Friday, January 3, 2014

Ambrose Bierce on the Silent Christian

Our pastor said that we should not be silent Christians. The next day once again I came across Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary. His book is a satirical reference book which lampoons hypocrisy in politics, law, religion and culture. I looked up what he had to say on certain religious topics. It has been a few years.

On Religiosity:

Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
"What is your religion my son?" inquired the Archbishop of Rheims.
"Pardon, monseigneur," replied Rochebriant; "I am ashamed of it."
"Then why do you not become an atheist?"
"Impossible! I should be ashamed of atheism."
"In that case, monsieur, you should join the Protestants."

On Carnal Christians:

Repentance, n. The faithful attendant and follower of Punishment. It is usually manifest in a degree of reformation that is not inconsistent with continuity of sin.

On our Sinful State:

Man, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.

On Neighbors:

Neighbor, n. One whom we are commanded to love as ourselves, and who does all he knows how to make us disobedient.

Then I read this Paul Washer quote on Twitter. He has a point, doesn't he?!

If you notice in the New Testament, the invitation comes in the form of an authoritative command. Repent and believe! ~Paul Washer 

Isn't it great when we see mature preachers proclaiming the word of God! Who doesn't thrill in their heart when they see a Paul Washer unapologetically proclaiming his fear of the LORD, his persistence in confronting sin, and his humble explanation of the blood of Jesus!

Who doesn't love to see Tony Miano's calm love reaching out to angry people on the street?

Who doesn't stand in admiration of John MacArthur's poise while graciously continuing to proclaim Jesus even when heckled during the Christmas concert, never stumbling but even reaching his hand out to the person and asking to speak to him later.

These are mature men of the faith, whom I look up to.

But the proclamation of Jesus and Him crucified (and resurrected!) is not just for mature men. It is for me, too. I exhort us to proclaim Him boldly, but do I? Sometimes I do not. Sometimes I faint in fear or swallow my tongue.

So when I say let's be bold this year, let's keep exhorting for His return even though the culture mocks eschatology, let's not swerve from confronting sin even though the culture eviscerates us for it, let's vow to know nothing among us but Christ and Him crucified...I mean me too!

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 
1 Corinthians 2:2

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