Friday, January 27, 2012

Learning from Scripture

The demands and pressures upon a Bible Teacher as faithful as myself truly are relentless, My Dear Sinners, and these past few weeks have found me tenderly ministering at the deathbed of one of my oldest and dearest parishioners; a man who was not merely a parishioner, but also a friend.

Since I don’t have my notes at hand I can’t recall his name, but his last words shall remain with me always. Although I’m sure you’ll naturally understand why for exegetical purposes I altered them slightly for the funeral sermon (the text upon which I preached was Luke 12:48 – “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”), and included a moving vision of welcoming angels leading him into the Father’s presence, wherein the deceased’s last-minute (but completely voluntary) decision to name the parish as his sole beneficiary received lavish praise. Just between you and me, however, there’s no denying the plaintive simplicity of what he actually said: “If only I’d spent more time searching for free internet porn.” A regret we can be sure few conservative clergy will share when their turn comes.

And now, as promised in My Previous Homily: while preparing my traditionally dazzling Christmas Day Bible Talks, I hit upon the novel idea of actually reading the Gospel accounts of our Substitutionary Atoner’s birth. Believe me, My Beloved Sinners, there’s no denying I was horrified by what is to be found there: clearly the octopus-like tentacles of today’s liberalism stretch back further than even a relentlessly-vigilant Doctrinal Warrior like myself could have imagined. Using my inequitably perceptive exegetical skills, I guided the spirit into identifying not just one, but three shameful incidents of Christ’s birth blatantly contradicting the Blessed, Holy, and Eternal Scriptures written by St. King James.

1) Jesus’ family had no respect for Scriptural Teaching. As every Biblical Christian knows, the Bible clearly teaches that after giving birth to a boy the mother must not touch anything holy for a total of 40 days (baby girls rate 66 days, which shows somebody had issues long before Forward in Faith started getting worked up about women’s ordination). Yet Luke 2:7 shows that during Mary took Jesus and “wrapped him in swaddling clothes” – a process which unquestionably involved handling Him! Since we know nothing is - nor ever can be - holier than Our Personal Savior, we are left with but one inescapable conclusion: Jesus’ parents had no respect for God’s Word.

2) Jesus’ family engaged in inappropriate relationships. Although Deuteronomy 18:10 doesn’t specifically mention astrology (probably because Mr. Rupert Murdoch had not yet invented newspapers, and those wicked columns which never deliver on their not infrequent promise of an imminent encounter with an exciting stranger didn’t pose much of a problem for the Israelites), it does prohibit God’s People from having anything to do with any form of divination unrelated to the stock market. In a similar vein, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 categorically forbids True Christians from socializing with unbelievers. Yet Matthew 2:1-12 reveals the parents of Our Sacrifice for Sin actually welcomed 3 magi from the east (in an obvious use of righteous conservative sarcasm the King Saint James version calls them “wise men”) into the presence of their newborn, even permitting them to lay gifts at His feet. Rather than showing these unabashed foreigners the door until they had had the very least prayed the sinner’s prayer and publically repented of their demonic star-gazing ways, Joseph and Mary even permitted them to worship the infant Christ! We can only wonder at what blasphemous and arcane prayers such worship must have entailed: two things at least are certain – there wasn’t any respect shown to the Prayer Book on that occasion, and nobody preached a challenging exegetical exposition upon a reading from Colossians. So their "worship" obviously counted as nothing in the eyes of god.

3) Jesus’ family were irresponsible. When it comes to giving birth, mangers are about as suitable a venue as bus terminals. Let’s face it: the entire process of parturition is deeply unnatural, and any responsible parent does their utmost to ensure labor is thoroughly medicalized, with every intervention possible given the level of one’s insurance. Joseph and Mary’s choice of obstetric setting shows a complete absence of respect for any of the crucial Christian features of childbirth: they had no private birthing-suite, no personal physicians, and prior to the blessed event they didn’t even send everyone in their church little DVDs of the fetal ultrasound. Obviously they either held a distinctly socialist attitude with regard to health care cover, or they were simply poor - in either case it’s hard to imagine a less suitable choice given the importance of the One with whom they were entrusted. In fact, were Our Lord incarnating today they sound just the kind of people who’d selfishly rely on Medicaid to save them from maternal/neo-natal disaster, and that’s no sort of role-model for the infant King of Kings.

The infallible Scriptures were given so that those who like myself have wisely chosen to display theologically-unblemished lifestyles and attitudes might learn from the examples therein. Which is why I’m proud to say that I’ve never given birth in a manger, nor any other edifice constructed for the purpose of housing livestock. Neither should any of you, My Beloved Sinners, if you’re serious about escaping eternal torture at the hands of a loving god. And while you’re about it I strongly recommend you avoid all of Joseph and Mary’s other mistakes. After all – just look at how much trouble their son Jesus ended up causing.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.