Ponderings with Doug – March 1, 2019

Are you qualified?

The following will test your qualifications to be called a “professional.”

How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether or not you are doing simple things in a complicated way.

How do you put an elephant in the refrigerator? The incorrect answer is: Open the refrigerator put in the elephant and shut the door. The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This question tests your foresight.

The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend? The answer is the elephant. He is still in the refrigerator. This tests if you are capable of comprehensive thinking.

The river is filled with crocodiles. How do you cross it? The correct answer is: You swim it; all the crocodiles are at the animal conference. This question tests your reasoning ability.

If you had all four correct you are qualified to be a professional. If you had three correct you need to do some remedial work, but there is hope. If you had two correct, consider a career in fast foods. If you had one correct, then you might need to think about selling some body parts as the only way you will make any money. If you answered none correctly, you should consider a career that does not require higher mental functions at all, such as a Congressman. Just kidding on that last one, or maybe not.

Are you qualified? We want qualified professionals as well as those working in trades. We certainly want our doctors, pilots, plumbers, contractors, lawyers, and auto mechanics to be qualified to do their job. We want to be known as a qualified person in our field of endeavor.

The church is the only organization I know of where the one qualification for membership is that you are unqualified. After we become Christians, we church people spend the rest of our lives trying to qualify for heaven. You might as well give up now. You can do nothing to earn God’s unconditional love. Jesus said, “Whoever is thirsty come to me and I will give him drink.” There are no qualifications to get the drink. There are no exceptions mentioned about who may drink. There is nothing said about gaining qualifications to come back and drink again. Jesus said, “Whosoever will, let them come.” Jesus offered a series of invitations never a list of qualifications. There is nothing we can do, nothing; that qualifies us for His grace.

On Sunday the unqualified gather in church to celebrate this powerful love and grace of God through Jesus. His love and grace move us from being unqualified to children of God.

Are you qualified?

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5 thoughts on “Ponderings with Doug – March 1, 2019

  1. Doug, I didn’t get any of the questions right because I don’t believe a giraffe or elephant will fit into a refrigerator. Neither do I believe that there is any such thing as an animal convention. Why would we believe all animals could get along long enough to attend a convention when supposedly educated, rational people chosen by voters to be their leaders can’t get along?

    Can’t I get brownie points just for effort?

  2. Is this your response to the UMC’s vote for the Traditional Plan? Is it “whoever will, let them come” even though the message of the general council is “not all are welcome”? I hope so.
    When someone claims to condemn homosexuality because the Bible condemns it, but they don’t seem bothered by a host of other sins condemned by the Bible, to me that exposes their claim of submission to Biblical authority to be a Lie.
    There has never been an international convention for any denomination to wring their hands over whether there’s a place in the church for obese people, who choose to live in the lifestyle of the sin of gluttony.
    Why not? It seems the UMC has decided to rank some sins not-so-bad (“our” sins) to totally unacceptable (“their” sins).
    If someone would argue that Methodists are simply cherry-picking the Bible to justify a pre-existing prejudice, it would seem impossible to argue that the real reason for our condemnation is submission to biblical authority, when our approach to that submission seems so completely random and arbitrary, or even worse, strategic–so as to avoid self-reflection on our own sin through finger-pointing at others.

    • Whether or not the Bible explicitly condemns homosexuality is irrelevant when you remember that Jesus loves and gave his life for everybody, no matter who they are or what they’ve done.

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