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Day 35: Phlogistonian Theories

Posted by undergroundchurch on February 11, 2011

Fire occurs when three elements exist – heat, fuel and phlogiston.

Well, at least that was the theory in 1667 when Johann Joachim Becher postulated that as an element burned, like wood for example, it was actually dephlogistonating. He proposed that all materials had a substance in it he called phlogiston which produced fire as it left the material it inhabited.  What was left after the material burned out was “calx”, or the true form of the substance.

It wasn’t until the mid 1770s when Joseph Priestley discovers an element called “oxygen” that the world was once again turned upside down.  Fire didn’t let out phlogiston; it essentially let in oxygen.

Our Phlogistonian Theories

We have our own phlogistonian theories today – that is practices in this life that don’t really fit God’s design.

For example, in order to make it to the top of the corporate world, you might need to step on a few toes, break a few rules, burn a few bridges and claw your way up.

Jesus, on the other hand, said that if you wanted to be the greatest, you had to become the least. You had to become a servant of everyone else.

The world says to live life to the fullest, you have to get out there and “go for it”, but Jesus said that if you want to live, you must die to yourself.

In a race, the winner comes first, but in the Kingdom of God, the first will be last and the last will be first.

The question is, “Which way is right?”

If you’re scope is just this world and this life, then logically speaking, the world’s way is best.  The Donald Trumps, Bill Gates and Fidel Castros of the world got to their positions of power, fame and riches by stepping over anything that got in their way. However, the results attained in this world carry over to the next world in reverse order.

Only those believers that lay their lives down for others will be great in the world beyond the grave. Only those that serve others here will be considered worthy in eternity, and only those that consider others before themselves will themselves be put at the front of the line in the next world.

So, if you are fighting for a spot in this world, then go ahead and claw your way to the top.  However, if you are building for a future in a world that never ends, then you just might want to reevaluate your tactics in this life.


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