Tag: Bible

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Be Bartimaeus.

El Greco, Christ Healing the Blind (1575)
Be Bartimaeus. The Gospel presents Bartimaeus to us to show us that this is what it looks like to follow Jesus. This is what we’re called to. So what can we learn from him? I would propose three things: (1) see your blindness; (2) beg boldly; and (3) make Jesus’ Way your way.

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The Repulsiveness of Christ

Colijn de Coter, Christ as the Man of Sorrows (1500)
When we've tried everything we can think of to lead someone to Christianity and it doesn't work, it's so easy to blame ourselves: to think that if we had done everything just so, or found just the right combination of words, everything would have clicked, and they would have accepted Jesus Christ. If we were only a little more compassionate, or a little smarter, or a little more persuasive in our speech. This reaction is discouraging, and what's more, it's often false. It gets three things wrong: grace, free will, and Jesus.

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The First Step in Learning to Forgive

Bernardo Strozzi, Banquet at the House of Simon (1630)
Every day, when we pray the Our Father, we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If we refuse to forgive others, we’re asking God to hold us to our own unforgiving standard. This is a hard message, because it’s hard to forgive others when we’ve been hurt. Jesus recognizes it. When He introduces the Our Father, this is the only one part He feels the need to explain. But He doesn’t say “forgive, unless it’s hard.” He says, “if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

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7 Mysteries of the Faith Unlocked by the Eucharist

Lamb of God, Waldburg Prayer Book (1486)
The scroll and seven seals of the Book of Revelation couldn't be opened without the Lamb standing as though slain, the Eucharistic Christ. Here are seven other mysteries of the faith that we need the Eucharist to unlock: (1) the New Covenant; (2) the Old Covenant; (3) the Mass; (4) Early Christianity; (5) the Church; (6) the lives of the Saints; and (7) your own spiritual life.

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Why “The Lord will Fight for You, You Have Only to be Still” is Bad Advice

Moses Parting the Red Sea, from the Hortus Deliciarum (1180)
In Exodus 14:13-14, Moses says to the Israelites, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still." It's a famous rallying cry, popularized on everything from t-shirts to non-denominational blogs as a way of living out "faith alone." But there's a problem: Moses' plan is a bad plan, and God corrects him for it.

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About those Gay Marriage Flow Charts…

flowchart
There are several flow charts trying to show the ridiculousness of religious opposition to same-sex marriage by making three claims: (1) Leviticus forbids homosexuality, but it also bans a bunch of other stuff, and nobody [a.k.a., no Gentile] actually lives by all those rules; (2) Paul seems to forbid homosexuality, but actually means something like temple prostitution; and (3) Jesus doesn't mention homosexuality. Here's why none of those arguments work.

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