Christianity 201

April 16, 2016

Shane Claiborne Quotations

Isaiah 58: 6-7 (NIV)

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Jeremiah 22:3 (HCSB)

This is what the LORD says: Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from the hand of his oppressor. Don’t exploit or brutalize the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow. Don’t shed innocent blood in this place.

Matthew 25:35-40 (NLT)

35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Christian social activist Shane Claiborne may seem a bit young to be included in our quotations series, but he has many good things to say to the church at large and to individuals. In addition to his many books, he writes at Red Letter Christians.

When we truly discover how to love our neighbor as our self, Capitalism will not be possible and Marxism will not be necessary.


Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, and powerful.


shaneclaiborne3.thumbnailThere is a lot to be heartbroken about now, but tears don’t have the last word.


Some folks may be really bummed to find that “God bless America” does not appear in the Bible. So often we do things that make sense to us and ask God to bless our actions and come alongside our plans, rather than looking at the things God promises to bless and acting alongside of them. For we know that God’s blessing will inevitably follow if we are with the poor, the merciful, the hungry, the persecuted, the peacemakers. But sometimes we’d rather have a God who conforms to our logic than conform our logic to the God whose wisdom is a stumbling block to the world of smart bombs and military intelligence.


All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance, just don’t tiptoe.


We are awake only when we are in touch with the hurting.


How can we worship a homeless man on Sunday and ignore one on Monday?


It is a dangerous day when we can take the cross out of the church more easily than the flag. No wonder it is hard for seekers to find God nowadays.


We do need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the Kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy, too. But I guess that’s why God invented highlighters, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest.


The gospel is lived out at dinner tables and in living rooms.


The more I get to know Jesus, the more trouble he seems to get me into.


I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor…I truly believe that when the rich meet the poor, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end.


Mother Theresa always said, “Calcuttas are everywhere if only we have eyes to see. Find your Calcutta.”


Perhaps the devil is just as likely to wear a three-piece suit as to have horns and a pitchfork. And perhaps the angels look more like the bums in the alley than like feathered white babies.


Liturgy and worship were never meant to be confined to the cathedrals and sanctuaries. Liturgy at its best can be performed like a circus or theater – making the Gospel visible as a witness to the world around us.


Sources: J.R. Woodward, GoodReads, AZQuotesWikiQuote and BrainyQuote.

November 4, 2010

A Life of Comfort Or A Life of Obedience?

It’s been awhile since I used something here from blogger Rick Apperson at Just a Thought.   On his blog, this was titled:

If We Do Nothing, Nothing Gets Done

The world seems to be falling apart at times. You turn on the news and hear major stories of crime, abuse and other sordid events. Commercials show starving children and play heartfelt music with the intentions of getting you to give money to the latest charity or disaster relief.

It would be so easy to stick our head in the sand and ignore the trumpet calls of help! Even easier would be to toss some money at the problem to massage our consciences. Our minds tend to rest easier if we can pay someone else to help fix the problem.

If it was only that easy.

Giving money to the latest project may help solve a problem half way around the world and it is something I believe we should do as we can afford it. However, this does not release us from our obligation at home.

People are dying and going to hell.

People are hurting, worried, lonely and bitter.

They need Jesus Christ….they need you! You are the hands and feet of Christ to a hurting world. It isn’t that hard to invite a stranger out for coffee or to open your home to someone in need. It isn’t hard…but it is uncomfortable.

Yet, nowhere in the Bible does God call us to a life of comfort. He calls us to love with action. (1 John 3:17-18). He calls us to set aside the “I” and to look out for the interests of others. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

Lives are changed when we step out of our comfort zones and reach out to those we meet on a daily basis.

I find God is challenging me to step out of my comfort zone more and more each day. I want to allow God to make me a life-changer? What about you?

~Rick Apperson; Smithers, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks, Rick.  (You probably didn’t know you were donating this one, yet.)

I really appreciated the sentiment that at the time of year that everyone is asking us to give money, it doesn’t release us from our obligations at home.   Some time ago, this was referred to as “chequebook evangelism.”  With the Evangelical church’s newly refreshed focus on social concern, it’s equally easy to make pre-authorized payments than it is to actually get your hands dirty.

We’ve been called not to a life of comfort, but a life of obedience to God’s call to be His hands and His feet in a needy world.