Sunday, July 30, 2006

This Guy Rocks

(<-- this guy does, too)

I could hardly believe my eyes as I sat in the official
WiHW La-Z-Boy, sippin' my Sunday morning coffee and listening to the same Duke Ellington CD I've put on every morning this week (Blues in Orbit)...

it was the New York article about religion (a sure bet for me)...but it said: OK, there's this pastor of an evangelical mega-church. Gregory A. Boyd. And he's preaching stuff like this: "I am sorry to tell you that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ."

Oh, it gets worse. He drove away about 1ooo church members (a fifth of his congregation) when he could remain silent no longer about the idolatry rampant in the species of Christianity that not only obsesses itself with patriotism, but with "homosexuality, abortion" and the freakish notion that Christians in American are some kind of persecuted, endangered minority (though Pastor Boyd now has me seeing how this could be true--depending on how one defines "Christian").

He even said (
can't you get excommunicated for this???): "America wasn't founded as a theocracy. America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric. That's why our Constitution wisely put in separation of church and state."

In case you're thinking that this is one of those Kalibhakta's the story.

Regular readers of this blog probably know that I'm a recovering Pentecostal who has been led by the Dark Mother Kali, of all deities, back to an appreciation and even a love for Christianity. Early in our relationship, Kali told me point-blank to climb off my religious pedestal and stop looking down on members of the faith I fled for many of the same reasons Pastor Boyd has bravely chosen to stay and fight.

Once I gave in [dramatically, as my friend Sophia would predict :) ]-- in Spain, in tears, on my knees in a cathedral before a statue of the Sorrowful Mary, Esperanza)...once I gave in, Kali immediately sent me a staggering surfeit of spiritual literature, all by Christians: Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Julian of Norwich (whom I'd read and even written about, but had never grokked in fulness), Simone Weil, Richard Rolle,
The Cloud of Unknowing, and the incomparable Gabrielle Bossis, whose He and I is my favorite book ever about the spiritual path. [She probably wouldn't appreciate my saying this, but it's an HGA book par excellence.]

Kali even led me, Trickster that She Is, to...yes...I know it's frightening...the Bible. The para-biblical stuff you'd expect me to read, yes: the Nag Hammadi texts, the Pseudepigrapha (Enoch, in particular)...but also the plain, old, Hellman's mayo, canonical
Bible. Biiiiiiible. Say it with me, children: Biiiiiiiiiiiiible. The book that, whether we admit it or not, inspires fear and loathing in liberals, pinkos, pagans, peaceniks, eggheads, crunchies, Greens, and lavenders. And one day, yea, as I perus'd this lately disdain'd tome, reading my least favorite of all its authors, "Paul" [he didn't write all they say he wrote], I came across verses that verily I remember'd from my sojourn amongst the brethren and cistern. Turn with me to the book of Second Corinthians, eleventh chapter and the thirteenth verse:
13: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15: Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Now, oddly enough, when I was a Christian they told me these verses referred to cults, New Agers, Hare Krishnas, the Antichrist, and Charles Manson. But--plainly as blood on white linen--they refer to "Christians" with lowly motives. And yea, when I read them a few months ago, seeing them afresh, I had the same, chilling thought Pastor Boyd might have had: this has happened. this is the church now. And this was the one time in my life I felt assured: I have read true Prophecy in the Bible. Thus, the "remnant," as we used to call that little band of true Christians that would survive in the end times, might be identified by its outrage at the faux amis who have found Caesar a more congenial master than Christ.


  1. Anonymous8:17 PM

    >>Once I gave in [dramatically, as my friend Sophia would predict :) ]-- in Spain, in tears, on my knees in a cathedral before a statue of the Sorrowful Mary, Esperanza)
    Just can't do things the easy way, hm? Always have to have the drama. Spain! I ask you.

  2. I know! But apparently my Divine Mother is willing to humor this operatic tendency, or at least use it to Her own ends.

    Than again, I once saw and adored Her in pollen, so it isn't all chalices and spear carriers--you Valkyrie, you...


  3. Makes me think of a quest I undertook in the 80s, which led to my reclaiming Judaism on my own terms (and in such a way that a childhood friend calls me "not a real Jew").

    I seem to recall a B. Kliban cartoon (circa roughly '78) showing "brethren and cistern"....