Can You Ever Be Perfect? The Curvilinear Christian
Having Fellowship With Him?
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection...
Have you ever noticed when the other man acts a certain way, he is ugly; when you do, it's stress? Have you taken note that when others are set like stone in their ways, they're obstinate, but when you are, it is determination. What about when your neighbor doesn't like your buddy, he's prejudiced, but when you don't like his, you are a good judge of human nature? Have you noticed that when he tries to treat someone especially well, he's smooth, but when you try it, you are being considerate? Hmmm – I introduce to you in this hub what I am calling Curvilinear Christianity. Curvilinear is simply a compound concept between a curve and a line. The word can be used of anything bounded by a curved line(s). This analogy may be crude and oversimplified, but I believe it describes a Christian life. Curvilinear Christianity simply implies our lives are not straight lines but curved and crooked in an effort to reach maturity in Christ.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (Hebrews 6:1 KJV Bible)
Thewriter of Hebrews gives an excellent notion of the obligation of progress. I start with the first principles of the doctrine of Christ Jesus. Then I climb up the ladder of the Christian life. I begin earthly, and pursue the heavenly. This ladder starts with its lowest rung fixed to the everyday, but it continues till it touches paradise. I wish that my climbing were as straight as the ladder. However, I have so many inconsistencies – it often seems like I am not climbing at all. It is only after many years of service to Christ that I look back upon this tree that I see its affect upon me. I am closer to heaven now than then. This is what I mean by Curvilinear Christianity.
I see our American flag waving on its staff in the wind. It stays up pointing into and with the winds. It continually curves. Gentle undulations trek from its fixed to its free end. Meandering streams of air ripple across it stripes. How beautiful are its oscillations. My heart is lifted in patriotism when I reflect on the great nation it represents. I am so proud to be an American. However, the undulations remind me that even the great U.S.A. has its ups and downs. She provides liberty in our pursuit of happiness, but she is also guilty of the sins like that of slavery. However, her ideals have enabled this great nation to rise above and correct her shortcomings. I pray it always be so.
Our ideals are like that ladder, they are the compass, and they are the way things should be. On the other hand, our practices are often far from straight. Often we are tossed with the winds.
This is the nature of motion, and you cannot get from here to there without it. Curvilinear suggests life is not going to always be straight. I challenge the readers of this hub, get upward, go forward, never, be satisfied with a stationary life –Ever be heavenward bound. On the other hand, always know your life is not in a vacuum, not isolated without any swelling forces tugging at you! Can a train speed along its path without its wheels ever turning; can a river hurl downs the mountain without any water moving in curves; does not a tree shiver in the wind; could a guitar make music with no vibration of it strings? My life and goals may be heaven bound but each day has its own rhythm. Some days I do better than others; some days I am more sinner than saint; some days I make great progress; some days!
- If men grew physically at the rate they grow spiritually, many of them would spend their lives in a playpen. –
- There are some Christians with beards on their faces who are babies.
- Authority makes some people grow--others just sweat.
Croft M. Pentz
I used to enjoy walking by the mountain stream. I lived in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and there was something therapeutic about the trek. Sometimes I would hike the tributary east, sometimes north, west or south. However, when I made it to the hill top, I could see the stream was moving downhill. It traveled in one direction with many curves. This is the message I get from the Hebrew writer. I start at the start and set my travel toward perfection. I mature along the way. Everywhere there is pulse and tempo in motion; action and reaction; forward and backward; success and failings. I suffer several an opposition; I am often driven backward on my journey forward. Many times I am brought low. I am knee-high, but on my knees I find strength to climb another rung. I am closer today than yesterday; I just keep climbing.
The Christian life suffers many an opposition. Pressing towards perfection is a hard work of patience. Pressing after a falling is even harder. I must somehow get a glimpse of my life from the mountain top so that I will not grow weary in well doing. Lord, let me keep my eyes on you that I can see where I am going!
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day . (2 Timothy 1:12 KJV Bible)
Studies relevant to Christian Perfection
- A tribute and study of John Wesley
John Wesley is recognized as the father of Methodism. His struggle with Christian perfection gives relevant study for the Christian.
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- Charles Wesley
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