The Times

I received in an e-mail from a friend the following quote:

“There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight, and that time has now come.” –Peter Muhlenberg, from a Lutheran sermon read at Woodstock, Virginia, 1776

To those who know that to bear the cross is to wear the crown.

“If indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him” Romans 8:17.

This friend of mine managed to transition, without irony or explanation, from talk of fighting to the death to talk of suffering with Jesus. It’s not at all an uncommon trick, but presented with the sleight of hand I felt an urge to call it out. Previous attempts to discuss ideas with this friend have never proved fruitful, however.

Along with all the times Jesus corrected his disciples (and later the apostles addressed the church), there are all the times when the mistakes were overlooked. If Jesus told everyone off every time they were wrong he’d be talking non-stop. More prosaically, you cannot answer a question that hasn’t been asked. I try to restrain my opinions until they are at least somewhat wanted.

Mr. Muhlenberg appears to have read his Bible from back to front. There are times, yes; but he’s got them backward. This is how we turn service into leadership, suffering into punishing, and loving our enemies into protecting our friends. Dyslexia: making sense of the Bible for millennia!