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    Joy was characteristic of the Christian community so long as it was growing, expanding, and creating healthfully. The time came when the Church had ceased to grow, except externally in wealth, power, and prestige; and these are mere outward adornments, or hampering burdens, very likely. They do not imply growth or creativeness. The time came when dogmatism, tyranny, and ignorance strangled the free intellectual activity of the Church, and worldliness destroyed its moral fruitfulness. Then joy spread her wings and flew away. The Christian graces care nothing for names and labels; where the Spirit of the Lord is, there they abide, but not in great Churches that have forgotten Him. How little of joy there is in the character of the religious bigot or fanatic, or in the prudent ecclesiastical statesman! A show of cheerfulness they may cultivate, as they often do; but it is like the crackling of thorns under a pot: we cannot mistake it for the joy of the Lord which is the strength of the true Christian.

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In an authority so high [as Scripture], admit but one officious lie, and there will not remain a single passage read more

In an authority so high [as Scripture], admit but one officious lie, and there will not remain a single passage of those apparently difficult to practice or to believe, which on the same most pernicious rule may not be explained as a lie uttered by the author willfully to serve a purpose.

by St. Augustine Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Maundy Thursday There is joy and strength, of course, in this holy food and drink, but it is also read more

Maundy Thursday There is joy and strength, of course, in this holy food and drink, but it is also an inevitable joining forces with the vast Scheme of reconciliation and redemption. Now there is something in our natural selves that may well make us wary of such a contact. The man who in his heart intends to go on being selfish or proud, or who has already decided how far his Christian convictions should carry him, is probably obeying a sound instinct when he keeps away from this glorious but perilous Sacrament. For, if the truth be told, men are often willing to put their trust in a god who in the end must be triumphant, simply because they want to be on the winning side; but they are not nearly so ready to bear any part of the cost of that winning. Yet the fellowship of the broken bread and the poured-out wine can mean no less than that.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

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Genuine outrage is not just a permissible reaction to the hard-pressed Christian; God himself feels it, and so should the read more

Genuine outrage is not just a permissible reaction to the hard-pressed Christian; God himself feels it, and so should the Christian in the presence of pain, cruelty, violence, and injustice. God, who is the Father of Jesus Christ, is neither impersonal nor beyond good and evil. By the absolute immutability of His character, He is implacably opposed to evil and outraged by it.

by Os Guinness Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709 Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845 read more

Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709 Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845 No nation, and few individuals, are really brought into [God's] camp by the historical study of the biography of Jesus, simply as biography. Indeed, materials for a full biography have been withheld from men. The earliest converts were converted by a single historical fact (the Resurrection) and a single theological doctrine (the Redemption) operating on a sense of win which they already had... The "Gospels" came later and were written not to make Christians but to edify Christians already made.

by C.s. Lewis Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Continued from yesterday: This is Paul's meaning. The state of slavery described in Romans 7 is a slavery to read more

Continued from yesterday: This is Paul's meaning. The state of slavery described in Romans 7 is a slavery to wrong desires; not merely to "flesh" in the abstract, as implying our material nature and environment, but to the "mind of the flesh" -- the lower nature and environment made a part of one's conscious self. What the Law could not do, God has done by the gift of the Spirit of Christ: He has given the victory to the higher self. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (II Cor. 3:17) "The Law of the Spirit -- the law of a life in communion with Christ Jesus -- has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 8:2) Whereas life was a hopeless struggle, it now becomes a struggle in which the handicap is removed, and victory already secured in principle, because God has come into the life. The Law was external; it was the taskmaster set over against the troubled and fettered will of man. The Spirit is within, the mind of the Spirit is the mind of the man himself, and from within works out a growing perfection of life which satisfies the real longing of the soul. In the full sense freedom is still an object of hope; but the liberty already attained makes possible the building up of a Christian morality.

by C. Harold Dodd Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Though sympathizing with the revolutionaries' analysis of what was wrong with society and in fact being mistaken for a revolutionary read more

Though sympathizing with the revolutionaries' analysis of what was wrong with society and in fact being mistaken for a revolutionary himself by the political authorities of his day, nevertheless Jesus did not advocate a new political regime to be established by force through revolutionary action. He called for the love of our enemies, not their destruction; ... for readiness to suffer instead of using force; for forgiveness instead of hate and revenge. One might even say [that] Jesus was more revolutionary than the revolutionaries, or revolutionary in a very different way. The revolution he had in mind was a radical change of heart on the part of mankind, involving conversion away from selfishness and toward the willing service of God and of people in general.

by Clark H. Pinnock Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted, by many persons, that Christianity is not so read more

It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted, by many persons, that Christianity is not so much as a subject of inquiry; but that it is, now at length, discovered to be fictitious. And accordingly they treat it as if, in the present age, this were an agreed point among all people of discernment; and nothing remained, but to set it up as a principal subject of mirth and ridicule.

by Joseph Butler Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr, c.155 Jesus evidently felt deeply the emptiness and futility of much... religious read more

Feast of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr, c.155 Jesus evidently felt deeply the emptiness and futility of much... religious talk. He was interested only in those emotions and professions which could get themselves translated into character and action. Words have always been the bane of religion as well as its vehicle. Religious emotion has enormous motive force, but it is the easiest thing in the world for it to sizzle away in high professions and wordy prayers. In that case, it is a substitute and counterfeit, and a damage to the Reign of God among men.

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