It seems like the quickest way to get attention is to do something disgraceful, fame and notoriety get you the same amount of internet hits.
15 people in a church in rural Kentucky got their 15 minutes.
(AP) LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When Stella Harville brought her black boyfriend to her family’s all-white church in rural Kentucky, she thought nothing of it. She and Ticha Chikuni worshipped there whenever they were in town, and he even sang before the congregation during one service.
Then in August, a member of Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church told Harville’s father that Chikuni couldn’t sing there anymore. And last Sunday, in a moment that seems from another time, church members voted 9-6 to bar mixed-race couples from joining the congregation.
By way of comparison, here is another church in Kentucky, in 2006…
(AP) A woman died after being bitten by a snake during a serpent-handling service at church, police said.
Linda Long, 48, of London, Ky., died Sunday at University of Kentucky Medical Center, Brad Mitchell, a detective with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
Long died about four hours after the bite was reported, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Officials said Long attended East London Holiness Church. Neighbors of the church told the newspaper the church practices serpent handling.
Decades ago, in what must have been a wrenching church/state conflict, the state of Kentucky passed a law against religious rituals involving poisonous snakes. Other states in the South found it necessary to outlaw this mode of worship. Things are different down there.
Somewhere in our great nation, a little boy is saving his allowance to buy a Christmas present for a needy child. Across the USA churches will celebrate Christmas with acts of generosity and goodwill. This won’t make headlines, it happens every year.
A church with about 40 members that decides to put respect and inclusion of one of their own to a majority vote– and bans a loving couple from their community– this gets attention.
Hate radio stars who want to use Christmas to identify and bully non-Christians into accepting domination of public space by the majority religion get way more publicity than the Christians who spread peace and goodwill.
The Kentucky churchgoers who feel that a church service is just not complete without someone waving a handful of copperheads would tell you that they alone are keeping the true Christian faith, and they really believe it.
The Christian religion is so wide and so diverse that throughout history Christians have tortured, murdered and attempted to annihilate Christians of different sects or nations. This is also true of other huge major religions. It’s a tragedy of human nature that we are violent, warlike, shortsighted fools and no religion has changed that.
I’m not trying to harsh on the Season, I’m just pointing out that it’s not wise to assume everyone who wears a cross is singing with the same choir.
This issue was addressed about 2,000 years ago…
Matthew Chapter 7 vs 15-20
15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
I wonder why a church that can’t rustle up more than 15 voters would want to drive out two nice young people who want to be a part of their congregation.
Stella and Ticha would be welcome in plenty of other churches and I imagine they will find one that values love and justice.