My first thought for a title was, "Helping those who won't help themselves." I've had a bee in my bonnet for a couple of days now wanting to say something but not really knowing how. I thought I would just sit down and try to make a stab at it with the first title and then remembered Jesus instructions to His disciples about those that would not accept the message they brought and it all just clicked. I'm getting pretty lazy using a lot of cliches but unlike the critics I've always had a fondness for the cliche, the shop worn phrase because in many instances a cliche will say it better than something original. I am however not fond of bumper sticker theology. A saying attributed to Francis of Asissi, "Preach the gospel always, with words when neccessary." is one of those that pretty much sets my hair on fire if I had any hair to set on fire. It's not biblical or scriptural, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." No one can respond to the gospel if no one tells them what it is. Another is, "Hate the sin not the sinner." that comes from that old fakir, Mahatma Ghandi. He also said, " I love Christ but hate Christians." He didn't know Christ so I find it hard to see how he could love Him. Ghandi, the great nonviolent revolutionary helped force the British out of India which ended up dividing his country into Pakistan and India. Which in itself was not such a bad thing except when the British left the Muslims and Hindus began killing each other by the hundreds of thousands if not millions because Hindus were in Muslim Pakistan and Muslims were in Hindu India. The point is when men do what they believe is good for others the consequences can be catastrophic. The unforseen circumstance can be a killer. We as Christians are called to good works and those are simple things, feed the hungry, give the thirsty water to drink and care for the sick and injured and all the while teaching and preaching the gospel. That is love in a very simple and direct way that can do good. We can save lives and alleviate suffering and the Gospel will do its work, changing the heart of the lost. However if they will not accept the gospel then we shack the dust from our feet and move on. Only God can change the heart of man. Only God can remove the heart of stone and give a heart of flesh. Jesus warned us not to cast pearls before swine or give childrens food to the dogs. There are a lot of well meaning people who want to help but don't know or forget that they are not God. There is a true story of a missionary that wanted to bring the love of God to the Plains Indians and so he packed a wagon and headed west. The first group of mounted warriors he met he piled out of his wagon and ran towards them waving his bible and yelling how much God loved them and so did he. The warriors did not understand a word he said and not knowing what else to do they did what they thought was best. They shot him full of arrows and rode off to hunt buffaloe. He died a martyr but changed not one life and wasted his own. He had good intentions but the unforseen circumstance was waiting for him. When we have the oppurtunity to do good we should but we are not God and can not make the evil heart good only God can do that. If you feel God has truly called you to play with rattlesnakes I would urge you not to but I wouldn't stand in the way of you doing God's will. However, what purpose will it serve if the rattler bites and kills you. Your dead and have accomplished nothing.
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