Sweet & Sour Chicken

I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. (Revelation 10:10)

It’s the story of my life. I think I know what I’m getting myself into and—WHAMMO—I’m neck-deep in doo-doo; I got myself a heaping helping of road applesauce; I’m holding the key to Poop City. Oh, it definitely looks good going in, but it doesn’t take long before I’m wishing I’d kept the receipt.

Take the whole Christianity thing, for example. The advertisements tell me I can become a better me! I can have my best life now! I can be more than good, more than better—I can be blessed! They tell me that it’s my time! I can ask for more like Jabez did!  With Jesus as my life coach I can have it all! I can be wild at heart! I can be fearless! I can live with confidence in a chaotic world! More than that, I can defeat demons and overthrow the power of darkness! I can unleash the power of God in my life! I can learn the seven keys to a life of predictable miracles! I can know the secret of a happy life! I can have the life I’ve always wanted!

So I sign up. I mean, I actually believe. I even go see this pastor so I can join up legit-like. In his office I do the required apology prayer for not taking advantage of God’s wonderful plan for my life sooner. Then I move around some of my stuff to make room for Jesus in my heart and extend an official invitation for him to move in, which, I guess, he had to accept because of some kind of contractual obligation. (It’s a little cramped in there now, but, thankfully, he doesn’t take up much space.) Next I buy myself a Bible, one of those modern ones that took out all the verily’s and saith’s and fornications. I even read it a few times, but when I can’t find the parts about having it all and about those predictable miracles I figure maybe I’ve got the wrong version and eventually lose interest.

It isn’t long before I notice that things aren’t going like advertised. Not only am I not seeing all those predictable miracles, but I’m not even close to having what I would call my best life now. And if this is the best it’s going to get then I figure I wasted that whole apology for nothing because it sure isn’t the life I’ve always wanted (which is being a rich rock star with a ripped body and an iPhone). The longer I look at it, the more I decide that maybe I got flimflamed, caught by the ol’ switcheroonie.

So then I pick up that modern Bible again and start looking more closely, and I find that the God thing isn’t all guns and roses. I find out that a person can get himself killed for Christ’s sake! I read that hard-core Jesus freaks pretty much can get their butts totally kicked. So I start reading real history books and find out that people who are totally into the God thing get their heads cut off, their tongues ripped out, get boiled in oil, or burned to charcoal at the stake. And that’s only the cool stuff. There’s also the persecution thing where people call you names, kick you out of your health club, or don’t bother to talk to you in bars. And I conclude that, as a Christian, your best life now can be a bitch.

So I go back to look for loopholes in the system where a person can get some of the basic benefits but can avoid most of the downsides like death or church. Well, I don’t find any in the Bible so I chuck that book to the back of the closet because I’m not afraid to tell you that I’m not into the gung-ho religious thing if it means unpleasantness or that I can’t watch R-rated movies. And from what I can tell, most of the Christians I know agree with me one hundred percent.


One Response

  1. Wow Fred, I thought this article was filled with fun, laughter and a balanced smattering of truth–but the final word was too hard hitting. Howbout a little slack/grace dude? GBY.

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