Monday, December 29, 2008

Things Have Come Together

Looks like I'll be able to take some classes next month! Yippee!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fads...By God

It seems like every time we turn around, there are experts ready to tell us how fat & out of shape we are. This sort of thing is irritating enough by itself, but when it gets into the church it becomes even more intolerable.

Take, for example, the Body By God book. Basically the idea is that we shouldn't eat anything processed because it's not "from God" (i.e., it's not a naturally-occuring food). That means no chips, no soft drinks, no baked goods, and very little if any sugar, refined or otherwise.

Well, sign me up (meant to be conveyed in a sarcastic tone)!

Now, I applaud the author's intent to help out with the general health crisis. To be sure, most processed food isn't that healthy to begin with; it's full of extra salt, extra sugar, extra fat, extra preservatives, extra-everything but nutrients. But I'm not sure that turning one's back on everything but lean meats, fruits and vegetables is

The idea is actually kind of misleading. If we were meant to eat only foods that, I presume, would have been available in the Garden of Eden, then that probably cuts out meat as well (most Biblical scholars will argue that the first shedding of animal blood happened when God made animal skins for Adam and Eve, since the birthday suits just weren't cutting it anymore after the Fall). Other than a handful of vegans, does anyone really know anyone else who would willingly say no to meat forever?

Didn't think so.

How about milk and cheese products? Odds are that the first man & woman didn't think to grab hold of a cow's undercarriage---and consume whatever come out---at any time during their brief stay in Paradise.

So that means no queso, no Jello pudding...and no eggnog come Christmas time. Gosh, who could resist (more of the same as above)?

Tell ya what, let's you & me talk a little walk down Slippery-Slope Lane:

When you start thinking along these lines, then how far is it from, say, discontinuing the use of electric instruments during worship services, because electricity hadn't been invented yet? And, of course, we all know very well that God completely stopped speaking to musicians some time around the turn of the 20th century, which means that anything that isn't written for SATB choir (complete with earth-tone robes and dickeys) and organ/piano, isn't fit to play in church services. Heck, we could write another book and call it Music By God...although if we really wanted to be authentic, we'd have to stick with zithers and flutes and other decidely non-Western instruments and music-forms (no three-part harmonies, no I-IV-V chord transitions) in order to do the Middle Eastern music of ancient Israel convincingly.

Going further, we could argue that the invention of the computer chip, mother board, and monitor was never in the original plan for mankind; after all, doesn't excessive exposure to computer screen light ruin one's eyes, and potentially lead to cancer? So there goes the overhead projector for contemporary worship services; it's back to the hymnals for us (saving eyesight but, so say the greenies, murdering the forest in the process). As a matter of fact, why use hymnals, since the printing press didn't come along until much later. Everything in the Garden of Eden was word of mouth; if it couldn't be remembered as spoken, it probably wasn't worth hearing. That cuts out most, if not all, three-part sermons/messages; we'll just have someone recite a verse from memory and then meditate on it for half-an-hour (trusting, of course, that they aren't either accidentally, or maliciously, mangling it). And there you have the substance of Church By God.

But how will we get to the service (which, incidentally, will probably be in a forest grove and not a building, the better to honor the original intent with)? Cars pollute the environment and tend to contribute to our being fat and sedentary. That leaves us with two choices: we can either ride our donkeys...or we can walk. (Transportation By God.)

And what will we take up for the offering? Printed money kills trees, and electronic money means using computers (remember the declining eyesight?). So we'll just bring in the best portions of our flock---which haven't been eaten, since we're all vegetarians now---and sacrifice these on the altar (perhaps a computer desk could fill this function well enough). (Tithing By God.)

Yes, I can see it now! Everything will be better!


...until one of us gets to church early one day, and discovers that the pastor has just finished eating a nice, juicy lamb burger...with a slice of swiss.

Then we'll wonder why we jumped on this silly bandwagon to begin with.