Pastor Joshua Pack was a recent graduate of the Cyrus Scofield School of Divinity and he dreamed big, Not long ago hired by a mid-sized non-denominational congregation in a large southern city, the pastor envisioned an expansion rivaling that of his hero John Hagee. A bigger stage, an ever increasing generous flock, books and TV. The sky was the limit. Heaven could wait but not his aspirations.
Pastor Joshua, as he liked to be called, was not so naive as to think his dreams would come easy. He would have to work on them and one of his plans was to groom the youth of his church to remain good customers…uh…attendees, well past their high school and college days and into their prime earning years where tithing and beyond would be an integral factor in his climb to fame and God’s monetary rewards.
The periodic Saturday brunches with the teens, paid for by their parents of course, seemed to be an excellent way of cultivating loyalty. A face to face dialog with the young men and ladies over a big meal would serve its purpose and fill the pastor’s belly at the same time. What could go wrong?
This brunch started off as usual, a quiet prayer of thanks and a few words of wisdom about how Israel is not only our best friend but also our homeland too and that we must do whatever is necessary to make sure the jews maintain their God given land.
“Any questions” Joshua asked as he raised a large slice of pig to his rotund face?
A large athletic type young man was first up. “Sir, you say the old testament is of utmost importance. It prohibits the eating of pork, seemingly for health reasons, while we as Christians are responsible for the slaughter of millions of hogs each year and eat more pork than any other group in the world. As the great Satchel Paige once responded to the question of how he explained his longevity and good health…”I don’t eat pork, it stirs up the blood.” Plus if Jesus was a jew as you say, he did not eat pork either. Shouldn’t he be our example in this?”
Joshua choked a bit on his oversized under chewed bite and dug deep into his mind where he remembered 1 Timothy 4:1-4. “In the latter times some shall command others to abstain from meats which God hath created.” The pastor continued, “Since this is the latter times we pay no attention to anyone who says we should not eat anything we want, except for the jews of course who can do as they please since they are the chosen ones.”
“Uh, OK” replied the questioner.
A young girl raised her hand for permission to speak and asked “Pastor Joshua, as Christians we see Jesus as our savior and guiding light but in last week’s sermon you did not mention his name even once, dwelling only on Moses, David and Soloman. Why is that?”
Without flinching Joshua said, “Current events often dictate what the narrative of sermons should be. Jerusalem is in danger from the infidels and the temple must be rebuilt to fulfill prophecy. We always have to prioritize what is most important.”
“Uh, OK” the young girl quietly muttered.
A bright young man spoke up. “Pastor, you are always talking about the 12 tribes and how the bloodlines have continued right up to those jews who inhabit and control Israel today. Yet many respected historians including the Tel Aviv University professor Sholomo Sand say that most of the current so called jewish residents of Israel are an invented people, descendents of converted mongrels, the Khazars. As another of your heroes Bill O’Reilly would opine, What say you?”
Feeling his blood pressure rise, Joshua blurted out “Those are self-hating jews, secular and maybe even atheists whose sense of history is distorted by their imaginings. We must realize that jews are the perpetual victims of lies and persecutions. Now repeat after me the one word that will restore hope in your hearts…
threes times…holocaust, holocaust, holocaust.”
“Uh, OK” said the children as they sheepishly chanted the mantra as they were told.
The shy redheaded girl finally got up the courage to speak. “One of your main themes is how we must always obey the 10 Commandments with ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ and ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ emphasized. But the Israelis have for over 60 years killed Palestinian women and children with impunity and continue to steal their land. How do you justify this?”
Joshua’s red face got even hotter and he fumbled with his cell phone pretending it was vibrating. “I’ve got to take this call. It’s from a sick parishioner and I may have to go and comfort her. I’ll see you kids in church tomorrow.”
As he walked away Joshua kept thinking that these brunches should have a theme, perhaps sports or Hollywood movies. Something to keep these young developing minds occupied away from the questions of christian zionism and the doctrines of the chosen ones. Talking about Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie and the NFL would be more to their liking…and his. “Yeah, that’s the ticket” Joshua said out loud as one of those self deceptive brief little smiles lit up his face while thinking “I’ll go home now and brush up on pop culture and at the next brunch we’ll have chicken.”