Are We All Missionaries?

Saint Patrick - "found Ireland all heathen and left it all ...

We read of saints like St. Patrick, St. Columba, and St. Boniface who went among the heathen and converted them. We read of other saints who died trying. And others who didn’t die, but didn’t get anywhere, either.

In that we belong to Jesus Christ, each and every Christian is called to represent Him in some way: we are all His servants. That’s why the heathen rejoice when we fall short–as we all do, from time to time.

My question is: Are we as Christians required to engage in “dialogue”–very often a euphemism for getting shouted at–with persons who hate us, who despise our faith, who deny God, and go out of their way to make their feelings known? Some say yes, that’s our mission field. Others say don’t bother, it’s casting pearls before swine.

I think that some are called to do this while some are not. It takes a special kind of moral strength not to lose your temper, not to give way to intemperate language, not to punch the scoffer in the nose as St. Nicholas once did. I don’t have that kind of moral strength, so there’s no point in my trying to dialogue with a pagan pinhead. I’ll just get mad.

Somebody has to try to convert these heathen. What odds would you have given against St. Patrick actually being able to convert the pagan Irish? But I think he would tell you it was the Holy Spirit’s power, not his own, that did it.

Those of us who are called to do other things, should do them. You can sell insurance with honesty and grace, and represent the love and righteousness of Christ. You can prepare a good meal, play a nice song on your guitar, mix up a batch of medicine that helps somebody cope with illness–there are more ways to do it than there are people. And how many times did St. Paul preach that lesson?

I’m not going to wade into situations wherein I know I’ll only lose my temper. Let those deal with it who can.

If St. Columba thought the Picts were a tough audience, he should see the leftists of today.

I’ve Found a Keeper

Image result for images of nicholas by michael j scott

“When confronted with the miraculous, faith is the only rational choice left.” (From the book’s cover blurb)

I review a lot of books for Chalcedon, always looking for something I can recommend. I’m halfway through Nicholas by Michael J. Scott–and excuse me while I climb up to shout a recommendation from the housetops.

Do you believe in miracles? If you were a hard-nosed newspaper reporter, sent off to a monastery at the top of the world to do a human interest story, and there you discovered–well, the original St. Nicholas, alive and kicking!–would you believe?

We’re not talking about everyday miracles like the sun coming up, or the birth of a child. We mean miracles in the strictest sense of the word–things that those who worship Science declare are totally impossible, they couldn’t happen, not ever, etc. Yeah, those miracles.

I am so tempted to skip ahead and find out what happens, but I can’t do that to a fine writer like Mr. Scott. In my first published horror novel, Lifeblood, I took pains to create a totally unexpected surprise ending–and Aunt Gertie went right ahead, as soon as she started reading the book, to find out how it ended. I hardly knew what to say to her.

So here we have a book about miracles, the least of which is a saint still alive, still serving God, after living some 1,700 years upon the earth.

This is really, really cool!

If you’re into miracles, give this one a read.

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Hey, did you know that today, Dec. 6, is St. Nicholas Day? I didn’t.

Poor St. Nicholas–they’re coming at him from both sides. Christian purists don’t want to hear his name mentioned. Secularists hate and loath him. Nicholas became a saint by saving some girls from prostitution and by saving a few boys from drowning. No wonder they want to ban him.

Nevertheless, he’s still here. Sinter Klaes, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle.

Yes, I know it has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ, the word made flesh, the Son of God.

Which makes it a mystery to me, why the no-God crowd have conniptions when they see even the printed words, “Santa Claus.”

There must be some holiness to anything that offends atheists. If he makes people who are that bad that angry, St. Nicholas must indeed have some connection to the Kingdom of Heaven.