The Difference Between Trees and Brush Piles

Making brush piles this morning, I recall the following account shared by former Wesleyan leader, Dr. Oliver G. Wilson:

"Driving across the plains of Kansas where there are but few trees, I saw in the distance what appeared to be the outline of one of those scrub oaks for which this particular part of Kansas is noted. As I drew nearer, however, and the object began to take form, I said to myself, “Not a tree, only a brush-pile.”

This started a line of thinking: Just what is the difference between a brush-pile and a tree?

The brush pile lacks two essentials: life and organization.

It might be that at one time this brush-pile by the Kansas highway had been a beautiful tree. It may be that it produced shade and possibly food for weary travelers who chanced to pass that way.

What had caused the change? Something had destroyed its life and had broken down its organization. At one time it had been symmetrical and beautiful. Now, it was a mass of tangled sticks.

There are individuals whose lives have become nothing but brush-piles. There is no great central purpose directing their activities. There is no glow of divine life.

It is to be observed that one characteristic of brush-piles is that they become hide-outs for all manner of creeping things. Should a hunter prod around for any length of time, it is highly probably that animals of many varieties would run out into the open. And a life that is a brush-pile becomes a den of ugly, vicious things. There will be jealousies, evil speaking, envies, hatreds and every evil work.

Further observation reveals the brush-pile to be in the process of decay. It will become smaller and smaller with each passing year, while a tree will expand and grow. The brush pile is a nuisance, while the tree is a blessing. The brush pile is ugly, while the tree is beautiful. The sun and rain that destroys the brush-pile feed the tree and cause it to widen its influence."

The contrasts, Wilson observed, are paralleled in the life of the person who lives by faith in God, and the one who does not.

“He who is living for God will expand and grow and produce fruit under the grinding influences of life. The person who is sinful in heart will become bitter, censorious and hateful under the hard things of life.”

Are you a tree or a brush-pile? (Boundless Horizons, p. 105)

Comments

Steve Finnell said…
DID THE 1ST CENTURY CHURCH HAVE NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES?

The prevailing thought of many is that since the Bible was not canonized until sometime between 300 and 400 A.D. that the church of Christ did not have New Covenant Scriptures as their guide for faith and practice. That is simply factually incorrect.

The Lord's church of the first 400 years did not rely on the man-made traditions of men for New Testament guidance.

Jesus gave the terms for pardon 33 A.D. after His death and resurrecting. (Mark 16:16) All the words of Jesus were Scripture.Jesus did not have to wait for canonization of the New Testament in order for His word to be authorized.

The terms for pardon were repeated by the apostle Peter 33 A.D. on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-42) The teachings of the apostles were Scripture. The words of the apostles were Scripture before they were canonized.

The apostle Peter said the apostle Paul's words were Scripture. (2 Peter 3:15-16...just as also our beloved brother Paul , according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand,which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures...

The apostle Paul's letters and words were Scriptures when he wrote and spoke them. Paul did not have to wait for canonization to authorize his doctrine.

John 14:25-26 'These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to you remembrance all that I said to you.

The words and writings of the apostles were Scripture and they did not have to wait for canonization to be deemed authoritative. The apostle did not use man-made creed books of the church or man-made oral traditions to teach the gospel of the New Covenant.

Did the early church have written New testament Scriptures? Yes, and they were shared among the different congregations. (Colossians 4:16 When the letter is read among you, have it read in the church of the Laodiceans and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodica.) Paul's letters were Scripture and they were read in different churches.

They were New Testament Scriptures long before they were canonized.

WRITTEN

Matthew A.D. 70
Mark A.D. 55
Luke between A.D. 59 and 63
John A.D. 85
Acts A.D. 63
Romans A.D. 57
1 Corinthians A.D. 55
2 Corinthians A.D. 55
Galatians A.D. 50
Ephesians A.D. 60
Philippians A.D. 61
Colossians A. D. 60
1 Thessalonians A.D. 51
2 Thessalonians A.D. 51 or 52
1 Timothy A.D. 64
2 Timothy A.D. 66
Titus A.D. 64
Philemon A.D. 64
Hebrews A.D. 70
James A.D. 50
1 Peter A.D. 64
2 Peter A.D. 66
1 John A.D. 90
2 John A.d. 90
3 John A.D. 90
Jude A.D. 65
Revelation A.D. 95

All 27 books of the New Testament were Scripture when they were written. They did not have wait until they were canonized before they became God's word to mankind.

Jesus told the eleven disciples make disciples and teach them all that He commanded. (Matthew 28:16-19) That was A.D. 33, They were teaching New Covenant Scripture from A.D. 33 forward. The apostles did not wait to preach the gospel until canonization occurred 300 to 400 years later.

THE WORDS OF JESUS AND THE APOSTLES WERE SCRIPTURE WHEN THEY WERE SPOKEN AND WRITTEN. THEY DID NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR CANONIZATION TO BE THE AUTHORIZED WORD OF GOD.

MAN-MADE CREED BOOKS AND MAN-MADE ORAL TRADITION WAS AND IS NOT SCRIPTURE.

YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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