Saturday, April 19, 2008

I've always liked this quote

"Going to church doesn't make you any more a Christian than going to the garage makes you a car."
-Laurence J. Peter

I have also always like the following quote, ever since I heard it, years ago:

"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."
-unknown

There are similar quotes to this one as well, including the following:

"A man convinced against his will is not convinced."
-Laurence J. Peter

"He that complies against his will
Is of his own opinion still. "
~Samuel Butler, in Hudibras (Part iii. Canto iii. Line 547)

6 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

"A man convinced against his will is not convinced."
-Laurence J. Peter

To be forced or coerced to 'believe' something is not true significant free will, or true belief.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the comment, Russ.

Neither can anyone be forced to become a true Christian.

I think I've read where, in the past, some from the Catholic church...more specifically, Jesuits, if I recall correctly...have forced people to convert to Catholicism. However, any 'forced conversions' would not make a true, regenerated, born-again Christian, because the Holy Spirit is the one Who changes a person's heart, from the inside out, and transforms that person. Therefore, no one can be truly saved by force.

Jeff said...

I just read something interesting on Wikipedia that I didn't know before (many people claim that Constantine made Christianity the state religion, but according to Wikipedia, that is incorrect; he merely made Christianity legal; Theodosius I is the one who made it the state religion...hmmm, I didn't know that):

"In 313 Constantine I and Licinius announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan, which removed penalties for professing Christianity (under which many had been martyred in previous persecutions of Christians) and returned confiscated Church property. However, it neither made paganism illegal nor made Christianity the state religion; these were later actions of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I."

thekingpin68 said...

Interesting. I have heard similar.

Joey said...

I preached on the church a while back and used your first idea, though slightly different. I used the analogy of going to a hospital doesn't make you a Dr. The idea came from the process of making a pickle related to becoming a Christian. A cucumber dosn't become a pickle until it's been changed by boiling it and "baptizing" it in the vinegar solution and changing it from the inside out. Placing a cucumber in a jar of pickles doesn't change it; it's the process a cucumber must go through.

Jeff said...

Joey,

Very interesting comparisons, especially about the cucumber and the pickle. Thanks for your comments; much appreciated.

As far as baptism, I'm glad you mentioned that the Lord changes a Christian from the inside out. And you also put "baptizing" in quotes, which I like, because some people think that water baptism saves a person. But if water baptism saved you, then anyone who ever took a bath or stood out in the rain would be saved! Of course, you could then argue that a priest has to perform the ceremony, and say, "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit," etc. However, Jesus is our High Priest, and He is the ultimate perfection of the Old Testament Aaronic or Levite priesthood. So Jesus is the only Mediator we need between us and God. (i.e., Pastors are shepherds; they're not priests. They lead a 'local flock,' or local congregation, but they are not mediators.)