In which there’s a controversial 1st century quote

by Craig on July 4, 2011

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I’ve said this study of daisies in the Bible can be risky.

Proof came yesterday.

If you’re new to this study of biblical daisies, in order for much of this to make sense – you really need to read this first. You’ll heart the daisies.

Anyway…

All it took yesterday to start the hub-bub, was one daisy tweet,
just this one quotation from a 1st Century Church Father…

What assurance do we have of entering heaven if we are not found to have righteous works? ♥✞ღ Clement of Rome, 90ish AD

Within minutes came debaters, and opposition, and correction…

the most polite example…

Christ is our assurance. He already did the work we must simply trust and obey.

I’m not Catholic – but I want to really understand about daisies and salvation. And I’ve found out that the whole idea of daisies being important for salvation is not something invented by the Catholic Church at a later date. It was there from the very start.

I’ve been counting just the daisies in the Bible. I think I might start sprinkling in some daisies from church history – especially early church history – those first 300 years or so, before it became the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Is that okay with you guys?

Here’s an example I heart,
from Clement of Rome,
ordained by the apostle Peter.
Clement is the guy from whom the offending tweet was re-tweeted.

And since I don’t heart the male centeredness of the language – I’ve replaced the exclusive “hims” with them – and “he’s” with “that person” etc…

Political correctness can get a little out of hand..

and this cartoon is a little – well – irreverent – so if it bothers even one person – please tell me and I’ll take it down.

But I think it’s cute…

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but I like “people” rather than “men”…

and “humanity” rather than “man”…

just sayin (◠‿◠)

anyway – even the women of the first century were sexists.

And now, Clement of Rome:

For not by eloquence or renown, by station and descent, or by beauty or strength, or by length of life, is the kingdom of heaven obtained; but it is obtained by the power of faith, when a person exhibits the good works of faith. For whosoever is truly righteous, their works testify concerning their faith, that they are truly a believer… [with] a faith that shines in good works.

For the beams of their light illumine the whole creation even now by good works, as those who are truly “the light of the world,” giving light to “those who sit in darkness, that they may arise and go forth from the darkness by the light of the good works for the respect and awe of God, “that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.”

It’s not Scripture…

but it is written by a man who learned the gospel from the Apostles themselves.

He was a first generation Christian.

As I said, I’m not Catholic.  I see only the Bible as inspired and infallible…

still I respect these early men of God…

who sat at the feet…

of the people who sat at the feet…

of Our Lord.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Hillcrest Cottage July 4, 2011 at 10:07 am

The very first verse I ever memorized as a new Christian was James 1:2-4, so this book has a special place in my heart. James… the book which is all about faith and works and how they relate to one another. I love this book!

The Clement quote reminds me of James 2:17,18:
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

Tricky stuff and WELL worth a friendly debate. I think Martin Luther himself had some problems with the book of James.

Thanks for helping us to consider these awesome truths!

Reply

Craig July 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I heart the book of James too – that’s why when I began Deep into Scripture I chose it to be the book that I would study deeply first. Except for excursions like this – which happened only because I came to James 2:17 and 18 – well – after this study of faith = daisies – and looking at all of the uses of of the word “works” in the New Testament – and now maybe some from the early church fathers – and maybe a little Old Testament work – it’ll be back to studying the book verse by verse – really deep. And Martin Luther? Not a fan of James – called his letter – a letter of straw. But I heart James – and I think Martin Luther was very, very wrong about that. Thank you for reading – thank you for your kind words – and how your words made me think. God bless and keep you.

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Debbie July 5, 2011 at 2:47 am

This is such good study stuff. I really appreciate how you are open to exploring whatever it takes to help us understand better. :) I read somewhere else today (sorry . . .I forget where!) and she was talking about faith and words too. I left there thinking about those works . . .they are really His work in us, transforming us. Not something we have to do. Just something that comes about because we are His.
God bless you as you study and share!

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Craig July 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

Debbie, it’s to help me understand better too – I’m no different from anybody. You know how it is – I just study – and then share – and then people share back with me and I learn even more. We all know collectively better than any one of us knows individually. I wish I had always understood that. Better late then never (◠‿◠) and the idea you have now placed in my head – that our good works – are actually His good works – through us – with us – because nothing good can be done without Him – so every good work is an act of Union with the Creator and Sustainer of all things. That’s a little bit of awesome. Well done! Thank you. God bless you!

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A. July 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Craig, late here but really enjoyed reading the quote! It was also very refreshing to read it in neutral gender! Thank you for that, too!

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Craig July 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I really heart those very early church “fathers” – as I said – the ones who sat at the feet of the ones who sat at the feet of Jesus. And I’m with you – I’m not big on political correctness, but everything that this men’s club wrote about back then was all he, and him, and man, and men – and who knows? They may just have been sexist enough to really only mean the male gender! But I like the neutral gender too. God bless you A.

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