Image by TracyJones via FlickrBy Neal Stone
First off, I haven't written for a while. I am out of phase. What I mean is that I tend to switch back and forth between technical and creative. My research in the historical Jesus has also begun with interesting results so far. But more on that in a later post.
Out of curiosity I was browsing local ministries in my area, just to see what weird stuff was going on around here. First off I was amazed at all the bizarre religious crap I found -- even prophetic dancing!
What also stood out was the many photos of the ministers praying, looking up into heaven, hands together, looking so spiritual. It looked anything but humble.
So, I decided to write a little skit that follows a Christian gal I actually know. This skit is based on my experience along with a little fiction thrown in that's been inspired by other Christians I've known. This is how I view her and people like her. Please pardon my lack of playwriting skills. The original plan was to have a director telling the star her every move throughout the play.
Scene: Sunday morning 6:30am. Beth wakes up and stretches her arms.
"Today is going to be so exciting," She thinks. "Today I get to sing in front of the church and lead in worship again. Oh how I love being in front of all those people so they can see how spiritual I am as I worship the Lord."
She ponders as she gets out of the shower and starts her hair and makeup.
"I wonder if that cute guy with the deep voice will be watching me?"
Beth just broke up with her boyfriend because he didn't want to spend all his time with her serving the Lord in so many ministries. He just wanted to do the usual Sunday services like so many lazy Christians do.
"His loss. I will be such a blessing to others," she thinks.
"I just hope that strange guy Neal isn't going to be there! He keeps trying to join in and be part of the singing and drama teams, but he is so strange and insecure. We don't need people like that to make the church look bad. After all, God needs strong leaders like me and my friends, not freaks like Neal."
Beth goes downstairs to breakfast, and her mom asks if she is going to be home for dinner. As usual they argue, as she is rarely home for dinner and hardly spends any time with her family.
"Don't my parents know I am serving the Lord and helping restore families and lives? Sheesh!"
After a tense breakfast they all storm out to the family car. They all argue on the way to church and as they pull in dad is yelling.
"Now listen here Beth. God demands you obey and respect your parents, and if you give me any more lip, I am going to smack your...
(They get out of the car.)
"Hello and praise Jesus everyone! What a wonderful day and let's go and see what God has for us today!"
They rush into church and find their places with "Praise Jesus" stamped on their faces.
Beth gets up on the stage and starts leading worship. She scans the crowd and sees how people are smiling and singing along with her. She is so excited that she has inspired so many people and that they are blessed by her service to God. She sees that cute guy with the deep voice and beams and sings even harder hoping he will notice.
"Ugh, there is that Neal freak! He is so pathetic and will never fit in. I just hope he leaves church and goes somewhere else. We don't need people like that here!"
The song service finishes and she steps down off the stage as people applaud and smile at her as she makes her way to her seat. She is so filled with the spirit and everyone can tell. As she walks back to her seat she passes Neal and sneers and gives him a look that says, "Get lost, we don't need you." Neal turns away hiding his tears.
Beth walks past that cute guy and beams at him. He smiles back and she is so stoked now. She doesn't recall any of the sermon. Too busy thinking about that cute guy and how she blessed everyone.
The service is over. Beth wants to hang with her friends, but her parents want her to come home and spend time with the family. Beth and her mom argue in the bathroom, and Beth finally storms out and smiles at her friends. She turns to her parents.
"By mom and dad. See you tonight at church."
Then she turns and walks off with her friends. Her parents hold in their anger and fake smiles so no one will notice.
Beth's friend are all like her: nice looking, talented, and so spiritual. They are looked up to by everyone in the church and are regarded as spiritual giants -- except by Neal and his friends. What is their problem?
Everyone leaves the church and Neal hops on his bicycle and rides home. His heart is broken and he wonders what is the point? Why can't he find God's will? Why can't he fit in? Maybe he is just too different. Dad is unemployed. His family is being evicted, and his learning disability from having epilepsy has held him back all these years. All he wants is direction in life and a place to belong.
Beth spends the day with her friends and meets up with her family at church. They all walk in together, all smiles. As the service concludes for the evening they get in the car and head home. The argument continues all the way home.
"I can't wait for next Sunday when I can serve the Lord and get away from such nonspiritual parents and be with real Christians again. I have so much work to do for the Lord," she thinks to herself.
She smiles to herself and hold her Bible to her chest.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)