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Home Features The churches are called to sacrifice

The churches are called to sacrifice

The late great Christian teacher/pastor, Ravi Zacharias, told many stories about the joy of wonder in this wonderful world God made for us, and one that resonates a lot with me is about how the world works in the mind of a child. My, young hearts are so fresh, so full of life; bah, the older we get, the more jaded we become.

I can’t say if the story is a Ravi original, or if he borrowed it from somewhere, but he’s the one who told it, and this is how I remember it. I don’t have the story down completely, and I expect I’ll botch it, but you’ll get what I mean.

Ravi said that the author of a fairy tale for an audience of eight-year-olds might write: There was a rap on the door and little Jimmy went and opened it, and ooh, a dragon was out there. If the story was for four-year-olds, the author would get the same awe if he or she wrote that little Jimmy heard a rap on the door and ooh, he went and opened it, and if the audience were two-year-olds, the author would only have to say, little Jimmy heard a rapping on the door and ooh, he got up and went to the door.

There, I ruined it. If you didn’t get the message, pass all the blame on the children, a group that I have great difficulty relating to. I have tremendous admiration for teachers who teach at the primary school level, especially the ones who teach the younger children. You have to be blessed with tremendous people skills to keep those little bohgaz interested, and you must have incredible patience to not get frazzled into a state of despondency or total madness. If you don’t have those virtues, you won’t be able to relate, and if you can’t relate, you will feel so inadequate.

They say there is no new thing under the sun, and after being around for some time, after all the things I have seen/done, and read/heard about, and watched on the television, you have to come good to surprise me, but I’m off my stool flat on my buttocks on the floor because of the insistence of some churches that they should be allowed to open their doors to let in their people.

The argument of these church leaders who are pressing for the government to give them the green light is that other businesses have been allowed to open. No, the church leaders aren’t saying “other businesses”, but the fact is that all the enterprises they are pointing their fingers at, tourism, restaurants, public transportation, are businesses upon which people depend for their daily bread.

Indeed, these businesses are being allowed to open because people have to work, or they will not eat, and because many of the owners of these businesses will lose their life’s investments if they can’t earn a few dollars. There are a few businesses that have not been that badly affected by the pandemic, and some that are actually doing better or have come into being because of it, but the vast majority of business owners and their employees are suffering, barely surviving.

Gyms have not been allowed to open, and it took me awhile to figure out why there’s been so much pressure on people who desperately need to sweat but have no farm where they can swing a machete or an axe to keep themselves busy. I learned that the gym scene has personal trainers, people who are up close with those working out, in flagrant violation of the six feet physical distancing, and that is why they haven’t got back their licenses.

In this day when most of us have to be satisfied with crumbs, maybe the gyms could open without direct personal trainers. Those who provide that service could be limited to distance guiding and keeping the equipment clean. Look, anything to help out during these very, very difficult economic times.

Another business that has been crushed by the pandemic is the bars. Oh, if people could only swig their grog and behave themselves, the bar owners and the bartenders and the beautiful ladies who improve the ambience and make interesting small chat would still have their jobs. But we all know that is impossible. Some of us, one drink is enough to set our mouths a going, and two drinks and we start feeling, fresh.

All these businesses are on the cliff’s edge, their creditors are barking at their doors for the mortgage money. I am not aware of any threat of the banks foreclosing on any of the churches, and the pastors haven’t said that they desperately need the collection or they will starve.

I don’t think that in our country we have ever paid attention to the business of religion, and that’s because we like it innocent, we want to think it’s all for love about saving souls. It is clearly stated in both testaments of the Bible that the pastors deserve to be paid for their important work, but maybe it’s best we all stay from that, because so many modern pastors stand accused of only being in it for what it can do for their bank account. Look, that’s not just from me. Brother Ravi said that when he was in theology school, a number of students said flat out that they were into religion because it was very good business.

Church leaders promise that they can/will contain themselves and their flocks, but that is just sober talk —chats when they are off the spirits. They know and we know that love doesn’t lift up anyone who comes with a wimpy voice. God won’t hear.

Hn, what happens when the spirits enter their bodies, what happens when the fire shoots up in their bones, what happens when there is a little more oil in their lamps? You know why the expressive Christians sneer at generally mild-mannered people who go wild when they and their friends are in a bar sucking on bottles filled with bastard joy? It’s because the expressive Christians have the real thing locked up in their church buildings, and when they bos loose, ain’t no walls can hold them. Poor Michal, remember when she scolded King David for making himself a spectacle in front of the tabernacle and he kos’d her out?

The churches just came off a great victory against a bill with some good parts that was being rushed, and maybe dehn desperate fu flex. Maybe they want to get with their crowd and fist bump, celebrate how they conquered the dangerous philistines. Maybe they want to seize the opportunity to impress upon their crowd that they can have even greater victories if they stand firm like they did on the last one. Quién sabe, they might think this is their carpe diem to restore the old order.

Someone has to tell them that this pandemic shouldn’t be with us forever, someone should inform them that very soon they’ll be able to make a glorious sound to the Lord and it will be even sweeter than before, but for now we need them to keep their butts at home.

Look, you are not alone, all of us – expressive Christians, quiet Christians, other religions, and pagans — are repressed. Please, guys, for the love of the rest of us, do not press for your doors to be flung wide open. Remember San Pedro? Those clusters, they weren’t confined to a construction site. Just one too joyful soul can sicken many of the members of the congregation. God forbid that the pastor is a wild one. Then the disease will spread like wildfire in the pews, and then it will spill out and infect the souls that are not yet saved.

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