Translate

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I had a fantastic time with the Called to Communion boys in New Orleans. Grateful thanks go to Mr. Jerry Tate, who I trust didn't mind all the papists crawling in his house! [Well, one of them is his son.--ed.] Which is a guarantee of precisely squadoosh in terms of acceptance. [Good point.--ed.] Maybe we're all a hive-mind, but I wondered at how similar our stories were in coming to the Catholic Church. Another thing that must be noted is how free of bitterness and disaffection we truly are toward our former Reformed home. To a man, we were provoked to ask questions we never thought to ask, and they were answered in a way we never thought possible. The one word that sums up our journeys is joy. This is not to say we are untroubled, but it is to frankly acknowledge the goodness of God to each of us through the ministry of the Church. I feel almost guilty for having used that word so many times without knowing what it meant, and without sharing in its fulness. Please understand, I mean no insult. Many brothers use the word with great affection and profit, and I would dare not deprive them of it, because affection for the Church and affection for Christ are much the same thing. As Derek Webb rightly sings, "You cannot care for me/With no regard for her/If you love me you will love the Church." What my Protestant brothers and sisters lack in precision on this point, they make up for oftentimes in zeal.
I appreciate Comrade Butler's warm invitation to return, but I must decline. It's a bit like being offered a broccoli floret as opposed to a whole banquet. I say it that way because, make no mistake, I love broccoli. A lot or a little, it's good. But if I'm 'paying' for this with my whole self, I want it all. [The point is, there's crap in the food.--ed.] First of all, Jesus Christ has given us himself; there's nothing substandard about that.
But I describe the situation like this: A few cooks and servers did a poor job at the only restaurant in town. The guy who owns the whole town left his son in charge, and neither them nor their helper were at all pleased. But all the other so-called 'restaurants' in town will actually kill you if you eat there. The owner and company know who made the mistakes, and who's in with the killers, but he's biding his time for the good of everyone in the town. Some people got so mad, they left, and they learned how to each make a few good things from the restaurant, but not all of it. They started their own restaurants, and at least don't kill you, like the evil places, but it's not as good. The owner's gracious enough to come by to check on the other places, maybe share a dish or two, and is always ready to take customers and cooks back. They say sometimes that they didn't learn it from the big place, but wise folks know better. Some of the protestors say that we're all one restaurant anyway, so what's the big deal? But we can sense together that things were better before people left. And the owner said he won't put his name on any place that doesn't serve all the food. And some that left weren't certified cooks, as good as they seem to do.
It's been so long since the split, most people don't even know what started it. Some of the average folks don't realize there was one chain so long ago. Most are happy where they eat. Some of the independent places just opened, and they're so small, they barely have anything. That doesn't stop some 'owners' from saying that there never was one big place, and what we did have, the owner fouled up. Most people don't listen to them, unless they haven't tried much food. Somehow, in all the confusion and lies, word got around that the big place has the killer food, but it isn't so. Just in case, some stay where they are. Problem is, the killers get stronger every day, and as long as the good folks stay in separate places, many don't have long. Oh, they might scatter and start again, but it gets harder and harder. The company's given it all to keep the big restaurant open no matter what, and they try to help the smaller ones as much as they can. Better there than dead. But they should come back while there's still time. The owner holds no grudge, and everyone is grateful for the good things folks ate at the smaller places. Writing's on the wall, though.

2 comments:

Timothy R. Butler said...

Interesting analogy. Of course, any Protestant worth his salt would add a few details. "Certified cooks" were putting arsenic into the food unless you washed the dishes even after paying for your meal. Others left you unserved after you prepaid for your meal for better paying positions at the big important downtown location. Still others wouldn't ever explain the menu despite the whole thing being written in Klingon, so people just ordered something hoping to get a nice chicken dinner, and yet found themselves eating gahg instead.

As all this transpired, someone said, let's look at the founder's recipe cards and franchise instruction manual and see if all this is how it is suppose to be. Low and behold, they found that the arsenic was not one of the original twelve herbs and spices, nor was gahg a necessary replacement for fried chicken. So, they opened up a more efficient quick service restaurant that had easy to read menus, consistent usage of recipes and those nifty vibrating pager thingies so your food was served to you long before it grew mold.

Jason said...

That was the worst analogy I've ever heard. :) But it was funny. Bravo. Who has the authority to preach in the name of Christ? What is the Church? And what is "the faith once delivered to all the saints"?