#31 – Holy Violence


First of all I want to say the obvious: The Pieces are back (and hopefully with some more consistency than last semester… I looked back and I realized the last one I wrote was in the middle of September). So instead of trying to update you guys on what has gone on in the last 6 months, I will just say what is on the horizon for this semester: more triathlon training, more good times with the Bible study, Baylor vs. A&M in basketball, and in early February, Disciple Now back in Dallas! I could mention a few more things, but I’ll wait until it actually happens because a lot of it is subject to change. Now for the reason I never send out e-mails… it’s that second paragraph!! I have wanted to remove, but you guys prevented me last time I asked to get ride of it. After some serious writer’s bloc, I hope this semester doesn’t follow suit. One last note before we get to the meat of the e-mail: I’ve decided to stop titling these with a Sunday date because I never send these out on Sundays anymore. Thanks for still reading…

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). It is unsettling and even seems a little offensive, but Christ reminds us in verse 6 that “blessed is he that does not take offense at Me”. To those who grip the wholeness of this truth and are following through with actions, may you continue to preserve and intentionally train people to do the same. For the rest of us, who is this man of violence? Seized by a holy passion for God and people, the violent man battles long and hard to enter the kingdom of heaven. We are not allowed the option of tip-toeing up to the gates of heaven for we will surely not enter if we sit passively by waiting for them to open for us at our arrival. So how does this kind of man act? His prayers are full of violent supplications and his outward actions marked by the violence of sincerity and earnestness to serve. These men are not merely lights who shine truth, but an intense burning campfire emitting both light and the warmth of Christian community, compassion, and love. Why would such a man act this way? He knows that he has no right to the kingdom of God based on his own merit, and the only way for his soul to find refuge from evil and all its forms is through those eternal gates at whatever the price to his life. The real question is why more people this violent.

-Reese

*** This entire e-mail has been a very poor paraphrasing of Spurgeon’s sermon called “Holy Violence” and I hope you all will venture over to The Spurgeon Archive to read something of much better quality. Yes, it is long, but once you start reading it, you are hooked.***

Favorites (I wrote this like a week ago so some of it a little outdated):

Music: Ethan Durelle wins this week mostly because I saw them play last Friday in Houston, but a close second goes to Blindside, especially the really old super heavy Swedish metal tracks like “King of the Closet”

Book: Francis Schaeffer’s Trilogy (finished!!) and JI Packer’s Knowing God (starting soon)

Moment: (sorry this won’t make sense to 98% of you): I think everything that transpired over the last weekend especially Saturday and Sunday morning (two weeks ago before I came back to school). I guess it is fitting as college sophomore we revive what used to be our high school sophomore Saturday nights. By the way, Sunday morning I could barely contain my joy listening to you speak. But really the winner has got to be throwing darts with the Journey group for THREE HOURS at Fitzwilly’s. You guys make me laugh really hard.

Sports: The Aggies beating Texas in basketball!!!!! (too bad we lost to OU and Tech, but hey we at least won a Big 12 game this year!)