Disqualified Still?

The note simply said, “Please meet me in my office at 2pm” and it was signed by the lecturer the young man had so rudely interrupted the day before.

When the young man and the professor met, there was some time of awkward niceties until they were both settled into chairs. The young man waited quietly. He was the guest. He waited upon the professor’s purpose.

“A strange thing happened yesterday,” the professor began.

“I do apologise, sir. My actions were disrespectful and disruptive.” The young man had already planned his apology.

“I’m not talking about your interruption”, the professor interrupted. Then he paused, uncertain about continuing. In a moment or so he did so. “A strange thing happened. And it doesn’t make sense.” The professor was given to long pauses as he navigated through his points.

“You are right in your synopsis of the human condition. If we deny any higher power then we are all equal. We are all combatants in a life-long fight for significance and position. The honour one gives to another is of no more worth than the honour we give ourselves, since no-one has any higher dignity with which to confer higher graces.”

The young man simply nodded, pleased that he did not have to argue this point any further.

“Yet something strange happened yesterday.” He was back to his starting point. He turned to face the boy. “You gave me honour.” The perplexity in the man’s face was clearly visible.

“You made me special yesterday. You stole my class then you gave it back to me. You gave me honour that I did not demand of you, nor did you have to give it.” The professor stared into the face of the young man, who had nothing to say.

“If we are all equal, how is it that I feel you have given me something I cannot give myself?” The man’s fixed gaze of inquisition persisted until the young man wriggled in his seat and gave answer.

“Sir”, he began, “I didn’t give you honour yesterday. God did.” The young man waited to see if the professor would react. He didn’t.

“Sir, God asked me to show you that He gives you honour. God wants you to know that while you have rejected Him, He has not rejected you. He has not scrapped you, even if you are intent on scrapping yourself.” Seeing that his audience listened to every word the young man pressed on.

“Sir, God created you. You are not some biological freak, but a purpose-built creation, with divine destiny all over you. You have sold your soul to populist dogmas that have done nothing for you but demean your very existence. God is calling you back from that, to things far more noble than you have ever imagined.”

“That sense of honour that impacted you yesterday is just the early indicator of what God wants to give you in abundance.”

The professor sat back and absorbed what he had heard. His whole life had been predicated on the theory of evolution and the arrogance of his own mind. Yet in all the years of his grand achievements, amid all the accolades thrown at him by his peers, nothing had impacted him as much as the respect he received from a mere student. Was God truly reaching out to him? Could he respond? How would he explain to everyone such a change of heart?

Thus begins a transformation that is soon to sweep this generation. Strongholds have been built in the minds of men. Yet those men are desperately empty. Vain praise from vain men cannot warm the coals of human hearts. But the weapons of our warfare are stronger than those strongholds. God’s Spirit and God’s children are able to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

These are exciting new days as we enter into cultural movements that impact whole cities, nations and cultures in ways we have not seen before.

Can a nation be saved in a day? Let’s be part of making it happen!

Disqualified Man

The lecturer stood to the podium and cleared his throat. Within moments he began his tirade, railing against all manner of things which he disdained. He was highly educated, enviably intelligent, eminently successful, supremely qualified, unanimously endorsed and ever so arrogant in that pre-eminent place.

One of the students turned to a friend and began discussing some trifling matter external to the whole proceedings. The student persisted in his disruption and spoke louder by the minute until many were distracted, including the speaker.

Finally the lecturer stopped his rant and called to the distracter, in an angry and contemptuous tone, demanding, “Do you know who I am?”

The student stood to his feet, paused and then spoke clearly for all to hear. “Yes sir. You are a jerk!”

Taken aback, the lecturer bore into this foolish lad with biting sarcasm. “And what makes you so sure you’re not the jerk?”

The young man explained. “Sir, you are a rationalist, are you not?” The lecturer nodded his agreement. “And you don’t believe in anything more significant than man.” “Of course not!” came the reply.

“So you place your trust in the abilities of the human mind?” The lecturer paused for a moment then gave a nod. “Then sir,” the young man continued, “I contend that you are a Jerk!”

“That’s outrageous!” the lecturer responded. “Certainly not.” The young man hastily replied. “I am human and I have as much right to an opinion as any other. In my opinion, sir, you are a Jerk!”

“Then get out of my lecture!” The lecturer demanded. “No sir, I choose not to do so”, was the reply. “I demand that you go!” “But sir, you have no more right to speak than any other. You have already admitted so.” The lecturer struggled to see how anything he had said gave any significance to this upstart.

The young man continued. “Sir, you have assured me that there is no greater authority in the universe than humans. So there is no morality or dignity apart from what men choose to give each other. I choose to give you none whatsoever. You are thirty years older than the rest of us, so you are out of touch. You were educated before many of the advances we take for granted, so you were taught things we wouldn’t teach today. Mankind and human society have evolved beyond the things that made you what you are. So I say, you are a Jerk!”

The lecturer scanned the room then tried to continue his presentation. Once he had finished his first sentence the student also began addressing the group. Both voices resounded in competition until the lecturer realised he was getting nowhere.

The young man continued. “Here is a man who has denied his own dignity. By enshrining the mind of man he has debased himself to being nothing more than one animal contending with others. He has no right to any moral authority. He has no right to assert his opinion over another. His whole life is of no substance and no consequence. Once he is dead he will soon be forgotten. His opinions will be outdated and his science displaced by later insights. He has thrown his whole life in the trashcan in the vain belief that it will ennoble him. Therefore I say, without equivocation, that he is a Jerk!”

The lecturer watched on, bemused, as the young man abducted his whole class. “Here is a noble being, graced with intellect, experience, insight and abundant personal resources, yet who cannot recognise the dignity of who he is. Instead of acknowledging that God has graced him and given him privilege and significance, he has denied the very existence of God and thus relegated himself to the status of just one more rat on the rubbish heap.”

“Sir, I contend that you are much more than you think. You are worth far more dignity than I have shown you today. I have withstood you now, not because I despise you, but because I want better things for you. I want you to enjoy the amazing wonder of God’s design and purpose in your life. But you insist on being a jerk. You insist on pretending that you have no value at all, except what you can demand from others who have no particular value at all.”

“Sir, I am about to sit. I do so because I want to hear your lecture. I want to be enriched by you. I want to be ennobled by you. But if you deny your own nobility you deny me the richness of the grace God wants to give me through you. Sir, please acknowledge God’s goodness in you. And please continue with your lecture.”

The young man, still standing, began to applaud the lecturer. As he did so he sat down. Everyone applauded, and it seemed they were applauding the lecturer, yet surely they must have been applauding the speech they had just heard.

When the din subsided the lecturer tried to speak. He was not exactly sure what to do next. He finally cleared his throat and said, “I think we have all heard enough today.” With that he turned to gather his papers.

The young man sprang to his feet and began applauding vigorously again. In moments the whole student body rose to its feet, some hooting and hollering while others simply clapped and smiled.

This story continues in a later post – “Disqualified Still?”

Click the link to go directly to the continuation: DISQUALIFIED STILL?

Marriage – a GOOD Thing?

Two disparate comments about married life came to my attention recently. One was positive and the other tragically negative about marriage.

One young man said: “marriage is such an awesome gift from the Lord…. And it has been getting better day by day.”
Another young man said: “I keep telling anyone that if you want time to yourself don’t get married and don’t have kids.” A person who wants to get married “must either have a lot of spare time, or not want time to yourself?”
In view of these competing ideas you could question whether marriage is a “good thing” or not. To one young man marriage is “an awesome gift” while to the other marriage robs you of “time to yourself”.
Can you see something in these comments?

It seem that “selfishness” is not something a person should take into marriage.
But then, selfishness is not something a person should take into the rest of their life either.
Our two greatest challenges are to Love God and to Love Others – see Luke 10:27 “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.”
Maybe what we see in the two quotes is that selfishness spoils a person’s abiltiy to enjoy marriage. And isn’t it true that selfishness spoils many other things in life too? When people have self-interest they become upset at anything which gets in their way, be it spouse, child, frlends, circumstances or anything else.
Let me assure you that MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING.
However, don’t be surprised when marriage and family challenge your selfishness. When that happens don’t become negative about MARRIAGE, but recognise your own need to receive God’s help and to grow in grace.