Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Narrow has always been a conservative church word.  It is also a biblical word; For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life.  Sure, I'll toss my interpretation into the mix.  I think the narrow way is the one called Jesus.  All of life blooms through him; he said so.  Go for money, fame, or famous money and one will miss life.  Jesus is the doorway to fullness.

But in my circle of believers, narrow has come to mean no garage sales, no dancing, no drinking, no Christmas trees (or gifts), no Bible classes, no orphans homes, no Bible versions other than KJV....the list is endless.  Oddly, such narrowism produces consistently meager life.

I have an estranged preacher friend who will not read any books who were not written by Church of Christ authors; and even that selection is narrowed.  Not surprisingly this man is ultra unhappy.  Yet, this isn't the saddest trait.  He is mega-unproductive.  His fruit is narrow and withered.

The reason I write this is because I once lived pounding out that Matthew 7:14 verse as loudly as any of my pulpititious cohorts.  I was a puplit pounder and a red-faced deliverer of the Almighty Word; but my harvest....well, there wasn't any.  It too was narrow.

So what say ye to the biblical narrow viewpoint?  Jesus said it/he would lead to life.  John 10:10 is where he states it is abundant life.  Biblical narrow leads to abundant life.  What I enjoy about the church, and my participation in it, is the abundance of life we encounter at every turn.  Some of it---no, much of it---is found in books and works and even doctrines that are not about nor from us!

The world of God is wider than our conservative perception and mistaken view of narrow. 

From which end of the telescope shall we peer?


Cary said...

Word of the day = pulpititious.

Anonymous said...

We need to constantly remind the people who cannot deal with any sort of freedom in Christ, that they are the people Paul called the weak Christians. They are not the strongs ones. The strong were the ones who could eat meat. The weak ones were those whose consciences were constantly violated in disputable matters.

The sad part is that those who are so dreadfully weak do not see themselves as the weak Christians that they are. They see their weakness as strength--so they bask and grow in that weakness, decade after decade, to the point where they cut themselves off from everyone in the world except like-minded weak Christians. They destroy their witness, and they attempt to enslave those around them through a new form of legalism of their own contrivance. They believe that they are strong. But, clearly, that's not Paul's assessment. Not by any means. Their growing weakness is evidence of a deteriorating relationship with God, where they move from weak to weaker.

There's only so much that we can do to tolerate the scruples of the weak. At some point, especially by age 70, they need to grow up, instead of wallowing in a quagmire of self-righteous, self-imposed martyrdom. It's for their own good that others speak up, especially after decades. When someone has reached 70, and increasingly large parts of their time are spent on forcing others to please them in various ways, then they have been utterly defeated by their mission to spread their cancerous disease.

Anonymous said...

Found this quote from Oswald Chambers on another site. Note especially the last line.

“If you yourself do not cut the lines that tie you to the dock, God will have to use a storm to sever them and to send you out to sea. Put everything in your life afloat upon God, going out to sea on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and your eyes will be opened. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the calm waters just inside the harbor, full of joy, but always tied to the dock. You have to get out past the harbor into the great depths of God, and begin to know things for yourself— begin to have spiritual discernment." –Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest


Greg England said...

I see you're still making up words! When I discovered people and books and thoughts outside our own, it opened up a whole new world for me. A good one ... where I saw the hand of God far beyond our self imposed boundaries. Plus I discovered people such as that Terry Rush fellow who has written some good books.

Ronna said...

The truly, truly devastating truth in this is that some are so busy defending the "narrow way" that they have neglected sharing The Way...this saddens me.

When you realize how full your cup is, you cannot help but overflow...

DarrelM said...

Terry, the time and the man that opened my eyes to this issue was Leroy Garrett. We had him at Memorial and I remember so well his gentle spirit and his freedom to explore outside of CoC traditional positions.