Water is Thicker than Blood

Heard an intriguing quote from an unlikely source during my commute .mp3 listening. The discussion started in relationship to how “Christmas” seems to get earlier and earlier every year, no longer held back by the buffer of Thanksgiving. I bet nobody will Guess Who…

“If we’re not self-consciously following and walking through time being guided by the Christian calendar, then we tend to get things out of whack. In other words, if I’m following the Christian calendar, there’s no question; I know what the most important thing in history is. The most important thing is that Jesus came, he lived among men, he died on the cross, he rose again from the dead, he ascended up into heaven, and he poured out his Spirit. That’s what is important, that’s the most important thing that ever happened.

“The pilgrims making it through that first winter was great, and it’s wonderful. But that’s not the most important thing that ever happened. The colonies declaring their independence from Great Britain, I think was a good thing; I’m thankful for it, I’m thankful for their example, I’m thankful for their courage, I’m thankful for many, many things about that, but that’s not the most important thing in history. My children’s birthdays are important, and I want to celebrate them, and we do. But that’s not the most important birth that’s happened in history. It’s fine to celebrate these things if we keep them in perspective.

“The problem is, without the Christian calendar, we don’t keep them in perspective, so that people begin to think, ‘If I don’t say the pledge of allegiance, or if I don’t sing the national anthem, I’m a very bad person.’ Well, maybe I am, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate that. What if I’m from Norway? I may be a very godly person, but I don’t feel compelled to say the pledge of allegiance, and I certainly don’t want to sing the national anthem. It’s not my country. And I don’t think those things necessarily tell you anything about the patriotism of a person, but we’ve gotten that way in part because that’s how we view ourselves. We view ourselves as Americans first, and oh yes, we are Christians. And that’s important too. and we almost fall over ourselves, after a while, realizing, we know instinctively that’s not right, to think of ourselves as Americans first, or to be more offended over the fact that somebody said something against America than we are when they say something against Jesus.

“We are not Americans first. We are thankful for our country, we love our country, we want to support our country and do good to our country; we’re good neighbors, we follow the fifth commandment, we honor our fathers and mothers. But we are Christians first. [For] the same reason we don’t have flags in our churches — why? Is it because we hate America? No! It’s because we realize the church is a different family. The church is the primary family, that’s the family that includes all nations and peoples. And I really don’t want a Korean coming into our church thinking ‘This is an American church.’ No, it’s a Christian church. And you need to understand that we are Christians first, and we recognize our brotherhood — that water is thicker than blood. We are Christians first, and baptism is far more important than the nation of your origin — that’s far more important. And every Christian knows that, but we tend to lose sight of that, in part — and it’s in part –because we don’t think anymore [of?] time in terms of Jesus and his life and his work. And that’s why the [church] calendar is important — or one of the reasons.”

This entry was posted in Baptism, Christian life, Church and State, Church relations, Civil religion, Ecclesiology, Guess the Good Guy, Protestant slogans, Quotes, Spirituality of the Church, Two-kingdoms, Who Said That. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Water is Thicker than Blood

  1. RubeRad says:

    Another fun quote from the same source, about Saint Nick at the Council of Nicea:

    During the debate, the story goes that Arius was giving his views, and Nicholas got so irritated with him that he went up, and he either slapped him in the face, or punched him… I love the idea of Santa Claus punching this guy in the face, you know, this heretic. It’s just a beautiful picture of the true nature of Santa Claus.

  2. Pooka says:

    Dude, that’s great stuff. Thank you.

    I used the St Nick story a couple of times this weekend.

  3. dr p says:

    those who burned the Reformers made great use of the so-called “Christian calendar,” so I’d be hesitant to see it as any sort of spiritual antidote. RPW, anyone?

  4. RubeRad says:

    Thx for appreciating, and thx for not spoiling the guessing-game, bcos you have the unfair advantage of receiving the same link from the same pastor!

  5. RubeRad says:

    In an earlier section, this speaker does affirm that these elements of the Christian calendar are not mandated (not like the Jewish calendar of the old covenant). And are you trying to establish a causal connection between use of the calendar and burning Reformers? Is there a Festival of Lights, or was there celebration of Pentecost with Reformer-candles (a la Nero’s famed garden parties)?

    See also here a discussion of Reformed celebration of Ascension Day.

  6. RubeRad says:

    In terms of antidote, however, I think it’s a very good point that a good way to wean the church off of celebrating the “national calendar” (Mother’s Day sermons anyone? Sanctuary fireworks on the 4th? National day/week of prayer? Right-to-life Sunday?) is to get it back to celebrating the church calendar.

  7. Pooka says:

    Wouldn’t have been guessing, then. 😉 Nice extra hints for the team though.

  8. dr p says:

    @RubeRad: how about celebrating neither calendar.and returning the weekly Christian Sabbath to its rightful place of honour in the church? No connexion between calendar and pyromania proffered other than an observation on a church sitting in Moses’ seat and having no sense of restraint in Caesar’s.

  9. Zrim says:

    Why do I have the feeling these ladies have an American flag in their church?

  10. dr p says:

    @Zrim: you’re most likely right, but I can’t waste too much umbrage on heathen who want their day back.

  11. DJ says:

    Is this from J-Mac?

  12. Pooka says:

    Where are those ladies? I want to call and wish them a Happy Holidays. I think I’ll make a post on LAH that incorporates how much I love to wish folks “Happy Holidays” along with how much I’d like to buy Ayn Rand dinner and smoke a cigarette with Heinlein. I can probably fit a few more in. And I have half a dozen American flags laying around in my house. And I’ll still go to a Shepherd’s Conference, cuz they have the books and I might get to meet somebody who’s been on TV.

    I hope that’s not all over the top. Should I move to a monastery?

  13. Pooka says:

    What would Jesus say if He was in my kitchen, drinking coffee with me? I hope He’d say, “Nice cuppa Joe, Rob.” After that, I’m not sure. None o’ that is in my Bible.

  14. Zrim says:

    Doesn’t it offend Mormons to suggest Jesus would drink coffee?

  15. Pooka says:

    I dunno. Would it offend them if I offered it to him? With maybe a decent shot of flavor? What if it was crummy Starbucks Breakfast Blend. Better than Folgers but still not decent coffee. Would they gig me for bad taste as well as the coffee itself?

  16. Zrim says:

    I’m just wondering at the irony of being “offended as Christians” by “Happy Holidays” but not taking into consideration the culturally calculated sensibilities of other religionists, even false ones. I mean, if being offended is so offensive and all.

    Why do I also get the feeling their grand-daughters are getting purity rings for Xmas–I mean, Christmas?

  17. lee n. field says:

    In terms of antidote, however, I think it’s a very good point that a good way to wean the church off of celebrating the “national calendar” (Mother’s Day sermons anyone? Sanctuary fireworks on the 4th? National day/week of prayer? Right-to-life Sunday?) is to get it back to celebrating the church calendar.

    Preach it brother, preach it! And get those flags out of here!

  18. Nice blog! Lots of good comments by ‘real people’. Not a bunch of self-righteous types who’s feet don’t touch the ground.


  19. RubeRad says:

    I’m just wondering at the irony of being “offended as Christians”

    That reminds me; I disagree with the notion that we should be offended “when they say something against Jesus.” Jesus himself instructs us that we should expect to be hated, because he is hated, so offensive things said against Jesus I think should be taken in stride.

  20. Pooka says:

    And their own KJV Children’s Bibles, color pictures and felt-board nativity sets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s