A beggar editor enfolds himself in emperor colors

Rudyard Kipling, writing about a character in his 1893 collection of short stories titled Many Inventions, said “he wrapped himself in quotations – as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors.” Kipling could just as easily have been describing a Christian newspaper editor. We live for quotations, wrapping our publications in them as a beggar enfolding himself in the purple of emperors.

In his preface to Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Mark Twain biographer Justin Kaplan notes how we all use quotations “as passwords and secret handshakes, socially strategic signals that say, ‘I understand you. We speak the same language.’” I certainly hope we speak the same language by our articles directly pointing to God’s inerrant, infallible Word or indirectly by telling how God is working through His creation and creatures.

So it might be entertaining to reflect on 2013 through the best quotations from our “Thus saith” collection that appears on page 5 of The Pathway. Whether for sheer enjoyment or literary pursuit, for inspiration or adding zest to conversation or a presentation, for research or to point us to truth, I hope the “Thus saith” quotations are a blessing. Following are some of my favorites, ranked from my fifth favorite to No. 1:

The Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame has taken the nation by storm, posting unprecedented ratings for a cable network. The nation often laughed or contemplated many of the Robertsons’ utterances. Consider this beauty by patriarch Phil Robertson admitting that his bad behavior once put in jeopardy his 47-year marriage to his wife, Kay, and how a love note and God helped sustain them. The note is still taped on the headboard of their bed.

#5. “I said yes (I love you) and she said, ‘Write it down.’ So I scribbled, ‘Miss Kay, I love you. I always have and I always will.’”

The battle over marriage intensified in 2013 and the homosexual movement made some gains with the help of their liberal media allies. One such ally was The Post-Dispatch editorial board in St. Louis which wrote an editorial headline with the following:

#4. “(The U.S. Supreme) Court suggests marriage equality (is) here to stay. In Missouri, bigotry’s here to stay.”

The attack on religious freedom intensified in 2013 through several federal court decisions and Obamacare, which forces Christian institutions and businesses to violate their conscience by paying for abortion causing drugs in their employees’ insurance coverage. Expect this issue to become raging fire in the Missouri General Assembly in 2014. It looks as if House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, will help lead the fight to protect our religious liberty. He made his view clear during the 2013 session.

#3. “You should have the freedom in this country to not be forced to participate in something that you morally object to or that is against your religious beliefs.”

Zach “Hillbillyboy” Osborne sprayed tobacco spit on the atheist monument at the Bradford County (Fla.) Courthouse and posted a photo of his action on Facebook before sending it to the American Atheists. Some may have thought the lad brought disrepute on the Christian faith, while others hailed him as an “Elijah before the prophets of Bail.” We report, you decide.

#2. “I apologize for my rude behavior towards your alls monument. What I did was stupid and immature and yes, I’m 15, which is no excuse for my actions.”

Susan “Bunny” Yekzaman, a disaster relief chaplain from First Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, Okla., to a grieving mother whose child was killed in a tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., in the spring. This powerful quote reminds us to love and be compassionate to a hurting world. The full exchange moved me to tears: “I’m here to walk through this with you,” Yekzaman told the sobbing mother as she took her in her arms. The mother lamented, “I don’t think I can walk; I’m going to have to crawl.” Yekzaman replied, “Then I’ll crawl with you,” as the two of them fell to their knees.

#1. “Then I’ll crawl with you.”

I hope The Pathway has been a blessing to you in 2013. One more thing: Merry Christmas. And you can quote me on that!