* History Of Christianity In America!



Professor Howdy said...

I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying
the really foolish thing that people often say
about Him [Jesus Christ]: "I'm ready to accept
Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't
accept His claim to be God."

That is the one thing we must not say. A man
who was merely a man and said the sort of
things Jesus said would not be a great moral
teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on a
level with a man who says he is a poached
egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell.

You must make your choice. Either this Man
was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman
or something worse ....

You can shut Him up for fool, you can spit
at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can
fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.
But let us not come up with any patronizing
nonsense about His being a great human
teacher. He has not left that option open
to us. He did not intend to.

-- From C.S. Lewis
(Author of The Chronicles of Narnia)


"Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider
well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ
which is eternal life (John 17:3)."

- - - The Laws and Statutes of Harvard College in 1643

"All scholars shall live religious, godly, and blameless lives according
to the rules of God's Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, the
fountain of light and truth; and constantly attend upon all the duties
of religion, both in public and secret."

- - - Two central requirements in Yale College 1745 charter


Muhammad or Jesus???

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(Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor')


Why The U.S.A. Is At War:

Click Here
Click Here

(Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor')



Click Here

This government site offers access to historic documents.
View the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.


'Thought & Humor'
- often polemical but
never tasteless/unrefined/uncouth/ribald.


Examining Our Laughter

“Laughter,” writes my colleague, Mark Eckel, “is an indication
of ethics. Watching a Jay Leno monologue,” he continues,
“forces us to laugh at the ethical lapses in peoples’ attitudes
and actions.” But, he suggests, we need to monitor our laughter.
There may just be, in his words, “a guide for Christians to explain
when laughter is ethically appropriate and when it is not.”

Everyone who has attended a movie theater has probably had the
experience of listening to a part of the audience laugh at incidents
in the movie which are not funny, things like violence to a particular
individual or cruelty to an animal. Such laughter leaves one chilled.
And it is an indication of our society that such laughter is growing
more frequent. But, before we look to the culture at large, it is much
more important to analyze ruthlessly just what we are laughing at,
particularly on television and in our private conversations with our

Eckel, quoted earlier, compares the potential difference in our
laughter at two television sitcoms: The Simpsons, a much-written
about sitcom among Christians because of its witty but ironic
portrayal of, in Eckel’s words, “the dark side of human nature,”
and Will and Grace, a program that seeks to make the homosexual
lifestyle and all sexually active characters benign and, therefore,
acceptable. In The Simpsons, Eckel notes, “the inconsistencies
and hypocrisies of all groups and individuals in American culture
are pointed out… using sardonic wit… to mirror shortcomings,
creating a climate for change” through the viewer’s “distress
and unease [at] seeing wrongdoing in both attitude and action.”
In contrast, Will and Grace promotes the acceptance of its characters
and their lifestyles through “self-deprecating” laughter that “cuts
off the rough edges and softens [the viewer’s] attitudes” by making
the characters endearing and “excluding the consequences of [their]

This is very wise analysis, one we must take seriously. T. S. Eliot
said long ago that what entertains us, what we laugh at, may just
affect us more than what we study or labor over because our spirits
and minds are relaxed and receptive. We have turned our mental
security systems off and what amuses may seem somehow too trivial
to harm us. There is no part of our lives that does not, however, belong
to God. We must never bypass our intellects or suspend our critical thinking
ability even in our laughter. Laughter has the power, as in The Simpsons,
to be a cultural commentary that brings understanding and conviction,
and it has the power, as in Will and Grace, to seduce and soothe one into
indifference to dangerous secular trends.

The question is crucial: What are we laughing at and why?

- Dr.Rosalie de Rosset


Please note: If you see a UNC student or liberal reading 'Thought & Humor',
please explain to them which is thought & which is humor. They usually get it backwards.......


Who is Jesus?

Click Here

(Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor')


"Not being on the air, that's not important.
But I'd like to be in the newsroom helping
set the agenda."

Retired CBS Anchorman Walter Cronkite

{Dear Walter, Fair news knows no agenda -
Prof Howdy}


The Bible claims to be the Word of the only true God. In addition to
historical, archaeological, and scientific proofs, there are numerous
internal proofs. No such evidences exist for other "sacred writings."
The Bible was written during 1,600 years by 40 prophets, most of
whom lived in diverse cultures, at different times in history, yet who
never contradict but complement each other. For the Qur'an, Muslims
must take the word of Muhammad, just as the Book of Mormon rests
solely upon Joseph Smith's word. But every biblical prophet is confirmed
by 39 other prophets.
- - Dave Hunt


God designed humans to want to believe in something.
That's the image of God that is in us. But as G. K.
Chesterton famously put it, when we reject the God
of the Bible, we don't believe in nothing; we believe
in everything -- including Little Green Men.

- - Chuck Colson


Dear Professor Howdy,

Thank you for your simply addicting's truly a candidate
for the 8th wonder of the world and 1st candidate for the cyber-world...
it just keeps blooming with more of what I need and, I think, what we
all need...please keep up the great works!!!

Type atcha later...

God bless you,

Phil H


Dear Dr. Howdy, Indeed I am a faithful Tarheel*, having both
MA and Ph.D. from their fine chemistry department.
But that doesn't keep me from getting a great kick out
of the humor propagated by what appears to me to be
a pack of wolves!!**

sent to me by a friend, so I really didn't "hear about
you" at all, and still haven't. All I know is what has
come in the two issues of the Newsletter I have
seen. The best to you.

S. P.

*Another name for UNC.
** UNC's archrival - NCSU.


Recommended by Prof Howdy for improving your life:

Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here

{Double click this link or copy and paste this link into your Web Browser's address line
for more info - Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor' in any way - but should be}


Board of Advisors for 'Thought & Humor':

Did you know that 'Thought & Humor' has a distinguished Board of Advisors
that are designed to be a cross section demographically of our readership as far
as age, location, gender, marital status, education & occupation are concerned???

Bill - 50's - FL - Computer Operator for 911 System, V.P. - Archives
Brenda - 50's - TX - University Administration, Married
Caroline - 20's - FL - Married, University Student
Cindy - 40's - FL - Married - Ministry Administrator
David - 50's - NJ - Businessman, Married
Doug - 50's - TN - President of 501(c)(3) Corp, Married
Ellen - 20's - NJ - University Student
Emily - 30's - TN - Banker, Married
Janet - 40's - MI - Married, Former Missionary to Arab Country
Jerry - 80's - CA - Retired Theology Professor, Lobbyist, Author
Jill - 50's - MN - Restaurant Owner, Married
Jim - 40's - NM - Businessman, Married
John - 50's - Peru - Pastor, Married
Katie - 20's - NC - Teacher, Married to UNC Med Student
Laura - 30's - NY - English Teacher
Lisa - 40's - TN - Secretary, Married
Marie - 60's - South Africa - Entrepreneur, Politician
Mamie - 20's - GA - Elementary Teacher
Milton - 19 - GA - College Student
Phil - 50's WI - Handicapped
Rob - 20's - NY - University Administration, Married
Ruth - 50's - CA - Real Estate, Involved in Spanish Ministry
Sarah - 20's - NC - UNC Student, Married
Shirl - 60's - CO - Finance Manager - Married to Minister
Steve - 40's - TX - Married, Computer Hardware Design
Wanda - 40's - Asia - Married - Communist Country
Bill J. - 60's - Fed. Government Employee
Bill R. - 50's - FL - Computer Operator for 911 System
Bill T. - 50's - MN - College Professor
Bob - 80's - FL - Semi - Retired Military Chaplan/Minister - D.D.
Brenda - 50's - TX - University Administor, Married
Caroline - 20's - FL - Married, Elementary School Teacher - H.B. July 22
Cindy - 40's - NC - 501(c)(3) Administrator - Married
Doug - 50's - TN - President of 501(c)(3) Corp, Married
Ellen - 20's - NJ - Registered Nurse - Married
Emily - 30's - TN - Banker, Married
Janet - 40's - MI - Married, Former Missionary to Arab Country
Jill - 50's - MN - Restaurant Owner, Married
John - 50's - Peru - Pastor, Married
Judith - 60's - TX - Retired Teacher
Katie - 20's - NC - Teacher, Married to UNC Med Student - H.B. July 28
Lee - 20's - GA - College Student
Les - 40's - Australia - Pilot
Lisa - 40's - TN - Secretary, Married
Marie - 60's - South Africa - Entrepreneur, Politician
Mamie - 30's - GA - Elementary Teacher
Patricia - 20's - MX - Entrepreneur, Politician
Phil - 50's WI - Disabled
Rob - 20's - NY - University Administor, Married
Ruth - 50's - CA - Real Estate, Involved in Spanish Ministry
Sarah - 20's - NC - UNC Student, Married
Tom - 40's - Middle East - Missionary
Shirl - 60's - CO - Finance Manager - Married to Minister
Teresa - 30's - NC - Mother
Wanda - 40's - Asia - Married - Communist Country

Advisory meetings are held weekly via the internet
and none receive monetary/pecuniary compensation
for their extensive/capacious/voluminous expertise.


Bible - God's Word to you in different languages...

Click Here

(Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor')


"I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.
All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to
us through this book." -- President Abraham Lincoln

"For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill.
The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal
falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and
so cause Him to withdraw his present help from us, we
shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world."
--John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and
the Bible." - President George Washington

"The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a
power that conquers all that oppose it." - Napoleon

"That Book accounts for the supremacy of England."
- Queen Victoria

"If there is anything in my thought or style to commend ,
the credit is due my parents for instilling in me an early
love of the Scriptures. If we abide by the principals taught
in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper;
but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority,
no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and
bury all our glory in profound obscurity." - Daniel Webster (Founding Father)

"The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed."
- Patrick Henry (original member of the Continental Congress)

"The Bible is the anchor of our liberties." - President U.S. Grant

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people.
The principals of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."
- Horace Greeley (Editor)

"That Book is the rock on which our Republic rests." - President Andrew Jackson

"In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me
light and strength." - Gen. Robert E. Lee

"Bible reading is an education in itself." - Lord Tennyson (Poet)

"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin
to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful
citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for
many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year."
- President John Quincy Adams

"The existence of the Bible, as a Book for the people, is the greatest
benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to
belittle it is a crime against humanity." - Immanuel Kant (Philosopher)

"The New Testament is the very best Book that ever or ever will be
known in the world." - Charles Dickens (Author)

"All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of
confirming more and more strongly the truths contained in the
Sacred Scriptures." - Sir William Herschel (Astronomer)

"There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in
any profane history." - Sir Isaac Newton (Scientist)

"Let mental culture go on advancing, let the natural sciences
progress in even greater extent and depth, and the human
mind widen itself as much as it desires; beyond the elevation
and moral culture of Christianity, as it shines forth in the Gospels,
it will not go." - Goethe (Author)

"I have known ninety-five of the world's great men in my time,
and of these eight-seven were followers of the Bible. The Bible
is stamped with a Specialty of Origin, and an immeasurable
distance separates it from all competitors."
- W.E. Gladstone (Prime Minister)

"Whatever merit there is in anything that I have written is simply
due to the fact that when I was a child my mother daily read me
a part of the Bible and daily made me learn a part of it by heart."
- John Ruskin (art critic and social commentator)

"The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor and oppressed.
The human race is not in a position to dispense with it." - Thomas
Huxley (Author & Scientist)

"The whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever
growing influence of the Bible." - W.H. Seward (Secretary of State)

"America was born a Christian nation. America was born
to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness,
which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scriptures.
Part of the destiny of Americans lies in their daily perusal
of this great book of revelations. That if they would see
America free and pure they will make their own spirits
free and pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit."
--President Woodrow Wilson

For Christians, the life and death of Jesus are the ultimate
expressions of love, and the supreme demonstrations of
God's mercy, faithfulness, and redemption. Since Christ's
miraculous Resurrection on Easter, more than 2,000 years
ago, Christians have expressed joy and gratitude for this
wondrous sacrifice and for God's promise of freedom for
the oppressed, healing for the brokenhearted, and salvation.
--President George W. Bush

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this
great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians;
not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this
very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum,
prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
--Patrick Henry (original member of the Continental Congress)


Q: Why is 'Thought & Humor' so long?
A: All newspapers & magazines are long!

Q: What if I can't read all of it?
A: Delete it. Most folks don't read every word in every newspaper/magazine either?

Q: Am I required to memorize each article?
A: Nope! Delete what you don't have time for or save for another time.

Q: Is 'T & H' Spam?
A: No, it's made entirely of ham.

Q: Can I forward to friends & family?
A: Please do.

Q: How many people have had opportunity to read 'T & H' E-Mail Newspapers?
A: Well over 1 million + many forwards by you.

Q: Who is Prof Howdy?
A: We let him think he's the boss...


Take the best medicine of all for what ails you -- laughter:

"A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon
without springs--jolted by every pebble in the road."
~Henry Ward Beecher
"Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects."
--Arnold Glasow
"Laughter is by definition healthy."
--Doris Lessing
"If somebody makes me laugh, I'm his slave for life."
--Bette Midler
"The human race has one really effective weapon,
and that is laughter."
--Mark Twain
"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."
-- Yiddish Proverb
"Laughter is an instant vacation."
-- Milton Berle
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."
-- Victor Borge

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the
heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time
to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a
time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a
time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (King Solomon)

NOTICE: The jokes, pictures, cartoons & general content published
in this list were either submitted directly to 'Thought & Humor'
or as, we believe, in the public domain. If you think that we
have published any posting (including videos) on our award
winning blog without giving proper credit to its author/owner, please
let us know and we will provide appropriate credit in a future mailing.

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up,
that I may show My power in you, and that My
Name may be declared in all the earth. Ex 9:16

And this Good News about the Kingdom will be
preached through all the world for a witness to
all people; and then the end will come. Mat 24:14


Four important things to KNOW:

1) For ALL (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus,
Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist,
Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) have sinned
& fall short of the glory of God.

2) For the wages of above (see #1) are DEATH (Hell, eternal
separation from God, & damnation) but the Gift (free & at
no charge to you) of God (Creator, Jehovah, & Trinity) is
Eternal Life (Heaven) through (in union with) Jesus Christ
(God, Lord, 2nd Person of The Trinity, Messiah, Prince of
Peace & Savior of the World).

3) For God so greatly loved & dearly prized the world
(Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist,
Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians,
Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) that He even gave up
His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (anyone,
anywhere, anytime - while still living) believes (trust in,
relies on, clings to, depends completely on) Him shall
have eternal (everlasting) life (heaven).

4) Jesus said: "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE.
No one (male/female - American, Muslim, Jew, Catholic,
Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Presbyterian, European, Baptist,
Brazilian, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc. ) comes (arrives)
to the Father (with GOD in Heaven) EXCEPT BY (through)
ME (no other name).

This wonderful loving GOD gives you the choice - - -

(Rev. 3:20)

{Please note that church membership, baptism, doing good
things, etc. are not requirements for becoming a Christian -
however they are great afterwards!!!}

Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that
leads to destruction (Hell, damnation, eternal punishment),
and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow
the road that leads to life (Heaven, eternal happiness,
forever with God), and only a few find it.
--Matthew 7:13-14

Write me sometime:

howdythoughthumor [at} gmail [dot] com

(No spaces or punctuation except
for one dot.)


Wist u dat de God van u houdt?
Avez-vous su que Dieu vous aime ?
Wußten Sie, daß Gott Sie liebt?
Avete saputo che il dio li ama?
Você soube que o deus o ama?
¿Usted sabía que el dios le ama?

Click Here


The E-Mail Newspaper containing 'Thought & Humor'
is sent out FREE via e-mail w/o ads. This information
was sent to you because you made the request, 'Thought
& Humor'
is one small attempt to obey The Great Com-
First published in the last century (July 26, 1997).
Soli Deo Gloria...
________ E-Mail Newspaper (Free4u) _________
References gleaned for great humor & information: Merry Heart,
Buffalosjokes, Funny List, MeMail, Daily Dose, Joke of the Day,
Kim Komando, MIKEY'S FUNNIES , The Daily Tease,,
CLEAN LAFFS & Gophercentral.

Quoting one is plagiarism; quoting many is research.

'Thought & Humor'
respects your privacy and wishes to honor
your desires to not receive e-mail from us if that's your choice,
and we apologize if any message causes any inconvenience
to you or your computer. We have never given any reader's
e-mail addresses to a third party & have no plans to do such
unless the price is right:o) (Liberals please note - that was
humor) The E-Mail Newspaper is sent to you with love.

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up,
that I may show My power in you, and that My
Name may be declared in all the earth. Ex 9:16


Here's some blogs that I found
of interest
as I negotiated my way
through cyberspace:

Every Student
Religion Comparison
Around the Well
Danish Cartoons
Arabic Cartoons
Muhammad or Jesus???
Answering Islam
Is Jesus God?
A Short Look At Six World Religions
God's Word in different languages...
How to become a Christian
Who Is Jesus?
See The Word
Watch The Jesus Movie
Spanish Cartoons
German Cartoons
Chinese Cartoons
Italian Cartoons
Greek Cartoons
Japanese Cartoons
Portuguese Cartoons
French Cartoons
Hindi Cartoons
Russian Cartoons


P U R P O S E of 'Thought & Humor':

But these are written so that you may
believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the
Son of God, and that by believing in
Him you will have life. Jn 20:31

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call on Him while He is near. Let the
wicked forsake his way and the evil
man his thoughts. Let him turn to the
Lord, and He will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for He will freely
pardon. "For My thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways
My ways," declares the Lord. "As the
heavens are higher than the earth, so
are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down
from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making
it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed
for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My
mouth: It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and
achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth
in peace; the mountains and hills will
burst into song before you, and all the
trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the
pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle
will grow. This will be for the Lord's
renown, for an everlasting sign, which
will not be destroyed." Is 55

O Lord, you have searched me and you
know me. You know when I sit and when
I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying
down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know
it completely, O Lord. You hem me in -
behind and before; you have laid your
hand upon me. Such knowledge is too
wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where
can I flee from your presence? If I go up
to the heavens, you are there; if I make
my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide
me and the light become night around
me," even the darkness will not be dark
to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. For you
created my inmost being; you knit me
together in my mother's womb. I praise
you because I am fearfully and wonderfully
made; your works are wonderful, I know
that full well. My frame was not hidden
from you when I was made in the secret
place. When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth, your eyes saw my
unformed body. All the days ordained
for me were written in your book before
one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,
O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would
outnumber the grains of sand. When
I awake, I am still with you. Search me,
O God, and know my heart; test me
and know my anxious thoughts. See
if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ps 139

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
- - Isaac Watts

O God, You have taught me from my
youth; And to this day I declare
Your wondrous works. Now also when
I am old and gray headed, O God,
do not forsake me, Until I declare
Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
Ps 71

Professor Howdy said...

"Έτσι πολύς Θεός αγάπησε τον κόσμο: Έδωσε το γιο του, το ένα και μόνο το γιο του. Και γί αυτό: έτσι ώστε κανένας χρειάζεται να καταστραφεί με την πίστη σε τον, καθένας μπορεί να έχει ολόκληρη και μια μόνιμη ζωή. Ο Θεός δεν πήγε σε όλο το πρόβλημα να στείλει το γιο του για να δείξει μόνο ένα δάχτυλο κατηγορίας, λέγοντας τον κόσμο πόσο κακό ήταν. Ήρθε να βοηθήσει, για να βάλει το παγκόσμιο δικαίωμα πάλι. Καθένας που εμπιστεύεται σε τον εξοφλείται καθένας που αρνείται να τον εμπιστευθεί ήταν πολύς καιρός από τότε κάτω από την ποινή θανάτου χωρίς γνώση του. Και γιατί; Λόγω της αποτυχίας εκείνου του προσώπου να πιστεψει στον έναν ανά είδος γιο του Θεού όταν εισάγεται σε τον. "Αυτό είναι η κρίση που είμαστε σε: Το Θεός-φως έρευσε στον κόσμο, αλλά οι άνδρες και οι γυναίκες έτρεξαν παντού για το σκοτάδι. Πήγαν για το σκοτάδι επειδή δεν ενδιαφέρθηκαν πραγματικά για την ευχαρίστηση του Θεού. Ο καθένας που κάνει μια πρακτική να κάνει το κακό, που εθίζεται στην άρνηση και την παραίσθηση, το Θεός-φως μισών και δεν θα έρθει κοντά σε την, που φοβάται μια επίπονη έκθεση. Αλλά καθένας που εργάζεται και που ζει στην αλήθεια και την πραγματικότητα χαιρετίζει το Θεός-φως έτσι η εργασία μπορεί να δει για τη Θεός-εργασία που είναι."

Professor Howdy said...

Share Christ's Sufferings
by Jim Tonkowich

Someone said that the meaning of grace comes in three parts: "Grace means
you don't do anything; you don't do anything; you don't do anything."

Grace is God's free gift and not something we can achieve (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The old hymn says, "Jesus paid it all." We talk about the sufficiency of
Jesus' suffering on the cross. His suffering and death atoned for sin and
brings us to God. For Christians this is a settled point. Jesus suffered
judgment to redeem his people.

And then we come to Colossians 1:24:

"Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what
is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his
body, which is the church."

Is Paul really saying what he seems to be saying? What could Paul possibly
mean that he's filling up what's lacking in the suffering of Christ? Did
Paul think Jesus didn't do enough?

Let me set you at ease: Paul thought Jesus did enough.

Yet Paul suffered — apparently Paul had to suffer for the sake of the
Church. And Christians through ages have suffered for the sake of the
Church. And I believe that you and I suffer — or at least we can suffer —
for the sake of the Church as well.

Since we're not good at talking about suffering, let me begin with more
familiar ground: evangelism.

A friend called me excitedly. "I had lunch with someone I recently met and I
led him to Christ right there in the restaurant." We talk that way: "I led
my friend to Christ." We understand what that means knowing, I hope, that
it's inaccurate language.

You have never led anyone to Christ. Not your friend, not your sister, not
your children, not your parents. But don't feel badly about it. Billy Graham
has never led anyone to Christ either. In fact the only one who leads people
to Christ is God the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit opening people's
eyes to their need for Christ and their ears to the Gospel, no one would
ever be converted.

St. Paul knew that too. And yet he wrote, "We proclaim [Jesus], admonishing
and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone
perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy,
which so powerfully works in me" (Colossians 1:28-29). He labored and
struggled so that people might know Christ while believing all along that it
is the Holy Spirit who converts. This is an example of Francis Schaeffer's
notion that while God is sovereign, you and I are not zeros. We make a

So while only the Holy Spirit leads people to Christ, we have a share in
that work that is 100 percent His. God's Word of redemption and life rides
on our words thus making us partners in the work that is entirely God's.

Does that sound like a mystery? It deepens when we turn to suffering.

If I lose a job I reflexively ask, "What is God teaching me?" If my elderly
parents need care I ask, "How is God using this in my life?" If a child is
in an automobile accident I want to know, "What is God teaching our family?"

And the Bible encourages us to ask those questions. Hebrews 12:7-8, James
1:2-4, and other texts tell us that God uses our suffering to discipline us.
God's discipline then brings about our full salvation which includes
holiness. That is, suffering is redemptive in our lives.

And yet, we argue, if Jesus suffered on the cross and paid it all, why
should I have to suffer? Couldn't he bring about my full salvation without
the suffering part?

I suppose so, but it's a cross, not a magic wand. Whether we like it or not,
just as Jesus "learned obedience by what he suffered" (Hebrews 5:8), you and
I must learn obedience by what we suffer. While our salvation is entirely
the work of God through the suffering of Jesus, our suffering is somehow
required as well. God is sovereign, but you and I are not zeros.

This brings me back to Paul's words in Colossians 1:24. Could it be that
just as my suffering is required in my own salvation, my suffering is also
required in the salvation of others?

Father Damian was a missionary in the 1870s who worked in the leper colony
on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. Week by week, he preached addressing the
people as "you lepers." Nothing much happened until the day came when he
stood up to preach and began with the words, "We lepers." He had contracted
the disfiguring and fatal disease himself.

The beginning of Father Damian's suffering marked the beginning of a great
revival in that village of the dying. Father Damian's suffering proved to be
redemptive for others. That is because Christian suffering is never
suffering in a vacuum. He — and we — suffer with Jesus.

If we offer our suffering to God, that suffering is caught up into Christ's
suffering on the cross. It is ennobled. It is made glorious. It becomes like
His suffering — a suffering for the salvation of the world.

My friend Peggy lost her only child, a 28-year-old daughter, to cancer. As
she mourned and suffered she poured her broken heart out to God. She offered
herself and her suffering to Him just as Jesus did on the cross.

That hasn't made her suffering any easier, but now everywhere she goes she
meets people who have lost adult children to death. I don't meet those
people — or if I do, I don't know about it. Peggy sits next to them on
airplanes, meets them in the supermarket, and bumps into them on vacation.
She shares their suffering and offers them Christ and His comfort. Her
suffering, united with Christ's suffering has meant salvation for many.
She's filling up "what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions."

Don't misunderstand me. Nothing, absolutely nothing is missing from Christ's
once-and-for-all sacrifice on the cross. Nothing. And yet just as we have to
open our mouths and share the message of the cross if others are going to
come to know Christ, so apparently our suffering is involved as well. Just
as our words in evangelism are a sharing of his Word, so our suffering is a
sharing in his suffering, our brokenness a sharing in his brokenness, our
deaths a sharing in his death for the salvation of the world.

If we take our suffering and unite it with his — offering our pain to Jesus
for His use and His glory even as He offered His pain to the Father — our
suffering is transformed and the world around us will be transformed as
well. Like Paul's suffering, it will "fill up what is still lacking in
regard to Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, the Church,"
completing that which is, paradoxically, complete all by itself.

Richard John Neuhaus wrote in Death on a Friday Afternoon:

It is not that Christ did not do enough, but that he invites us to
participate with him in the salvation of the world. When Jesus calls us, he
calls us to come and die. We will die anyway. The question is whether we
will die senselessly or as companions and coworkers of the crucified and
risen Lord.

And before we die, we will suffer anyway. It's a fact of life in this broken
world. The question is whether we will suffer senselessly or for the
salvation of the world as companions and coworkers of the Suffering Servant
who is the crucified and risen Lord.

Professor Howdy said...

Muslims turning to Christ:

Professor Howdy said...

Learn More About God in
2 Minute Cartoon Videos:

How To Become A Christian!

Does Anyone Still Read The Bible?

When Should A Person Be Baptized?

When Will Jesus Come Back?

Does The Bible Ever Say That Jesus Is God?

What In The World Is Worldview?

Professor Howdy said...

Four Good Biblical WorldView Sites:

Dr. Al Mohler:

Chuck Colson:

American News Commentary:

Michael Youssef:

Two Minute WV Cartoon:


To My Muslim Friends:

Islam vs. Christianity Comparison:

Arabic Students:

Answering Islam:

Muhammad or Jesus?

Islam Watch:

Former Muslims:

A Christian Dies To Save Muslims:

Is the God Of Muhammad The Father Of Jesus?

The Reason For God:

Three Things About Islam:

Taqiyya - Lying For Islam:

From The Heart Of A Muslim:

Watch The Jesus Movie:

World Students:

A Message From God:

Professor Howdy said...

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