The Illusion of Success

In the midst of life we see a group of successful Christians.  Within that group there are two subgroups if you will.  One group is changing the world by selling their souls to the God of all the universe.  This group marches forward not worrying about protecting any earthly thing.  This group goes forward knowing that they may never achieve fortune or fame.  On the other hand, they may well achieve fortune and fame, but it is not guaranteed.  Nor is it proof that they are doing what God would have them do.  There are after all many wicked men who achieve fortune and fame.  They may never see the fruits of their labors.  They may never find the reward of heaven waiting for them on earth.  That is no relevant however.  Hebrews refers to these saints as those of whom the world was not worthy.  (Hebrews 11.38.)  They live above the world.  Every breath they breathe is a breath right out of the atmosphere of heaven.  When the world is going to hell in a hand basket they are offering to hold the basket’s handle on the outside chance that they might steal a soul or two from the basket while the owner is not looking.  They have such a vision of heaven that they would swap places with anyone on the highway to hell.  Their lives are meaningless outside the parameters of the Gospel.  Jesus defines who they are and what their desires look like.  They do not hide behind masks.  They do not hide behind dreams.  They do not hide behind sacred tradition.  They hide behind the mighty hand of God—nothing more.  Let me give you the full scripture version of these people. 

And what more shall I say?  I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.  Women received back their dead, raised to life again.  Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.  Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.  They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.  They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreatedBthe world was not worthy of them.  They wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and holes in the ground.  These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.  (Hebrews 11.32-40.)


You do not have to have someone point out who these particular Christians are.  You can smell them—long before you see them you can smell them.  You might never see them on the television, but you certainly see the effects of their work in the better world that follows them around.


9 Responses to “The Illusion of Success”

  1. 1 theone 14 May 2008 at 1:14 am

    Good God! I always said there was an awful smell to Christians. I can smell you from here.

  2. 2 Andy 14 May 2008 at 1:19 am

    If Al Gore comes to a sudden stop, your face will go through his colon! That isn’t the smell of a Christian, it is either your nose residue or “global warming.”

  3. 3 theone 14 May 2008 at 1:23 am

    Another copulative response from impotent religious people

  4. 4 theone 14 May 2008 at 1:27 am

    Tell me Andy, how would you like to have a spelling bee? I’m your huckleberry you consigning prude.

  5. 5 Andy 14 May 2008 at 1:30 am

    I did think about it, and copulated the angles. Your face, Al’s behind. Proximity, mass, velocity, momentum, and inertia. Trust me when I say if he stops, there’s a collision. Nose residue…you think that was just pulled out of thin air??? C’mon, this isn’t your first rodeo.

    I think “theone” is too ambitious. Perhaps “the.25” to account for the negative effects of cranial rectosis?

    Seriously, who said I was a Christian? If I loved a pri** like you, would I say these things?

    In whoever,


  6. 6 theone 14 May 2008 at 2:32 am

    I’m tired you pretentious unjustified homeboy. Go play with your Skynard tapes, and yourself as well. I will leave you with this, and with Bubba.

    It’s people like you who, with no further vision for the betterment of humanity that consume all the natural resources just like the aliens of Independence Day. Thats a movie “shake and bake boy”, for your information.

    You are the reason gas is at $4.00 a gallon. Doesn’t your Bible teach against lasciviousness?

  7. 7 Andy 14 May 2008 at 2:40 am

    As a matter of fact it does, and I am surprised you know how to spell it. Gas prices, however, are not a reflection of lasciviousness; they are a simple function of the economic principle called “supply and demand.” At $ 4.00/gallon, gas is still cheap in America. The Europeans have been paying much, much more for much, much longer. Stop whining and grease up your bicycle, Q.

    Also, thanks for the judgmentalism; I am used to it from Christians, but not from Pagans. Usually they actually know a little about the ones whom they deride. That’s in the Bible, too.

    Pity, Q.


  8. 8 theone 14 May 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Sounds like you had an undeveloped childhood. pity…pity…pity… So its in the Bible huh? Where would you poi gently me too? Seeings how you obviously desire to ground us in your theology of simplification and (hold on Bubba’s calling for you) low IQ.

  9. 9 Andy 15 May 2008 at 12:35 am

    Awwww, now you have to go and get personal. Tsk, tsk, Q.

    I have no desire to ground you in my Theology, simply to have an honest dialogue on the issues. Besides, the principles are not simple–there are some inherent complexities; particularly with redemption, justification, and sanctification–AND how those concepts are walked out by imperfect people in the modern world. Now, if you want to stop slinging stones and get to it, why don’t you post something substantive that can be engaged on an intellectual level?

    Let’s stop the rhetoric and get to something worthwhile. Waddya say?


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