"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Convictions Of Convenience
              I listened to a very funny speaker named Jeanne Robertson recounting an ill advised trip down the Colorado River. She finished with the tale of a group of Baptist tea-totalers who, when the stress of the trip finally got to them, imbibed in some wine the guide offered.
              Seems like some stray thought always attacks my fun. When Jeanne said, "What happens on the river stays on the river," I thought, "Conviction of Convenience."
              Moral people stand on their standards until something bigger and more pressing overtakes them ... like a nice fat grudge or some wonderful person who understands them more than their insensitive spouse. Whenever I'm tempted to stand in judgment over someone whose behavior or lifestyle isn't up to my standard, I cling to a wise statement I once heard from a godly man, "But for the grace of God, there go I."
              I have no immunity to temptation, even though the Bible says I'm "dead to sin." Somewhere below the surface, I have a murderer, or an adulterer, or a homosexual, or a thief, or a liar, or a drunk ready to reach his decayed hand out of the grave and grasp my throat in a death grip. So I try to take nothing for granted.
              Now, don't get the wrong idea; I believe the Bible. But God's word isn't limited to a few "life-verses" or doctrinal proofs. God's inspired word cannot be abridged, and remain God's inspired word. That's what gives rise to "Christian" denominations and cults.
              The Bible indeed says we are dead to sin, but in the same chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans, he warns us to "let not sin reign in our mortal bodies." If the promise applied universally he would not have had to include the warning that follows the promise.
              Think about it. Adam had no "Original Sin" before he tried lying to God. He couldn't blame his sin on his "Adamic nature." So he blamed his wife, "whom You gave to be with me," who blamed the serpent. Bottom line? Man blamed God for the evil that came into his life. And a lot of good that did him.
              According to OneLook.com, one definition of conviction is, "an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence." Unshakable is the operative term, which limits our true convictions to an exceedingly narrow range. Few even begin to suspect the power convictions can wield over human affairs. In fact, convictions are never convenient.

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