Monday, February 19, 2007

the sauce is beside the pork by dan martin

Ken's note: From my friend Dan Martin, who is a UMC pastor in Newton. He and I have eaten more barbecue in this life together, not to mention biscuits and gravy, than either of us would care to admit. This is good stuff!

"I have made barbeque for years and it is one of my favorite meals. It is possible to cook the meat to perfection, make it into a nice roast pork platter of goodness and to eat it at that point. This makes a great meal. But the mass of wonderful meat does not become barbeque until you add the sauce. The meat cannot make its own sauce. The sauce has to come from the outside and cannot be found within.

And this is the great law of religion and spiritual well being. The two great schools of religion are centered around this basic root belief of barbeque. One system is of the belief that we can find within ourselves the true essence of meaning and joy. That within us is the sacred spark that can be kindled into nirvana or a sense of “finding oneself”. In other words: the cooked pork can find its own sauce from inside itself. Buddhist, Scientologist, and various Gnostic beliefs embrace this sort of understanding. The chief form of discovery involves meditation where we search for our own truth and then saunter off into life happily existing in joyful bliss.

The other system is the Judeo-Christian-Moslem belief that the source of our joy must come from the outside. The sauce cannot be found within and must be invoked from outside the pork. This founded upon the belief that we are not whole, cannot be whole, and are monstrously depraved, often referred to as “sin”, without the incarnation of the Creator, Saving, and Sustaining God who impacts our life.

This all may seem strange to you but the central event in the life of the Christian Church is the “incarnation”. This is the instance where God became a person and lived among us. This was the total infusion of God into our world. Salvation by grace is the total infusion of God into our life. The Jewish beliefs and the beliefs of the Moslems all hold their own form of incarnation from the God of all creation.

And now Oprah Winfrey has found ”The Secret” to all life and this from a talk show host who spends more time dealing with her personal weight issues, how to de-clutter your home, how to have the perfect party, and what the latest stars are up to in Hollywood. Now guess what, her belief is classic Buddhism, Scientology, and Gnosticism. It is the belief that we can find our salvific peace from inside our own little Hollywood inspired bodies. How wonderful that she has now entered into the world of the “spiritualist” and is promoting her own version of religion offering inspirational quotes from the stars as evidence to the great truth she is hawking.

Wynonna Judd was recently quoted where she tells how she spent so much of her life trying to love others and is just now learning to love herself. I love it when Hollywood actors go to the depths of these sorts of enlightenments. Do I ever feel inspired?

Oprah’s guest promoters of “Oprahism” state scientific facts concerning sending out negative or positive waves and you get back what you send out and how even Jesus said “the kingdom is actually in us” which I cannot remember ever reading. “It is like radio waves” says her guest host. You get back according to what you send out.

Do not be fooled. Do not let celebrities, who dabble in the eternal and throw together a little smoke and personal holiness to form their own brand of cosmic naval gazing, become the sacred guru who will pull you from the eternal truth of Jesus Christ.

The barbeque has to have sauce. The sauce cannot be found on the inside. It comes in a little bottle or bowl and you pour it on. This is incarnation. This is the great touch of God almighty.

I am sorry space does not allow me to go into more depth here but come by sometime (maybe on a Sunday?) and we will discuss the fine art of barbeque and the eternal truths of Jesus Christ.


Blogger John Wesley said...

Dear and Gentle Reader,

Since I last had the pleasure of visiting ye, I have had many thoughts upon ye and your work in this, our online community.

Who knows but it may please God to make ye an instrument in His glorious work? In effecting an union among the labourers in His vineyard? That He may direct and bless you in all your steps is the prayer of my heart.

Your affectionate and obedient servant,

7:41 AM  

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