The churches in North America need to hum to another tune this weekend. The clap offerings for Christless slogans in the mega churches must be seen as a clanging symbol that is more trash than Saddam Hussein’s statues, more rubbish than Israel’s wailing wall, more useless than the U.K.’s unity, more moronic than the juvenile morality of law-abiding citizenship, and more predatory than any previously known cannibalistic quest.
Trash to be discarded
Most cultures and social norms resist change. They resist growth. We should not need to be reminded that a change of mind became the litmus test for embracing progressive revelation, or that successivee generations have stubbornly inventing standards in order to avoid moving past useless and irrelevant traditions. Paul, the eminent teacher and preacher of the gospel, discared everything his context had fed him. The rubbish that came to light when Christ confronted Paul (Saul of Tarsus) included:
- circumcision on the eighth day,
- belonging to the people of Israel,
- belonging to the tribe of Benjamin,
- a Hebrew of Hebrews;
- as to the law, a Pharisee; Phil 3:5
- as to zeal, a persecutor of the church;
- as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Phil 3:6
Every individual has a pedigree that shrinks on contact with genuine excellence. We have no leg to stand on when we find an informed Jew saying “Enough!” to Jewishness. This is the courage that distinguishes Christian faith, though it may be labelled as unpatriotic.
Rubbish to sober us
When nations rise and fall people think that the international competition has yielded results, but the truth is more that the human race’s follies are being put on display. All the great ones have crashed, and the powers that be are a mere candle compared to the bright stars of the world-ruling powers. We can only imagine the inner heavings of the Jewish heart to see the temple in ruins or to witness the violation of the covenants. I think both Christians and Jews understand that there is practical and eternal value in our painful experiences. God chastens us by reducing our idols to nothing. Great Britain has shrunk to a great little island and a few friends. The Asian giants are wisps of bird feather floating out of the coop. Israel’s temple mount ought to sober up everyone who wants to play lord of all I survey.
No nation should be known for its uniting to go to war. War is no-one’s friend. When Americans and First Nations look for greatness it is not in the alliances they have formed. We see a hollow, burned out shell, devastated by tribal oppression. That is what is left of genuine collective wisdom and shared values. The unity forged between lawyers, constitutional experts, and the religious community, and a home-schooled generation turns out to be the same racist and xenophobic attitudes that caused the civil war.
The unity of patriotism, flag reverence, and honouring civil and military service is not compatible with defending the unborn while resolutely murdering Black and Brown people and doing nothing to stop the mass murder of children in their schools. If you want to see how united the United States are just look at the passion for mistreating foreigners in the border states or the legislation to prevent women from rejecting unsolicited conceptions.
Who wants a standard of right without a positive example? Lazy people. We live in air: we were born into it, and like the fish in the sea, we never need to hear “How’s that air working out for ya?” The morality that tags all the stuff we were born in – or born with- is depressing, not elevating.
Morality needs a dramatic leap because badness comes from within: no devil or enemy of the state is needed
- Evil thoughts
- Evil eye
One does not need to imagine how effective reciting God’s commands can be for creating moral values. Neither selftalk nor repeating what God says have proven successful to any of the peoples who have instituted ritual recitation. We are likely to find that there moral or royal value in the holistic lifestyle of First Nations peoples than in the communities that have created ornate buildings and complicated legal systems.
Who needs perfection when the chief executive sees his personal goal so close? Who needs perfection when the evangelical heavyweights turn out to be blind watchmen and barkless dogs? More predatory behaviour is in the works as personal business deals loom on the horizon. His pussy-grabbing, racist, and quasi-patriotic propaganda may excite people in Russia, North Korea, and Israel, even though none of these states see anything but juvenile bully-puppet in the latest bigot of Mar a Lago.
Yes. Go back, Europeans. Go back to Syria and Mesopotamia, Hebrews. Go back, everybody, to where we all mix without feeling we are better than our neighbours. There will be a very loud amen if in every church this weekend the pastoral prayer resolves to end the theft and rape that started when the Pilgrim Fathers landed in Turtle Island.
Not one evangelical leader has spoken up against the racism the bigotry that is sweeping across America. The stacking of the courts against women’s rights and the right of people to migrate in search of the common dream may please you today, but they will come for you tomorrow, if you have the guts to say no to the worship of the state under God. Yeshua and Jeremiah are right. The pastors are lying greedy and cowardly noisemakers. They concur with xenophobia and genocide. Racism is in American DNA. The GOP see it like fish see water. They also see the thief coming and flee.
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.