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σκανδαλον Collage

November 4, 2006

“Skandalon” means, “that which causes sin, or stumbling, or trouble.” Skandalons (pardon the anglicized plural) abound, within and without. I even think they can be implanted in websites and leave “devil cookies” on the brain. I have to be very careful what I take in. I have a fragile mind. Abnormal seratonin uptake causes my brain to be easily overstimulated. I have a generous and candid nature, and I don’t mind your knowing this. Overstimulation can lead very rapidly to depression, migraines, and erratic temper and thinking. No excuses, just Neurochem 101.I do know that after perusing Richard Dawkins’s website and researching the man and his ideation for my previous post, I was overcome by a skandalon episode. I don’t attribute the onset to mere coincidence, nor do I excuse it by attributing it to Mr. Dawkins. I do find him revolting and I did have a seratonin crisis and migraine after I finished writing my article.This is why I will no longer write for money; no one can pay me enough to make myself sick.

Skandalon episodes are not our finest hours. In my case, I hang out in tombs, crying and cutting myself with stones. I see Jesus afar off. I wish I had the Gadarene’s sense to run and worship him. (Mark 5:5-6)

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

There is no comfort outside the Word of God. What we have to give one another, we have received. We have nothing of ourselves to give but our own sharp stones.God provides comfort but he afflicts us sore as well. It isn’t easy to think how much we deserve the afflictions and how little the comforts. I doubt these make anyone’s favorite verse list, but they are inscribed in my frequented tombs:

There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
Psalm 38:3-5

The despair of sin may lead to the sin of despair. But a way out is given.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Job knew all about the providence of suffering, but it didn’t always make him smile.

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
For he maketh sore and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
Job 5:17-18

So did Paul (or Pol).

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth….But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Hebrews 12:6,8

The ability to walk out of the tomb alive is not within ourselves.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith… Hebrews 1-2

Jesus placed us in this race and he will shepherd us to its finish. Nobody wins; his hobbled sheep all simply complete the course.

Receiving the end of your faith even the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:9

We do walk out of the tomb alive. That’s who we are, that’s what we’re called to do. We’re the people who follow the One who walked out of the tomb alive. More alive than we ever were before, because we are drawn out by

him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light… 1 Peter 2:9

According to John’s gospel, Jesus’ first words in the New Kingdom were,

Woman, why weepest thou? John 20:15

Why, indeed.

And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:4-5

True and faithful. We’re going to walk out of the tomb alive.

2 comments:

Ruben said…
I remember feeling drained after a book by E.P. Sanders –and then a friend loans me another book of his and I felt obligated to read it. Since one attempts to read fairly, judging a person’s argument within their presuppositions, as well as analyzing the presuppositions, it can be a very wearing process.
10:52 AM  
Mrs. B said…
John Robbins is a true genius at this–I’m reading his deconstruction of Ayn Rand. He can clear the argument and analyze the presuppositional errors and presumably stay healthy. I think sensitivity gets in the way of being a really competent analyst of pathogenic presuppositions.
1:17 PM  
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