July 29-30, 2006, weekend
Aug. 1, 2006

July 31, 2006


So after church yesterday, my bride and I stopped by her favorite coffee shop for a light lunch, and I picked up the Sunday New York Times and read this piece on the cover. It's about an evangelical pastor of a Minnesota megachurch who thinks maybe conservative Christians have tied themselves too closely to the Republican Party. See what you think.

* * *


July has left a lot to be desired, what with global bad news, heat galore and on and on.


So because it's my youngest sister's birthday, let's end the month on a lighter note with some faith-based jokes. As regular readers of this blog know, many of them come from Beliefnet.com, while others come from readers and other strange sources.

So take a laugh break today. If you don't find these funny, send me some you think are.

* * *

1. Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned at Sunday school.

"Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

"When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely.

"Then he used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved."

"Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked.

"Well, no. But if I told it the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it!"

* * *
2. Jack was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands.

The preacher grabbed Jack by the hand and pulled him aside. The pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!" Jack replied, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."

Pastor questioned, "How come I almost never see you except at Christmas and Easter?"

Jack whispered back, "I'm in the secret service."

* * *
3. After a long illness, a woman died and arrived at the Gates of Heaven.

While she was waiting for Saint Peter to greet her, she peeked through the gates. She saw a beautiful banquet table. Sitting all around were her parents and all the other people she had loved and who had died before her.

They saw her and began calling greetings to her. "Hello!" "How are you? We've been waiting for you!" "Good to see you!"

When Saint Peter came by, the woman said to him, "This is such a wonderful place! How do I get in?"

"You have to spell a word," Saint Peter told her.

"Which word?" the woman asked. "Love."

The woman correctly spelled love, and Saint Peter welcomed her into heaven.

About six months later, Saint Peter came to the woman and asked her to watch the Gates of Heaven for him that day.

While the woman was guarding the Gates of Heaven, her husband arrived.

"I'm surprised to see you," the woman said. "How have you been?"

"Oh, I've been doing pretty well since you died," her husband told her. "I married the beautiful young nurse who took care of you while you were ill. And then I won the lottery. I sold the little house you and I lived in and bought a big mansion. And my wife and I traveled all around the world. We were on vacation and I went water skiing today. I fell, the ski hit my head, and here I am. How do I get in?"

"You have to spell a word," the woman told him.

"Which word?" her husband asked."


* * *

4. A pastor, known for his lengthy sermons, noticed a man get up and leave during the middle of his message. The man returned just before the conclusion of the service.

Afterward the pastor asked the man where he had gone. "I went to get a haircut," was the reply.

"But," said the pastor, "why didn't you do that before the service started?"

"Because," the gentleman said, "I didn't need one then."
* * *

5. A faith healer asked Moshe how his family was getting along. "They're all fine," Moshe said, "Except my uncle. He's very sick."

"Your uncle is not sick," the faith healer said. "He THINKS he's sick."

Two weeks later, the faith healer ran into Moshe on the street. "How is your uncle getting along?" he asked.

Moshe shrugged, "He THINKS he's dead."

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.


Just Thinking

We have an administration that purposely deceived us in making a case for a war with Iraq. The biggest lie they told us that Saddam Hussein was trying to become nuclear. The White house was warned by our own American intelligence authorities that this was not credible, but they used it anyway. They kept claiming a link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein, even claiming to have "bulletproof" evidence, only to later admit they'd seen such evidence of a link.

I've heard some people say that others wouldn't be tough on terrorism. Yeah, and where is Osama Bin Laden? He's the terrorist, and Bush does nothing there. First he's wanted "Dead or Alive," but later Bush doesn't care. Still later, he claims he never said he wasn't concerned. Liar.

If you don't believe all of this, then check the postings on yesterday's blog and check it all out for yourself. See what you think. There's more, too.

If the Church keeps aligning itself with Republicans, then it will held accountable, too. This is no better than the Churches that take pedophile priests and move them around into unsuspecting regions. We have to deal with our pretend brother leaders.

Finally, what was the REAL reason for this war? We better start worrying about what their REAL agenda may be. There are no WMD's, no nukes, no al-Qaida links: this scratches off everything on their original case for war!

Just Thinking


"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." — 9/13/01

"I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'" —9/17/01

"...Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he's maybe in control of a cave. He's on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we're going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that's what's happening. He's on the run, if he's running at all. So we don't know whether he's in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open -- we just don't know...."—Crawford TX, 12/28/01

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."—3/13/02

"I am truly not that concerned about him."—3/13/02

"I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."—3/13/02

"Uhh—Gosh, I —don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those, uhh, exaggerations." — Tempe, AZ, 10/13/2004

Just Thinking


Here's a fun little snippet for your consideration concerning Donald Rumsfeld and his lies to associate Al Qaida with Saddam. You know, there's nothing lower than a man who lies to start a war; so far as I am concerned that's treason:

On Sept. 27, 2002, at a Chamber of Commerce lunch in Atlanta, Rumsfeld asserted that the Bush administration had "bulletproof" evidence linking Saddam and al-Qaida, the organization that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

But on Oct 4, 2004, Rumsfeld revised his assertion, telling the Council of Foreign Relations in New York: "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two."

Just Thinking


Here's more information if you don't think it was Bush behind all of these lies and deceptions.

Back in April 2006, Paul R. Pillar, the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005 published an article in the journal Foreign Affairs, a highly respected journal.

In the article Pillar said that the Bush administration "used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made. It went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq." Though Pillar himself was responsible for coordinating intelligence assessments on Iraq, "the first request I received from any administration policymaker for any such assessment was not until a year into the war."

Pillar aso cited President Bush's claim, made in his 2003 State of the Union address, that Iraq was purchasing uranium ore from an African country. Pillar said, "U.S. intelligence analysts had questioned the credibility of the report making this claim, had kept it out of their own unclassified products, and had advised the White House not to use it publicly."

"But the administration put the claim into the speech anyway, referring to it as information from British sources in order to make the point without explicitly vouching for the intelligence."

Bearing false witness against a man is serious business. Eye-for-an-eye justice of God's says that any man who would do that is deserving of the very thing that he wanted as punishment for the other person. That's from the Old Testament, but I'm told that's still valid.

Now, of course, we know that evidence was false. And the person who exposed that fact, Ambassador Wilson, mysteriously had his wife's identity as a CIA agent made public.

It's time to look at character, not mere words, "I am a Christian." The antichrist will come that way, too. He will even claim to BE Christ.

Kansas Bob

Thanks for the link Bill. I particularly liked this:

“When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,” Mr. Boyd preached. “When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.”

Rodney King

John 8
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

11 "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

SC in KC

I never set out, as a conservative Christian, to align myself with the Republican party, nor did I set out, as a Republican, to align myself with Christ. It seems, however, that each is consistent with the other. The policies and platforms of the Republican party are, by and large, consistent with my ideological and theological views. While individual politicians might not do a perfect job of representing me, the GOP platform comes closer than any other party platform on election day.

While I cannot agree that there are no ties between Al Quaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime (ties have been documented), or that there are no WMD capabilities (WMD stockpiles were found and documented before, during, and since the main ground offensive), I certainly do agree that the US must take care when relying on foreign intelligence, particularly when allegations of nuclear aspirations are at stake. Of course, considering the dynamic nature of military campaigns, and the sensitive nature of intelligence gathering and distribution, we may yet discover that, like WMDs and Al Quaeda ties, allegations of Iraq's nuclear aspirations were true.

In any regard, I hope that you will join me in praying for the safety of our soldiers and sailors, and for wisdom and guidance for our nation's leaders. They need all the help they can get in this troubled world, and our prayers count.

SC in KC

Please add to the above your prayers for all who are displaced and traumatized by the awful hell of war. I regret that I left them out of the above post, but they are never far from my mind.


Re: religion and politics

There almost seems to be a cyclical nature to religious groups getting involved in politics. The last time it happened on a large scale was in the early 20th century. That ended with the Scopes Monkey Trial and a move toward a secular approach.

Interestingly, some of the religious leaders most involved in modern politics didn't start out that way. Take, for example, Jerry Falwell (from an article in Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report magazine from last year):

At the height of the civil rights movement, in 1965, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, an ambitious young minister in Lynchburg, Va., gave a sermon called "Ministers and Marches."

Falwell laid into Christian leaders who were actively supporting civil rights, reminding them of a Bible verse that fundamentalists often invoked as evidence that God did not want them to participate in politics: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh" (II Corinthians 10:13).

Fourteen years later, Falwell co-founded the Moral Majority, the first national effort to stimulate fundamentalist political participation and elect candidates who would, in the words of co-founder Paul Weyrich, "Christianize America."

What explained this apparent sea change? While fundamentalist Christians had long stayed out of electoral politics, Falwell and many others were "extremely unhappy with the 'rights' movements that had sprung up in the '50s and '60s," says Didi Herman, author of The Antigay Agenda.

"First black people, then women, now gay people? The frustration had been mounting. Their actions were catching up with their view."

Falwell was plain enough about his views; in 1964, he told a local paper that the Civil Rights Act had been misnamed: "It should be considered civil wrongs rather than civil rights." His "Old Time Gospel Hour" TV program hosted prominent segregationists like Govs. Lester Maddox of Georgia and George Wallace of Alabama.

But Falwell, like other fundamentalists, worried about "tainting" his religious message by mixing it with politics.


Just Thinking

That's fundamentalism for you. Take everything literally so you can park your brain at the door and follow little stupid rules. It's certainly an easier case to make than the right one, the one on the side of justice, truth, love.

It's just like people who will excuse a president who purposely uses information that our own intelligence agencies tell him is not credible and probably false, as a MAJOR point in going to war. But hey, they hate the people I hate and, therefore, I support them. And I can turn a blind eye to their sins, just not to the sins of those I hate.

Fundamentalism is the opposite of love. And not loving is the worst kind of sin. Jesus commanded people to love, but many of the fundamentalists don't know a decent definition of love!! They think that love would allow the holacaust!! But some people persist in this sin, unrepentant, to the point of their own damnation. And I just HAVE to tell them that, because I love them so much.


Just Thinking -

Funny you should contrast fundamentalism and love. Did you ever read Bruce Bauer's (I think that's his name) book Stealing Jesus? The premise of that book is that there are two branches of Christianity - the Church of Law and the Church of Love.

The former tends to take an Old Testament, legalistic approach to belief while the latter puts its emphasis primarily on the teachings of Jesus, without the legalistic approach of the Old Testament or the Apostle Paul.

All this reminds me of something I once read that claimed there are basically one two religions in the world - tribalism and universalism. While I scoffed at the idea at the time, I can see both elements at work within Christianity.

Just Thinking

Paul's involves getting away from just blind focus on the law because no one can be justified in that way. It does not excuse sin, and people not familiar with Paul's writings know that. But it does not allow the loveless approach of rules and regulations that some want to persist in either.

I refuse to let the fundamentalists take away the real fundamentals of Christianity. Theirs is the polluting yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the spirit of the antichrist that is already in this world.

Righteousness Through Faith
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Just Thinking

From the article Bill Posted
In his six sermons, Mr. Boyd laid out a broad argument that the role of Christians was not to seek “power over” others — by controlling governments, passing legislation or fighting wars. Christians should instead seek to have “power under” others — “winning people’s hearts” by sacrificing for those in need, as Jesus did, Mr. Boyd said.

“America wasn’t founded as a theocracy,” he said. “America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn’t bloody and barbaric. That’s why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state.

“I am sorry to tell you,” he continued, “that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ.”

SC in KC

"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—
'He will rule them with an iron scepter;
he will dash them to pieces like pottery'— just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Revelation 2:18-29

"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
Revelation 22:12-16

Just Thinking

Apparently you are still confused about what you are being told. RULES ARE NOT ENOUGH!! LOVE IS REQUIRED, TOO!! I AM NOT CONDONING SIN, INCLUDING LOVELESSNESS.

Here's something for you in Revelations about a Church that no longer cares about outsiders. It has lost its first love (agape), even though it hates sin and it has not allowed compromise, God is still going to remove its lampstand unless it returns to loving others.

You see, churches like that perish because they don't want sinners in them. They just want their little club of frozen chosen, a museum of saints. Churches like this just die out, slowly, little by little as their lampstand burns out because it does not care about anyone outside. Old church, old churchy people, old ways, death.

Rev 2:1-7
To the church in Ephesus
1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Just Thinking

Romans 2
1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

Dave Miller

Hi, Kansas Bob. You wrote:

"Thanks for the link Bill. I particularly liked this:
'When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,' Mr. Boyd preached. 'When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.'"

Your recommendation prompted me to click on the link. It was really worthwhile! And yep, I completely agree with the points you highlighted. Luther described these two alternatives as "the theology of glory" vs. "the theology of the cross." He cast his support with the latter. (Some would say he re-presented the latter.) He believed the Roman Church of his day represented the former. And he reminded the hierarchy of his day of Jesus' words: "My kingdom is not of this world."

No denomination has a lock on this distinction. But we are reminded of it again and again as the church moves through history. Mr. Boyd placed it before us again very effectively here.


just thinking,

After today, maybe you should change your pen name to "just ranting", or "just venting", or just being told what to think, because your perspective indicates "just that".

Republican politicians are, after all politicians. The overall platform for the Republican party has always been for smaller government, more freedom for our free enterprise system to work, and strong national defense. The Democratic platform has historically leaned toward socialistic ideals. Making the public dependent on government insures big government. Taking from the rich to redistribute to the poor is to kill the initiative of the common citizen. That is not to say that people don't need help from time to time, but charity should not be legislated. America, even with all it's tax burden, is still the most charitible country in the world.

The world hates America. It envys our freedom and affluence. People invade our borders in droves to get in. We have been attacked around the world, and we have been attacked on our home soil, we are at war. You can bury your head in the sand if you want, but fascism has reared it's ugly head, and it's name is Islam. The people of Germany were in denial until Hitler had total control. If you value your freedom at all, you will wake up to what is going on around you.

The push toward globalism is evil, we must maintain our national identity, our heritage, and our principles or we will lose them all.

SC in KC

Just Thinking...

No, rules are not enough. Yes, love is required. We agree on that, wholeheartedly.

However, there is a fine line between the truth that "rules are not enough", and the apostasy that "rules don't matter" or "rules don't apply". Obviously, Christ Himself applied these rules in the very letters He commissioned to the churches at Thyatira and Ephesus. He wrote these very rules with the hands of Moses, Paul, and all the other penmen of Scripture. Rules do, in fact, matter a great deal.

I think the step that takes us over that line from truth to apostasy is taken when we love man more than God. If we truly love God first, then we don't seek reasons for His commandments to not apply to us. We don't look for loopholes, or "interpret" His Scripture to mean the exact opposite of what it says.

Rather, we seek ways in which it applies to us. Nobody wants to have their children stoned, as in Deuteronomy 21. Nobody wants to sprinkle water mixed with the blood of a dove and cedar wood across the walls of their house with a stalk of hyssop to purify from mildew. Nobody wants to own slaves, nor enforce the Biblical guidelines setting forth how slaves should behave.

But when you truly love God first, it becomes easy to see that WE are the rebellious son that deserves to be stoned. WE are the house polluted with a corrupting mildew. WE are the slaves, to sin and to an inflated sense of self-worth. The law was not written to save us. It was written to punctuate the point that NONE are righteous, that ALL are deserving of death. Only when we acknowledge that fact can Christ's atoning sacrifice have meaning. Only then is the cross an expression of love.

Jesus' love took years to express. His teaching clarified and fulfilled the law that applies to all of us. His sacrifice atoned for our inability to obey that law, but did not render that law moot.

What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.
What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:
"So that you may be proved right when you speak
and prevail when you judge."
Romans 3:1-4

Just Thinking

SC in KC,

Your differences and mine are small.

True love of God is this: that we keep his commandments and that they are not irksome to us. It's not enough just to follow rules. If you don't want to follow the rules, for whatever reason, then that is not enough and you're not going to be changed. We could pass all of the laws in the world and attempt to enforce strict adherence to the law, but it would be of no benefit to those following the law if they didn't really have it in their heart to follow God.

If all that the God of Abraham represented was a collection of rules and the image of one waiting, like a traffic cop, ready to get me, then why would I want to spend eternity with that God? Quite frankly, I'd choose hell.

Fortunately, this is not who our Creator is. Our Creator cared enough about humans that Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, stepped down into His own creation to rescue us. He created the law as a school master so that we could understand what we had done, and that death was the penalty for our sin, and understand that there was no hope for us to come back of our own power. Innocent life was sacrificed endlessly; we would have to take that baby lamb to the priest to die for what we had done, and it was never enough, ever.

We had to understand the price that God Himself in the person of Jesus Christ was going to pay to redeem our souls from hell. The law was the school master, but Jesus Christ was the message long before the school master came. The law was not created and then Christ came to honor it. Christ came before that law! The law was created so that we would understand and know the depth of our sins, the death that we would cause, and to know that we are hopelessly condemned without Jesus Christ as the perfect sacrifice, the one that we would personally hang on the cross and crucify, because we couldn't bear to face our God.

That's where love of others comes in. When we truly love God, truly want to see His will carried out, then we will become willing and honored participants in His work and we will become desperate to make sure that the message of the cross is out there. Grace will not flow and cannot flow until we understand the depth of our sin. Grace does not require that we clean up our act, but only that the depths of our soul yearn and long and honestly seek to be in the presence of the Holy God, where there cannot be sin. I want to be in place where there is no more sin, no more death, no more suffering, no more pain. Nothing is worth standing in the way of that.

But we must come just as we are because there is no hope of changing on our own; we are slaves. Even the message that God despises sin is part of the good news, because when we pray to be delivered, then we pray according to His will and He answers! There is no other hope. Even if we are not who we wish to be, we will come just as we are and be declared righteous.

Hi, I'm a recovering sinaholic. Nice to meet you. I'll help you if you help me. That's the Church, the people who remember the body we broke and the blood that we spilled that made us holy. Lord Jesus, we remember.

Just Thinking

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Just Thinking - Thank you for this last post (12:52 am). It has really cleared up a few things for me. I have some questions now that I'd like to ask. Could you please e-mail me so that I can ask them "off-line"? Please click on my name to get my e-mail address. Thank you.

SC in KC

"The law was not created and then Christ came to honor it. Christ came before that law!"

Actually, the law was the written expression of God's purpose to Israel. Christ was the human expression. Both were "In the beginning". They are two perspectives on the same message, and you can't fully appreciate or understand one without the other.

That's why it is so critical to understand and accept the authority of the WHOLE of Scripture, not just the words in red. When you get right down to it, the entirety of Scripture should be the words in red, because it is ALL the divinely inspired Word of God, including those parts that make us uncomfortable or convict us.

"May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous,
and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant."
Psalm 119:74-76

SC in KC

I particularly like that part...

"...in faithfulness you have afflicted me."

SC in KC

"When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross."

I would offer that the above statement depends entirely on whose sword one puts one's faith in.

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
Matthew 10:34

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