Saturday, September 25, 2010

Job 1:21 and the Christian Attitude toward Material Possessions

"And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.'"

Presbyterians can honor a little-known figure, Charles Colcock Jones, Sr., of Liberty, Georgia. Born to a plantation family, his spiritual convictions led him to a ten-year career of evangelizing the African slaves on both his own plantation and those of his neighbors. He believed that the spiritual uplifting of blacks would lead to a peaceful end of slavery. At the end of that time in 1848, he became a professor at Columbia Theological Seminary (which actually was in Columbia, SC, during that time). Shortly after his installation there, the family home was destroyed by fire. While the family escaped unharmed, all his material goods were lost, including his pastoral library, acquired over his professional lifetime. Of that loss, he had this to say:

"My mind has been and was calm. It was the hand of the Lord! It was mine to use, not to hold nor keep. He took but what He gave - but what was His own. It all resolved itself into a question of time only. The time was coming when I must be taken from all that was consumed. It pleased God to take all from me and leave me alive." [emphasis in the original]

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