Wednesday, December 03, 2008

ADVENT: 'I do wish Jesus would come back, preferably in a massive ball of fire through the ceiling of the church.'

Tucker Carlson, American political commentator, once said on his Sunday church experience:
You'll never meet nicer people. If you needed someone to hold your wallet, or if you were lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood and had to duck into a stranger's house to use the bathroom, you could do a whole lot worse...No one has better manners.

And that may be the problem. There's a notable lack of urgency...Jesus may have promised he'd come back someday, but in [my church] you don't get the feeling he really meant it. Nor do you hear a lot about sin. Lust, hatred, gluttony, pride, envy -- those are dramatic emotions. ...

The typical sermon leaves the impression that all would be well in this world if only people could manage to be reasonable with each other. Gentlemanly. Thoughtful.

There's nothing necessarily bad about any of this. (I remain [a member], with no plans to change.) But every once in a while, as I shift in my pew listening to one of our unusually well-educated preachers expand on the Aramaic understanding of discipleship, I do wish Jesus would come back, preferably in a massive ball of fire through the ceiling of the church.

Spiritually, I'm nowhere near ready to face something like that. But it'd be worth it for the shock value....Dead religions don't give people the creeps...But Christianity still does. What a relief. It's nice to see that our faith still scares people.
He is an Episcopalian, apparently.

H/T My new friend and colleague at Christ Church NYC, Clifford Swartz. Clifford quoted this in his sermon on Sunday night, and I thought: that's totally worth stealing. :)


1 comment:

Finite Rex said...

Amen! You really need to read Capon's "Kingdom, Grace, Judgment" book. You'd appreciate the message about how the church can take the Good News of Christ and turn it into the bad news of religion. Really call us church leaders to examine our actions and motives. The Good News is just that, faith alone. I think Capon purposely left the sanctification discussion out of his book to make the point that justification is not about our actions.