Tackling the Issues With Authority

Denominational bureaucrats with nothing
much to do and even less “authority,”
unlike Jesus who spoke with “authority,”
came up with cute, clever phrases they
think might catch on and stem the tide
of annual losses in members and con-
gregations. The worst thing for a den-
ominational bureaucrat is to list the
losses in his or her association and
conference in the annual year-end reports.
Not exactly career making stuff. One
is a humorous punch line Gracie Allen
used in response to straight man George
Burns: “Don’t put a period where God
puts a comma.” Cute from the mouth of
Gracie. Anemic and corny in advancing
the cause of justice, mercy and peace.
Perhaps when you have lost your way,
there is no where else to go than cute.
The other is the line “God is still
speaking,” like some old, crotchety
guy who is about to croak but can still
croak out an opinion or two, which old,
crotchety guys do on a regular basis
much to the chagrin of their adult
children who make compulsory holiday
visits to the nursing home. Is that it?
Is that the best they can come up with
to save a dying denomination — hoping
that pastors and choir members will
lead the chants over and over energiz-
ing the crowd, whipping up a frenzy
of passion for Jesus like NFL cheer-
leaders at the real worship services
in America any given Sunday. “Don’t
put a period where God puts a comma,
rah, rah, rah. God is still speaking,
cha, cha, cha.” At least the cheer-
leaders offer some crowd pleasing T
and A and the gods tackle with
dunamis, exousia, power and authority.
All glory to the Pigskin be.

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