Hey, remember that time Jesus started yelling at a Roman praying to Jupiter? You remember, He was all “My Father is Number One!” and “You better show some respect!”
Wait, you don’t? You mean you think Jesus Christ primarily relied on the truth of His own message, rather than shouting down the people who disagreed with Him? And that living a Christ-like life requires showing the same respect to others and having the same faith in your message?
Well, Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America (OSA) has got some news for you…or at least a press release.
You see, yesterday, for the first time ever, a Hindu clergyman was invited to perform the invocation for the U.S. Senate. The Pavkovic family of North Carolina decided this would be a good time to express their Christ-likeness by making sure that everyone understood that only Christians should perform the invocation. (No word about denominational differences, or whether Jews or Mormons are allowed. I’m guessing Jews yes, Mormons no, and Catholics will be tolerated until we get to the OSA world.) So, they started yelling before the clergyman could even get started. Sample quote:
Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight…This is an abomination…We shall have no other gods before You.
The Pavkovics claim the Christian faith, and they’re from North Carolina, which makes this episode doubly embarrassing for those of us who share those two qualities with them. Heck, even Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association sounded embarrassed. But not Benham:
Benham said he respects Wildmon as a friend and ally, but he thinks his friend is simply wrong on this matter. “Our answer is,” Benham said, “When one stands up in the face of gross idolatry being allowed in the Senate, in the chamber of the United States Senate, it is incumbent on a Christian to stand up and speak the truth. No matter what, we must obey God rather than men.”
“When you stand up and are arrested, and the Hindu is allowed to go free, this country has gone upside-down,” Benham added — though when asked, he later clarified that he does not believe people of other religions should be arrested for their beliefs. “Now, why are Hindus allowed here? Why are Muslims allowed here? Because we are a nation that’s free, built upon the principles of almighty God.”
Now, Jesus did clear out the Temple pretty vigorously, but His reasoning behind it would seem to indicate the protestors should have at least been running around the Senate floor, chasing Senators. Maybe then the Hindu clergyman could have joined them, and they could have all had righteous fun together?
Perhaps they come from an earlier time? A common vein in the churches I’ve been to is a longing for the more authentic Early Church experience, with its simpler traditions and personal denominations. (And, I assume, a lot of arguments about circumcision and ritual cleansing.) But I’m thinking the protestors might come from an earlier tradition than that? Maybe even before Jesus. Perhaps they’re aspiring to be Pharisees? 🙂
Link courtesy of EdCone.com, which also has some other links to interesting items about the Pavkovic family patriarch.