Aloha Friday Message – September 24 – A Challenging Aloha Friday

1039AFC092410

A blessed and wonderful Aloha Friday to you, Beloved! Today’s Bible verse is Romans 10:17.

NIV: Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

NAB: Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.

KJV: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

GWT: So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.

NLT: So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

DBY: So faith then is by a report, but the report by God’s word.

“Oh, my! The poor old man has finally gone wacko! SIX different translations? WOW!!” Yes, I am CAZY, about this passage that is.

Well, for the translation-curious, here are the correct titles for the translations above:
• NIV = New International Version © 1984 Biblica, 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921 US
• NAB = New American Bible, November 11, 2002 Copyright United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194
• KJV = (Authorized) King James Version – Public Domain
• GWT = GOD’S WORD to the Nations, © 1995 PO Box 400 Orange Park Florida USA 32067-0400
• NLT = New Living Translation © 2007 Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
• DBY = Darby Bible Translation – Public Domain

ALL EXERPTS FROM THE ONLINE PARALLEL BIBLE http://bible.cc/, a service of BIBLOS, http://biblos.com. Folks, this is an amazing source for Bible Students. I can literally spend hours there! Please, check it out.

Ok, ok, so why all six? Mostly just to look at how many different ways there are to say the same thing, and to show you how and why this verse is linked to Isaiah 53:1 ” Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (KJV & DBY).

To many people in today’s world, the message, the life, the reality of Jesus is just another factoid, a myth, or just unimportant. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.” But, it is True with a capital T true. And it does matter whether or not that Truth is heard. I do not want to step off here into speculations about “what if some family in the most remote village in some primitive country never hears The Word? Can they be saved?” For such derivative speculations I refer you to the Author of Life. He alone knows how all that works, and I am not about to mess with His plans. BUT it does matter for you, your friends and/or loved ones, as well as everyone who has heard The Word and rejected it as passé, or too incredible, or just not worth the time to pay attention.

“Oh, I believe there is a ‘Supreme Being’ and there is an ‘Intelligent Design,’ but as for all the rest of it, it doesn’t make sense.”

(Here’s something similar to what you’ve seen in previous messages) “Organized Religion is just not my thing. I don’t need to be in some fancy building with a bunch of other hypocrites pretending to converse with someone or something I don’t understand and can’t relate to.” I get that a lot from my friends and family who are “Gen-Y through Millenials.” (see http://www.suite101.com/content/veterans-baby-boomers-gen-x-gen-y-and-gen-z-a185353 for some insights to that) Even many of us Boomers and our Gen-X (a/k/a “latchkey”) kids are remarkably indifferent to any form of religion or religiosity. “They are all the same, they all contain the same central truths, the same central philosophies based on equitable treatment of others, and none of them is particularly distinct from all the rest.”

Ah, but there is one supremely different distinction this argument overlooks. The bulk of non-Christian religions are based on philosophical principles or speculations. Christianity is based not in speculation or philosophical principles, but in revelation, and is founded in the name of a Person. It is the Person of Christ that distinguishes Christianity form all other “belief systems.” It is Christ who is acknowledge and worshipped as Deity. This is not the case for other of the World’s Great Religions. Philosophy is not the beginning point of Christian theology; the starting point is the revelation of God through the Incarnation. It is precisely that concept that gives many cause to pause and to say, “Yeah, right. That sounds pretty speculative and philosophical to me. I mean I’ve read the books by guys like Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers. Even Vishnu and Davaki had a “miraculous conception.” It’s all mythology. IF there is a god, or several gods, he-she-it-they all come from the same collective imagination. As Jean Jacques Rousseau quipped ‘God created man in his own image. And man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.’” And so the position held by many is that Christianity is just another system of mythology that arose out of Judaism which might be rooted in Zoroastrianism, which … how far back do you want to go?

Here’s my point: None of that matters. What matters is “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be 4 through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; 5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” It is The Word, the Logos as Christ, which makes the difference. He is the difference. To my Christian friends, that makes sense. For those of you reading this who do not profess to be Christian, I thank you for reading this far, and ask you to stay with it just a bit longer.

The letters Paul wrote to his protégé, Timothy, have some real gems about living as a servant of the Lord. Here are a couple of those (with my added emphasis):

1 Timothy 4:1-9 1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions 2 through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences. 3 They forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the invocation of God in prayer. 6 If you will give these instructions to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching you have followed. 7 Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion, 8 for, while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future. 9 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance.

2 Timothy 3:13 But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. 14 But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, 15 and that from infancy you have known (the) sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

In the end, then, unless you hear The Word, you will not know what has been reported to you about your salvation. Must you enter a building with a crowd of other people and collectively attempt to listen to Scripture. My heart tells me no. My heart tells me God will call you to Him in a thousand ways, and one or more of those may have something to do with “religion.” Most of them, though, will be calls to your decency, your moral compass, your faith in humanity, and all of those things originate in Christ through whom all things were made and through whom all of us are called to salvation. No one gets the call without Him. No one gets the benefit of His salvational Grace without Him giving it to him or her. Anyone who accepts that Grace shares in His liberation from condemnation. Having heard, accepted, and acted on the Word can and do enter into the Joy of the Kingdom. Those who have heard but rejected The Word diminish and perhaps discard any share in that Grace.

Here, in closing, I challenge you to hear, accept, and act on The Word. The first challenge is, “Do you know some one or some place where The Word is unheard? Help pump up the volume by delivering it. Do it contemplatively through fervent prayer or actively through fervent evangelization.” The second challenge is this: “Do you know someone that has heard the Word of Christ but rejected the Grace of Faith? Evangelize them. Give him or her the reward, the gift, the Grace of the Good News. Share your Testimony.”

Christian Fundamentalist, Christian Evangelical, Orthodox Christian, Catholic, Protestant, Universalist, Mormon, or even just “Religion-Curious,” whatever your particular persuasion, you have been called to hear, and by hearing you are called to faith, and by faith you are called to accept the Gift of Love in Christ Jesus. Did you know you can be the voice through which The Word is heard? Last week we read, “Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.” Beloved, consider making your life an audio-book as well as a pop-up action book. Whatever your calling in Christ, honor the Giver by accepting – and sharing – the Gift of The Living Word.

Do you have a child, a parent, a friend, a relative, a neighbor, or an acquaintance that needs to hear the Word for the first time, or hear it again? Do it now. Both of you might not have another chance later.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved

In your prayers:
• Pray for those who reach and preach as well as for those who draw near to hear.
• Pray for those who turn a deaf ear.
• Pray for all the suffering souls whose ears are filled with the sounds of famine, war, terror, prejudice, pestilence, mockery, and abuse.
• Pray for all those souls who afflict such things as these on others.
• Pray for the people dying everywhere that they will find Peace and Mercy at the end of their days
• Ray for those who suffer with chronic illness that they will know the sustaining love of God, family, friends, and caregivers in every moment of their lives.
• Pray for
o NA (health and housing), BA (peace and comfort), M&R’s son (tranquility and hope), JC (health and healing), JE (quick recovery from umpteenth surgery), BW (endurance and protection as she waits for medical attention), unbelievers (to find true faith and absolute joy), persons who have “lost their faith” for any reason (help them find ways to forgive and be forgiven), for those whose vocation in life is evangelization for Christ (pray that whatever their background or theology, Christ is still the only center of the Message), our brothers and sisters of other faiths (that they will come to know the Word and the faith that sustains them – even if known only to God – is the faith that comes from the Word), for one another (that everyone who prays for us, everyone who asks for our prayers, and anyone who needs our prayers will rest in the promises of The Word).
• Pray for Peace as though the future depends on it.
• Pray for the children who are denied the opportunity to hear about Jesus for whatever reason, but especially for those children whose parents have closed their ears to The Word.

With great love in my heart for each of you, I pray with Paul, “Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Type answer *

Pages Email Newsletter Categories Archives Connect