Category Archives: Christianity

Christianity – leave Biblical . untouched

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel opened in 1893, the digs of the world’s elite.  Every debut needs a celebration, the WAH no exception.  St. Mary’s Hospital for Children benefited by the gala 14 March, 1893.  The Hotel’s executive Chef and maître d’ hotel created the signature Waldorf salad for the occasion.  It consisted of a diced ripe apple, a chopped celery stalk tossed in high- grade mayonnaise, two cups of lettuce torn into bite-size pieces and salt and pepper.

Never willing to let ORIGINAL be FINAL, chefs ever since have added their genius to the salad, chopped walnuts perhaps the first addition.  The Waldorf Hotel Chef in 2011 served his contemporary version, using two kinds of apples and assorted additions.  It remains the Hotel’s celebrated menu item.  San Diego U-T, 4/5/17.

Pay attention to the refusal of later backyard cooks, kitchen gourmets and professional chefs.  They consider their additions to the Waldorf salad acceptable by their contemporary tastes.  Which is agreeable unless you’re a Waldorf Astoria purist.

Which reminds me of something that isn’t agreeable from anyone.  Christ and Christianity can never be made more palatable, unique, powerful, appealing—or anything else FAVORABLE—by any addition we make to him or his FAITH.  The appeal of the Restoration Movement has always been to clear the decks of Christianity of all the impediments cluttering Jesus Christ and the church by making the Bible alone, and nothing but, the basis of belief.  Jesus shares his Place with no one else.  Don’t think to include him in the same sentence with ANYBODY else.  Anybody.  He’s in a class all by himself, and no one but he answers the Roll when God says, “Who speaks for me?”

Face Jesus head-on, eye-to-eye.  Learn of him by reading the Gospels.  Expect and demand that your preacher open God’s Word and preach it only.  There never has been, or will ever be, a better way to learn of Jesus than opening our minds and hearts to the Spirit’s probing depths of Jesus Christ’s Glory in the Gospels and Epistles.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

 

Chance – more on as incidental and God-directed

When, in 1877 George Eastman planned a trip to Santo Domingo, a banker friend urged him to make a photographic record of the trip.  Eastman thus plunged into photography.  The trip failed to materialize, but Eastman’s life was set.  American Heritage, October 1972, 84.  A business venture began by chance.

U.S. Grant got an appointment to West Point only because an Ohio friend with the appointment had to leave the Academy for disciplinary reasons.  Smith – Trial, 152.  Chance at the time led to an appointment that years later would be a God-ordained decision.

In the retreat from Long Island in the Revolutionary War, absolute secrecy was necessary.  Yet, a Tory woman near the ferry point heard the commotion and sent a black servant to tell the British.  He made it through the lines to a German officer.  For Washington’s good advantage, that officer spoke no English and arrested the servant.  By that small difference, Washington’s retreat and the American cause were saved.  Patriots, 388.  A particularly-divine intervention that saved the American Revolution.

General Lee’s plan to invade Pennsylvania in the Fall, 1862, seemed irresistibly logical to the South, and as irreversibly troubling to the North.  Lee’s warriors had bested every Union army sent against it and every Union General had proven a military imbecile against the famed Rebel Chief.  That included George McClellan, Commander of all Union troops.

On September 12, 1862, the Union Twelfth Corps bivouacked in the countryside around Frederick, Maryland.  On the grassy meadow an Indiana corporal by chance found an envelope that contained three cigars wrapped in a sheet of paper.  Lee’s famous Lost Order.  The find worked its way up to McClellan.

That incredible stroke of “luck” was really God’s determined decision to force a Pennsylvania-bound Lee to gather his forces and fight an inconclusive but terribly significant battle at Antietam.  The inability of Lee there to overcome McClellan and the letter’s incompetence in not being able to defeat an enemy whose entire battle plan lay before him, led to the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.  That Proclamation turned a Civil War into a War against Slavery.  No European government would side with a South proposing to keep slavery intact. Civil War, American Heritage, 213

Point made:  the difference between pure chance and God-directed discoveries is the role each plays in God’s will for a person, a people and, particularly, his Kingdom.

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

Christianity – functions constantly

The New York subway system moves 6 million people daily.  In addition, 54 million tourists yearly.  All of this transportation is based on 1930’s technology which, as present operators say, “works really well.”  The purpose of introducing new digital/computerized systems isn’t to increase the safety factor but to allow for more trains, closer together on the rails, moving more people.  The 80 year-old technology has reached its maximum load.  San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/5/15

Christianity has had the same power and guidance systems since Pentecost AD 33.  The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent on that day, remains in charge of God’s work in history.  The kingdom will never need upgrading since the Spirit is always ahead of the “curves” we love to establish as norms to be exceeded.  He fuels Christianity with all the power, authority and giftedness needed to function constantly at top speed at all times.

He provides through preaching all the insight, information and wisdom needed by Christ’s people to successfully witness to every generation.  Since Christ’s message remains unchanged, he needs only for preachers to maximize their preaching to succeed.  That will also restrain the ever-popular effort to find more attractive methods to be relevant.

Preachers, we owe it to our Master to preach his Gospel to the best of our ability.  We don’t need to be eloquent, but we do need to grow in our study of his word so we can better present it.  We don’t even need to be deep in our thinking so long as we keep getting deeper.  We owe Jesus that.

(If you’re not a preacher, give this blog to him.  Mike Brown, be sure you give it to your preacher.)  Remember always, brothers, the power of Christianity is its message.  The Holy Spirit energizes the message, not any method we use to apparently make it more appealing.

Christianity – ancient, invaluable, permanent

Gambling mogul Bill Harrah began buying antique cars in 1948 and adding them to his ever-increasing collection in Reno, Nevada.  People at first thought it a joke, but he persevered.  In 1962 he opened his collection to the public, with whopping success.  350,000 came annually by 1983 to view the collection.

Among his vehicles were two of only six Bugatti Royales in existence.  Many collectors would have gladly paid a million dollars for one, and considered it a bargain.  Scarcity, in addition to being the ultimate car, multiplied the car’s value.  Had but one existed, it would have been literally priceless.

Harrah died in 1978.  In 1980, Holiday Inn purchased 6 million shares of stock from Harrah’s estate.  Included were 1,400 vintage cars.  They later sold the largest part of the collection at auction.  They would have sold it all but for the outrage of Reno residents.  To pacify their anger, Holiday Inn donated 175 cars to equip the National Automobile Museum in Reno. (Wikipedia Internet)   Holiday Inn reaped 100 million dollars from the auction.  Car-lovers lost an irreplaceable treasure.

Speaking of ancient, invaluable and permanent treasure, consider Jesus Christ and Christianity.  In God’s sovereign will since Eden, Genesis 3:15, Jesus in his ministry gathered a group of disciples he anointed as apostles on the Day of Pentecost.  The end of that day saw 3,000 baptized people added to the Twelve Original Members of the Christian Church.

We may take for granted certain possession and relationships whose loss would incalculably impoverish us.  Among them are marriage, health and friends.  While we have these blessings, we often carelessly undervalue them.  Only when they’re gone do we understand how important they were to us.  Once lost to us, we’d pay anything to get them back.

One Relationship stands above all others:  our faith in God’s Son, awareness of his forgiveness and eternal life.  To assure us all:  Christ is not going away and Christianity is not going to be parceled out to the highest bidder.  THE FAITH is Christ’s bequest to all believers.  He holds it as a possession from God until, after His Return with angels and Judgment of the world, he submits even the Church to God’s sovereignty I Corinthians 15:27-28.

Now, today God’s invitation to salvation remains.  Come one, come all, salvation’s door is ajar.  Whether we come or not, it remains.  For now.  Until we die or Jesus Returns.  After either, he remains, but we lose it all.  And, after it’s too late, we would gladly pay any price to be saved, even to denying self.  After it can’t be done.  When wrath replaces grace.  Don’t wait to become a Christian.  Do it now.  Don’t let doubts keep you from Jesus.  Accept him, despite them, then LEARN of him.  He will unfailingly educate you in his truth.

Christianity – the message is the thing

On February 9, 1982, fire broke out in Maxim’s, a Tijuana, Mexico, department store.  Before being extinguished it devastated eight businesses in the surrounding area.  Just the day before Tijuana firemen had been in San Diego receiving advanced training in fire-fighting techniques.  But superior fire-fighting methods couldn’t help the men when the city’s mains wouldn’t pump enough water through their hoses as they fought the blaze.

When Peter preached to the Israelites on Pentecost he spoke of Christ’s death and resurrection and his promise to forgive sins.  When he preached to Cornelius Peter’s message remained the same—Jesus died; God raised him and everyone who believed in him is forgiven.

Somewhere, somehow, many churches and preachers have forgotten this message.  Yet, while neglecting it, they try to accomplish God’s will by superior methods, programs, and community-centered activities.

Still…without the message Peter preached, the church’s latest, most advanced methods avail nothing.  It’s like having the fastest fire truck, longest ladder and biggest hose, but no water to fight the fire.

Every church should reach its community every way it can:  sponsoring food and blood banks, co-operating in rehabbing houses and even cleaning stretches of highway.  But no church can afford to use these methods and forget the message Peter preached.  Christianity grows without much method, with poor buildings, in unlikely places.  But it cannot impact society if it abandons its message—that Jesus Christ died, rose again and now forgives all who seek him.