We received the following mass e-mail:
THIS IS A POWERFUL MESSAGE. PLEASE READ ALL OF IT. I AM PASSING IT ON BECAUSE I AM CERTAINLY NOT ASHAMED TO DO SO
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke, it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking………….
A young lady named Sally, relates an experience she had in a seminary class, given by her teacher, Dr. Smith. She says that Dr. Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons.
One particular day, Sally walked into the seminary and knew they were in for a fun day.
On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. Dr. Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at the person’s picture.
Sally’s friend drew a picture of who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of a former friend, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on the face. Sally was pleased with the overall effect she had achieved.
The class lined up and began throwing darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Dr. Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats. As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn’t have a chance to throw any darts at her target. Dr. Smith began removing the target from the wall.
Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced.
Dr. Smith said only these words.. “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40.
No other words were necessary; the tears filled eyes of the students focused only on the picture of Christ.
This is an easy test; you score 100 or zero. It’s your choice.
If you aren’t ashamed to do this, please follow the directions.
Jesus said, “If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you, before My Father.”
Not ashamed pass this on.
Ashamed . . . delete it.
Isn’t it funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.
Isn’t it funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
Isn’t it funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not have to believe, think, say, or do anything the Bible says.. Or is it scary?
Isn’t it funny how someone can say “I believe in God” but still follow Satan (who, by the way, also “believes” in God ). Isn’t it funny how you can send a thousand jokes through e-mail and! they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Isn’t it funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of Jesus is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Isn’t it funny how someone can be so fired up for Christ on Sunday, but be an invisible Christian the rest of the week.
Are you laughing?
Isn’t it funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them.
Isn’t it funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.
Will YOU pass this on? I Did!
I suspect “The Dart Test” story may be fiction, but it does not matter. I have several things to say about it.
The setting is a seminary. A seminary, presumably, is an institution of formal training and preparation for “the ministry.” One could assume that those who attend are there because they have the call of God on their lives to dedicate their lives unselfishly and unreservedly to preach the gospel and to shepherd His sheep. Why would the teacher have the occasion or necessity to confront such people on such blatant hatred and bitterness, that they would be not only willing but also eager to publicly display it towards fellow mankind? The story says that the class “lined up” for the dart throwing, and that there was not sufficient time for all to take their turns!
The truth, however, is that seminaries are filled with just such people, and seminaries, no matter of what ilk, are presuming to educate and train people for ministry unto God, when they really have no business doing so, not knowing what they are doing, and more importantly, not being called by God at that time to do so. Seminaries, Bible schools, and all formal “theological” training centers are works of men, almost invariably unregenerate, who are religious but not real, who are intent on building their own kingdoms rather than God’s.
One need only review the Scriptures to find that God used no formal “theological” institutions for training those truly called of Him for ministry. Let all things be established by two or three witnesses. I will give you three:
Think of John the Immerser who, though of the priestly lineage of Levi, was in the wilderness until the Word of the Lord came to him.
Consider also the apostle Paul, who had training for “ministry” in the finer institutions of his day, having studied under famed Gamaliel, in the prominent Pharisee denomination or sect. When the Lord called him to the ministry, in his case, as an apostle, Paul had this to say about his “seminary training”:
“I am truly a man, a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the exactness of the Law of the fathers, being a zealous one of God, as you all are today” (Acts 22:3).
“For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh; though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I more. I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death; if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:3-11).
He counted it all (formal, religious education) as dung.
For our third witness, consider none other than the Lord Himself in His earthly ministry, Who was the Pattern Son, and Who was despised because He “had not learned letters,” that is, He was not trained in any formal institution for ministry. Indeed, formal institutions were foreign to Him and He to them. They persecuted Him.
Of His disciples, it was not said that they attended some particular seminary and received their diplomas, degrees or doctorates, and thereby authority to be ministers of God, but what does it say? Here it is:
“But seeing the boldness of Peter and John, and perceiving that they were unlearned and uneducated men, they marveled. And they recognized them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
The reality has not changed. God did things no differently throughout all of history, and does no differently today.
The other point I care to address is the one of the Lord’s brethren. Just who are they? Jesus told us plainly who they are. They are not just anyone, as this story suggests, and as many erroneously suppose and negligently teach to others. Here are the Lord’s own words as to who are His brethren:
“Then one said to Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers stand outside, desiring to speak with You. And He answered and said to him who told Him, Who is My mother? And who are My brothers? And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, Behold, My mother and My brothers! For whoever shall do the will of My Father in Heaven, the same is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:47-50).
Do all do His will? No? The Bible is clear on that point as well. If not, then not all are His brethren, least or otherwise, are they?
The beloved apostle John, who also was not trained in seminary for ministry, had this to say (not directly, but in effect) about those who are His brethren:
“But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name, who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God” (John 1:12-13).
There are many stories like this one circulating, appealing to the emotions, and they may seem to have a worthwhile if not powerful message. However, under enlightened examination, they are often full of significant misconceptions and errors, which only tend to deceive the unwary public.
As for us personally, Bob, you should know that we can deny the Lord in many ways every day, and we will not have a clever teacher in a seminary class to point it out to us, but we will have, if God is willing and merciful, somebody, somewhere, somehow, to do so. We have been called of God to publish The Issues of Life, words of reality, which you have found to be unpalatable. Your “Isn’t It Funny?” portion begins by asking, “Isn’t it funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.” Consider if, in an unknown way to you, you have not, in effect, thrown your darts at me in that you have refused the Word of God, the Truth, to you, and in thus doing, you have thrown them at Him. If you have not thrown darts, at least you have decided to reject Him. Do you know what your score is?
Are you going to heaven, Bob? One can only know that if he has received the down payment, the “earnest of his inheritance,” as the Bible puts it. How can you expect to get there while ignoring the Bible? I know your argument will be that it is not the Bible or its truths, but our, or my, approach that you reject, but how do you know God has not sent us to speak as we speak? How do you know you are not the one in error? On what grounds do you make your judgment? Try reading The True Marks of a Cult and tell me if you “believe, think, say or do what the Bible says,” or are you following Satan? For example, the second commandment rejects images of any kind (in the original Hebrew and the nonCatholic versions…the RCC had to do damage control and change the Law of God to suit their purposes), yet you promote the validity of a picture of Jesus. How do you expect to win God’s praise when you please men? That is what John wrote of some:
“Still, however, even out of the rulers, many did believe on Him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God” (John 12:42-43).
Jesus asked those who did similarly, “Do you do well to set aside the commandment of God, so that you may keep your own tradition?” (Mark 7:9)
This circular goes on to say, “Isn’t it funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them.“
We have many letters on our list to send, but I would certainly like to send this to all on our list, accompanied, of course, with the reply.
“Isn’t It Funny?” concludes with, “Isn’t it funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.“
Do you think that we gain the world, or its favor, by sending the things we write? Do you think we do not experience the disapproval of others in tangible ways? Are we masochists, sadists, fools, liars, or are we genuine lovers of God?
His unworthy servant, but His nevertheless,
We receive well-meaning mass circulated stories meant to inspire, but which, through sheer artificiality, misplaced affections, mistaken notions, and contrived meanings, provide us, and now you, with abundant material for other valuable lessons not intended.
Is God dependent on man’s goodness to get His message and saving power to those He desires to receive it? Meet two fictional characters who think so. Their story is intended to inspire you to perform good deeds, but the real tale is a tragedy of unbelief and misplaced confidence.
People use various motivational tools to convince and lead others into works of various kinds. Sappy stories with spiritual elements are a choice tool of the religious to get people to join them in a “witness for God.” This kind of witnessing has nothing at all to do with God. In this example we expose these corrupt machinations of men and declare the truth of God that makes free.