Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Wisdom Of Others Volume 1

As I have much respect for those who came before me, and relish the wisdom and insight, which by the inspiration of the Holy Sprit they were able to relate, I will be publishing intermitent posts entitled 'the wisdom of others', consisting of short paragraphs, sentences, or entire thoughts, that I feel are spiritually nourishing and relevant.
Today's thoughts come from John Charles Ryle, the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool.

Although most of these thoughts were written between 1856-1859, their actuality is undeniable.

"The love of money is one of the greatest snares to a man's soul. The history of the Church abounds in illustrations of this truth. For money Joseph was sold by his brethren. For money Samson was betrayed to the Philistines. For money Gehazi deceived Naaman, and lied to Elisha. For money the Son of God was delivered into the hands of wicked men.
Let us all be on guard against the love of money. The world is full of it in our days. The plague is abroad.
Thousands who would abhor the idea of worshiping idols are not ashamed to make an idol of money. We are all liable to the infection from the least to the greatest.
We may love money without having it, just as we may have money without loving it.
It is an evil that works very deceitfully. It carries us captive before we are aware of our chains.
Once let it get the mastery, and it will harden, paralyze, scorch, freeze, blight, and wither our souls. It overthrew an apostle of Christ. Let us take heed that it does not overthrow us.
One leak may sink a ship, and one un-mortified sin may ruin a soul.
We ought frequently to call to mind the solemn words, 'What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul?' 'We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.' Our daily prayer should be, 'Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me.'
Our constant aim should be to be rich in grace.
Those who 'will be rich' in worldly possessions often find at last that they have made the worst of bargains. Like Esau, they have bartered an eternal portion for a little temporary gratification. Like Judas Iscariot, they have sold themselves to everlasting perdition!" - 1856

"From no quarter has Christianity received such damage as it has from the hands of its own teachers! On no point have its teachers erred so much, and so often, as in the matter of worldliness and luxury of life.
They have often destroyed, by their very lives, the whole work of their lips. They have given occasion to the enemies of religion to say, that they love ease, and money, and worldly things, far more than souls.
From such ministers may we pray daily that the Church may be delivered! They are a living stumbling block in the way to heaven. They are helpers to the cause of the devil, and not of God. The preacher whose affections are set on money, dress, feasting, and pleasure seeking, has clearly mistaken his vocation. He has forgotten his Master's instructions." -1858

"High offices in the church do not preserve the holders of them from great blindness and sin. The first step in putting Christ to death, was taken by the religious teaches of the Jewish nation. The very men who ought to have welcomed the Messiah, were the men who conspired to kill Him. The very pastors who ought to have rejoiced at the appearing of the Lamb of God, had the chief hand in slaying Him! These were the very men who crucified the Lord of glory! With all their boasted knowledge, they were far more ignorant than the few Galilean fishermen who followed Christ!
Let us beware of attaching an excessive importance to ministers of religion because of their office. Ordination and office confer no exemption from error.
The greatest heresies have been sown, and the greatest practical abuses introduced into the church, by ordained men!
We must test all teachers by the unerring rule of the Word of God. It matters little who says a thing in religion. But it matters greatly what it is that is said.
Is it Scriptural?
Is it true?
This is the only question.
The lengths to which men may go in religion, and yet be without grace, is far greater than we suppose." - 1858

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.


A Seed Sower said...

Truth is timeless, but oh how this poor man would weep if he knew the state of some in the Anglican church today, like the homosexual bishop, and his supporters.
His words are truly worth repeating, to remind us all of what is truly important, Than you brother Michael.

Anonymous said...

I am also wondering about something else along these lines and would like to know what you have to say, or if you have read anything on this.

What about shepherds who do preach scriptural truth, but not at the appropriate time? As in, they preach truth but not words of life because it is not what God is speaking to the congregation at that time? Are they wolves too? Or is that too strong a label?

Like for example, if the congregation seems to be in need of encouragement but the pastor's messages, though perfectly true, have an effect of leaving many sheep still discouraged when they leave, week after week? But because he is preaching "truth", they keep returning even though they are not truly fed by Jesus through him? Is this like one who, while the Master is away, is not giving his fellow servants their food at the proper time, but beating them?

I was there once, and I see a lot of sheep in this situation - with a mindset similar to abused women. They will not leave because there is nowhere else to go (that they know of yet) and because they think they always have to be under authority somewhere for their own protection. Yet they are already not being protected!

What can you share about this?

Anonymous said...

True words, Michael! I think in the West particularly, people live in such comparitive opulence, that they have no desire for heaven, they have it all here. Seed Sower's comment is also very true. The gospel is unrecognisable, and in fact, not even known or believed amongst many leaders who are taking millions of souls to hell with them. Thanks Michael.

A Seed Sower said...

Amy, just a few words of encouragement for you. I know of what you speak.
It's pretty simple, a lot of Pastors today are not getting on their faces before God to seek what He has for His people. They often have their own agenda, and rely to much on their own knowledge of His Word, and their own ability to preach a good sermon. They asume to know peoples hearts instead of going to the one who truly knows the hearts of men.
I have also been in a church were there was and still is, an extreem amount of oppression and condemnation heaped upon the congregation. In that same church a sermon is never preached, but screamed. Some call this anointing, I do not.
People sometimes get so used to a formula that they think works for them that they cant break out of it. It becomes a bondage for them and unfortunately for the members of their congregation.
We just need to hold these poor folks up in prayer.
God Bless you Amy and thank you for sharing, you encouraged me with your remarks.
Helen B. Kansas
The devil loves to keep the children of God under oppression and feeling defeated thats his job.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Helen. It's very hard to stand up to this kind of thing alone. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just making it up. Yet I DO know the difference. There is such a thing as being built up and changed by the Word coming from one person and being shut down inside by the same exact Word coming from another person. I'm not just talking about screaming or other obvious "beating" in the natural. I'm encouraged to know you are out there!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people may even say the 'right words', but coming from a wrong spirit, if that makes sense. What they say may be scriptural but it leaves you feeling that something is wrong.....Yes, we so need to hold up our leaders in prayer.