My favorite sports franchises are the Mets, Jets, Nets, and Islanders; uh, after the Yankees, Giants, Knicks, and Rangers.
Though I praise God for returning moi to the Midwest where I belong about eleven years ago, I cannot surrender my allegiance/affection for the Big Apple even though I couldn't live on the island because I'd have to wear a helmet and hit those little white pebbles off mats into the Hudson.
It's harder for me to abandon my loyalty for what the crackers ripped off from the original residents than my predisposition for run-on sentences.
It goes back almost 60 years.
It started not long after I was born in DC and my dad flew off to some war in a country that's still divided and still at war because people never seem to give up their need/lust for polemics.
Anyway, my mom and I moved in with Helen and Jacob Kopp who lived at 59-26 Grove Street, Ridgewood 27, New York (aka Queens/NYC).
Grandma Kopp and I used to go for long walks along Fulton, Myrtle, and Knickerbocker Avenues; and she'd always buy 6 big soft pretzels for me along the way.
Pretzels were 6 for 25 cents back then.
Grandpa Kopp and I used to take the train to the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium to watch games and often listened to Mel Allen announce Yankees games over the radio and television as sponsored by Ballentine Beer; and, years later, we'd tune into Ralph Kiner and Lindsey Nelson for a Mets game if the Yankees weren't on.
In other words, it's in my blood.
I confess that's why I don't emotionally/spiritually comprehend the conversion of allegiances/affections just because someone changes locations or some other base motivation.
Of course, I intellectually understand it when it comes to pastors.
Pastors are often willing to prostitute themselves to get along and cheaply ingratiate themselves with...
You know what I mean.
I confess that's why I don't emotionally/spiritually comprehend pastors who leave one stinking denomination for another stinking denomination.
Of course, I intellectually understand why they do it; usually because they're my-way-or-the-highway, about to get run out anyway, get a better deal, or forget the lessons of guys like Luther and Bonhoeffer who learned the big lesson from, uh, Jesus.
Truth is I don't know how anyone can trust a pastor or anybody else who hops around from team to team; and, uh, please take that both ways.
Dr. Wolfgang Lowe comes to mind.
He was one of my professors in Heidelberg.
I tried to suck up to him for a better grade/recommendation by pretending to like Marx as much as he did; until he scorned, "Herr Kopp, how can I ever trust you if you just parrot what I say in an attempt to fool me into thinking you think like me when I know you don't because you've come here to increase your academic credentials for a career as a professor or pastor in America?"
After returning to the Midwest, an elder confessed, after a few years, that he didn't trust me because he thought the only reason that I root for the Yankees is because they win so much.
It's great to be a Yankees fan!
Getting back to the elder, I told him that I will not because I cannot surrender my allegiance/affection to/for the Yankees just to garner some cheap and dishonest...
I reviewed for him what I reviewed for you in the previous sections.
While he still questions my leadership every now and then, he trusts my allegiance(s)/affection(s).
He knows I can't be bought.
That song was Paul Swedlund's favorite.
Paul died in 1994 - fell off a mountain in Colorado.
I miss him; and I'll never forget him saying to me about a year before he died, "I love you, Bob. So I'm going to tell you the truth. You can increase your fan base for a while by leaving our denomination. You can be a hero for the far right; but you know they're really as wrong as the other side. Please don't do that. It's cheap. And you'll be sorry you abandoned the church that birthed you and stood by you when you screwed up."
Essentially, he said, "Man up!"
Paul was right.
I promised Paul because I promised Jesus; and I took those ordination promises seriously; even if I don't always...
Praise God for Savior Jesus!
Getting back to lesser allegiances/affections, that's why I'm rooting for the Jets over the Steelers despite inlaws and outlaws who wave terrible towels.
That's why I don't really care who wins the other game and can't relate to the animosities of their constituencies.
That's why I am increasingly saddened by anyone who sells their allegiances/affections so cheaply.
I think that's why so many churches don't really trust their pastors.
If you can't be with the one you love...
How can you trust someone who changes allegiances/affections so easily to gain...?
How can you trust someone who gives up...runs away...abandons...just for/because...?
Or as a really old guy said loud enough for me to hear when I left my first church for more $ because God never calls us to less pay, "Preachers come and go, but we..."
I wonder if He...
Blessings and Love!
I just bet you remember how to do the 'three ring sign' ... ;)
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