Today's sermon, titled "God and Man at Yale ... And Everywhere Else, More or Less", speaks to the commonly known and equally commonly bought (as in "You're actually BUYING that?") phrase: "God helps those who help themselves."
As the Pastor of TheEmptyChurchDotCom, I am here to tell you that if ever there was a concept as full of guff as this, I'd like to be notified. It is, in fact, the LEAST Christian notion imaginable. Yet it remains, sadly, a potent weapon with which Republicans bludgeon Democrats in the name of righteousness.
Come with me now, Flock. Follow me past the jump and I, ever so briefly because I know you prefer your time in church--even The Empty Church--to be short and sweet, will explain how the Republicans, yea tho' they may seem to have acquired the upper hand, risk, when Judgement comes (and it IS coming), engulfment in the flames of Hell. And there is no butter in Hell, dear friend, to salve those wounds. There is no butter.
"The Lord helps those who help themselves" represents the question at hand. Or at least the object of the question. The question itself might better read "Does The Lord REALLY help those who help themselves?"
And the answer, of course, is no.
The fact of the matter is that The Lord helps those who CANNOT help themselves. As for those who DO help themselves, I'm sure God smiles down on them. But when it comes to quantifying the beneficiaries of His Grace, as shown to us in the Gospels, please review just about everybody Jesus ever helped in his life and you can count those who were nicely situated in life on, certainly, one hand. And take, perhaps, a thumb and four fingers as change.
Yet, when the fit seizes it (which in these troubling times is virtually all the time), the Republican Party wraps itself in Christian righteousness based, largely, on this one phrase. Which can't be further from the Truth.
So the next time you hear a Republican talk about reducing social services for the poor while, at the same time, espousing ideas like maintaining the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, understand that you are in the presence of Evil. Say to this person: "There is no butter in Hell." If they seek further guidance, send them to me.
We are all likely familiar with Matthew 19:24, which in the St. James, goes something like "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
Actually it goes exactly like that. What you may not recall are the passages that immediately follow:
"When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
Which means that Republicans can be saved. But they gotta wake up and smell the roses.
When I was a boy, saying my prayers, my father used to say to me, after I was done: "And remember, son, that Republicans are God's creatures too."
And I do. But it is hard.
That said, I remain yours in Peace,
The Most Reverend Geoff.
See all my sermons at themostreverendgeoff.blogspot.com.