Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ice vs nice

We had an ice storm recently. Everything was covered with ice. The trees were especially mesmerizing as they drew from streetlights to produce their own radiant glory.


[click to enlarge]


There is a time to be cold and indifferent. I really believe that. But is it the exception or the rule? I don't believe it should be our Standard Operating Procedure.


A friend of mine intercepted an email. The letter was inappropriately hostile, so this friend brought it to my attention. (It's a game we play. We get a bizarre kick out of intercepting the most freaky exchanges.) The letter writer ended his venomous spewing with a tag. You know, those quotes at the bottom of someone's email. It said:


"It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher."

-George Whitefield


Somehow, I don't think that Whitefield was suggesting that we behave like a grinch. No, it's more like this: When you go to the doctor, he shouldn't say "everything's fine" if it's really not. The preacher must dispense medicine for the soul, not politics. That's what I think it means, anyway.


I told my friend to send a nice response, but their tag line should quote Ephesians 4:29, in which the Apostle Paul says,
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.


We laughed, but didn't send that as a reply. After all, such a jab would have been a contradiction.


Lifelong Learner said...


I love that you didn't send it. We have a person in our family who uses scriptures like that for their own purposes, and it completely nullifies their arguments! Your restraint said much more.

I am enjoying your pictures, by the way. I especially liked the night-light picture. You're having some fun with that camera, aren't you? :)


Llama Momma said...

Bible verse fighting is the worst.

When I became a Christian, I was amazed by how mean people could be...while quoting the Bible!

Craver Vii said...

The context of the email exchange made it seem like George Whitfield was a real Scrooge. I don't know about that. Maybe, but I doubt that he was.

Problems arise when we misuse the Bible. That is why we need to know what it says, what it means, and what to do about all that.

For example, one of the most common misuses today is the admonition that we should not judge. That's not really the point of the lesson in Matthew 7. Jesus was saying that we should not be overly harsh in our judgments because it might backfire.

On the other hand, telling the truth can sometimes be unpopular, no matter now nice we are about it.

Craver Vii said...

Speaking of harsh, check out this post at Llama Momma's blog. "Can't we all just get along?"

Anonymous said...

glad you checked out the photoblog. hope to see you threre again! though i plan to be on a trip for about 10 days and will not be posting while i am gone. by the way...the ice photo is beautiful. nancy/sunshine

Every Square Inch said...

Interesting post.

When we use quotes like the one from Whitefield, we shouldn't draw too much from a single statement. If we hang too much life application on that single "pin", we may be doing violence to the quote. Since the quote is obviously taken out of context, we don't know why whitefield would say such a thing or how his views may have changed over the course of his life.