The evangelical responses to the various democrat victories on Tuesday haven’t been all that surprising.
The same people who criticize Obama for pointing verbose and frequent fingers at Bush II, can’t help pointing fingers at the faithless, godless liberals, at Sandy (a god-send hurricane), at the “takers” who make up the democratic party.
Each time a conservative points out the speck in his neighbors’ eyes, a plank is revealed in his or her own.
Every time he or she opens her mouth about the failure of their party to make headway, despite the intense prayer and faith of the right, he or she renders the all-mighty power of their version of the supernatural … anything but supernatural.
Anything but all-mighty.
Scott Lively’s words are particular compelling for someone like me. He writes:
The bad news is that the Stupid Party will, of course, interpret their loss as a sign they were too conservative and move further to the left. The better or worse news (depending on your theology) is that the age of apostasy is more clearly upon us, which means that the return of Christ is drawing near.”
Jesus is coming back? Well, by Yeshua, let’s get our house cleaned up. I need to host that guy for a dinner party.
And yet, with all this disbelief in the evangelical agenda, the Parable of the Sower comes to mind.
You know the one. If you’re like me, you can remember the felt board bible lesson from when you were six years old. The farmer — a guy wearing a pretty dress and head gear — goes outside and throws seeds over the land. Some falls on fertile land. Some falls in thorns and the growth is choked and some grows in shallow dirt and the sun chokes them out.
Keep in mind that the “sun” in this parable does not refer to Jesus. Or does it?
The point of the lesson, as it was taught to me, is that some people hear the message of Jesus, and like a seed, they turn from a bitty bit into a huge, beautiful crop. But there are others who hear the message, they are seeded with it, they grow up, but the message is lost, taken or removed by some evil force, like thorns. Still others hear, and the sun (Jesus?) dries up that message fast.
This parable is one of my favorites.
One, it explains EXACTLY what Mat Staver, Tony Perkins, Scott Lively, Ann Coulter, and my evangelical friends are bemoaning kvetching about since Tuesday night.
Here’s where their bible nails it. NAILS it.
Jesus was profound. Not everyone who hears the message is fruitful with it.
These were Jesus’s own teachings. Kind of like “Treat your neighbor as yourself” and “Sell everything you’ve got, and follow me.”
And while you may lump me into the group who have heard, but do not believe, another truth is that evangelicals are also lumped into that category.
In this very parable, Jesus explains why he spoke in parables, which were confusing to those who heard. He said,
Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
These same people who claim to have the inside information on Jesus are choked up by their own messages. They heard, but they do not understand that their crop could reap a huge harvest.
The bible says that the crop could be “a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Jesus teaches all kinds of ways on how to influence others, but none — no not one — of the believers I know follow Jesus’ words. And this is why the crops do no produce the harvest they want.
Jesus was clear about praying in public. He was clear about taking care of the poor. He was clear about living poor to love him better.
Giving your coat and your shirt to those in need.
I am not a follower of Jesus. I don’t pretend to be. But I know damn well what he said.
I also see that Jesus admits he is not clear or understandable. I can see where people are confused.
Or it’s time to own up. Admit that Jesus is a trump card pulled to get a good amount of people stirred up. God is in complete control, they say.
God is guiding the story as it unfolds, they say.
Perhaps God unfolded the story of science in 1859, because that was his timing.
God unfolded the story of accepting marriage for all in these years because it was his plan.
God unfolded the story of some people who want women’s health and abortion available knowing full well that other believers were strong enough to teach their own believers that it’s wrong. Just because it’s available, doesn’t mean everyone needs it.
God unfolded the story of healthcare in this age to keep people alive, not during any other period.
I mean, the guy didn’t unfold disease during Jesus time, because it wasn’t his timing.
It’s time to accept Jesus’ timing.
It’s time to accept God — if he truly knows what the hell he’s doing — and move forward.
Instead of picking over the truly abundant harvest available, taking the little bits you like, and throwing the rest into the fire.