Tag Archive for 'love'

Puritans and Football and Wisdom

I admit that the subject line is click bait–somewhat. Have you ever heard the argument that some men are more passionate about football than God by how they act when watching a game? They seem to show more emotion when watching football (or whatever the sport) than they would in church. I’ve always thought this was a ridiculous comparison.

Certainly there are many men who profess (or professors, as the Puritans might say) to be Christian that have more love for a sport than for God. But to insinuate that most Christian men, and some women, are more passionate about football than God, just because they get emotional during an event, is very unfair. It’s a matter of assessment.

I’ve always had a picture in my own mind about how this isn’t the case with me or many Christian men I know. As I was reading the Puritan Thomas Manton’s A Treatise Of Self Denial (a very popular topic these days, indeed), I found a perfect quote for annihilating this most absurd notion, despite the fact that it was written in the 1600s. Here he’s helping the reader to compare love of things or people with love for God. (Luke 14:26)

Though comparison be the best way to discover love, yet this love is not to be measured by the lively stirring acts of love so much as by the solid esteem and constitution of the spirit. Why? because the act may be more lively where the love is less firm and rooted in the heart. The passions of suitors are greater than the love of the husband, yet not so deeply rooted. The commotion may be greater in less love, but esteem and solid complacency is always a fruit of the greater love. […] A man may laugh at a toy, yet he cannot be said to rejoice more in that toy than in other things, because the act of his joy is more lively than it would be in a solid, serious matter. We laugh more at a trifle, but are better pleased at a great courtesy. [..] For instance, a man may have more affectionate expressions upon the loss of a child or an estate, than at God’s dishonour. A man may weep more for a temporal loss than for sin. [..] So a man may seem to have more lively joy in sensible blessings than in spiritual, and yet he cannot be concluded to be carnal. Why? because of the solid estimation of his heart; he could rather part with all these things than offend God; had rather want this and that comfort than want the favour of God. […] Therefore the judgment you are to make upon your heart, whether you love your relations and contentments more than God, is not to be determined by the rapid motion, but by the constant stream and bent of the heart.

I know the older language can be difficult. I shortened it (this is only part of one very long paragraph) so that it would be easier to read and hopefully see his point. Just because we act silly over something in the moment doesn’t mean that we love it more than something else. Suitors may swoon over a person they would like to enter into a serious relationship with, but the “love of a husband” is more deeply rooted. We may even show more delight in a humorous toy than in the serious matter of Biblical doctrine.

Though we should hate everything in this life relative to our love for God (Luke 14:26), and we should ‘order (or manage) our affections’, as the Puritans would say, we need to be careful to assess these things properly.

Extra credit:
The wisdom of some of the Puritans amazes me. Not all of their wisdom comes directly from Scripture, although it would all be in conformity to it. Sola Scriptura doesn’t mean ‘nothing but Scripture’. This also shows how reasonable they were. They didn’t usually take the stereotypical hard-line literal approach that we might think they would take. More in future posts.

Puritans

Quote of the Day: Out of Balance Love

Always strive to have an imbalance in your heart where the desire to love outdistances the desire to be loved: “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” (1 John 3:11, 16)

–Ed Welch, Running Scared

I quote this with great hypocrisy.

Quote of the Day: Out of Balance Love

Always strive to have an imbalance in your heart where the desire to love outdistances the desire to be loved: “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” (1 John 3:11, 16)

–Ed Welch, Running Scared: Fear, Worry & the God of Rest

Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Quote of the Day by A.W. Tozer

“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love…”
— A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of God by Tozer

The Real Jesus

The Real Jesus

Jesus on the radio, Jesus on a late night show
Jesus in a dream, looking all serene
Jesus on a steeple, Jesus in the Gallup poll
Jesus has His very own brand of rock and roll

Watched Him on the silver screen
Bought the action figurine
But Jesus is the only name that makes you flinch

Oh, can anybody show me the real Jesus?
Oh, let Your love unveil the mystery of the real Jesus

Jesus started something new
Jesus coined a phrase or two
Jesus split the line at the turning point of time
Jesus sparked a controversy
Jesus, known for His mercy, gave a man his sight
Jesus isn’t white

Jesus loves the children, holds the lambs
Jesus prays a lot
Jesus has distinguishing marks on His hands

If anybody walks behind the Good Shepherd
If anybody holds the hands that heal lepers
And if you recognize the eyes that see forever, please…

Jesus, Jesus
Oh, can anybody show me Jesus
Oh, let Your love unveil the glory, the real Jesus

Oh, can anybody show me the real Jesus?
Oh, let Your love unveil the glory of the real Jesus, the real Jesus

–From the album Wide Eyed and Mystified by Downhere, a free download down here.

The song begins as a commentary on Western culture’s numerous misunderstandings of the person of Christ, but it quickly reveals itself as a call to the church to proactively wrestle with what it means to live as Christ’s representatives in the world.

Galatians 5:6 HCSB
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.

1 John 4:14-17 HCSB
And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God–God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

17 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; for we are as He is in this world.

1 John 3:23 HCSB
Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us.

Also see:
Jesus, Made in America