The Highway

A Quote I Dislike

Posted By: Tom

A Quote I Dislike - Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:10 AM

Quote
If you are too heavenly minded, you will be no earthly good.


I have always found this statement completely wrong. In fact I think the more heavenly minded we are the more earthly good we will be. Our goal will be to give God glory in everything we do and we would try our best to do this by getting to know Scripture, so we can obey Scripture for the glory of God where ever God places us.
A few weeks ago in a sermon my pastor said basically what I said above and when my wife and I got home we almost had an argument. She said that our pastor completely took the comment out of context and she knows of no one who doesn't use the comment as a warning against retreating away from everyday life; because they are afraid the world’s sin would affect them.
What do you think?

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:44 AM

Tom,

First, what needs to be established is how YOU understand how OTHERS typically mean when they use that phrase, e.g., "That Jack... sometimes I think he is so heavenly-minded he's no earthly good." So, what do you think "heavenly-minded" means in this case?
Posted By: chestnutmare

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:21 AM

I wonder if that is as great a problem as the opposite. People adopt worldly practices and bring them into the church, perhaps thinking that they can enhance the Gospel so that it appeals to the world. Why do we see famous preachers wearing "jesus tees", telling off-color, coarse jokes, bringing in music forms that don't belong in the Church? Dispensing with the Law of God; the Regulative Principle in order to have "THEIR" plan for evangelistic outreach in place. Offering 2 services so that one can appeal to the older members and one to appeal to the youth in the community.

I would agree that a sequestered life for a Christian is not ideal (monastic) but, involvement of the sort that is more common is certainly not acceptable either. The Christian is the salt of the world. Matthew 5:13 "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men." But note, if the Christian has lost their saltiness, they are worthless. How does the Christian retain their saltiness in a world of polluted waters?

Psalm 119:9 – 11
"9 Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee:
Oh let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word have I laid up in my heart,
That I might not sin against thee.
Posted By: Robin

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:28 PM

^ Like
Posted By: Hitch

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:18 PM

Sometimes its best to listen to your wife.
Posted By: Tom

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:08 AM

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Tom,

First, what needs to be established is how YOU understand how OTHERS typically mean when they use that phrase, e.g., "That Jack... sometimes I think he is so heavenly-minded he's no earthly good." So, what do you think "heavenly-minded" means in this case?


Ok, I see where you are coming from. However, in the example you used is it really the case that Jack is "heavenly-minded", or something else entirely?

It seems to me that this is a bad choice of words and although one should find out the context of a statement. I think if it is possible, one should try to show how this isn't the best choice of words.

Hope I am not sounding nitpicky, because I am trying to think biblically.

Tom
Posted By: chestnutmare

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:03 AM

Quote
Sometimes its best to listen to your wife.


Oh yeah, I once read about a fella who did that. Adam was his name. Hmmm, as I recall, things didn't turn out so well. Genesis 3:6
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:01 PM

Originally Posted by Tom
Ok, I see where you are coming from. However, in the example you used is it really the case that Jack is "heavenly-minded", or something else entirely?

It seems to me that this is a bad choice of words and although one should find out the context of a statement. I think if it is possible, one should try to show how this isn't the best choice of words.

Hope I am not sounding nitpicky, because I am trying to think biblically.

Here are my thoughts on this subject and in reply to your response:

1. I agree that a "bad choice of words" is a valid criticism. If, for example, we substitute "spiritually-minded" for "heavenly-minded", the pejorative connotation might be unwarranted. But, if we understand "heavenly-minded" in the way it is intended, then it would be warranted. How so?

2. Let me illustrate in this way:
* On the one side, there are those who consider themselves to be "holier than thou". They look upon others who don't adhere to their particular scruples (Adiaphora) as 'worldly' or as one man uttered in my presence in reference to nearly everyone else, "rotten sinners". This is the mindset of the Pharisee who most often boasts of how often he/she prays, abstains from alcohol, tobacco, dancing, card playing movies, etc. And, at the same time upbraids and looks down upon those who don't conform themselves to their particular practices and/or beliefs (again on matters of Adiaphora), cf. Lk 18:10-12. Shamefully, many Elders/Pastors must be included in this group. They make a concerted effort to create an appearance of being more "holy" than all others. Too often they are condescending in their manner and even adopt a disingenuous soft-spoken, overly meek, sickly sweet manner of speaking, which carries over to the manner which they pray when in public. I am sure you know the type. Their hearts are hardened against the 'common man' who struggles against the world, the flesh and the devil, rather than being broken with compassion (cf. Phil 2:1-4 [It is interesting in this passage that Paul uses two different words for "other" in the Greek; others that are similar and others who are different); 1Thess 3:11-13; Jam 2:8]. What is sorely forgotten is what Paul wrote in 1Cor 1:26-29.

* On the other side are those who go even beyond the externals as those above and who have fallen into "navel gazing". They are so concerned about the mortification of sin within themselves, which in itself is not only a good thing but that which is enjoined throughout Scripture, that they effectively remove themselves from being responsible Christians; servants of the King in this world (cf. Matt 5:13-16). They become emotionally and psychologically cloistered from others, even their own family members. Morbid introspection is not only debilitating but sinfully immature; just the opposite of what the person thinks to be holy and spiritually mature. However, what it does share with those in the first group is the tendency to become overly judgmental of others. They are an expression of the old inaccurate caricature of the Puritan which is, Someone who sits in the dark down in the cellar and says to himself, 'I have this distinct feeling that there is someone out there who is having fun!'.

* Lastly, as Chestnutmare commented, the predominant attitude among the majority of professing Christians in our day isn't of being too "heavenly-minded", but rather too "worldly-minded". Not only has this preoccupation with worldly things captured the minds and hearts of the 'sheep', but it has been adopted by the modern church. Assimilation is the popular by-word and their practice. It has lost its first love, assuming it had it in the first place. A yearning to be faithful both to the doctrines of the faith but particularly in its right application, particularly as it pertains to the worship of God and the preaching of the Word. Some have gone the way of exhibiting a 'social gospel' approach, focusing more upon supplying the physical and alleged psychological "needs" of people, forgetting that the people of God are to not be of this world nor to be enamored with the things of this world. The greatest need of fallen man is to be delivered from the bondage of sin and to be reconciled to God in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Posted By: Tom

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:03 AM

Pilgrim & everyone involved in this topic I want to thank you for your thoughts. They have helped me to get fresh perspective on the issue.
I think I can honestly say that I agree with what you have written. I hope you have benefited from the conversation as much as I have.

Tom
Posted By: li0scc0

Re: A Quote I Dislike - Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:14 PM

I think this is the main point...what does the user mean when they say this! Do they mean we are so focused on Biblical Orthodoxy that we fail to notice earthly sufferings? This CAN very well be true!
Or do they mean that we should ignore Biblical Orthodoxy and focus on the Social Gospel?
More times than not, I think people (indirectly) mean the 2nd. But it is imperative to know where they are coming from!
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