He’s So Earthly Minded…


Yeah, I bungled the beginning of the old aphorism.

It’s supposed to read like this:

He’s so heavenly minded, he’s no earthly good.

I think it would be interesting to meet someone who embodies that aphorism—at least the first half of it.

If you’re a reader of Christian blogs, tweets, and Facebook postings, then you are well aware of the great theological debate that is occupying most of our attention: Kindle or iPad.

It’s an important debate, not because of which tech gizmo ultimately triumphs but because we seem to be more enamored of tech devices than we are of fulfilling the Great Commission.

What greater squandering of the Internet can there be than failing to use it to stoke conversation about fixing the Church, then using that conversation to develop a meaningful, countercultural vision for this Christian life?

Seriously, aren’t we being assaulted on all sides? Isn’t the age we’re in increasingly squeezing the life and focus out of the Church? Haven’t we become a nation of Christians more interested in raising up politicians than raising up Jesus? Aren’t we more concerned about becoming poor than meeting the needs of the poor? Yet at the same time, don’t we go spending whatever limited money we think we may have on junk that doesn’t matter?

I recently read The Survivor’s Club, which details how people should and should not act when faced with dire, dangerous situations. House afireThe author examined many disasters, large and small, and noted a major failing among those who perished. Many people who should have survived the disaster did not because they treated the situation as if it were business as usual. In other words, their sense of danger failed to kick in. They didn’t process what was happening to them as if it were extraordinary. So they fell back into patterns of normal living, blind to the depth of the threat that faced them.

Here’s the kicker: That blindness is the majority reaction. Here’s the kicker to the kicker: ANYONE is capable of experiencing that blindness, even the trained.

Even the trained.

Folks, we’re supposed to be the trained. Have we been blinded?

I want to know where the serious people are, don’t you? Because when the house is on fire, it’s not enough to be trained; we have to be serious. And debating the Kindle vs. iPad isn’t serious. It’s just another in a long line of distractions that is increasingly making us Western Christians so earthly minded that we’re no heavenly good.

5 thoughts on “He’s So Earthly Minded…

  1. There is also this near obsession in “raising up leaders”. In an attractional model, what are people being led to and who is being led?

    Even in church or small group settings, I find very few who are Heavenly minded.

  2. I have been reading your fascinating blog for nearly 7 years, and have never commented before on your exceptionally insightful posts.

    All I can say is Amen, and Amen, and Amen !!!

    We have a high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14), and we live in a world which is lost and dying without Christ (Ephesians 2:12-13, John 3:16-17).

    Every Christian should listen to Keith Green’s “Asleep in the Light” and let the words run through their minds again and again until it rouses in each of us a holy passion for a world headed for judgment (Jeremiah 2:11-13) without the only One, Christ Jesus the Lord, who can save them from their sins (Matthew 1:21, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

    Keith Green lyrics quoted below:

    ASLEEP in the LIGHT

    Do you see, do you see, all the people sinking down,
    Don’t you care, don’t you care, are you gonna let them drown,
    How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
    You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done.


    Oh Bless me Lord, bless me Lord, you know it’s all I ever hear,
    No one aches, no one hurts, no one even sheds one tear,
    But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, and He cares for your needs,
    And you just lay back and keep soaking it in, oh, can’t you see it’s such sin?


    Cause He brings people to your door,
    And you turn them away, as you smile and say,
    God bless you, be at peace, and all Heaven just weeps,
    Cause Jesus came to your door, you’ve left Him out on the streets.


    Open up, open up, and give yourself away,
    You’ve seen the need, you hear the cry, so how can you delay,
    God’s calling and you’re the one, but like Jonah you run,
    He’s told you to speak, but you keep holding it in,
    Oh, can’t you see it’s such sin?


    The world is sleeping in the dark,
    That the church can’t fight, cause it’s asleep in the light,
    How can you be so dead, when you’ve been so well fed,
    Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can’t even get out of bed,
    Oh, Jesus rose from the dead, come on, get out of your bed.


    How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
    You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done,
    You close your eyes and pretend the job’s done,
    Don’t close your eyes, don’t pretend the job’s done.
    Come away, come away, come away with Me, My love,
    Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, My love.


    Keep stirring up the consciences of God’s people (Hebrews 3:13)

  3. Elisha exemplified being “so spiritually minded, he is of no earthly good” in one instance. A wife convinced her husband to build a small addition onto the house with “a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick” (2 Kings 4:10). (Really, what else does one need? And that would have been considered luxury since travellers routinely slept out in the open in those days.) When Elisha wanted to return her kindness, he had to have Gehazi do the thinking for him, though. So Gehazi, who was too earthly minded, immediately knew what the Lord could give the woman: a child.

    I find it hard to be heavenly minded when the urge is to be of earthly good at all times. Consider, for example, that Jesus commanded His disciples to beseech the Lord of the harvest to send in workers. That is a prayer worthy to be prayed! But I’ve been trained that I need to be ready to be the answer to that prayer. So why should I pray? I should just get out there and harvest. Praying for the Lord to send workers into the harvest just delays my own obedience to His calling. And then I’ve been urged to preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words. So I should go to the poor and help them find better employment, housing, medical care, etc., so that the poor can become as earthly minded as I am supposed to be. In this manner, I am supposed to show them Jesus!

    By the way, Dan, you forgot to mention Barnes & Noble’s Nook! “Did you know that the future of reading is little electronic gadgets?” That is my actual sales pitch when I hand out flyers about Nook. Yes, indeed, the future of reading (for those who still will read) is little electronic gadgets. Sooner than we know, some publishing houses may issue ebook-only editions: no hard copy available, except perhaps by print-on-demand.

  4. suzanne

    Raising up politicians rather than Jesus. So true. A conservative Christian congressman in our area just resigned his position after being caught in an affair…an affair with a woman who hosted the Christian radio show that he appeared on regularaly. So, so many of my Christian friends seem to believe that no one who leans politically to the left will ever, ever be allowed in heaven, and probably shouldn’t be allowed in church. As I listened to a recent radio interview with a student at a militant Islamic school, I couldn’t help but think that if one substituted Jesus with Allah, and Christian with Muslim, the interviewee would have sounded very similar to so many Christians I’ve met in the past few years. Where’s the love? Where is the humanity? Sadly, for too many Christians, it isn’t there. They love their faith becuase it condones consumerism and political activism.

  5. tsquare21

    This prayer is from Jesus, that we may here from Him, that He may meet our needs. It only consist of three simple steps.

    1) We need to read one scripture. This will focus us in the word that brings everlasting life.

    2) Since this prayer is from Jesus we need to direct our prayer to Him personally. To often Christian focus they’re prayer‘s to G_D the father. Scripture proclaims that Jesus should be the focus of our prayer.

    3) The simplest part of this Prayer is to ask Jesus one question. Please, all that is required for this question is to make it simple. Let Jesus Himself finish the question when He gives you that understanding through prayer.

    The PRAYER

    The scripture that is the focus of this prayer is “ACTS 2:38”. It’s not necessary to do any study into this scripture. Jesus Himself willl bestow the understanding that will resonate in your heart.

    The most important part of this prayer is that we need to direct our prayer directly to Jesus. If you normally would say Father in your prayer, change your focus from the Father to Christ Jesus by lifting Jesus name up every time you would normally use Father in your prayer.

    Maybe the hardest part of this prayer is the question that we need to ask Jesus. For man as we are, always try to understand the question and may add many additional quires. The simplest question is all that is required.

    Simply ask Jesus ‘WHY, Jesus why’

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