TO SAY “Amen” is to say, “Be it so” or “So be it,” or “May it become true.” But in another context is it simply to give assent or approval to what has been said.
Sometimes, in my writing and mailing booklets, whether mine or other authors, or in sending e-mails to fellow-Christians, I will get a letter or an e-mail of response. Sometimes it is a short message of agreement, but often it is only a short “AMEN!” Sometimes when the responder really means to get the point across, he will even say, “Amen and Amen!”
Years ago I heard a beloved minister preach and after “preaching up a storm” with what needed to be said, the congregation was silent. No response was coming forth. Suddenly the preacher stopped and said, “Well, say something! Say ‘Amen’ or ‘Oh me’ one!” I will never forget that.
To be able to say “Amen” means you have been paying attention to the writer or to the speaker, and you agree. Have you ever been talking to someone, and they will be glancing with their eyes, hither and yon, as if waiting for you to stop, or perhaps they are thinking about what THEY want to say when you stop YOUR blabbing. They are not really listening, are they? Such people are not “good listeners.”
Recently my precious wife flew away to be with the Lord Jesus. She was (is) a most caring, thoughtful, and sensitive person, now a soul in Heaven. After her departure, some said of her, “She was such a caring person; when you were speaking to her, she would look you if your eyes and you knew she was listening to you and you knew she cared.” And I, who was her husband, say “AMEN to THAT!”
By stark contrast, I am now reading a book entitled “Death of a Guru,” that a Christian brother in California recommended to me. The author, Rabi R. Maharaj, was a Hindu guru, trained to take the place of his father who was a leading “deity,” a Hindu guru and Yogi. A “Yogi” is a “master of yoga.” (Reader, beware of this! Ultimately it gets you into Eastern false religion and occultism).
Even before Rabi was born, his father determined to go into total renunciation, denouncing all things sensual that require activity of the five senses. The last page of the book explains that “The true meditating Yogi has cut himself off from all sense perceptions, including family, friends, and all human relationships. He is supposed to be beyond space, time, caste, country, religion, and even good and evil.” He just sits in his yoga position, repeating his mantras, staring blankly into space. And the Hindu is suppose to worship THAT and count it a mark of a deity? Incredible!
Oh, sometimes we all find ourselves day-dreaming or staring into space, thinking of something apart from our surroundings, but to sit and stare continually and perpetually, with no let-up, we would count to be “insanity,” would we not?
Rabi’s deified father lived for eight years after the son’s birth, and the father never spoke a single word to his small son, to fulfill his vow and determination of total renunciation. How deceived man can be! How “out of it,” and indeed how SELFISH, disregarding all people around you, never responding in any way to them, never sympathizing with them, never showing you understand their needs and that you care—for you DON’T. False religion of such a Hindu has him in total CHAINS! Yet Rabi’s father had to be treated like a baby, His wife and his worshipping sister had to do everything for him: feed him, wash and bath him, cloth him, just as a mother would a baby. What a waste of a human’s life on earth!
Hopefully, we all show a bit more saneness than this! We are at least cognizant of our surroundings, and hopefully we show ourselves quick to help another, to LISTEN to him or her and to RESPOND in an appropriate manner, for the other person’s good and for our own learning.
This takes me to another phase of this lesson.
CAN YOU SAY AMEN TO WHAT YOU READ?
Some people just don’t like to read. Some can’t even read, but most people in America are blessed in being ABLE to read. Those who do not take advantage of that ability are missing out, like there is a world they do not know about. We read for KNOWLEDGE. We read to LEARN. We should want to know what is going around us, and not be like a Hindu guru. God’s truth is so vast, and there is such a vast amount of truth around us that we can only get by either listening with our ears or seeing or reading with our eyes. There is a virtual world of learning before us. It takes an observant mind, a yearning for truth and knowledge to even be partially aware of what is so readily available. Without THAT, we can never have reason to say “AMEN!” to what we read. Without that, we just become more like a zombie, or like that Hindu guru! We have little reason to say “Amen” to hardly anything.
Of course, by not reading, the main thing we miss out on is the truth of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, the very Word of God. What riches lie stored up between those covers, but it takes reading, digging, and searching to get to them. It takes a hungry mind and heart. It takes a prayerful heart that seeks and asks God by His Holy Spirit to TEACH us and to REVEAL to us His everlasting and eternal TRUTH! “Amen!”
Though the Bible is our primary source for God’s truth, for spiritual knowledge and understanding we also must not overlook what God has given to His body by giving gifts to His saints, and much of THAT has been recorded for us in their writings. To ignore that and to reject that is to reject the very gifts of God Himself. These gifts and this knowledge and this spiritual understanding has been given and poured in human vessels, even into leaky and broken vessels, vessels of flesh, vessels of clay—to pass on, to share, and to hold —and pour out— golden truth!
Now beware of a dire, senseless, stupid, unholy error! The religious cults demand that only THEIR literature be read, as though they have ALL of God’s truth, when they even have more error than truth themselves. Some Christian groups or denominations are themselves too “cultic,” frowning on anything written by those NOT of THEIR affiliation. They will say “Amen” only to those they endorse as belonging to their membership, faithful to what THEY say. And what they don’t know, they don’t know that they don’t know. So they do not know what they are missing by refusing to learn from God’s gifts that are not necessarily connected officially and organizationally to “their group.” There are many, many “Amen’s” they will never utter, because they never see so much rich truth that God has GIVEN! “Amen.”
“. . . For Thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue and people, and nation.” (Revelation. 5:9)
“The voice of my Beloved! Behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.” (Song of Solomon 2:8)