In a totally unrelated event, the following conversation was intercepted (this is, after all, the Lifted Voice column!) by the Pacific Northwest Satellite of Hamer Ham Radio in January 2015, and transcribed by Rev. Remah Nairb to post on April 1st.
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But first, while it’s just the three of us in the locker room, you know that we have been asked to decide whether or not our ecclesiastical supervisor should proceed with heresy charges against Dr. ****** for his anti-synodical views on evolution, Scripture, ordination, etc.
I will declare a quorum and call the meeting to order at 2:50 p.m. Would someone please open with a heart-felt prayer?
Male Voice #2 (code named “Larry”): O Lord, fill our mouths with heavenly stuff and punch us when we’ve said enough. Amen.
transmission interrupted by the “Get a Dose of the Ghost” Charismatic Cheerleaders, who were shouting, “We got Spirit, yes we do! We got Spirit, how ‘bout you?”
Male Voice #3 (code named “Harry”): The cheerleaders just reminded me that we need to look pretty snazzy today to relate to this culture. We all agreed not to bring those antiquated, sacerdotal vestments, but can we still wear our church year corsages?
BARRY: Context, Harry! Context! We are wearing green, not for Epiphany, but for the Seattle Seahawks. Go green!
transmission interrupted by the loud squelch of Peavey speakers as the praise team conducted a sound check
LARRY: Getting back to business, well, I don’t think that bringing charges against a fellow member of the body of Christ is very loving. Remember what St. Paul says in I Cor. 13 – the greatest gift is love, not doctrine. Accusing someone of false teaching, however, isn’t very loving!
brief pause as a vendor entered the locker room to sell DayStar buttons, Ablaze! Electronic Cigarettes, and laminated copies of back issues of the “Jesus First” newsletter
BARRY: Amen, Larry! My church’s $25,000 electronic jumbotron on our front lawn says, “No creed but Christ.” After all, Creeds divide the church!
Hamer Ham Radio detected manly chest bumps, over-the-back double taps, and self-congratulatory grunts from Barry, Harry, and Larry.
HARRY: I can’t help but notice that the folks who are concerned about Dr. ******’s teaching generally listen to the radio program, “Issues, Etc.” Recall that high-ranking powers excommunicated that program from official synodical airwaves several years ago because it was too doctrinally-minded. What’s worse, one of the individuals who brought charges against Dr. ****** is known to have won the “Issues, Etc.” Bundle Package – coffee mug, T-shirt, bumper sticker, and more!
loud, throaty gasps of shock and horror from Barry and Larry
BARRY: What I’m hearing you say is that it would not be very mission-minded to proceed with charges against one of our own. As you know, we already know the Law and the Gospel. Now we need to cast a vision and grow the church!
The transmission was disrupted by a brief power outage, apparently caused by an overload from the five dozen PowerPoint screens set up in the gym. The sudden darkness quickly led most people in the crowd to hoist their Bic cigarette lighters into the air and spontaneously sing Queen’s 1970’s pop hit, “We are the Champions,” in anticipation of the entrance of the Jehovah Jammers Praise Team through a dry ice mist.
So I just don’t see how a heresy trial helps our network of mission-minded clergy and laity transform the church. Indeed, it will only upset some people and distract us from counting the sheep. If we stop counting the sheep and start feeding them, then we might have to re-set the Ablaze! Ticker, which is counting our critical mission events through the year 2017. We need to keep the ticker ticking, or the unchurched will be, well, ticked!
Two minute warning! The time being 2:58 p.m., the chair will entertain a motion that we recommend not to proceed with heresy charges against Dr. ******.
LARRY: So moved.
BARRY: Refresh my memory: who gets to vote first: those in favor or those against the motion?
LARRY & HARRY: Geez! Us First!
BARRY: Jesus first?
LARRY & HARRY: No -- Geez! Us First!
BARRY: You are the only voters. Of course you get to go first! All in favor?
silence for reflection on God’s Word and for self-examination
LARRY & HARRY: AYE!
BARRY: Everyone on the panel having voted, the motion passes unanimously. Meeting adjourned.
Three sets of footsteps were detected as a door opened from the locker room to the gymnasium, followed by the opening measures of Pat Benitar’s 1980’s song, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” In addition to apparently reaching youth who were born around the year 2000, it also introduced the praise hymn, “Shine, Jesus, Shine,” followed by the opening kick off praise jam, “Drop Kick Me, Jesus, through the Goal Post of Life.”
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For the time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
-- 2 Timothy 4:3-5, ESV