As promised, I said I would return to the kid on stage at a church spouting off the many ways Jesus is portrayed in every book of the bible. For the sake of this post, let’s call the little boy “David”.
There are a few of us here at Le Café who feel a gravitational pull toward little David, because at one time we would have been a little David. You can see it now. You’re sitting at church in a pew by yourself. You’re so short your feet don’t touch the floor, so your kicking your feet back and forth. A church leader sits down right beside you. His name is Steve. Or Mark. He says, “How are things, David?”
“Fine.” you say. “How are you?”
“Great!” He’d say. “So I have this new reading that I think you’d be really good at.” Then Steve (or Mark) would blabber on about how you’d be the perfect candidate to read off or memorize how Jesus is portrayed in every book of the bible.
Of course he wouldn’t tell you that it’s a trend at all the big churches. He wouldn’t tell you that you’re doing it because all the elderly people at church find it damn near to godliness if a child performs on stage in any capacity. And he wouldn’t tell you that it’s a little test to give you a life-altering adrenaline rush that may forever change your need to perform at church. It will become an addiction that isn’t easy to break.
These are the things that started Marjoe‘s career. And look where it got him.
When I was in school and church, my teachers and Sunday School teachers could find Jesus in every book of the bible, too. In Daniel 3, he was the fourth man in the fiery furnace chillin’ out with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. My Sunday School teacher or elementary school teacher would say, “Do you know who the fourth man is in the furnace?”
And I would say, “Satan?” Who else withstands fire like Satan?
And they would say (condescendingly in the Church Lady voice), “Noooooooooooooooooo. That was Jesus.”
Of course the bible doesn’t say who that fellow was.
For all they knew it was Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint.
Typical of any kid that age, dumb David doesn’t know what he’s saying. He memorized that entire script. Or he’s using a teleprompter. He doesn’t know what “Son of Man” means. He doesn’t know that “The Bridegroom” in Hosea refers to when Hosea paid to have sex with his whore wife to metaphorically show that God would pay to have sex with you. I mean, that God would pay money to sleep with his filthy mistress …
I mean …
I love the Hosea metaphor so much.
That kid doesn’t know that the story of Jesus is a re-purposing of a story used over and over. The messiah is a continuation of a biblical trend to send an “anointed” savior character to guide people back to god. The bible writers were sick of the cliché so they got together one Saturday and said, “All right, this book is too long. Let’s end it with a guy named Yeshua. I’ve got plans to write a mobster book, and if I keep writing about ‘good’ guys I’m going to pull my hair out.”
So they wrote about Jesus.
If you grew up in the Yeshua Fog™, there’s a four-step biblical formula that you’d have driven in your noggin. The parenthetical notes are what I should have learned.
1) (Some of) Humanity (in the middle east) loved god (he had many names, which probably meant he was many gods, but tradition changed it to monotheism).
2) Humanity fell away from god(s).
3) God sent a messenger
4) The messenger brings the group of humanity (who knows about the middle eastern god) back to loving Him.
Moses, Joshua, Joseph (the multicolor dreamcoat kid), Noah, David, Samuel, Ezekiel, Jonah, Hosea, Daniel, Jeremiah, et al. All those guys represent a messenger who must bring a group closer to god. Most of them were physically or metaphorically “anointed”. Of course, they tell you that god never went away. It was the world who went away from God.
You could choose any one of those guys to be a messiah.
One of my favorite biblical lessons to pick on is the one in which modern day protestant megachurches say, “God/Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.” It’s a common sermon theme. But within that same sermon, the pastor might say, “If you understand the history of the bible, you know that god loved humanity from Abraham to David, Solomon, and the prophets. But then for 400 years, God left. He was no where to be found for four hundred years. Then at the perfect time, God decided to send Jesus. Praise him.”
God will not leave you, right? But god left humanity for four hundred years? You can NEVER say that “god will never leave you.” God did leave you. For four hundred years, and there’s no telling what’s going to piss that guy off again to send him away for another 400 years.
God is the ultimate metaphorical dad/husband/deadbeat who might step out for a pack of cigarettes and never come back.
Poor David is a pawn in the success of a church somewhere in these United States. David draws more older people into the pews. More older people in pews equals heavier tithe plates. Heavier tithe plates make more zeros and commas in tax-free bank accounts. That turns into more chances to ask another handsome or pretty church goer to standup on stage and plagiarize a document from the Internet.
Oh, I’m being a jerk.
What I really mean to say is that David is acting as the hand of god reaching for the hand of his whorish wife, so he can bring her back to his secret (dirty) lair … because he loves you.