Saturday, 28 March 2009



Many of you know that I sometimes enjoy listening to a local fundamentalist Christian radio station (as long as it is "preaching," and not "southern gospel" music. The preaching can be entertaining; the music makes my hair hurt.) So yesterday evening on my way home from work I was listening to the station. Crossroads Baptist church or something similar to that in God-knows-where West Virginia was the current broadcast. The sermon tipped me over the edge a little with a theme that I have been hearing more and more about lately. The preacher said that their church would not grow any more that it has with him as their pastor, because he preaches "the truth," and they use the KJV, and they sing "the old hymns." He then began to compare the United States to a great ship. He said that the great ship is being "tossed and turned" in waves, and that she is leaning heavily to her port side; he then explained that that is the "left" side of a ship. ("Smooth, preacher, smooth.") He began to explain the reasons why the great ship is taking on water, sparing no offense during his lamentations. He then began to speak of the coming persecutions.

Many people have been bringing this up recently: upcoming persecutions against Christians, and all out turmoil in our country and our world, replete with catastrophic events and cataclysmic consequences. Some of the people who have been saying this I respect greatly; some of them, very little.

Why am I not paying a bit of attention?

For we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)

Perhaps instead of wringing our hands and moaning, "Woe, are we, and cursed are you," it might be wise to do what we have been called to do: live the Gospel, share the Sacraments, be in constant prayer, and be visible signs of God's love on earth.

(I am pretending not to notice that most of these prophets of doom didn't begin their cacophony of despair until the November elections were over. I am also withholding that bit of wisdom from Levitical law that says that prophets may say what they will, but if their prophecies do not come to pass, and only stir up the people, that they should be stoned.)

Pax et bonum.