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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Friday, May 13, 2011

They Heard the Call

So a religious group is predicting the immanent end of the world. I used to hear Harold Camping, the worldly head of the organization behind this Neo-Millerite message, on a religious radio station in Birmingham. He has an idiosyncratic voice and lumbering speech style that I found hypnotic; I barely remember any of what he had to say, except that events in the news tie in with scriptural prophecy, plus dancing is bad because you could cut in and hold his wife in your arms, which ain’t how Harold Camping rolls. Maybe he should try salsa.

I bring this up not for cheap yucks but because I wonder if some part of his mind is already working on a rationalization for if and when the Rapture doesn’t happen on his schedule. He says on NPR that there is “No plan B.” Does that mean Camping doesn’t have a Plan B, or God doesn’t? Can Camping tell the difference between his plans for God and God’s plans for Camping? Can anyone tell the difference between their plans for God and God’s plans for them?

While I’m picking on preachers, consider this guy. The story reminds me of the year I spent working at a factory in Chattanooga that made a point of hiring students from the local seminary. Many of them were inspiring guys; kind, helpful, scholarly and smart.

Others, I believe, were becoming preachers because it was the only way they’d ever get any respect. Goofy, slow-witted, mean-spirited people who wanted to don the mantle (or cloak) of goodness that preachers get by default. Assuming there’s something to my suspicions, it’s not surprising that some preachers would bark like a SEAL. Note what retired SEAL Don Shipley, who keeps track of retired SEALS for the Navy, says:

“We deal with these guys all the time, especially the clergy. It’s amazing how many of the clergy are involved in those lies to build that flock up.”

As long as you're disguising yourself for cheap validation, why not add a second layer of cloaking?

BTW one of these seminarians showed two very different sides of himself depending on whether he was talking to fellow students or civilians; once when his schoolmates weren’t around he boasted of getting kicked out of the local strip club for fistfighting. This wasn't before he was saved; this was the previous weekend. I later asked him what his plan for the future was. He wanted to be a traveling evangelical preacher, affiliated with a church but going from one church/revival to another. I like to think he’s out there in Tennessee or someplace, some small town, preaching the gospel under a white canopy, winning souls, while scanning the congregation for potential Jezebels…

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