Thursday, March 17, 2016
"Years of school prompt my distrust of and disinterest in the academic."
John David Burton, Naked in the Street, 1985
Since my week with Eugene back in October 2011, I've been reading the Bible like never before.
I've been reading it without academic, ecclesiastical, institutional, denominational, egotistical, narcissistic, navel-gazing, ideological, national, traditional, constitutional, idolatrous, political party or correctness, and...other filters.
I've just been reading it.
Kung was right.
Any connectional between the Jesus of the Bible and today's churches is purely coincidental.
He said it better.
The agenda for the Church is "to discover what is permanent...originally meant, before it was covered with the dust and debris of two thousand years...This is not another gospel, but the same ancient gospel rediscovered for today!"
Before I tell you what I've learned about "Christian" cults, sects, and denominations - and I may be wrong and beg correction by Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense - a poem by Emo Phillips seems, uh, appropriate in an, uh, annoyingly salty, shining, and leavenating kinda way for folks who...
"I was walking in San Francisco along the Golden Gate Bridge when I saw a man about to jump off. I tried to dissuade him from committing suicide and told him simply that God loved him.
A tear came to his eye.
I then asked him, 'Are you a Christian or a Jew or a Hindu or what?'
He said, 'I'm a Christian.'
I said, 'Me too. Small world. Protestant or Catholic?'
He said, 'Protestant.'
I said, 'Me too. What franchise?'
He said, 'Northern Baptist.'
I said, 'Well, me too. Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
He said, 'Northern Conservative Baptist.'
I said, 'Well, call Ripley! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist or Northern Conservative Reformed Baptist?'
He said, 'Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist.'
I said, 'Remarkable! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Eastern Region?'
He said, 'Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region.'
I said, 'A miracle! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region of 1879 or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region of 1912?'
He said, 'Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region of 1912.'
I said, 'Die heretic!'
And I pushed him over."
Here's what I learned about "Christian" cults, sects, and denominations.
There's nothing about 'em in the Bible.
Specifically, I found nothing about 'em in the red letters.
I read something about some disagreements over some silly things like...in Paul's letters.
Reminds me of some silly things in today's churches like...
So I guess it means denominationalism and denominational pride and non-Christocentric-Biblical stuff like that are, uh, uh, uh,...
I don't see AME, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist, UCC, or Presbyterians like PCUSA, OPC, EPC, PCA, ECO, or...any other franchise.
I see only Church.
And as I look around today, I see remnant of Church.
Oh, yeah, I also see "Christian" cults, sects, and churchy denominations filled with pride and pushing against and over each other while claiming exclusive righteousness.
Maybe that's why most of them are...
Blessings and Love!