Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Vision (4/21/11): An "Ouch" Passage from John Owen

Last year Thomas Watson was my “Puritan of the year.” This year I have been reading a lot of John Owen. The Puritans are “ouch” writers. By that I mean that when you read them, they have a tendency to put their finger on your spiritual weak spots and make you yell “ouch.” I recently ran across one such “ouch” passage in John Owen’s book Spiritual-Mindedness:

In comparison to Christ, our love for even our dearest relatives will seem as if we “hated” them (Luke 14:26). And this can only come about by the heart so loving Christ and heavenly things that we turn with hatred from anything that would seek to draw our hearts away from Christ.

When men are so concerned with earthly things, however, lawful and right, that it draws away their hearts from Christ and their spiritual duties, they sin. But they are quick to make excuses for their sin.

Does the state of the poor call on them for financial help? They have their own families to provide for. Charity begins at home.

Are they required to attend a prayer meeting? They are so busy that it is impossible for them to be there.

By these vain excuses they declare themselves still to be under the dominion of worldly concerns. Many lie under this great danger every moment. Some have no idea that there is anything wrong with them.

“What is wrong with spending time with one’s family when so many families are breaking up?”

“What is so wrong with dealing well and honestly in the ways of the world when most are wasting their time and money on bestial lusts or heaping up riches by deceit and oppression?”

“What is wrong with wanting the best for our children, seeing that he is worse than an unbeliever who does not care for his own family?’

By such reasoning and secret thoughts, many justify themselves in worldliness.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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