I know this may come as a distressing shock to many, but I’ve been known to be a bit cynical, and rather sarcastic at times. Yes, suspend your disbelief. I thought I would point out that this trait has actually been around in me for quite some little time now. As an illustration, today I am recalling something that a friend and I wrote as students, back in the day some — what, about twenty now? — years ago. We were probably supposed to be working on papers at the time, but we took a break and revisited Ephesians 6:10-20, the great Pauline “spiritual warfare passage.” Based on our observances, we felt it needed a fresh look for the church of the day, and wouldn’t you know it — we were up to the task and available through the combined resources of procrastination. Now, you have to remember, it was the 80’s (hence the picture)… “Greed is good!” — “What a feeling!” But here it is, just as we wrote it:
Ephesians 6:10-20 (slightly updated to meet the growing “needs” of the twentieth century North American Church):
In conclusion be strong — not in yourselves but in the Lord and in the power of your gross yearly earnings when the Lord isn’t quite enough. Put on God’s complete expanded and revised armor so that you can be successful, resisting the social pressure of all those “holier-than-thou’s” and their crafty ploys to make you poor (or to think about those who are at any great length). For our fight is not against anything in specific: it is against organizations and powers that bring discomfort. We are up against the ugly power that controls inflation, as well as economists from Wall Street. Therefore you must wear the whole designer armor (available in spring, winter, summer, or autumn colours) that you may be able to resist conscience in its day of power, and that even when you have bargained to a deadlock you may still turn your head to see what the Joneses are up to. Take your stand then with self-interest as your legwarmers, comfort as your pillow, the gospel of prosperity firmly grounded in your theology, pleasure as your cologne and in your hand the briefcase of success, the recognition of your peers. Above all be sure you take Bromo-seltzer as your protection from ulcers, for it can quench every burning twinge of uneasiness the economy hurls at you. In all your paid vacations, play at all times with every kind of available toy, keeping receipts for your donations (worthy) charities as you are filing your taxes for the previous fiscal year. Remain alert and persistent as you watch the flow of the Dow Jones. …And pray for me, too, that I may be able to speak the message here boldly, to make known the secret of that Gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may speak out about it as is my plain and obvious duty… (How did THAT get in there?…)— Anonymous, et al.
(The Sons of Blunder)
I wasn’t present for this, but my friend said he showed this to one of our professors at the time (Dr. Jon Bonk) who instead of returning the slip of paper after reading it while my friend stood by, simply opened a desk drawer, dropped it inside, and said, “I can use this.” I wonder what that meant?