Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Parable about Lukewarm, American Christianity

There was this man who was a great warrior.  He had been in many battles over the years.  His body had many scars from bullet wounds, bayonet thrusts and artillery barrages.  He was a sergeant in the army and he was 45 years old.

There was a platoon of soldiers dug in on some high ground---they were of the same army as the sergeant.  The average age of the soldiers in the platoon was 19 years old; they were led by a 24-year-old 2nd lieutenant.

Ten miles away was an enemy force of three thousand soldiers.  The sergeant placed himself between the platoon and the enemy.  Whenever the enemy sent their soldiers to attack the platoon, the sergeant killed them with his rifle.  This pattern continued for many weeks:  the enemy would send their soldiers to attack the platoon and the sergeant would kill them all.  The platoon was never touched, it was never in danger.  The sergeant was their hedge of protection against the enemy.

One day the sergeant walked to the platoon to see how they were doing.  The sergeant walked up to the 2nd lieutenant and told him about the many skirmishes he fought with the enemy, so as to protect the platoon.

The 2nd lieutenant looked at the sergeant in stunned disbelief. He didn't believe a word the sergeant said and began mocking him and ridiculing him. The 2nd lieutenant told the rest of the platoon what the sergeant had said and the whole platoon began laughing at the sergeant in derision.

The sergeant didn't say another word.  He shouldered his pack, his rifle and ammo and walked away from the platoon.  Fifty yards from where the platoon was dug in, he took off his boots and shook the dirt from his boots in plain sight of the platoon.  He put his boots back on and walked away.  The platoon never saw him again.

A week later, the enemy launched an attack on the platoon's position and killed all of the soldiers.


I Samuel 25: 14-17:  "But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them.  But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields:  They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.  Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him."

I Samuel 25:   "Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good. So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall."

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By Tim Shey

Brutal deathdance;
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.

Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.

The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.

The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.

My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of their heart of stone.
They worship me in lip service,
But I confess,
I never knew them
(Though they are my creation).

My tongue tastes like ashes:
It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am so thirsty.
This famine is too much for me.
The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
Papa, into your hands
I commend my Spirit.

February/March 1997
Iowa State University

Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

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