I home school – and I’m down to our last child. Home schooling gives unique opportunities to those who learn there, and to those who facilitate there. One of those opportunities is to read books that you would not have in your hands in the public school.
Daughter Crysta has just finished reading “In His Steps” by Charles M. Sheldon. This book is over 100 years old and yet it still holds relevance to today’s church. The book is a fictional outlay of an idea that Sheldon preached in his own church. The interesting thing is that Sheldon, himself, was a Christian Socialist, and did not stress personal redemption from sin in Christ. No, Sheldon – true to Socialism itself – was all about the practicalities of living a moral life. While I don’t ascribe to this form of teaching, I do love what this book says about being a disciple of Christ. *Update: Thanks to dmark for his comment below. I was not suggesting with this post that socialism is about living a moral life. As I commented to him, I appended information from another source “mid-thought”. What I meant to say here was that Sheldon was a socialist. His book was not about confronting sin, or redemption from Christ, but about applying Christian standards at a socialist level in order to even the playing field in a moral manner. Reading the book, you can clearly see Sheldon’s socialist leanings.
For those who haven’t read this timeless classic; an out-of-work printer – living as a hobo – came into the church of one Pastor Henry Maxwell. He challenged the people of the congregation to explain what their singing truly meant…. what did it mean when they sang about taking up the cross and following Him. The hobo could not see how that was happening. All he could see was a group of well dressed, finely fed “Christians”.
The hobo dies, and the pastor is so pressed by the Holy Spirit that he comes to his congregation and asks for volunteers to live a life dedicated to living in a manner they personally deemed Jesus would live. Each decision was to be prefaced with the question, “What would Jesus do?”
There were guidelines for this dedication that I will leave for you to read in the book. My point of this blog is not to regurgitate the book to you. However, there is something in the last chapter of the book I want to share with you. It is powerful. It is thought provoking. It is something I would ask you to chew on – as I know I am chewing on it.
The passage follows the continuation below. I hope you will take time to read it.
Tonight has been quite blessed. Barry and I spent time together watching Dennis DeYoung on PBS, and we are now listening to the video feed of Dr. Al Mohler speaking from Grace Community Church at the Shepherd’s Conference.
Have a wonderful weekend in the Lord.