Dave’s Snippets

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                                      Dr. David Allen

MAY CONTAIN “NUTS”

On   various packets, cartons, and often prominently displayed on menus, are the words “May contain nuts”. Sadly, some who are allergic to peanuts, cashews and almonds and other nuts, which most of us enjoy, have become extremely ill and one or two have died.  A piquant and delicious curry, or a crisp salad, may conceal a fatal ingredient.

During two thousand years of Christian history, the Church has had more than its share of “nuts”. St Simeon Stylites spent many years living on the top of a sixty-foot pole in the Syrian desert;  St Antony of Egypt lived in a cave and, in order to “mortify his flesh”, every morning  jumped naked into a conveniently placed thornbush! Much later on, St Francis of Assisi, to show his utter dependence on God rather than his own father, stripped naked on the cathedral  steps!

The early Quaker, James Nayler, like Jesus on a donkey, entered into Bristol to the cries of “Hosanna” from his followers.  Poor Naylor was imprisoned, had his tongue bored through with an awl and the letter B branded, as a Blasphemer, on his forehead.

As Pentecostals, we have had some “nuts”. In the early days, to defend themselves from the Devil, some would exclaim the cry “Blood! Blood! Blood!” Forty years ago a pastor was removed from the ministry because he was trying to expel demons on and crushing the unfortunate sufferers! I knew of another who claimed that he exorcised himself every morning before shaving! It is well he did things in that order!

However, here a warning: It is sometimes said that madness and genius are only a “tad” between.  David Wilkerson was thought crazy when he left a comfortable pastorate to go and speak in court on behalf of members of a vicious gang in   New York City.  The exciting story of   Teen Challenge began with  a “nut” who gave his shoes to a penniless drug-addict.  God may demand something that seems madness; but His ways are very different from ours, and we must never  stifle and criticise creativity and some things which may at first seem crazy.

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