A Man fell Into a Pit

A great parable from John Mark Ministries http://www.jmm.org.au/articles/4570.htm

A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.

A subjective person walked by and said, “It’s logical that someone would fall down there.” A Pharisee said, “Only bad people fall into pits.” A mathematician calculated *how* he fell into the pit. A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the pit. A taxman asked if he was paying taxes on the pit. A self-pitying person said, “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen *my* pit.

A fire-and-brimstone preacher said, “You deserve your pit.” A Christian Scientist observed, “The pit is just in your mind.” A psychologist noted, “Your mother and father are to blame for your being in that pit.” A self-esteem therapist said, “Believe in yourself and you can get out of that pit.” An optimist said, “Things could be worse.” A pessimist claimed, “Things will get worse.”

Jesus, seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him OUT of the pit.

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22 thoughts on “A Man fell Into a Pit

    • What?! ~ and deprive all the pompous rrrsouls of the opportunity to strut their stuff…..and leave Bryan with nothing instructive to write about?
      Not very christian of you lad! 🙂

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      • Maybe they can take down the barricade one day a week and call it good Samaritan day ?

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      • Now that’s a very kind and loving thought! One might almost suspect that you’re leaning towards converting to christianity…. 😯
        (Might not be a bad career-move, in case all those exponentially-increasing chinese christians spill over the borders to your north.)

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      • I was leaning towards Samaritans. Have a look at Luke 17:11-19.

        Apparently a lot of them converted to Islam in Palestine. A good bunch of people still getting a raw deal.

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      • Hmm! —> “Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
        Yeah:- “A good bunch of people still getting a raw deal.”

        Should’ve told him NOT to ‘rise’, but rather stay in the well he made for him, below the firing-line)
        (19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”)

        ….or at the very least NOT to go to on to Jerusalem. As god, he’s have known that even then the joint was full of zionist terrorists.

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    • True Dabbles, as I’ve seen many a time. And I’ve personally experienced beautiful actions of ‘rescue’ from non-Christians quite often.
      But my comments that follow are for Bryan.

      Yes Bryan,
      What you offered there in your blog is just another version of an old Christian fable that I have seen in innumerable forms over the whole of my life. Sometimes the poor man was passed by Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and whoever. All, of course, being a development of the story of the Good Samaritan. The story is purely an allegory, and can only actually apply to Christian doctrines of Salvation.

      It cannot be substantiated as a practical everyday principle or expectation, especially since the God and his Christ are supposed to be everywhere and observe everything, and yet rarely seem to ‘step in’. And it is also making the improper and blatantly untrue proposition that no-one but Jesus Christ (or his devoted flock) will ever help the fallen. Immediately I’m reminded of the beautiful example of that remarkable atheist Fred Hollows; and I don’t need to elaborate there. In today’s world, presumably a Jesus Christ might well use that same tireless and loving worker for deprived people, as a prime example of a ‘Good Samaritan’. N’est pas?

      I notice with interest that there is no suggestion that the poor guy in the pit called out for or sought after Jesus and his aid, through the predicament; and I’ve understood for years, as dear old CS Lewis put it, (and as it’s quoted in the text of the play ‘Shadowlands’) that ‘if you don’t seek Him, then you wont find Him.’ I guess though, that if an exception had been made in this particular case, then some sort of divine arbitrary discrimination had been exercised, when some poor blighter in the next ‘pit’ was duly ignored. That would sound most unfair; but then the Bible seems to indicate that this God has his favourites, as well as those that he disapproves of. So we mustn’t question the Deity who may ever do as he ‘pleases’. Oh, and thinking back to the Gospel stories, I cant quite recall Jesus doing good deeds for individuals who hadnt asked him first.

      Another thing, for years I’ve read the rather self-consciously calculated Christian teaching that has apparently become mainstream, – that Jesus/God doesn’t rescue us from our big earthly problems. No, He proceeds to ‘suffer with’ us instead. Now, in all the Church, Bible and Sunday School of my youth and childhood, I never heard this concept. I’m not saying that there is NO Biblical text that supports it, and I’d be most interested to be informed by one or other of the Christians on this blog, just where I can read it. Does it come from any of the ancient Fathers of the Church?

      But on the surface of it, it really does sound to the outsider and dissenter that it is a neat way of wriggling out of that age old and obvious problem within Theism, when one naturally agonizes over the problem of where is this God when people suffer, when children are tormented or cruelly handled; (or for that matter when one observes some of the horrible cruelties that go on in war, and as well in the animal kingdom.)

      It reminds me somewhat of the clever traditional Catholic direction that one should maintain or present one’s suffering as something of a sacrifice to God. I don’t think this has ever been a Protestant concept though; but certainly a most influential teaching that would appear to be a way of stopping or forbidding the faithful from complaining to the Deity about their lot.

      But coming back to the literal terms of the story you give there, I seem to recall accounts of some six million individuals 60 odd years back, who fell into a very real ‘pit’ and duly suffered terribly thereby. Sure, virtually the whole of the world stood by and appeared to do nothing to help them out of this ‘pit’; and indeed, there is no indication that the God or Jesus held forth a hand to lift them out, as one might expect. Oh yes, there are marvellous stories coming out of the events that indicate some few individuals found comfort from a divine presence ‘with’ them through it all, – But!!!!!

      Cheers, Rian.

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      • Perhaps you’re being a bit harsh there Rian?
        eg. I made a comment elsewhere about the difference between Jesus and Paul, and I think it applies in the homily above.

        Paul would’ve been pushing his own agenda the whole time he was helping the fellow out of the hole; I’d like to think a Jesus would’ve done so just because it needed doing, and not raised a single question about ‘belief’ or any consideration of ‘salvation’.

        Such a thought also relates to the general impression I have that those of ‘higher standing’ are more likely to be unthinkingly magnanimous than those lower down the rankings: those scrambling for fish-heads on the beach, as JL Seagull might’ve put it.

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      • Rian,
        As usual you failed to understand that:
        – This parable is told in the context of the problem of sin, ie. how different religions deal with the problem of sin (not social justice).
        – All the problems you think God is indifferent to, are the result of sin. God will not be mocked. Whatsoever a person sows, that shall he also reap.
        – Sin is a serious problem. Jesus said “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”.

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      • davinci,
        it appears that you didnt really read my post there. I did say clearly that the story of the man falling into the pit is an allegory AND refers to Christian Salvation. My dear fellow, I’m obviously NOT missing the point there. The Christian doctrines of Salvation well and truly include the issue of the teachings about Sin. Of course I personally reject the theories; but I’d be most remiss in my understanding of Christian teaching if I was not aware of just what the Bible and much of the church has taught for most of 2000 years.

        To the outsider, the matter of social justice is still crucial, and just cant be glossed over as you are doing. The story of the man in the pit does still cast nasturtiums (sic) at all individuals who neglect the pains and sufferings of others. There’s always more than one meaning behind a parable. Jesus himself made it plain that the people would readily get the obvious and moral or practical meaning (s), while those in the know would pick up or be taught other levels of meaning. Hasnt any teacher of yours ever instructed you in the way many of the early Church Fathers taught allegorical interpretations of Scriptural (and other) moral or spiritual tales, and how these may be looked on with profit by the faithful??

        Cheers, Rian.

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    • (to follow Rian posting 0f 19.18pm)

      Just after I posted my comment here, it occurred to me that perhaps I should add that I am perfectly aware of two Scriptural texts that might be raised in answer to some of my contentions.

      There is the account of the way Paul and whoever, having been flogged and cast into prison, were praising God that they had been accounted worthy of suffering on his behalf. Not really a good example I fear. Not really suggesting that they were offering their suffering as a sacrifice in the same fashion as Catholicism demanded.

      Then the other is the text in Romans, about ‘presenting one’s body as a living sacrifice’. I suspect that the essential meaning of that verse relates to the whole of a life dedicated to the service of God, and the conclusion of the verse justifies that interpretation. Again I think, not a good example to counter my suggestions..

      Rian.

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  1. Dabs,

    Last night I was contemplating the question of ‘truth’, and I remembered what Francis Frangipane said about it, that Truth was not merely a doctrine, but the Person, Jesus Christ, and that He lives inside of us, His children. And you cheekily suggested I take a dose of Moxidectin. You make me laugh like no other here, Dabs. I hope you never lose your sense of humour. 🙂 But, nevertheless, I felt God wanted to say something to me just now, and, well, He’s knocked me off my feet, again! His rhema word (the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us at the present moment) is for all who have ears to hear, and not just for me, of course.

    Pray Without Ceasing, One Heartbeat At A Time
    By Brenda Craig of Journals of the Heart • June 24, 2014

    WORD OF THE DAY

    Beloved, My highest desire, above all else…above all you will ever do for Me in the natural, is to have an intimate relationship with you. Nothing you do or can do, and I mean nothing, can ever be as important or valuable as those moments we commune and our hearts beat as one. One of those moments is worth a thousand other days to Me. If only you knew how much pleasure I have in them, you would stop all you are doing many times a day just to hear one beating of My heart. Did you know one recognized and received beat of My heart for you has the power to transform for a life time and affect all of eternity? My heart beats. You hear and respond. I act accordingly. Abundant life is released in only the few seconds it takes for a heart to beat. Let this penetrate your heart and stir your senses.

    It is true everything takes time to prepare, so please do not put Me in a box of your own mindsets and religious ideas about who I am. To do so limits Me from doing all I desire to do for you. Don’t limit what one heartbeat can do and its importance to the preparation of all things to come. Be willing to build one heartbeat at a time as you dwell in the secret place with Me.

    You see, I know the desires of your heart before you even speak them, for I’ve known you before you were in your mother’s womb. I know the prayers of your heart which long to be given a voice. I hear them beating a drumbeat within your being as they call out to be released. If all of creation groans with longing to see the sons of God be revealed…if the rocks can cry out and trees can clap their hands…how much more do you think the living Word and destiny inside of you desires to speak…to pray…to be released so you can traverse from glory to glory in this life…and the life to come.

    Sometimes I know you wonder if it matters whether you pray because I know it all anyway. Though I know all your thoughts…though I know every unspoken prayer, I still love to hear you say them to Me. After all, I did ask you to pray without ceasing.

    Many times in this life, others do not want to listen or they listen with half a heart. I never do. Never take your cues about Me in relation to whether others have wanted to listen or not. I am not like them. In fact, I am continually coaxing, wooing and calling to you in hopes you will share the depths of Your heart. I take such pleasure in hearing the good, the bad and the ugly. I hear all so I can answer all. Share your frustrations…tell Me when you’re angry or upset…tell Me when you feel offended or put out…express your thanksgiving and gratefulness and I will respond accordingly. This is one way of praying without ceasing. Don’t ever assume prayer is just asking or supplication. What is prayer? It is two way communications about many things and is not confined to just asking. To pray without ceasing is to share your life with Me one heartbeat at a time. (Selah, meditate or think on this)

    Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). (Ephesians 6:18 Amplified)

    Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 Message Bible)

    Journals of the Heart—Brenda Craig

    Yep, God is with and in us.

    Psalm 46:1-3

    God is our refuge and strength,
    A very present help in trouble.
    2 Therefore we will not fear,
    Even though the earth be removed,
    And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
    3
    Though its waters roar and be troubled,
    Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

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    • Goodonyer Mon.
      MBut don’t worry, my sense of humour will be maintained up until and including a conversation I have with St Pete about getting my own set of keys so’s I can come and go Freewillingly. After that….?? Will have to wait and see.

      It’s your’s that I sometimes worry about….But it worries me that you might be right (that Jesus lives within me) given my burgeoning belly. Apparently, one way or another, that’s a health hazard!
      On the other hand, I’ve heard—>

      a burly set of angels
      called ..”Peter and the Pope-rs..”
      mount guard upon the pearly gates
      to sift out interlopers

      they are a set of hand picked chaps
      with fearful reputation
      and if the queue gets nasty
      they will sort the situation

      and I have heard..it may be true
      some types who just aren’t nice
      have tried to bribe these holy boys
      to enter paradise

      but if you are not on the list
      you never will get in
      for evil doers have to pay
      a price for all that sin

      so on the road to hell they go
      with cries and lamentation
      they march ………
      …..right down
      ……….. to Satan’s place
      ……….for eternal damnation..!!.

      .. blimey..!!

      One door closes, another opens, huh?
      But always remember that although the situation may be desperate it’s not necessarily serious. 😉

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      • Love you Dabs.

        And no, not desperate. Those times are long gone, thank God. I just want answers. And I can’t seem to accept that sometimes there aren’t any. That’s life! 🙂

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      • Dunno, Strewth….”Trust in God”.
        Isn’t god the one responsible for the drunk-driver coming through the red light?.
        Given his track-record, I’d suggest trusting your own eyes, nimble wit and nifty footwork 😉

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      • Don’t know if that drunk driver was seeking answers, as Mon spoke about. Apples and oranges, perhaps. Mon’s experience and understanding could be quite different from his, OR similar.

        Perhaps if he had put some trust in God in an earlier circumstance, the accident wouldn’t have happened. Or perhaps it would.

        God moves in mysterious ways, His plan is beyond human understanding. God has a reason for everything, however strange it may seem to us.

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