Christianity is an all consuming fire.

Best wishes Fred:)

FCB said...

Hi Eric,
You list so succinctly nearly all of the pitfalls of Christianity devoid of Beecher's description, and in a way only you can do :)
Sad to say that I have either suffered under or perpetrated far too many of the things you listed, maybe all of them at one time or another. We get lost with that highly philosophical scripture about the simplicity of devotion to Christ. You know, I love passion in preaching, but I'm afraid a lot of what I once thought was passion may truly have been little more than a jealous defence of a creed or tradition.
Your quote "it's cheaply earned knowledge passed on lazy minds" may embody much of the problem.
Learning to test the spirits is a great weakness in us, but it is a rule reinforced throughout the scriptures. "Jesus was mighty in word and deed", much today is mighty only in word.
Love Dad

Hi Joseph,
love your interpretation of the picture. To try and answer your question, it may be that if our modern generation is touched by that consuming fire coming from the older generaton, there will be great hope. Don't you think?
Warmest affections,

Mel said...

Fred, I pray that God will take this beautiful post and the precious words and fuse them forever into the core of who I am. Where once the words of this post would have flooded my heart with joy and peace, I now read them with no emotion at all. It's like looking at a beautiful, colorful landscape, and only seeing it in black and white. The eyes of my heart are whithered. May God touch me with the coal from the alter and burn away all of the junk and impurity that is clouding my vision.