The Amish are holy and never sin. They smell like horse manure, which emerges from horses so cleanly and purely that the breeze wafts it throughout the countryside until people raised on farms say, “Mm, that smells so good. I love the smell of horse shit, because it reminds me of my childhood.”
Then there are the French. They are effete and refined, most of them. (Maybe I am thinking only of the ones living at the better addresses of
Paris.) They drink French wine,
which I guess is no big deal to them. The men wear the French-inspired cologne,
“La Nuit de L’Homme,” by Yves St. Laurent, which attracts so many femmes that
the Frenchmen have lipstick all over the faces and other parts of their
person, such as their pantalon. (Pronunciation Guide: pronounce the “on”
at the end of pantalon while attempting to swallow your tongue.) The
children of France speak fluent French by age four, which startled me when I
visited Paris in 1978. “These children,” I said to my teacher, “they are
My point in all of this is that neither the Amish nor the French have truth. Isn’t it true that some Amish have truth and some French have truth? No. Neither thing is true. The Amish are religious, and the French are refined, so that’s that. The appellation Paul applied to these two categories (in 1 Corinthians, chapter 1), are “Jews and Greeks.” I’m just putting a modern spin on it by calling the Jews “Amish” and the Greeks “French.” Since you’re still looking at me funny, I’ll let Paul himself explain this to you:
“Jews signs are requesting, and Greeks wisdom are seeking. Yet we are heralding Christ crucified, to Jews, indeed, a snare, yet to the nations stupidity, yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24).
|"But I wanted to be the Taj Mahal."|
There are three categories of humanity: religious people, worldly people, and believers. Thus, Paul considers both the religious and the worldly to be unbelievers; they are merely different brands of Christ-rejecters. The worldly reject Christ obviously, the religious by stealth. How? The religious appear to accept Him. But religious people appearing as Christ-exalters no more makes them that than a Twinkie appearing as the Taj Mahal makes the famous Hostess treat actually the most famous building in
Thank you for tolerating my modern-day take on the Jew/Greek dynamic. I shall repeat it, for the slow and tardy of heart: The Amish are the Jews, and the French are the Greeks. Stop refuting me. I realize Paul gives each of these denominations the benefit of the doubt, saying, “to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks ...” and so forth. Since I have narrowed these broader categories to the Amish and French, I am unwilling to concede this benefit.
The Amish do everything right, and the French do everything fancy, this is my point. The result? No truth. Startling, non? Startling, oui! Even more startling: There are people like Dan Sheridan and me (to give only two examples), who rarely do anything the Amish do (besides eat lots of butter), and who rarely do anything the French do (besides smell sexy), and yet God grants us truth by the flagon. Further, we have never baled hay by hand, and neither have we ever carried baguettes beneath our arms (baguettes are either French hussies or loaves of bread, I can’t remember which), but nevertheless, Sheridan and I are so freighted with God-inspired revelation that it’s hard to wake up in the morning without harp music. Can you explain that? I can’t, except to say, “Credit it to the ridiculous, unmerited favor of God.”
Is this fair of God, to freight Sheridan and me with so much truth, while other, more worthy people are so bereft? I believe we just covered this. But okay. For God, yes. For God, it is completely fair. For it delights God, through the stupidity of the heralding (that’s us—1 Corinthians ), to call the unwise, weak, ignoble and stupid (that’s also us—1 Corinthians -28) . Now, you might contend that the Amish are stupid, and the French are ignoble. Why would you contend something like that? The Amish are so smart they refuse to rubber their tractor tires and leaven their pumpkin bread (ha, just kidding about the pumpkin bread), and the French are so noble they refuse to let 17 year-olds into X-Rated movies in
(don’t ask me how I know this.)
So the truth stands, as stated. Idiots get truth, and the religious and refined of the world get what they have coming to them, namely, horse poop and lipstick-coated baguettes.
I trust that Sheridan and I shall be fully compensated for losses accrued here, on this disappointing earth, in the eons to come. In which case, you will not want to be standing behind us at the Dais of Christ.
© 2012 by Martin Zender