Fred Phelps (Westboro “Baptist”)
Yesterday, I wrote of a nasty habit we (who are believers) all seem to have: proof-texting the Bible. We comb through the Scriptures looking for verses that validate our beliefs, rather than having our beliefs informed by the Bible.
I do it, you do it, we all do it. But I find it’s best to “let God be true, and every man a liar.”
Folks, I’ve made no secret here on the blog of the fact that I like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. The timeless themes of self-sacrifice, loyalty, of making hard choices–doing the right thing, rather than the easy thing–are what are so attractive about the books. That, and the rather obvious parallels the story has with the Gospel. (Aside from all that, as they say in England, the narrative is just a corking good yarn.)
Taken together, these form a strong (in mind) case as to why these books should have a place in your library.
So if you made it around the blogosphere at all this week, you’d know that I won a contest put on by @JBEmerson on his blog, The Whole Dang Thing. (What is “the whole dang thing, you ask?” The Bible, of course. Ben is blogging his way through the Bible–chapter-by-chapter, line-upon-line, verse-upon-verse, here a little, there a little. You should check it out!).
Over the years, I’ve had a rich and varied ecclesial experience–having attended, or belonged to, many different churches since Jesus found me in 1988.
Where they once prayed over me to receive the gift of tongues. Not, mind you, because of its evangelistic potential, but rather because it–tongues–is the initial evidence of the indwelling–the very presence of God in my life. Proof that the Holy Spirit was indeed in me.
Think that over for a second with me, will you? They were asking God to prove that He was living in me. Because, apparently, He’s in the business of showing signs and wonders to sinful men. Proving Himself as if He were a man. But I digress.
Anyway, since the rapture didn’t happen last month as (so errantly) predicted, I highly recommend those of you wanting to try to experience this gift–put it on your list before October. Because apparently, according to Harold Camping, that is when the real judgment is going to occur. Or something. So get it on your pre-flight checklist. Also, if they sit you down in the middle of sweaty middle aged men with yellow underarm stains, even better. Apparently those guys are prayer warriors. At least they smelled like it. And I thank my God that I speak in tongues more than you all. 😉
Where the people were loving, the songs were old… or, wait, was it the people that were old? Everything smelled like mothballs and Vicks VapoRub–even the hymnals. But, truly, the people were largely kind, and they sure knew how to eat, too!
I could go on, but the point is that there is no perfect church–because if there were, I blew it for them by darkening its doors. I’m just as much a misfit as those I described above. And so are you. We are all alike in our need for God’s grace.
So let’s share some today. Now pass the tater salad, will ya?