"The Liberty of Obedience" by Elisabeth Elliot
"Jesus Christ gave us, with Himself, all things freely to enjoy. Paul reminded us that all things are ours. We are not asked to deny ourselves as many things as possible in order to set our hearts on the Eternal. Things are not incompatible with Christ...
It is not what goes into the man that defiles him. It is what comes out. It is our use of things that determines their effect on us. It is our response to events, not the events themselves, that shapes us. God is more concerned with the heart. He is not as concerned that we obey a code of conduct governing outward things. He says, 'My Son, give me thine heart.' "
"It appears that God has deliberately left us in a quandry about many things. Why did He not summarize all the rules in one book, and all the basic doctrines in another? He could have eliminated the loopholes, prevented all the schisms over morality and false teaching that have plagued His Church for two thousand years. Think of the squabling and perplexity we would have been spared. And think of the crop of dwarfs He would have reared!
He did not spare us. He wants us to reach maturity.
Note that He is not interested in conformity to a static code but to a person, the 'likeness of His Son,' the living expression of Himself, the very Life of all the ages."
"Let us who claim to take the Bibles as our norm not oversimplify. Our search for truth has by no means ended-although our facile mouthing of formulas could turn away some who are earnestly seeking. We have much to seek and much to learn.
God is absolute. His Word is authority. Still, it is at the same time anything but cut and dried.
For the Love of God is broader,
Than the measure of man's mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
But we make His love too narrow,
By false limits of our own
And we magnify its strictness,
With a zeal He will not own.
Frederick W. Faber"