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Posts Tagged ‘denomination’

12
Dec

THREE BLIND MEN

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Brian Buhler tells a fictitious story of three men who were born blind but who had been miraculously healed by Jesus. The three heard about one another and decided to get together to celebrate their unity in Christ and to exchange testimonies. After the men introduced themselves and exchanged warm embraces, one man began telling his story.

Bartimaeus said, “Gentlemen, let me go first. I cannot wait to tell you what Jesus did for me. I was outside the city of Jericho when Jesus walked by, surrounded by a mob of people. I cried out, ‘Son of David! Son of David! Have mercy on me!’ and Jesus stopped. The crowd quieted down. He asked me the most unusual question. He asked, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ I said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’ He said, ‘Go. Your faith has made you well.’ Gentlemen, at that moment, instantaneously I could see. I was healed. As a result, I have come to this conclusion: When it comes to healing blind people, Jesus uses our faith and His word, and that equals healing.”

The other two shook their heads and frowned. They obviously disagreed with Bartimaeus’ conclusion. Unable to keep quiet, the man from Bethsaida spoke up. He said, “Gentlemen, my story of how Christ touched me isn’t anything like that. Jesus took me out of the city, and he spit directly into my eyes. Then he touched my eyes with his hands. I was expecting an instantaneous healing like yours, Bartimaeus, but when I opened my eyes, it was awful. I saw men as trees walking. Everything was a blur. I thought, ‘If this is what it is like to be healed by Jesus, he’s not much of a healer.’ Then Jesus repeated the procedure. He spit in my eyes again and touched me again. Gentlemen, the second time I opened my eyes, I could see. As a result, I am convinced that when Jesus heals blind people, he uses spit, and it’s always in two stages.”

By this time, the third man was red in the face. he said, “Gentlemen, I would seriously doubt the validity of both your conclusions. When Jesus healed me, he used saliva all right. But he did not spit in my face. Instead, he spit in the ground, and he took the saliva and the dirt and made mud packs and put mud packs on my eyes. It was uncomfortable and somewhat disgusting. Then he told me to go to the pool of Siloam and commanded me to wash the mud out in the pool. As I washed it out, I could see instantly. As a result, I am convinced that when Jesus heals blind people, he uses mud and the holy waters of the pool of Siloam.”

The three men argued with one another well into the night and went away divided on the matter of Jesus and healing. In the days that followed they formed three denominations – the Mudites, the Spitites, and the Faithites. The Mudites made mud their sacrament of healing, the Spitites made saliva their sacrament, and the Faithies assigned no special sacrament at all to healing, believing that faith in Christ’s word was all that was necessary to be made well.

Which one do you belong to?

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25
Nov

BRIDGE BUILDER

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Comedian Emo Philips explains how easy it is to divide God’s people:

In conversation with a person I had recently met, I asked, “Are you a Protestant or Catholic?” My new acquaintance replied, “Protestant.”

I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He answered, “Baptist.”

“Me, too!” I said. “Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”

“Northern Baptist,” replied. “Me Too! I shouted.”

We continued back and forth. Finally I asked, “Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”

He replied, “Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

I said, “Die, heretic!”

Lutheran reformer Philip Melancthon proclaimed, “In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity [love].”

It seems that some believers keep picking until we find something to disagree on. Perhaps it would be more godly to look for things we agree on rather than hunt until we find what we disagree on. Be a bridge builder this weekend.

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1
Nov

BUTTON, BUTTON, WHO’S GOT THE BUTTON?

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Several years ago Charles Brown wrote the following analogy with deep significance:

A solemn assembly was called. Apostles and Prophets gathered to sit in conference with one another. Chairs were circled, so no one man would sit at the head. As each man took his seat, an unusual silence filled the room. The men sat staring at one another, almost forgetting the reason they had assembled, not one man wanting to speak. Out of the unusual silence a Voice spoke and asked, “Button, button, who has the Button?”

As if well rehearsed, the men jumped to their feet and shouted in chorus: “I’ve got the Button! I’ve got the Button!” Each man raising his arms in the air with closed hands to show the Voice, and then one another, that they indeed were holding the Button. Their voices roared, as if trying to drown out one another, shouting with great apostolic and prophetic confidence: “Yes, I’ve got the Button!” “I’ve got the Button!”

Their voices were hoarse from shouting as the roar subsided and all responses stopped. And again the unusual silence filled the room, each man still standing with arm raised and hand closed. Slowly their arms began to drop and each man opened his hand and stared into his palm. And not in one hand was the Button.

But there was something in each man’s hand – a small piece of the Button. Every man standing in the room was holding a Button Fragment. Not all of the fragments were the same size or shape. Some were larger, some smaller; some were round and smooth, some oblong and jagged, but each man held some part of the Button.

Again the Voice broke the unusual silence and asked, “Button, button, who had the Button?” This time there was no quick answer. The men stood silent, no longer examining their own fragment or the fragment of their neighbor, but with their heads lowered, arms hanging limp at their sides, and all boasting stopped – they stood dumbfounded in the unusual silence.

Finally, one man confessed in a broken voice, “I don’t have the Button…” And another whispered, “I don’t have the Button…” And another with a deep sigh, “I don’t have the Button…” This time the response was personal, quiet, and remorseful, as every man in the circle admitted to himself, to the Voice and to his peers, “I don’t have the Button.”

Once again the unusual silence filled the room. Moments passed into eternity. And again the Voice broke the unusual silence: “I gave you bits and pieces but you assumed you possessed the Whole. I sought to increase and shape those pieces but you refused to open your hand. I desired to enlarge your fragments and mold them with other fragments, but you refused to let go. My gift you made your possession. My generosity you turned into exclusiveness. My revelation has become your prejudice. You speak of unity yet build invisible barriers between yourselves with your boasting, I’ve got the Button! As you see, all you really have is a fragment. And you are protecting, exalting and defending your fragment as if it were the Whole. My sons, you have not yet seen the Whole!”

No longer were men standing, they were on their faces. The Button fragments had slipped from their hands and lay scattered around the floor. Their hands were empty. Their self-confident hearts were broken and their proud spirits softened. For the third time the Voice asked, “Button, button, who has the Button?” Through tears of contrition came the gentle reply, “Lord, You have the Button!”

Jesus said, “Before you can remove the speck from your brother’s eye, you must first remove the beam from your own eye.” What does this say to you?

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16
Mar

FIRE!

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

During a recent ecumenical gathering a secretary rushed in shouting, “The building is on fire!”

The Methodists gathered in the corner and prayed for the situation.

The Baptists cried, “Where’s the water?”

The Quakers quietly praised God for the blessing that fire brings.

The Lutherans nailed a notice on the door declaring that fire is evil.

The Jews fastened sumbols on the entryway hoping the fire would pass over.

The Congregationalists shouted, “Its everybody for themselves!”

The Fundamentalists proclaimed, “Its the vengeance of God!”

The Christian Scientists concluded that there was not a fire after all.

The Presbyterians appointed a chairperson who was to appoint a committee to look into the matter and make a written report to the Session.

The Episcopalians formed a procession and marched out.

The Roman Catholics found no precedence in Canon Law for spraying water in a consecrated worship space, so ignored the flames.

And the secretary grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire.

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