The Ernie Project

The Ernie Project no. 8

(The man himself, Ernie, in his home library where he wrote many of his “hellos”.)

From binder no. 2

Dated 14 Jan 90

Hello from the Pastor (by Reverend Ernest Richter)


In the parable of the sower Jesus describes four types of soils, three of which are unproductive. It seems that the unproductive soils are perfectly good in themselves, but they have been rendered unproductive by extraneous influences. The path soil, for instance, has been rendered null by being  repeatedly trodden, trodden, trodden down. The shallow soil would be fine if it weren’t for the hidden substrata of hardpan that underlies it, and the weedy soil has been given over to a verdant collection of virulent competitors. Throughout, the suggestion is of good soil that has become unproductive by nefarious influences.

Now when I think of nefarious influences, I think of that unholy trinity of evil influences known as the World, the flesh and the Devil. I can’t help but see a correspondence between the bad soils in the parable and the dire influences of the World, the flesh and the Devil on the eternal souls of men.

I see “the World” in the weedy soil; the World with its cares and concerns, with its distractions and temptations. These things crowd out the Gospel seed and prevent it from growing. I see “the flesh” in the shallow soil; the flesh with its silly concentration on the superficial, its infatuation with amusement, titillation and entertainment. Nothing truly serious has a chance of growing in such shallow soil, least of all the Gospel. 

I see “the Devil” in the packed pathway soil. The Devil is the Evil One who snatched away any Godly influence that comes to such a calloused heart, just as birds feast on the good seed that falls on the hard pathway. The Gospel doesn’t stand a chance in such a heart. The World, the flesh and the Devil: a dirty trio that will ruin any soil, or soul. -The End

For those who wish to read the parable Ernie is discussing in this HFTP- here it is from “The New International” version of the Holy Bible aka NIV

Matthew 13:1-9

1. That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

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