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Do You Really Want To Live Under Religious Fundamentalist Control? Errrr, Um...No!

Message Dennis Diehl

I'm not so sure I'd enjoy being ruled by the fundamentalist Christians I know. They just know that they, the true true saints, will rule the world under Jesus Christ. This makes me nervous and I'm not so sure it will be source of my never ending joy realized when Jesus returns to rule us all with a "rod of iron." Somehow the use of seminars, luncheons and field trips never seems to dawn on Jesus or God as a way to better teach us poor ignorant slobs. But not to worry, I think the Rod of Iron thing is made up by the men who love to rule with such things. In becoming as little children, you'd think rods of iron would be prohibited as an acceptable way to solve problems and teach truth. I guess my common sense is not the common sense God and Jesus experience according to my fundamentalist friends.

First of all, the Clergy I know, don't get along very well among themselves. The screamers among them seem to compete for the recognition and preeminence and the rules they believe they will enforce upon all mankind within their reach are down right depressing and frightening. Worse yet, they don't seem to be able to agree on which rules are rules, which are suggestions and which are done away with. I do know they tend to want to be in charge and not just work for the Lord in lower positions.

There will be no dancin' or card playin'. No hair longer than that of the 1950's and no dresses shorter than ankle high. They will be made mostly of boring colors and put you in mind of your grandma. You'll be forced, because it's the rule, to go to Bible studies on Wednesday nights and church EVERY Sunday. You'll agree that Jesus really was born on Christmas and really died on Easter for all the appropriate reasons. You will be baptised by immersion or sprinkled depending. You're repentance will be heartfelt and genuine and you will become perfect like God is, or else of course. In fact you'll agree with what you are told to agree with even if you don't. If you don't, you will keep that very very quiet. However a local pastor says that God knows our thoughts, so that will be a challenge. I just know he's gonna tell!

As far as entertainment is concerned, you will love Andy Griffith and hate American Idol. Chris Sligh, outstanding singer and all around good guy, on American Idol, and Bob Jones University drop out, will be executed unless he rejoins the choir. Bob Jones is very disappointed in Chris for misusing his talents and spending time with the enemy. Any feelings that the kind of religious control he experienced is creepy or confining will be purged from his deceived mind, should he survive. Movies will be strictly monitored and you will learn to love "The Sound of Music"and "Oklahoma" as you never thought you could, or else. Stores will close on the appointed days and times and only sell the appropriate Christian things. I imagine only Christians will be allowed to even own or run a store. Oh yeah, the non-believers will be dead.

Concerning science, well, hold on to your hats. Evolution, which is literally true, will be banned and creationism and the Fall of Man because of woman in the Garden of Eden, which is not literally true, will replace it. Science will be ever so much more easily understood. Phrases like "Quantum physics tells us," or "human consciousness studies inform us that," will be replaced by "God says." In fact, every finding of archaeology, paleontology, astronomy and every other "onomyies"and "tologies" will be replaced with "God says." A degree in science won't take long at all and the answers will become so much easier to come up with on the test.

Clergy will replace politicians and giving to the State will be regulated by Old Testament laws on tithing and many other such things you won't believe how happy they will make you. It will be to one's advantage to become a Priest of the Most High if you ever expect to accumulate any real material wealth. The Ten Commandments will be suspended long enough to steal the unbelievers blind, rape their wives, enslave their children and kill those who can't see the light as it is revealed to them. If you should find yourself in any kind of conflict over why you have to be so compliant and believe the unbelievable, this is why Jesus has his very own rod of iron. He will convince you that you need to adjust your attitude and you will do so nicely and with sincerity. After you learn anatomy by seeing eyes and tongues dissolve in the appropriately "God is Love" way, you'll feel more inclined to obey and be happy.

Now we can all hope the above nightmare scenario in the hands of Christian Fundamentalists will never come to pass. However, we have ample Old Testament predictions that Jewish fundamentalism will prevail in a very similar way. The above mentioned pastors will be forced to give up Sunday for Sabbath, Easter for Passover and Christmas for the Feast of Tabernacles. Boy are they gonna be surprised! I mean, this is what it says in the book they love to use to tell us all just how happy we will be when Jesus returns and restores all things his and God's way. A common phrase to be heard by these Pastors will be "hmmmmmmmm, no one 'splained it to me that way before."

Let's take a quick look at how happy we will be when the Messiah comes from the Jewish perspective, and how deep our joy must be, or else.

Zechariah 14: (1-2) Jerusalem under siege from the nations.

"Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city."

See, I told ya the Ten Commandments would be suspended for the greater good!

(12-15) Enemies are forever plagued.

"And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand; Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be."

See, I told ya you could still have lots of good stuff if you were the chosen ones and you'd learn anatomy in new and interesting ways!

(16-19) All the nations come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.

"And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."

See, I told ya have to give up the pagan Christian holidays and absolutely fall in love with the Jewish Holydays, or else.

(20-21) The common is made holy.

"In that day “Holiness to the Lord” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts."

See, I told ya Church was going to be a lot different and you better not be one of the not so special ones!

Doesn't being under enforced, for your own good, religious rule sound fun? No! Won't we be ever so much more happy and fulfilled? No! Actually, I sincerely hope this is not what "and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free," really means. Freedom under religious opinions,  rule and control is truly frightening and depressing.

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Dennis Diehl is a former pastor of 26 years,  who outgrew the Literalism of Fundamentalism.  He writes about Pastoral and Church abuse and is available to speak on such topics or be helpful to any church suffering under abusive (more...)

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