garrison keillor on heresy

let me begin by apologizing to my regular readers (both of you) for my recent connectile dysfunction (“when a man is unable to maintain a connection”).  my parents have been visiting from california and i’ve been spending every spare moment with them.  my siblings are all in oklahoma, so my parents generally drive out every summer, make the obligatory round of visits, and then high-tail it back to the gorgeous weather.  while they were here, we celebrated my mom’s birthday (her 72nd) and their wedding anniversary (their 54th).  we had a great time and, as usual, i will have much to share with you, my bloggy-buddies, after filtering everything through my philosophical lens.  i know you are on the edge of your collective seats. 

before i embark on my freudian nightmare, though, i’d like to share a “thought for the day.”

i’ve recently begun reading liberty by garrison keillor and, like everything else he’s written, it is funny from page one.  keillor is one of the few authors who is able to make me laugh out loud.  for example, in the first chapter clint bunsen, chairman of the lake wobegon fourth of july celebration, is bemoaning the societal trend toward apathy in general, and his town’s lack of enthusiasm about indepence day in particular.  he says,

“Nobody cares about holidays anymore.  Which is why–and I’m only giving my opinion here–the country is so beset by government lies and corruption and everybody out for himself and to hell with the future–because those people grew up thinking the Fourth was just a day to lie around on the beach and toast your weenie.”

i don’t know, it just struck me as funny.  where was i?  ah, yes…the thought of the day.

i had a couple fairly deep conversations with my mom, and i got to thinking (as if i needed any prompting) about the state of the church.  i am astounded (i couldn’t think of a better adjective) at the things people believe.  or, at least, claim to believe.  i am genuinely troubled about some of the ridiculous notions passing themselves off as “doctrine.”  i cannot figure out where the people who are espousing these false teachings find a foundation/basis of any kind (and even as i write that, i know perfectly well where they get their ideas…they pick and choose scriptures, completely remove them from the comfort of their context, and say whatever might garner the most attention).  am i being cynical?

keillor has a wonderful line in the first few pages of liberty:

“Wobegonians as a rule consider it bad luck to be joyful, no matter what Scripture might say on the subject.”   

isn’t that so like us?  not the “joyful” part, but the “no matter what Scritpure might say on the subject” part. 

that’s it…that’s my “thought for the day.”

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4 thoughts on “garrison keillor on heresy

  1. Oh Randy, I am so with you on this. And I know I have my blind spots too, but sheesh! Cherry picking scripture verses, and elevating one’s own belief to doctrine certainly seems to be a lot of Christians’ main habit.

    I’m verging on the dangerous ground of posting instead of commenting, but here’s a big issue for my church – women in leadership. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I happen to be for it. Those in our church who are against it use the usual 1 Timothy 2:11-15 (completely weird) verses. The very same people consider this a rational argument: “a woman may be a missionary and go and teach the unwashed heathen , but as soon as a man is capable of leading the group, she must step aside.”

    So… a woman can lead heathens, but not “civilized” people, and it’s ok for her to teach men, but not when they can teach. Er… come again? And this is up there with Jesus’ divinity and resurrection and all that.

    Pant… pant… whew… sorry, I’ve calmed down now…

  2. I was just kidding btw.

    But seriously, I attended a Baptist church for a long time and I’ll never forget hearing the pastor talk about drinking. He was smack in the middle of a sermon when he says, “the Bible says not to drink to excess, (voice steadily escalating) but we as Baptists know that means not to drink PERIOD!” This of course was met with numerous amens.

    We as Baptists? What does that even mean? I guess I forgot to pick up my “Baptist decoder ring” at the door that day.

  3. MC – I know! And I have short hair, so I am quite the disgraceful person.

    I do have to put a disclaimer in here that my church is not Southern Baptist (we’re in Canada). But, you know, us “Baptists” have inside scoop on what the bible really says, and if Paul or Jesus didn’t say it quite right, we’re happy to set everyone straight (cynical grin).

    But hey, that Baptist decoder ring? Sounds cool. Which breakfast cereal do you get that one in? 🙂

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