Archive for June 1st, 2005
A lot of people seem to think that when Christ came to earth, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was in full force in Roman Palestine.
So naturally Jesus said exactly what He meant. So when someone asked Him if He meant to replace the Law and Prophets, He said, “No.” Jesus said He was there to FULFILL the Law and the Prophets. When He reduced the ten commandments to two, he said that his two commandments were what the Law and Prophets were about.
And when one of His disciples said Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus did not say he was wrong. He told him not to mention that to anybody else.
No, I’m afraid the First Amendment guaranteeing free speech was not in force in Roman Palestine.
So two thousand years of preachers have made their livings on the Old Testament, quoting Jesus as saying he would not change “a jot or tittle” of it.
The Magi didn’t know anything about the Old Testament and they were saved, but the High Priest, who knew every word of the Old Testament and genuinely lived up to it, was specifically damned by Christ.
I don’t know much theology, but I do know all about the code language you have to use in a society which does not have free speech. What Jesus said is as clear as a bell to me.
The story of The Galloping Gourmet below has a direct relevance to me. I am ALWAYS being told, “Watch what you say around the Christians, they’ll get offended.”
I am a Christian and I was raised in the Bible Belt. If someone is a bigot and goes to pieces at what I say, I have no respect for them. And this happens to me a LOT more among Politically Correct people than it does among religious people.
When I entered college at age sixteen, I was immediately struck by how much less people spoke freely than they did where I came from. I wrote a letter to the Gamecock, the student newspaper, about it.
No, no one gets a pass from me. If they disagree they can say so, just like grownups.
I am not trying to convert you. I want you to stay exactly who you are and learn a little from what I say.
As for Christians being hurt by what I say, I have a humorous little dialogue in my head. This Christian who is being hurt by my words has a quick dialogue with one of the Christian Martyrs. He is talking to a man who is being roasted slowly alive and says, “This guy hurt my feelings.”
The martyr being roasted slowly alive replies,
“Yea, tell me about it.”
Many years ago there was a very popular TV show called “The Galloping Gourmet.” The Galloping Gourmet was an Englishman who was among the first to make cooking instructions fun.
He goofed up and made jokes about it.
One day The Galloping Gourmet announced that he had become a born-again Christian. He said that his staff started treating him like a basket case.
Remember, this was TV Land. The only born-again Christians they had ever seen were the ones on television who were self-righteous bigots. None of them ever watched the evangelists on television who cracked jokes all the time.
The Galloping Gourmet said he got the impression that his staff thought his program would now begin with mournful church organ music and feature him mournfully talking, avoiding all humor, and going to pieces over an off-color word spoken.
In short, they expected this entertaining man to turn into the screaming bigot portrayed on the shows they watched.
The scary thing is that I am NOT joking. And The Galloping Gourmet was NOT joking.
And what makes it really hilarious is that the nutcases who expected him to turn into a raving basket case thought HE was the basket case.