Some people walk through a rose garden, and filled with joy by the glorious colors, are entranced by the music of the flower’s gentle fragrance, and wonder in amazement at the complexity of the world in which we live. Others see plant genitalia. Which were created on Day 3 of God’s 7 day project development phase.
If you’re not one of the latter group the Good News is that you’re facing eternal loving torture unless you immediately and totally change everything yourself. Billy Graham’s choir may have sung Just As I Am while the busses waited, but you’d better believe that Just-as-you-are isn’t nearly good enough for our gracious and forgiving Father in Heaven. Or at least it isn’t for his GAFCON representatives, of which I am unquestionably the Most Important.
Nevertheless; my caring pastoral heart has today inspired me to present a brief three-step guide to improving your miserably sinful existence. Following these tips won’t make you as righteous as me, of course, but as long as you’ve got a heterosexually-inclined penis they’ll certainly help you become a bishop in ACNA. Or a house-elf in Sydney, if you’re too sartorially challenged.
Step One: Find a local park in which Sinners are enjoying themselves and search for dog droppings.
Shout in warning to passers-by whenever you manage locate a piece of excrement, and rant angrily at every dog-walker you meet – particularly those in the act of picking up their pet’s refuse. Don’t worry if you live in an area where everyone cleans up after their dog: artificial prank droppings can be easily purchased over the internet, or better still keep a real one handy in your pocket and plant it when nobody’s looking.
Practice this regularly until you can no longer view any public recreation area without growing furious at the plethora of turds you know are lurking somewhere on the lawns. Lose sight of the park and it’s beauty, and remain focused on the faeces. Learn to take them personally.
Step Two: Cultivate an appropriate facial expression.
Women should practice keeping their lips pursed in emulation of a cat’s rear end, although this is not recommended for men other than those leading prominent “ex-gay” ministries. Smiling should under all circumstances be avoided, and I generally recommend men simply endeavor to look like me: I realize this isn’t easy for those of you not as naturally handsome as myself, but that’s still no excuse for not trying.
Failing which the gentleman pictured below is admirable role model for those wishing to cultivate an expression conveying the love, mercy, and joy God shows to those who are truly faithful:
I believe he’s the founder of a missionary group with whom Bishop Quinine enjoys fellowship whenever he gets the urge to eat cheap curry and grope confused hippy girls in saris. Certainly only a foreigner would permit himself to be photographed unshaven, but with a little orthodontic work he’d bear an uncanny resemblance to Ted Haggard after a hard night of being “heterosexual with issues”.
Step Three: Enforce rules.
St. Paul (or somebody like him) may have redeemed us from the law, but that doesn’t mean there’s no place in the Conservative Christian’s life for countless petty regulations. Explode in anger when somebody stands at the wrong time during the service, or passively-aggressively undermine your Vicar when he omits a minor detail from your favorite liturgy. Commit the 39 Articles to memory, and send letters of complaint to the Bishop whenever you believe one of them are transgressed – or if the Bishop’s at fault send them to all their diocesan clergy.
Respond with pedantic fury when “off-topic” comments are left on blogs - especially if the blog isn’t your own. Leave warning notes on parish visitor’s cars you believe were inexpertly parked during church services. Argue incessantly over the doctrine of the Trinity with Unitarians. Photograph your neighbor’s trash to keep a record of when they don’t recycle properly. Refuse to accept illness as an excuse for someone not taking their turn on the roster to shovel snow from the church sidewalks. And never, ever allow yourself to consider the implications of God sharing our humanity through the birth of a baby one long-ago Christmas.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.