Footwashers Snippet

CoverAs I make final revisions to Footwashers: Following the Jesus Way by Dr. LehmannI will be posting some snippets to whet the appetite.

Whatever the devil gives is shoddy; he takes whatever he can get and ruins whatever he receives. From this it follows that the pursuit of material prosperity, demonically generated, cannot be permanently successful. This principle is embodied in the old Faustian tradition.

Jesus identifies the act of taking something physical for oneself as essentially pagan (Matt. 6:31-32), and, hence, reprehensible. Each human being receives physical things both from God and his neighbor. Such things are either deserved or undeserved. Those from a neighbor may be either. Those which are from God are always for the individual’s good and always undeserved.

An individual can give to God, the devil or a neighbor. That sentence has to be qualified a bit. In a sense one cannot literally give to God, since everything is already God’s. Hence only indirectly, that is by giving to a neighbor, can one give to God. One can give to the devil; as a matter of fact, most people regularly do, wittingly or not. What is to be given to him who is the neighbor, who he is, and how it is to be given, occupies most of Jesus discussion of physical things in the gospels. He discusses them in such detail that we can draw certain conclusions from them. (Footwashers, Ch 3)

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