Archive for March, 2010
Posted on 21. Mar, 2010 by Tim Stoner.
A Life Apart is a captivating documentary on the culture war between ultra-orthodox, Jewish Hasids and America. In it there is this wonderful story that illustrates the movement’s haunting attraction. It was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. Baal Shem Tov, its founder, was praying. He stopped abruptly and after a while the congregation grew restless. Suddenly, an illiterate young shepherd, unable to restrain himself, pulled out a flute and played a single, heartfelt note. The congregation was scandalized but, as the sound died out, the Rebbe began praying as though nothing had happened. When asked about it he said, “I sensed the gates of heaven were closed to our prayers, but that one, pure note, sounded by the shepherd boy, pierced through the heavenly gates and only then were our prayers permitted to follow.”
Posted on 13. Mar, 2010 by Tim Stoner.
The spiritual battle we find ourselves in is not only for the young. Conscription into this war is not age-based. The battle is joined when you lay down your rebellious weaponry and surrender to Jesus as Lord. At that point you are assigned new weapons which you are required to familiarize yourselves with and become proficient in. You will need them for the rest of your time on this earth. There are two in particular that we are assured are capable of defeating our terrible enemy, Satan–by their judicious use, he will be bested and finally overcome. But, they require us to imitate our Master’s life as well as His death.
Posted on 01. Mar, 2010 by Tim Stoner.
Secret handshakes are by definition reductionist. they are designed to help determine who can be trusted and who cannot. During wars–and codes were invented for wartime–it can be a matter of life and death. That’s why I hate secret theological code-speak. It is a ready-made, portable, litmus test which supposedly allows you to instantly (and infallibly) pigeon-hole the stranger in front of you. Rather than looking through the eyes of love we squint behind spectacles of theological precision. We narrow our gaze and hold back our affection. We restrict friendship, we weigh, sift and calculate. We exclude. The secret handshake dictates who will receive the right hand of fellowship and who will not.