good manners: what’s bad is to bite your fork at the table. What can potentially be worse is to bite someone else’s fork at the table.
The years haven’t been good to our voters.
someone to keep me going: when it comes to writing, sometimes you need a friend to encourage you…and sometimes you need another friend to crack the whip. Also: writers block is a terrible thing.
“Our fair morning is at hand, our daystar is near the rising, and we are not many miles from home; what matters the ill entertainment in the smoky inns of this miserable life? We are not to stay here, and we will be dearly welcome to him whom we go to.” Samuel Rutherford. Wow.
what is acceptable?: I’ve been hearing a lot from various sources lately about the luxury* in which American Christians live. It a controversial and somewhat sad subject; and most people, myself included, don’t like talking about it. But really, it has to be addressed. I guess the dangers in talking about this particular subject are 1) we can easily put knowledge before love. Often when such things are spoken on, arrogance or snobbishness can sneak in, and the one speaking can do much more damage than those they are referring to. 2) there is even a risk of taking what is being stated to an extreme by saying that luxuries are completely wrong. Now, based on what I’ve been told rather than what I’ve deciphered, I would have to say that:
Luxuries in and of themselves aren’t sinful. If you will look a that gospels, you will plainly see that Jesus didn’t say any such thing. In fact, his earliest recorded miracle was to provide a simple luxury at a wedding. It wasn’t to heal; it wasn’t raising from the dead; it was merely an act of kindness to ad a little more joy on this important occasion in the life of someone else. God, out of his overflowing kindness, has given us many things that we don’t necessarily need; and I think one of the great examples of this kindness is our ability to taste. We could have just been made like animals, who eat only because they know they are supposed to. (but it is important to note that there are no “luxuries” in our salvations; God would not force his Son to pay so high a price for something we could only have if we wanted it. So, any ‘extras’ would have to be shared with unbelievers as well as believers). So, luxury itself is not overtly sinful.
But then how is this different to the Christian? “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” I Corinthians 10:23. For the Christians, there are certain luxuries which are unacceptable. Some things are so against Christ that they are not even worth talking about. But I will not even get into those; they should be so obvious. But what about the things that aren’t obvious? What about the ’nice things’? How do Christian liberties relate to denying self? The way you measure “allowable” things is how they effect your relationship with Christ. The place that a luxury in our minds is a good measure. If entertainment, or activity, or nice things, or whatever, swallow us up, it may mean we should let them go. If it is something that hinders our becoming like Christ, it is something which we really oughtn’t have. And if it cripples us in our service to Christ, it must be let go.
*for a monumental lack of more conducive phraseology. Aren’t those beautiful words?