I am crying right now…this instant.
See, I couldn’t sleep last night. Hard bike ride, and I never really slept very well anyway…
…anyway, I got up because I otherwise toss and turn and feel guilty that my baby doesn’t get the quality sleep she deserves.
I opened the computer and began to bump around, catching up on news, checking FB, etc…
…and I saw a story about a church building official who calls himself a pastor who decided that the family of a young 15 year old boy who tragically died would not be able to use the church building to hold the funeral service…because the 15 year old child was gay.
That was bad enough, but for this man who tarnishes, nay, totally pollutes and besmirches the title of pastor, it was not enough! Less than 24 hours from the funeral, he called up the grieving mother, who was standing at the coffin of her dead son, crying and mourning, and gave her the news that she would have to make other arrangements…he was not going to allow the service in “God’s House” (quotes are mine).
Ohhh…but that was not enough, he had to double down on his magnificent display of “godly principle” (read prideful self-righteousness!) by saying:
“I’m not trying to condemn anyone’s lifestyle, but at the same time, I am a man of God, and I have to stand up for my principles.”
Way to go…I am sure that all heaven rejoices that your principles are intact while your words have rent the hearts of people who are already of a broken and grieving spirit! I am soooo impressed by your holiness, your cleanliness!
I only wish you had been there, beside Jesus, when He erred so greatly by opening His lips and saying “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”…because if you had been there, you could have placed your hands over His mouth, to prevent Him from uttering such a “non-standing-up-for-principles” statement! You could have whispered in His ear, instructing Him from your well of principle, on the “principle” of not condemning the whore’s lifestyle, but as a man of God…well scripture is scripture, so have at her, boys! Let the rocks fly!
You could have shown him how to pull a sorrowful, tragedy-wracked face, and how to wring your hands just so, and you could have taught Him all your comforting tropes of how sad, how tragic, that the woman’s sinful choices resulted in such horrifying consequences, but oh how infinitely sad you are that your hands are now tied…because you have principles to uphold, after all!
You could have shown Him how to artfully step back out of the way when the blood began to flow and splatter, lest any drops get even on the hem of your garment and render you unclean, and you could have called your artful dodging “Dancing unto the Lord”. This would really make you a spiritual giant, and paragon of virtue…and even better, you could have kept the Lord from His maddening tendencies to sully Himself constantly by wallowing in this world of sin and principles broken and violated and misunderstood and lost and the human wreckage resulting from all that by letting whores wash His feet with their tears (tears shed from the gratitude of His involvement with them by the way…IN THEIR HORROR AND DESPAIR!), by eating lunch with evil money loving tax collectors, by partying and laughing joyously with so called “sinners and drunks”.
“I have to stand up for my principles.”
I eagerly await news of further displays of such courageous risky principle standing…such as denying funeral services to all the people-groups listed in a common passage used to justify hatred and ostracization of LGTB believers (1 Cor. 6…and yes, I do believe I can make a biblical case that these verses are mis-applied to blanket condemn humans who for whatever reasons are sexually oriented as they are, not to mention the blatant ignore and excusing that goes on for the rest of the list)…adulterers, sexually immoral people, drunkards, idolaters thieves, covetous, revilers, extortionists…
…I am certain that funeral arrangements will not be allowed for all people on that list.
Oh, and don’t forget the ones in 2 Timothy 2: 9-14…surely, he will apply the exact same method of reading which resulted in his towering principle with the former passage, and end up very firmly but oh so sorrowfully and piously denying funeral services to the families of any woman who fails to adorn herself with modest propriety and modest apparel (defined by him, I am sure, and oh such confidence I have that he will be ever so wise, ever so fair and generous of spirit and hand and heart…after all, a towering paragon of virtue such as himself, who placed his principles over the lives and hearts of broken human beings created in God’s very Image, Human Beings worth the very BLOOD of Christ!!),
I am sure that he will find his courage to not allow the families of women who braided their hair, or wore gold ornaments, or who wore pearls, or who wore costly clothing (?? Let me “literally” read that…and end up in a quagmire! Some definition of costly must be derived, and then every receipt checked! Or…let me spiritually rightly divide the word of truth: let women have as their first priority to be clothed with the beauty of the Lord’s love and grace and character, instead of merely adorning the outside of the cup and ignoring the inner state of the vessel…oh, and the fact that this is specified at women does not let men off that same hook, as remember, in Christ there is no longer male or female and men are not permitted to claim special privilege over women!)…
I am sure that he will mark those women in his services who utter even one word, because scripture teaches that they must remain silent, and we simply must just read the face value, ignore the meanings and contexts of culture during the times it was written, violate every common sense scholarly principle we so commonly use to read other old documents, and bury our heads in the a-hole of principle and use God’s precious words of life to oppress and heap up burdens for men and not lift a fucking finger to help them…less we become sullied and violate our principles!
(yes…Constance I did…oh yes I did…I used the “f” word…and I am not taking it back either!)
How I rejoice that he is on the watch, sifting, purifying his flock, and denying funeral services to any woman who teaches over a man…and of course there are other passages, littered all the way thru, from which he simply must begin culling identifiers of possible principle-sullying behaviours! In fact, he actually should set up a tribunal…yes!
A tribunal of other men, guided by principles and holy zeal! He can look to an organization which is long practiced at this, and has it down to an artform…the Taliban! Oh yes, they are so good at it, that they just leveled the ground for all women! Dress them in burkas, cover their faces, and kill any of them who show so much as an ankle! Yep, that’s the ticket! Oh, and because they care so much about them, address their potential for sexual desire and sin…make sure they do not fall into that issue by simply cutting off their labias and clitorises!
Hey…it’s principle. And with oh such sorrowful reluctance, I can see him gathering himself a cadre…of American Taliban.
I am crying right now…this very instant.
Tears of sorrow…tears of rage…tears of heartbreak.
I guess I will conclude with some words Jesus said when in His earthly sojourn bodily, and He aimed these words at the very best maintainers of principle the world has EVER SEEN: the Pharisee sect of Judaism…Matthew 23:23 (the whole chapter is one you should read every day, to make sure you steer clear of the error of self-righteousness, but I will stick with just one verse…and conclude)
““Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier matters of the law:
justice and mercy and faith.
These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
I am crying right now…
Your ever imperfect friend, and ever-boastful strumpet in the Wonderful Grace of Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit