Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
The Economy and "Professional" Christians
One issue of concern we talked about was the ‘pastor’s salary.’ The question we asked was whether or not churches would continue to be able to afford to employ full-time professional ministers. We didn’t really come up with an answer to that question, but we both agreed that if they could not, then it would be up to the congregation to pick up some of the slack.I agree with this post a lot, but before I proceed, I want to pick one minor bone. Our economy is not broken, the end is not nigh, this is not another "Great Depression." We are in a recession, deeper than any since Carter, which means most people cannot remember it, but that is all it is. We really need to tone down the rhetoric here, confidence, in the end, drives our economy, and if we insist on the language of failure, the crisis of confidence such reflects will create a self fulfilling prophecy. Economies are cyclical, we are in a down cycle - hardly the end of the world. Besides, some people are doing quite well, still - THANKS BE TO THE LORD, I am one of them. If you still have your job, and most people do, you are one of them. Enjoy it for crying out loud.
Kim, a friend and fellow Presbyterian colleague, wrote an excellent reflection last week about her particular struggle with a related attitude that often prevails in the church - that of just wanting to ‘get it done.’ What I hear in her explanation is that many folks often see the Pastor as the one who gets paid to say the magic words - at the wedding, funeral, or baptism - and once that’s been done then they can get on with their lives.
OK, now to the primary point. The Geek is right on, way too many people throw money at church to "get it done." We talk about tithing out "time, talent and treasure" but we have of late seemed to emphasize the treasure a bit much at the expense of the time and talent. The net results is that church becomes just another charity, albeit one with weekly get-togethers, not the sort of life-altering institution Christ intended.
What makes me sid is that way to many "professional" Christians have been way too willing to encourage this state of affairs. Admittedly, it may be "what the congregation was calling for," or is it? Christ said:
Matt 7:7-11 - Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. "Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? "Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!Is not the desire to just pay someone to do ministry another reflection of our sinful state? And is not our sinful state the ultimate reflection of our need? So should we not meet the genuine need, not the stated one?
You know how when your baby is tired it cries at the slightest provocation. You remove the provocation, but something else almost immediately causes the bawling to begin again. The real need is a nap, not whatever it is that is provoking the crying. As Christian leadership, should we not be able to see through the congregational "crying" to the genuine need. Should we not be finding a way to provide for that genuine need, instead of simply bowing the crying?
Of course, the hard part is, unlike the baby, these people "control" the paycheck. If they ask for X and we give them Y, they might take the money and go elsewhere. That's scary stuff.
So maybe the bottom line problem is not even their unwillingness to look their genuine need in the face, maybe it is our lack of faith that God will provide.
Which brings me back to the mini-rant I started this post with that seemed a bit off topic. In this recession, what are we being asked to give up? Yes, some are losing their jobs and their homes, and they have my complete sympathy and support, but most are not in that particular pickle. Most of us just have to tighten the belt a little. Maybe postpone that new high def home entertainment center a couple of years, or vacation by car instead of fly this summer. Most that are losing their homes are still employed and will be able to get into apartments. Yes, they lose a pile of money on paper, but the have food, shelter, and each other. Those that have lost their jobs will find new ones.
GOD PROVIDES. - especially for those that serve Him.
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All I can say is I spent every Sunday afternoon for 4 years in Fritch, Texas with my best fried Joey Jacobson when I was in elementary school. I never met Ron White.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009
And Here I Thought We Already Had It Defined
Well now, according to this MSNBC story, we are going to take that paradigm, apply it on a "meta" level and do away with anything not "scientifically proven.
"And many old people are wise, as most of them will tell you, but sometimes they can’t remember your name, so how smart is that?Note there is not a theologian, pastor, or other religious figure in the bunch. Interesting isn't it. I mean after all, we have operated with a fairly simple definition for a few millennia now:
It’s paradoxes like these that lie at the heart of a new $2 million research project called Defining Wisdom. Based at the University of Chicago, the four-year initiative, supported by the Templeton Foundation, has enlisted 23 scholars ranging from historians to economists to psychologists to computer scientists to examine the idea of wisdom, with the aim of cultivating it and better understanding its nature.
Job 28:28 - "And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"Once we "officially" define wisdom apart from faith, the boundaries between good and evil will equally officially disappear.
I am, by formal education, a scientist. I am a person that deals in facts, figures, and data-based conclusions. And yet, I have discovered, in ways more painful than I ever dreamed possible that there is more. I have discovered the mystical in Christianity. As I said in a email a while back, such fits me like a dress fits a dog. But the truth is undeniable and unverifiable - in other words, "wisdom."
The world will be in a terrible state if scientists define wisdom.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009
That HAS To Sting
Our forms are fabulous, enticing the eyes, tickling the ears, tugging at the heart, drawing in the designer demographic. The choreography is cogent, spectacular, impressive. Our numbers are up, the complaints are down; our path is wide, our message inviting and inclusive.Read the whole thing.
We have put God on a leash. It is a powerful image: God for us, in our way. We celebrate the love of God without a nasty cross; the power of God without judgment and narrowness; the presence of God without any censorious legalism on his part. O God, we are free of God!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Dispensing or Sharing?
Our church introduced communion stations in lieu of having corporate communion more frequently. I couldn’t help but be just a little disappointed. On the other hand, they’re acknowledging that something might be missing. I have to give credit where credit is due. My question: How many other places have communion stations and what do you think of them? By ‘communion station’ I mean a small table where the elements are kept. At any point during the music portion of the service, a person can come up and serve them self.I never heard of that, but it strikes me as a "natural" as the movement to ever increasingly shunt aside the liturgical and the sacramental continues. There are about a dozen ways to look at a move like this, but I want to focus on the one I have put in the title of this post.
If communion is a symbolic representation of our joining with Christ in His death and resurrection, then one must ask if that symbol is to be "dispensed" or "shared." Is the church a mere dispenser of the gospel, and once dispensed, people are free to take the product or not? Or, is the church the place where people go to together take the gospel journey, and together to take that journey to the rest of the world?
Can we "work out our salvation" alone?
Phil 2:12-13 - So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.I, for one, do not think so. One must ask how God works in us?
It seems to me that He does so in relationship - otherwise, why the Incarnation?
The salvation offered by Christ and symbolized in communion is not dispensed, it is shared. First God came and shared life with those around Him, and they in turn share it with those around them, and so forth. The Old Testament is a story of God trying to dispense His good news - the New Testament, the very covenant symbolized in that sacrament
Luke 22:20 - And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.IS TO BE SHARED!
Church is intended to be a corporate experience - it is where we share our faith with one another. It is not a dispenser of the gospel.
In the consumeristic model there is a barrier between the seller and buyer, each is safe from the other. That barrier keeps the parties safe from one another. But in the shared experience of church, no such safety barrier exists. We are exposed not only to some vision of God in our heads, or even to God, but to each other.
As was said of Aslan - it is not safe, but it is good.
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Monday, January 19, 2009
Zombies On The March
If the spirit that animates shoppers is, indeed, Mammon, then one might very well say that energetic consumers are just as much zombies as the lifeless, moneyless folk bemoaned by John Morris. Their “zombieness” lies below the surface, however. They look quite alive, but may well be dead on the inside.Interesting imagery, and of course, Mark goes on to talk about the idol of mammon. But the imagery got me thinking - how many "zombies" go to church? They go to church because they do not know what to do with their spare time. The church is, of course, more than willing to provide them with all sorts of opportunities to be there, and so they trudge right in and participate, even if they are not finding what they need. Or in some cases they just come on Sunday, but they sit there, with a sort of vacant look in their eyes, never engaged, just present.
If you go shopping because that’s all you know to do with your spare time, if you wander about in the mall when you don’t even have any money to spend, then you may well have become lifeless zombie. But if shopping for things you don’t really need takes up a disproportionate amount of your time and money, then you may also be a zombie, a person who is alive on one level but missing out on real living.
If you don’t have money for shopping but you go to a mall, what does that say about you? After all, you could have gone to a park, or taken a nap, or painted a picture, or read poerty, or played a game with your children, or . . . . But you went to a mall, not to shop, but just to walk about in a sad, moneyless trance.
Of course, some church zombies have a church problem and some of them choose to be zombies among the living, but in either case why do we tolerate it? I go to church to find life!
What to do, what to do? Well, if you find yourself zombified in church, may I suggest a thorough self-examination? You see, even if you are in a consumeristic, over-programmed institution the Holy Spirit is in their somewhere. The life you need may be in the effort to help that church overcome its issues, or maybe you just need an attitude adjustment.
Jesus said: John 10:10 - "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. Zombies in church defy that promise from Christ.
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Sunday, January 18, 2009
We Interrupt Normal Sunday Blogging...
Poll Finds Faith in Obama, Mixed With Patience
There has always been "Obamania," but the religious language and imagery in that headline - on a Sunday no less - raises the bar to Obama worship. For the record, I would say the same thing about a conservative spoken of in such terms.
As Chesterton may have said, "When a Man stops believing in God he doesn¹t then believe in nothing, he believes anything." Which points out that Christian political activism, without genuine evangelism, will accomplish little or nothng.
Sermons and Lessons
John Wyclif, eminent as scholar, preacher, and translator, was born in 1324 in Spresswel, near Richmond, Yorkshire, England. Known as the “Morning Star of the Reformation” he was a vigorous and argumentative speaker, exemplifying his own definition of preaching as something which should be “apt, apparent, full of true feeling, fearless in rebuking sins, and so addrest to the heart as to enlighten the spirit and subdue the will.” On these lines he organized a band of Bible preachers who worked largely among the common people.
Much of Wyclif‘s popularity was due to his clear and simple style. While not a great orator, he introduced a popular method of preaching that was widely copied. He died at Lutterworth in 1384. The Church considered him a heretic, for he taught the right of the individual to form his own opinions after personal study of the Scriptures. He was the first Englishman to translate the Bible systematically into his native Anglo-Saxon. In 1428, by order of Pope Martin V, his bones were exhumed and burned, and the ashes thrown into the river Swale.
This is my body. - Matt. 26:26.
Now understand ye the words of our Savior Christ, as He spake them one after another - as Christ spake them. For He took bread and blest, and yet what blest He? The Scripture saith not that Christ took the bread and blest it, or that He blest the bread which He had taken. Therefore it seemeth more that He blest His disciples and apostles, whom He had ordained witnesses of His passion; and in them He left His blest word, which is the bread of life, as it is written, “Not only in bread liveth man, but in every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Also Christ saith, “I am the bread of life that came down from heaven.” And Christ saith also in John, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Therefore it seemeth more that He blest His disciples, and also His apostles, in whom the bread of life was left more than in material bread, for the material bread hath an end. .As it is written in the Gospel of Matthew 15 that Christ said, “All things that a man eateth go down into the belly, and are sent down into the draught;” but the blessing of Christ kept His disciples and apostles, both bodily and [ghostly] spiritual. As it is written, that none of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, and often the Scripture saith that Jesus took bread and brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take ye, eat ye, this is my body that shall be given for you.” But He said not this bread is my body, or that bread should be given for the life of the world. For Christ saith, What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.” Also Christ saith in the Gospel, “Verily, verily I say unto you except the wheat corn fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Here men may see by the words of Christ that it behooved that He died in the flesh, and that in His death was made the fruit of everlasting life for all them that believe on Him, as it is written “For as by Adam they all die, even so by Christ shall all live, and every man in his own order; for as one clearness is in the sun, another in the moon, and a star in clearness is nothing in comparison to the sun; even so is the rising again of the dead for we are sown in corruption and shall rise again incorruptible, we are sown in infirmity, and shall rise again in strength; we are sown in natural bodies, and shall rise again spiritual bodies.” Then if Christ shall change thus our deadly bodies by death, and God the Father spared not his own Son, as it is written, but that death should reign in him as in us, and that he should be translated into a spiritual body, as the first rising again of dead men; then how say the hypocrites that take on them to make our Lord ‘s body? Make they the glorified body? Either make they again the spiritual body which is risen from death to life or make they the fleshy body as it was before he suffered death? And if they say also that they make the spiritual body of Christ, it may not be so, for what Christ said and did, He did as He was at supper before He suffered His passion; as it is written that the spiritual body of Christ rose again from death to life. Also that He ascended up to heaven, and that He will abide there till He come to judge the quick and the dead. And if they say that they make Christ’s body as it was before He had suffered His passion, then must they needs grant that Christ is to die yet. For by all Holy Scriptures He was promised to die, and that He should give lordship of everlasting life.
Furthermore, if they say that Christ made His body of bread, I ask, With what words made He it? Not with these words, Hoc est corpus meum; that is to say in English, “This is my body,” for they are the words of giving, and not of making, which He said after that He brake the bread; then parting it among His disciples and apostles. Therefore if Christ had made of that bread His body, [He] had made it in His blessing, or else in giving of thanks, and not in the words of giving; for if Christ had spoken of the material bread that He had in His hands when He said, Hoc est corpus meum, “This is my body,” it was made before, or else the word had been a lie. For if I say, This is my hand, and if it be not a hand, then am I a liar; therefore seek carefully if ye can find two words of blessing, or of giving of thanks, wherewith Christ made his body and blood of the bread and wine. And that all the clerks of the earth know not, for if ye might find or know those words, then should ye wax great masters above Christ, and then ye might be givers of His substance, and as fathers and makers of Him, and that He should worship you, as it is written, Thou shalt worship thy father and mother. Of such as desire such worship against God‘s law, speaketh St. Paul of the man of sin, that enhanceth himself as if he were God. And he is worshiped over all things as God, and showeth himself as he were God. Where our clergy are guilty in this, judge ye or they that know most, for they say that when ye have said, Hoc est corpus meum, that is to say, “This is my body;” which ye call the words of consecration, or else of making; and when they are said over the bread, ye say that there is left no bread, but it is the body of the Lord. So that in the bread there remaineth nothing but a heap of accidents, as witness ruggedness, roundness, savor, touching, and tasting, and such other accidents. Then, if thou sayest that the flesh and blood of Christ, that is to say, his manhood, is made more, or increased by so much as the ministration of bread and wine is, the which ye minister - if ye say it is so - then thou must needs consent that the thing which is not God today shall be God to-morrow; yea, and that the thing which is without spirit of life, but groweth in the field by kind, shall be God at another time. And we all ought to believe that He was without beginning, and without ending; and not made, for if the manhood of Christ were increased every day by so much as the bread and wine draweth to that ye minister, He should increase more in one day by cart loads than He did in thirty-two years when lie was here in earth.
And if thou makest the body of the Lord in those words, Hoc est corpus meum; that is to say, “This is my body”; and if thou mayest make the body of the Lord in those words, “This is my body, “thou thyself must be the person of Christ, or else there is a false God; for if it be thy body as thou sayest, then it is the body of a false knave or of a drunken man, or of a thief, or of a lecherer, or full of other sins, and then there is an unclean body for any man to worship for God! For even if Christ had made there His body of material bread in the said words, as I know they are not the words of making, what earthly man had power to do as He did? For in all Holy Scripture, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of the Apocalypse, there are no words written of the making of Christ’s body; but there are written that Christ was the Son of the Father, and that He was conceived of the Holy Ghost, and that He took flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary, and that He was dead, and that He rose again from death on the third day, and that He ascended to heaven very God and man, and that we should believe in all Scriptures that are written of Him, and that He is to come to judge the quick and the dead, and that the same Christ Jesus, King and Savior, was at the beginning with the Father and the Holy Ghost, making all things of naught, both heaven and earth, and all things that are therein; working by word of His virtue, for He said, Be it done, and it was done, whose works never earthly man might comprehend, either make. And yet the words of the making of these things are written in the beginning of Genesis, even as God spake them; and if ye can not make the work that He made, and have the word by which He made it, how shall ye make Him that made the works? You have no words of authority or power left you on earth by which ye should do this, but ye have feigned this craft of your false errors, which some of you understand not; for it is prophesied, “They shall have eyes and see not, and ears and hear not; and shall see prophesies, and shall not understand, less they be converted; for I hide them from the hearts of those people; their hearts are greatly fatted.” And this thing is done to you for the wickedness of your errors in unbelief; therefore be ye converted from the worst sin, as it is written, “When Moses was in the hill with God,” the people made a calf and worshiped it as God. And God spake to Moses, “Go, for the people have done the worst sin to make and worship alien gods.”
But now I shall ask you a word; answer ye me, whether is the body of the Lord made at once or at twice? Is it both the flesh and the blood in the host of the bread; or else is the flesh made at one time, and the blood made at another time; that is to say, the wine in the chalice? If thou wilt say it is full and wholly the manhood of Christ .in the host of bread, both flesh and blood, skin, hair, and bones, then makest thou us to worship a false god in the chalice, which is unconjured when ye worship the bread; and if ye say the flesh is in the bread, and the blood in the wine, then thou must grant, if thy craft be true, as it is not indeed, that the manhood of Christ is parted, and that He is made at two times. For first thou takest the host of bread, or a piece of bread, and makest it as ye say, and the innocent people worship it. And then thou takest to thee the chalice, and likewise marrest, makest, I would have said, the blood in it, and then they worship it also, and if it be so as I am sure that the flesh and blood of Christ ascended, then are ye false harlots to. God and to us; for when we shall be houselled ye bring to us the dry flesh, and let the blood be away; for ye give us after the bread, wine and water, and sometimes clean water unblest, or rather conjured, by the vir¬tue of your craft; and yet ye say, under the host of bread is the full manhood of Christ. Then by your own confession must it needs be that we worship a false god in the chalice, which is uneonjured when we worship the bread, and worship the one as the other; but where find ye that ever Christ or any of His disciples taught any man to worship this bread or wine?
Therefore, what shall we say of the apostles that were so much with Christ, and were called by the Holy Ghost; had they forgotten to set it in the creed when they made it, which is Christian men’s belief? Or else we might say that they knew no such God, for they believe in no more gods but in Him that was at the beginning, and made of naught all things visible and invisible, which Lord took flesh and blood, being in the Virgin, the same God. But ye have many false ways, to beguile the innocent people with sleights of the fiend.
For ye say that in every host each piece is the whole manhood of Christ, or full substance of Him. For ye say as a man may take a glass, and break the glass into many pieces, and in every piece properly thou mayest see thy face, and yet thy face is not parted; so ye say the Lord’s body is in each host or piece, and His body is not parted. And this is a full subtle question to beguile an innocent fool, but will ye take heed of this subtle question, how a man may take a glass and behold the very likeness of his own face, and yet it is not his face, but the likeness of his face; for if it were his very face, then he must needs have two faces, one on his body and another in the glass. And if the glass were broken in many places, so there should be many faces more by the glass than by the body, and each man shall make as many faces to them as they would; but as ye may see the mind or likeness of your face, which is not the very face; but the figure thereof, so the bread is the figure or mind of Christ’s body in earth, and therefore Christ said, As oft as ye do this thing do it in mind of me.
Also ye say this, as a man may light many candles at one candle, and yet the light of that candle is never the more nor ever the less; so ye say that the manhood of Christ descendeth into each part of every host, and the manhood of Christ is never the more nor less. Where then becometh your ministrations? For if a man light many candles at one candle, as long as they burn there will be many candles lighted, and as well the last candle as the first; and so by this reason, if ye shall fetch your word at God, and make God, there must needs be many gods, and that is forbidden in the first commandment, Exod. 20. And as for making more, either making less, of Christ’s manhood, it lieth not in your power to come there nigh, neither to touch it, for it is ascended into heaven in a spiritual body, which He suffered not Mary Magdalen to touch, when her sins were forgiven to her.
Therefore all the sacraments that are left here in earth are but minds of the body of Christ, for a sacrament is no more to say but a sign or mind of a thing passed, or a thing to come; for when Jesus spake of the bread, and said to His disciples, As ye do this thing, do it in mind of me, it was set for a mind of good things passed of Christ’s body; but when the angel showed to John the sacraments of the woman and of the beast that bare her, it was set for a mind of evil things to come on the face of the earth, and great destroying of the people of God. And in the old law there were many figures or minds of things to come. For before Christ, circumcision was commanded by a law; and he that kept not the law was slain. And yet St. Paul saith, “And neither is it circumcision that is openly in the flesh, but he that is circumcised of heart in spirit, not the letter whose praising is not of men, but of God.” Peter saith in the third chapter of his epistle, “And so baptism of like form maketh not us safe, but the putting away of the filthiness of the flesh, and the having of good conscience in God by the rising again of our Lord Jesus Christ from death, that we should be made heirs of everlasting life, He went up into heaven, and angels, and powers, and virtues, are made subjects to Him.
And also the Scripture saith of John Baptist, that he preached in the wilderness and said, “A stronger than I shall come after me, and I am not worthy to kneel down and unlace His shoe;” and yet Christ said that he was more than a prophet. See also Isaiah 40, Matt. 11. How may ye then say that ye are worthy to make His body, and yet your works bear witness that ye are less than the prophets? for if ye were not, ye should not teach the people to worship the sacraments or minds of Christ for Christ himself; which sacraments or figures are lawful as God taught them and left them unto us, as the sacrifices or minds of the old law were full good. As it is written, “They that kept them should live in them.” Mid so the bread that Christ brake was left to us for mind of things passed for the body of Christ, that we should believe He was a very man in kind as we are, but as God in power, and that His manhood was sustained by food as ours. For St. Paul saith He was very man, and in form he was found as man. And so we must believe that He was very God and very man together, and that He ascended up very God and very man to heaven, and that He shall be there till He come to doom the world. And we may not see him bodily, being in this life, as it is written, Peter i., for he saith, “Whom ye have not seen ye love, into whom ye now not seeing believe.” And John saith in the first chapter of his Gospel, “No man saw God; none but the only begotten Son that is in the bosom of the Father, He hath told it out.” And John saith in his first epistle, the third chapter, “Every man that sinneth seeth not him, neither knoweth him.” By what reason then say ye that are sinners that ye make God? truly this must needs be the worst sin, to say that ye make God, and it is the abomination of discomfort that is said in Daniel the prophet to be standing in the holy place; he that readeth let him understand.
Also Luke saith that (Christ took the cup after that He had supped, and gave thanks and said, “This cup is the new testament in my blood that shall be shed unto the remission of sins for man.” Now, what say ye; the cup which He said was the new testament in His blood, was it a material cup in which the wine was that He gave his disciples wine of, or was it His most blest body in which the blest blood was kept till it was shed out for the sins of them that should be made safe by His passion? Needs must we say that He spake of His holy body, as He did when He called His passion or suffering in body a cup, when He prayed to His father, before He went to His passion, and said, “If it be possible that this cup pass from me, but if thou wilt that I drink it, thy will be done?” He spake not here of the material cup in which He had given His disciples drink; for it troubled not Him, but He prayed for His great sufferance and bitter death, the which He suffered for our sins and not for His own. And if He spake of His holy body and passion when He said, “This cup is the new testament in my blood,” so He spake of His holy body when He said, “This is my body which shall be given for you,” and not of the material bread which He had in His hand. Also in another place He called His passion a cup, where the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him, and asked of Him that her two sons, when He came to His kingdom, might sit one on His right, and one at His left side. And He answered and said, “Woman, thou wottest not what thou asketh; then He said to tuem, May ye drink of the cup that I shall drink? and they said, Yea, Lord. And He said, Ye shall drink of my cup, but to sit on my right hand or left hand it is not mine to give, but to the Father it is proper.” But in that He said, Ye shall drink of my cup, He promised them to suffer tribulation of this world as He did, by the which they should enter into life everlasting, and to be both on his right hand. And thus ye may see that Christ spake not of the material cup, neither of himself, nor of his apostles, neither of material bread, neither of material wine. Therefore let every man wisely, with meek prayers, and great study, and also charity, read the words of God and holy Scriptures; but many of you are like the mother of Zebedee ‘s sons to, whom Christ said, “Thou knowest not what thou askest.” So, many of you know not what ye ask, nor what you do; for if ye did, ye would not blaspheme God as ye do, to set an alien God instead of the living God. Also Christ saith, “I am a very vine; wherefore then worship ye not the vine God, as ye do tho bread? Wherein was Christ a very vine, or wherein was the bread Christ’s body, in figurative speech, which is hidden to the understanding? Then if Christ became not a material or an earthly vine, neither did a material vine become His body. So neither the bread, material bread, was changed from its substance to the flesh and blood of Christ.
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