- John 11:35: the shortest verse in the Bible.
- Recent Team Pyro blog entry based on that passage: fairly long.
I don’t usually read the Team Pyro blog. A friend, however, emailed and pointed me to that blog post that I linked to above. He commented that it was well-written and moving, until he got to the end where the following paragraph sits:
Pondering the universality of death and the inevitability of it, I have to wonder what certain Emergent leaders could possibly be thinking when they systematically try to downplay the hope of heaven and urge Christians to be more concerned with earthly matters.
Here is a stirring post about the death of a friend from cancer, tied in to the pain Jesus felt at his friend’s death, and that little zinger at some other Christian camp is the chosen denouement.
For those of you calling for more scripture, simply follow the link to John 11:35, read two words, and see if, out of all of that, you can come up with what Team Pyro managed to eke out.Or this time, perhaps, a full passage of scripture (which lends the context of the story but is generally not favored to the “give me a proof verse!” crowd) might be more beneficial. In that case, John 11.
One of my favorite passages about Jesus, is John 11.
Granted, Team Pyro provided links for more scripture, including the very powerful John 11:25-26, but oddly enough, following that link brings me right back to Team Pyro’s blog post. What is the message to the reader, or the person who stumbles there unaware, when scripture links back not to the scripture referenced but to the blog post?
From that verse, or even the whole passage, I do not find any ammunition to go after Catholics, Baptists, Emergents, Pentecostals, or the Church of God. Instead, I find that it is acceptable to cry, and to not be happy all the time. If there is anything that all of humanity knows, it is to weep.
I have no doubt that Team Pyro was not trying to be witty, considering the close and dear subject matter of the post. However, a very brief verse inspired a fairly long blog post in which it sounds to me as if Team Pyro wasn’t exactly relying upon Sola Scripture to make a few leaps:
Have you ever wondered why He was weeping? It could not be just grief over the loss of Lazarus, because He was about to bring Lazarus back to life. Yet it’s clear from Scripture that His tears signified real sorrow.
So what was He mourning about?
Surely He was grieving over the effects of sin on people He loved. He was sorrowing over the ravages of evil on His creation. He was thus identifying with those whom He loved, even in their anguish.
All that, from “Jesus wept.” It sounds to me as if there is a little deciphering, putting into context, imagining, trying to relate scripture to life as we know it, a little divining — any of those things, which commonly get nailed by any responsible ODM when someone like Warren or McManus or Bell or any other favored whipping boy lifts a few verses and interprets them what he believes them to mean.
Perhaps, rather than gloating or priding themselves on “being right”, they ought to be weeping more, if they truly believe all of these other Christians are not truly saved. The tone of their blogs, their writing, their responses, their entire being — if they really feel as Team Pyro seemed to feel at the beginning of the post — should be more about about weeping than cutting.
How can anyone use words like “grieving” and “sorrowing” and “anguish”, and within four paragraphs, show that peculiar arrogance the self-appointed remnant so unabashedly reek? My email response to the friend who originally pointed out the Team Pyro post was much shorter than this:
“Jesus wept” is the shortest verse in the Bible, yet he managed to read a whole pile of theology into the reasoning behind his weeping, and then use that to zing his theological adversaries.
I know why Jesus might weep.
Perhaps there is a reason why that verse is so short, why much was left unsaid. Brevity is powerful and all-encompassing and easily misused by those looking for quick weaponry.