Monday, November 10, 2008

Preach the Word!

What if you visited a church and the preacher started saying things like . . . .

Now, you men . . . you listen up! God's got a word for you -- He's got a word. Next time you have your buddies over for a few drinks and you guys are watching the game . . . keep the word of the Lord in mind! If you ever have a gang of gay men start banging on your door 'cause they want your buddies' booty, you remember God's will is for you to give over your daughter or your wife. Homosexuality is so nasty that you should let them rape your daughters and wives before letting those gays get in your buddies' booty holes!
Or, what if you heard something like . . .

God wants us to be fruitful and multiply! Multiply! This is important. If you don't obey God's commands He will be angry with you! If you can't have children, you need to get your sister-in-law, or somebody, and make sure you have yourself a man-child . . . or at least try. God wants us to fill the earth! If your daughters can't get nobody and start havin' babies . . . then daddy . . . you need to do the deed yourself!

Or, how about something like this:

You people goin' round depressed all the time . . . you just ain't praying enough. You don't fast and pray. Done just let the devil get into your homes and your lives. Can't even get a prayer up. You need to fast and pray and break the power of the devil in your home. You don't need no anti-depressants! You don't need none of that stuff. You just ain't trying enough . . . praying enough . . .

No . . . I've never heard these exact words in a sermon before. I've never heard a preacher utter words quite like the ones above. (well, I have with the depression bit)

But, I have read in the Bible on two occasions where men visited someone's home and a mob came to the house demanding to have intercourse with guests inside. And on both occasions, either daughters were offered up or a concubine. In the first story, the daughters were spared. But in the second case, the concubine was ravaged all night long and died from the punishment. This was more acceptable than the male guest being ravaged. Granted, neither the guests nor the concubine should have been threatened. But somehow, pushing the concubine into the mob was the lesser evil.

On several occasions, women felt so pressured to have children that they tricked people into having sex with them. Before you get excited at the idea, Judah was tricked into having sex with his daughter-in-law and Lot with his two daughters! And Onan was ordered to sleep with his deceased bother's wife and impregnate her so that his brother's name could live on. Onan didn't follow through and was killed by God.

If sex is so taboo, why was Onan killed for not impregnating his sister-in-law?

If continuing one's name is so important, why doesn't God strike down everyone that uses birth control?

If the rape of a woman is less heinous that homosexuality, why do we punish rapists over homosexuals?

What would your wife do if you pushed her out of the front door and into a mob that was trying to break into your home for sex?

What if God told you that you were not fit to serve him if you took time to tend to your own father's funeral before leaving home for good?

What if you have a real, legitimate biological condition that needs medical treatment, but the church made you feel guiltily for accepting it? They guilt you into believing that you simply are not praying enough and you avoid the treatment that you really need.

Before you get defensive . . . before you give into that urge and say that I'm taking these scripture passages out of their context, put yourself into the shoes of all the people in these passages.

Do you think like any of them, today?

Do you think you are worshiping the same God that they were? Are you really holding to the same ideals as the characters in the example stories above?

Do you still think that the events I've just mentioned happened for real?

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