10 January 2009

One hand in the cookie jar

When the San Andreas fault finally splits Cali like a coconut, I can almost now hear the bellows coming from churches across the land. The tired "God will not be mocked," and the "They reaped what they sowed," will, like a retarded Phoenix, rise from the dead like it did in the 80's when AIDS fell on the land (I still think God is going to kick some church ass over that one), oh, and blaming the ghost of gay marriage past as an affront to God won't be far behind in these pulpits.

A few years back the Bible Belt was hit with horrific tornadoes, It was like nothing seen before. In one day, and the morning following, they had up to 80 freakish tornadoes going on at the same time. I'm sure these people didn't know if their houses or even themselves were coming or going, whole churches were torn up by their foundations, some people were snatched up and never seen again. The Governer of Tennessee was quoted as saying: "It looks like the Lord took a Brillo pad and scrubbed the ground." No one blamed the wrath of God, no one saw it as chastisement for their less than charitable ways and the less than charitable things they do in the name of God, they saw it as a test of their faith, they uttered what Job said; "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." Ask these same "martyrs for Christ" when an earthquake puts California under the sea and they will tell you "We had it coming." Their "Cleansing with fire from a loving Father" becomes "The Judgment Hammer Of God" to us. I didn't look at the news about the tornadoes with saying "Shit! I wonder what they did to piss off God?" Instead my heart broke and bled for those people, a people who I knew would be less charitable with their feeling towards me if I one day find myself trying to stay afloat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a giant Chinese restaurant wok.

Only two groups of people did Jesus compare to vipers and dirty tombs, the Scribes and the Pharisees. These bunch lived for legalism. It would have been this legalism (Deut 23:1) that would have kept Stephen from going to the Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) and the legalism of keeping the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14-15) was thrown in the face of Jesus by these religious leaders because He was breaking it every way from Sunday (Matt 12:1-15). What the Scribes and the Pharisees didn't understand and what is lost with a big chunk of his followers to this day (of which I count myself as one even though I'm what you call a "backslider" to the faith) is that the laws of the Bible are made for US, we are not made for THEM, the loving mercy of the Spirit of the Law will always take precedent over the Letter of the Law. The Scribes and the Pharisees condemned themselves for not understanding that while at the same time they were condemning Jesus for breaking the rules.

I think on the front cover of every Bible there should be a sticker saying "It's all about love stupid," the header of every page saying "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
and like what a famous Rabbi said; "The rest is commentary."

Patting each other on the back.

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