I hesitate to cite my source for the inspiration of this blog.
This ad . . . er um . . . article, by Judah and Chelsea Smith, is about getting folks back into religion, including brick and mortar churches. Unfortunately for those on the take, millennials and others prefer to experience the world on Sunday, rather than sit-in for some dude’s dialogue that distorts the disturbing bible into a random feel-good or doom-and-gloom speech.
If stick-built places of worship weren’t so involved with hypocrisy and the want for money, more people might come. It continues to amaze me how religious leaders don’t see their fault in their own downfall.
Case in point: Old-timers who once commanded the attention of the masses and their monies were referred to with reverence.
Rex Humbard sold bonds to raise “religious” funds. That wasn’t religion; that was banking fraud.
Billy Graham felt that a real woman’s destiny was solely to be a home and baby-maker. Homosexuality? Oh hell no!
Oral Roberts was a faith healer who took in his biggest bucks from the poor, especially minorities.
If you must be religious, the article has one semi-decent sentence: “The Book of Luke, Chapter 15, illuminates it best in explaining that God’s arms are open and welcome to all, not just in a physical building, but is an emotional place of refuge.” (Yes, it’s sic.)
Amen, brother and sister, but please read it again. I don’t think you quite got the gist.
There are many bible quotes about not finding God in a physical place of worship. Luke 15 is not your best bet. I happened to cover it in my book under a more suitable context. Please appreciate my sharing this excerpt with you in the spirit of Rex Humbard, Billy Graham, and Oral Roberts, as this atheist is also interested in notoriety and revenue.
Sex in the Name of God Chapter 7 Prostitution: Whorer Stories
Luke 15 11 He said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ So he divided his livelihood between them. 13 Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and travelled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living.”
The younger son blew his wad and decided to come back home. He apologized and was accepted back by his happy father.
Luke 15 23 “Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let’s eat, and celebrate; 24 for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.” Then they began to celebrate. 25 Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on. 27 He said to him, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.” 28 But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him.
Clearly, this was a case of goat envy.
Luke 15 29 But he answered his father, “Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this your son came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.” 31 He said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.”
One can understand the excitement over the restoration of a seemingly lost relationship. However, the older son’s message which was lost upon the father, and Jesus himself, was that no one likes being taken for granted. Another interpretation could be not to look a gift goat in the mouth.
Millennials: Interpret this parable as you will, but it is pretty clear that you already have.
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