We Make an Idol of Truth

We make an idol of truth itself; for truth apart from charity is not God, but His image and idol, which we must neither love nor worship; and still less must we love or worship its opposite, namely, falsehood.

—Blaise Pascal, The Fundamentals of the Christian Religion

Pascal on the “Skeptics of Christianity”

[T]hey take occasion to revile the Christian religion, because they misunderstand it. They imagine that it consists simply in the worship of a God considered as great, powerful, and eternal; which is strictly deism, almost as far removed from the Christian religion as atheism, which is its exact opposite. And thence they conclude that this religion is not true, because they do not see that all things concur to the establishment of this point, that God does not manifest Himself to men with all the evidences which He could show.

But let them conclude what they will against deism, they will conclude nothing against Christian religion, which properly consists in the mystery of the Redeemer, who, uniting in Himself the two natures, human and divine, has redeemed men from the corruption of sin in order to reconcile them in His divine person of God.

The Christian religion then teaches men to hear two truths; that there is a God whom men can know, and that there is a corruption in their nature which renders them unworthy of Him. It is equally important to men to know both these points; and it is equally dangerous for man to know God without knowing his own wretchedness, and to to know his own wretchedness without knowing the Redeemer who can free him from it. The knowledge of one of these points gives either to the pride of philosophers, who have known God, and not their own wretchedness, or to the despair of atheists, who know their own wretchedness, but not the Redeemer.

—Blaise Pascal, The Fundamentals of the Christian Religion

Pascal on the “Feeble-Minded” and the Truth

The feeble-minded are people who know the truth, but only affirm it so far as consistent with there own interest. But, apart from that, they renounce it.

— Blaise Pascal, The Fundamentals of the Christian Religion

World Religion and True Religion

While reading John Wesley on The Sermon on the Mount Volume 2: The Standard Sermons in Modern English Volume 2, 21-33 (Standard Sermons of John Wesley) (Yeah, that’s the real title of the book) I came across the following:

It is just as impossible to satisfy the hungry soul that thirsts for the living God with worldly religion as it is to satisfy the hungry soul with what the world counts as “happiness.” The religion of the world includes only these three things:

  1. Doing no harm. That is, we must abstain from outward sin, at least from such scandalous transgressions as robbery, theft, common swearing, and drunkenness.
  2. Doing good. The religion of the world calls for us to relieve the poor and to be charitable (as it is called).
  3. Using the means of grace. This aspect of the religion of the world includes going to church and partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

If people have these three marks, the world accounts them as “religious persons.”

However, will mere “religion” satisfy the soul that hungers after God? Never. Outward religion does not provide food for the soul.

Wesley always has a way of reminding me that relativity isn’t a good standard; it’s actually the absence of a standard. It’s always tempting for one to compare oneself to others and arrogantly think “I’m doing pretty well.” That’s always wrong and it doesn’t feed my soul.

Invitation to the Thirsty

Isaiah 55:1-2 (NIV)
Invitation to the Thirsty

1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Let Me Not Cause Disgrace or Shame to Those…

Psalms 69:6 (New International Version – NIV 1984)

May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the Lord Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.