[Seeing that Reverend Wright has emerged for more media time, I'd like to run this post again. The Good Lord spoke in parables, and so does Ninjanurse, when she manages not to forget the point halfway through]
It was a lovely day for a wedding at the Full Word of God Church, the church that takes the Bible literally. The bride and groom were both pure and uncompromised. Both home-schooled, and graduated with honors from Bible College. He was already making a good living selling Amway, and she looked forward to being a full-time Christian mother.
A guy with a guitar played that Paul Stookey wedding song, and then the guest preacher got up to say a few words to the happy couple. The Pastor, sadly, was in the hospital with a kidney stone. At the last minute they were able to get Reverend Ezekiel Bright.
Rev. Bright said a few words about the importance of faithfulness, and then launched with a thundering voice into these verses from the Bible…
“Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
… And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.
So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.
Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.
For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.” Ezekiel 23
The Reverend was winding up to share some more of the Holy Word, and elaborate on the ‘issue of horses’ but he never got the chance. Someone tripped over the microphone cord, and in that moment the choir director signaled the start of the Alleluia Chorus while the Ladies Guild surrounded Rev. Bright and hustled him to the back of the church.
The wedding went on with great festivity, and the Ladies plied him with cake until he fell asleep from sugar overload. He woke up in an empty church with a headache and a raging thirst, and a conviction that he had been greatly disrespected. ‘Tripped over the mike’ indeed. That was no accident.
“Lord!” he cried, “Why have they forsaken me?”
“What have I done, but tried to share your sacred word?”
“Have you not told us to be urgent in season and out of season, as St. Paul said?”
Tears filmed his eyes as he stared into the darkness of the empty church, and lo– the Lord appeared to him. Jesus walked up close to Rev. Bright and whupped him on the side of the head.
“Haven’t you ever heard of ‘context'”, asked the Lord. “How can you expect to reach people’s hearts and minds when you’re throwing a holy hand grenade at them?”
“But St. Paul said…”, Rev. Bright stuttered…
“Don’t start with me!”, growled St. Paul, materializing at Jesus’ right hand. “I was a Jew to the Jews and a Roman to the Romans. Give me credit for knowing a few things about politics.”
Jesus and St. Paul then stood on each side of Rev. Bright. St. Paul whupped him on the other side of his head and then they rose in a celestial cloud and vanished.
Rev. Bright pondered long and hard after that, but he never figured out what the Lord meant by ‘context’. It sounded too much like ‘compromise’. He ended up in a church that shared his vision, with a small congregation in a compound in Idaho.
He still feels hurt that the Full Word of God church would not hear his message about marital faithfulness, so biblical and appropriate to a wedding.
But sometimes it’s not what you say — it’s how you say it.