Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thorns of the Soul

Drudge Report carried a link to a Times article on Mother Teresa, or rather her "Crisis of faith," as exposed in her letters and confidential writings to Priests and confidants. First, she wanted those writings destroyed, but she was overruled by the Vatican and her request ignored by the recipients. Her main concern was the focus on herself and not Christ, and I think this is an important point they overlooked. But, given that these writings exist, the article is interesting and actually fairly decent. Obviously you miss the context of the writings, but it is clear from some of it that she couldn't "feel" God's presence in her life and was "tortured" by that. Some of the text of "conversations" with Jesus sounds a bit like Satan to me. They include an emphasis on works and doing something for God, which is what leads me to that conclusion. They also have a "passive aggressive" tone that I don't find Christ using anywhere in the Bible.

The article is also startling in how it shows the danger of emphasis on works. I don't think she ever felt like she did enough. I also noticed that all of the people who conversed with her never mentioned (at least in the article) the promises of God. To be sure, that was probably assumed. However, don't we all need to hear that from time to time?

It is a good read and I recommend it simply for the perspective it places. The article does have a section near the end that includes the assertion that faith isn't a feeling. I am sure this is news to Charismatics and contemporary worship devotees.

I just wish the people who she confided in would have gone a little farther and mentioned the promises of God, and if they did that it had been included in the article. I think that portion of the Gospel would have been the salve to her soul, as well as anyone else traveling in "the shadow of the valley of death..."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sin Rights

If you read through the Old Testament, you will come across the phrase "..did what was right in their own eyes..." a significant number of times, relating to Israelites and their disobeying of God's Word. Sometimes it reads almost like a broken record where the punishment and the straying are only verses apart. This same phrase comes to mind when I see fellow Christians wallowing into areas they don't belong with reckless abandon. A case in point is the ELCA looking to "accept" homosexuals, even to the point of ordination! For those who wonder what the fuss is about, see this excellent post from Cyberstones titled The Power of Naming an Enemy. Rebellion against God is the essence of sin. Homosexuality rebels against the order God has made, the nature of the blessings of marriage, and the marring of those two aspects in the imagery of Christ and his bride, the Church. We want to "not offend" and let people do what they think is right. But a Christian must call a sin a sin, lest he grow blind to it.

The devil always says "Did God really say....?" because that is one of the most effective weasels he has. God has said "Thou shalt not commit adultery." We twist that around to any number of meanings. Our flesh cries out "I have a right!" God, if He so cared to, could respond (rightly) "To do what?!" We wouldn't have a great answer to the Creator of all things. Our flesh just wants the right to sin. The warfare we face to beat back this devilish impulse is intense and we will fall a multitude of times. Only God fighting for us keeps us from falling forever. Thank God He has the right to choose to fight on our behalf!