It is one of those movie lines that seems to express so much.  The ingenue Renee Zellweger is so impressed by the dashing hero Tom Cruise that she completely ignores all of his wordy speech and informs him he doesn’t really need to say anything else.  She is already smitten.


“You had me at hello” is one of the two great quotes from that movie, Jerry Maguire.  The other one is “Show me the money.”  The latter was more popular early on, but it has not endured.  However, “You had me at hello,” has, in a way of speaking, stood the test of time.  Here’s looking at you kid.  But as time goes by, we’ve all realized, I hope, just how bad a movie Jerry Maguire really was.

By the way, it is hard to believe that Jerry Maguire came out in 1996.  Man I’m getting old, but I still haven’t forgiven Zellweger for Bridget Jones, and I never will.

Now to the point.  Yesterday, the preacher had me at the preaching equivalent of “hello.”

Let me set the context.  It was our second visit to this church in our ongoing journey to find a church home after our relocation.  The pastor preached essentially a doctrinal sermon about the Scriptures and their importance.  His homiletical hello was to open with a quote from the Baptist Faith and Message–1963!  That’s right, 1963 baby!

The 1963 Baptist Faith and Message is the older statement of faith used by Southern Baptists to outline our essentials.  It matters to people like me that he quoted from the 1963 because in the year of our Lord 2000 a newer, and in my view, less meaningful, less accurate, and less tolerant version was adopted.  It was nowhere near as dignified as the 1963 version which was put together by the last great Southern Baptist statesman, Herschel Hobbs.

The best line in it is the description of the Bible as a perfect treasure.  I love that.  The citation below is the 1963 article on the Scriptures and it comes from sbcnet.  It is part of a comparison of the original 1925 version, the blessed 1963, and the troublesome 2000 versions.

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.

Ex. 24:4; Deut. 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh. 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isa. 34:16; 40:8; Jer. 15:16; 36; Matt. 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Rom. 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

It brings a tear to my eye.

**special note**

Allow me to take a moment to pat myself on the back.  This is my 300th WordPress blog.  Back in the dark ages I blogged on Myspace, but those are lost to archaeology now.  I’ve been at this on WordPress since the fall of 2010, so I am averaging about 2 posts a week.  I intend to keep it up, even as most of my thoughts move toward my short stories and (he crosses his fingers) my upcoming novel release.  Thanks to all of you for reading and participating in the comments.  It really does add a great deal to my life.  Peace be upon us all.

19 responses to “HE HAD ME AT HELLO”

  1. Nice post, as usual, and congratulations on the milestone!

    But you almost lost me at I still haven’t forgiven Zellweger for Bridget Jones, and I never will. What gives? Been a while since I saw those movies, but I remember rather enjoying them.

    • virgil, may it is just me, but those movies bother me–and i don’t mean that in any kind of prudish way. i think what bothers me is zellweger playing the british tart? were there no british actresses to do it? that would be like an american playing james bond. plus, i really really really loath hugh grant. i was very happy that colin firth beat him up at the end.

  2. As I have been looking for a church again, I realized that people are so different in what they want in a church and what pulls us in. I have have experienced limp hellos carried out through the sermons preached without the Word of God in evidence. I have experienced the rote hello of shaking hands during the service but the warmth doesn’t carry out after the service. There is the let us entertain you hello but I like the hello you received in this church. Basically we are there because the Spirit of God leads us to not forsake the assembling together. And Basic Christianity is what we need, not all the cleaver tricks in this world

  3. Yep, I remember good ole Jerry. I enjoyed that movie for the most part. A couple of scenes weren’t … um … necessary. But there were also some really great, funny parts as well.

    Best wishes to you on the church search. I know you will find the one that is right for you.

    And as for the 1963 version of the BF&M … I agree with you totallly. Much like A couple of scenes in Jerry McGuire, some parts of the newest version are quite unnecessary.

    Keep blogging. And stay cool.

    Peace, bro!

  4. Not familiar with Baptist standards. I was raised there but haven’t looked back in forty years. It is a long and tragic story. My autobiography is on my blog and I go on and on and it doesn’t bear repeating here. I do pray you will find the perfect church home and it sounds like you may have found it. In my experience sometimes the right church home is not the one you would necessarily pick. I spent nearly fifteen years at a church I didn’t want to be at but felt the call to stay there. Perhaps I was misreading the call but eventually we were given a release to go elsewhere and I am thankful now it could be done peacefully and kindly.
    I agree about Jerry Maguire, and I never saw Bridget Jones. Actually I think I just don’t like
    Tom Cruise.
    Let me recommend Blue Like Jazz. I thought it was powerful, if you persevere to the end.

    • carroll, thanks for sharing your story on your page. it is always risky to open up, and i appreciate your candor, both about the way Christ is working in you and your wife and the failings of christianity.
      i have read and seen blue like jazz. the book is better than the film, but he film is okay.
      i don’t like tom cruise either–he always plays the same basic character no matter what movie it is.

      thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. congrats on 300 blogs – now I have a goal to aim towards! As to the BFM mayb the best on was the Philidelphia Confession of the 1740s or the New Hampshire Confession? My problem/with the 2000 BFM is more about the way it was developed and the personality centered era it has introduced in the SBC

    • steve–agree with you on the personality-centric concept. the 2000 bfm was designed to separate and divide, not unite. as to the philadelphia—that one might be a bit too calvinistic for me . . .
      as to 300, this blog was originally posted 20 years ago, i am now sitting at 499. this week at some point i will write my 500th blog. apparently, is like an addiction for me.
      thanks for reading and commenting.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: