A tongue-in-cheek evangelical catechism

Thanks to Shuck and Jive.

This will be funny for you if…

You have some familiarity with the Westminster Shorter Catechism  and if you have ever hung out with the Campus Crusade for Christ Crowd.

1. Q: What is the chief end of each individual Christian?
A: Each individual Christian’s chief end is to get saved. This is the first and great commandment.

2. Q: And what is the second great commandment?
A: The second, which is like unto it, is to get as many others saved as he can.

3. Q: What one work is required of thee for thy salvation?
A: It is required of me for my salvation that I make a Decision for Christ, which meaneth to accept Him into my heart to be my personal lord’n’saviour

4. Q: At what time must thou perform this work?
A: I must perform this work at such time as I have reached the Age of Accountability.

5. Q: At what time wilt thou have reached this Age?
A: That is a trick question. In order to determine this time, my mind must needs be sharper than any two-edged sword, able to pierce even to the division of bone and marrow; for, alas, the Age of Accountability is different for each individual, and is thus unknowable.

6. Q: By what means is a Decision for Christ made?
A: A Decision for Christ is made, not according to His own purpose and grace which was given to me in Christ Jesus before the world began, but according to the exercise of my own Free Will in saying the Sinner’s Prayer in my own words.

7. Q: If it be true then that man is responsible for this Decision, how then can God be sovereign?
A: He cannot be. God sovereignly chose not to be sovereign, and is therefore dependent upon me to come to Him for salvation. He standeth outside the door of my heart, forlornly knocking, until such time as I Decide to let Him in.

8. Q: How then can we make such a Decision, seeing that the Scripture saith, we are dead in our trespasses and sins?
A: By this the Scripture meaneth, not that we are dead, but only that we are sick or injured in them.

9. Q: What is the assurance of thy salvation?
A: The assurance of thy salvation is, that I know the date on which I prayed the Sinner’s Prayer, and have duly written this date on an official Decision card.

10. Q: What is thy story? What is thy song?
A: Praising my Savior all the day long.

11. Q: You ask me how I know he lives?
A: He lives within my heart.

12. Q: And what else hast thou got in thine heart?
A: I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.

13. Q: Where??
A: Down in my heart!

14. Q: Where???
A: Down in my heart!!

15. Q: What witness aid hath been given us as a technique by which we may win souls?
A: The tract known commonly as the Four Spiritual Laws, is the chief aid whereby we may win souls.

16. Q: What doth this tract principally teach?
A: The Four Spiritual Laws principally teach, that God’s entire plan for history and the universe centereth on me, and that I am powerful enough to thwart His divine purpose if I refuse to let Him pursue His Wonderful Plan for my life.

17. Q: What supplementary technique is given by which we may win souls?
A: The technique of giving our own Personal Testimony, in the which we must always be ready to give an answer concerning the years we spent in vanity and pride, and the wretched vices in which we wallowed all our lives until
the day we got saved.

18. Q: I’m so happy, what’s the reason why?
A: Jesus took my burden all away!

19. Q: What are the means given whereby we may save large crowds of souls in a spectacular manner?
A: Such a spectacle is accomplished by means of well-publicized Crusades and Revivals which (in order that none may be loath to attend) are best conducted anywhere else but in a Church.

20. Q: Am I a soldier of the Cross?
A: I am a soldier of the Cross if I join Campus Crusade, Boys’ Brigade, the Salvation Army, or the Wheaton Crusaders; of if I put on the helmet of Dispensationalism, the breastplate of Pietism, the shield of Tribulationism, and the sword of Zionism, having my feet shod with the gospel of Arminianism.

21. Q: Who is your boss?
A: My boss is a Jewish carpenter.

22. Q: Hath God predestined vessels of wrath to Hell?
A: God hath never performed such an omnipotent act, for any such thing would not reflect His primary attribute, which is Niceness.

23. Q: What is sanctification?
A: Sanctification is the work of my free Will, whereby I am renewed by having my Daily Quiet Time.

24. Q: What rule hath God for our direction in prayer?
A: The rule that we must bow our hands, close our heads, and fold our eyes.

25. Q: What doth the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
A: The Lord’s Prayer teacheth us that we must never memorize a prayer, or use one that hath been written down.

26. Q: What’s the book for thee?
A: The B-I-B-L-E.

27. Q: Which are among the first books which a Christian should read to his soul’s health?
A: Among the first books which a Christian should read are the books of Daniel and Revelation, and The Late Great Planet Earth.

28. Q: Who is on the Lord’s side?
A: He who doth support whatsoever is done by the nation of Israel, and who doth renounce the world, the flesh, and the Catholic Church.

29. Q: What are the seven deadly sins?
A: The seven deadly sins are smoking, drinking, dancing, card-playing, movie-going, baptizing babies, and having any creed but Christ.

30. Q: What is a sacrament?
A: A sacrament is an insidious invention devised by the Catholic Church whereby men are drawn into idolatry.

31. Q: What is the Lord’s Supper?
A: The Lord’s Supper is a dispensing of saltines and grape juice, in the which we remember Christ’s command to pretend that they are His body and blood.

32. Q: What is baptism?
A: Baptism is the act whereby, by the performance of something that seems quite silly in front of everyone, I prove that I really, really mean it.

33. Q: What is the Church?
A: The Church is the tiny minority of individuals living at this time who have Jesus in their hearts, and who come together once a week for a sermon, fellowship and donuts.

34. Q: What is the office of the keys?
A: The office of the keys is that office held by the custodian.

35. Q: What meaneth “The Priesthood Of All Believers”?
A: The Priesthood Of All Believers meaneth that there exists no authority in the Church, as that falsely thought to be held by elders, presbyters, deacons, and bishops, but that each individual Christian acts as his own authority in all matters pertaining to the faith.

36. Q: Who is the Holy Spirit?
A: The Holy Spirit is a gentleman Who would never barge in.

37. Q: How long hath the Holy Spirit been at work?
A: The Holy Spirit hath been at work for more than a century: expressly, since the nineteenth-century Revitalization brought about by traveling Evangelists carrying tents across America.

38. Q: When will be the “Last Days” of which the Bible speaketh?
A: The “Last Days” are these days in which we are now living, in which the Antichrist, the Beast, and the Thief in the Night shall most certainly appear.

39. Q: What is the name of the event by which Christians will escape these dreadful entities?
A: The event commonly known as the Rapture, in the which it is our Blessed Hope that all cars driven by Christians will suddenly have no drivers.

40. Q: When is Jesus coming again?
A: Maybe morning, maybe noon, maybe evening, and maybe soon.

41. Q: When the roll, roll, roll, is called up yonder, where will you be?
A: There.

42. Q: Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah!
A: Praise ye the Lord!

43. Q: Praise ye the Lord!
A: Hallelujah!

44. Q: Where will we meet again?
A: Here, there, or in the air.

45. Q: Can I hear an Ay-men?
A: Ay-men.

The New Testament is eternally young. It is you who are so old

Seventy years ago the great French writer Georges Bernanos published a little essay called “Sermon of an Agnostic on the Feast of St. Théresè.” Bernanos had a deep distrust for politics and an equally deep love for the Catholic Church. He could be brutally candid. He disliked both the right and the left. He also had a piercing sense of irony about the comfortable, the self-satisfied and the lukewarm who postured themselves as Catholic — whether they were laypeople or clergy.
In his essay he imagined “what any decent agnostic of average intelligence might say, if by some impossible chance the [pastor] were to let him stand awhile in the pulpit [on] the day consecrated to St. Théresè of Lisieux.”
“Dear brothers,” says the agnostic from the pulpit, “many unbelievers are not as hardened as you imagine . . . [But when] we seek [Christ] now, in this world, it is you we find, and only you . . . It is you Christians who participate in divinity, as your liturgy proclaims; it is you ‘divine men’ who ever since [Christ’s] ascension have been his representatives on earth. . . . You are the salt of the earth. [So if] the world loses its flavor, who is it I should blame? . . . The New Testament is eternally young. It is you who are so old . . . Because you do not live your faith, your faith has ceased to be a living thing.”

Christopher Hitchens relates Roman Catholic resurrection of Latin Mass to anti-semitism

Htichens is not only an atheist (and an entertaining one at that) but a proponent that those who practice religion do not deserve respect. They are dangerous and anti-Enlightenment. He is acutely aware of the “goings on” in our religious communities and makes connections that are not at the first obvious and should make us pause once they are raised. Here is his newest article from Newsweek, Jan 31, 2009 Continue reading

Today’s Quote 2/27/09

“Maybe the greatest threat to the church is not heresy, not dissent, not secularism, not even moral relativism, but this sanitized, feel-good, boutique, therapeutic spirituality that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice, asks for no conversion, entails no battle against sin, but only soothes and affirms.” – Archbishop Timothy Dolan – newly named Archbishop of New York

While 80 percent of the employees of private schools are teachers, only half the employees of public schools are.

Just thinking about how all the new money that is supposed to reflect a higher commitment to education is going to be spent. The beasts between the money and the child are the school staff who must get their food first. As one person has said, “Thanks to the hard work of thousands of government workers at the Department of Education and well-paid teachers’ union employees, American schoolchildren perform worse on education tests for every year they spend in a public school. It turns out that being in U.S. public schools has the same effect on people as hanging around Paris Hilton does.”

“Finally Alive” by John Piper

I am awaiting my copy of Piper’s new book. It is a treatise on the biblical teaching on regeneration, the new birth. It is timely. Along with the questioning of the meaning of justification by faith by evangelicals we would expect there to be some reconfiguration of the doctrine of the new birth. There are some truths that come in pairs. This is one of them.

Afer my many years in ministry, I have come to believe that the constant teaching on the theme of the new birth is both a path and a curb. It is the path in that the church is to be made up of those who profess an awakening in Christ that can only be described as “new.” If there is no new, rightly defined, what is conversion? If there is no new, there is no essential difference between simply being religious and being awakened because of a new and heavenly nature planted within us. Of course, being awakened brings with a host of other companions – new zeal for holiness, humility, a new ability to be wounded in our spirits and able to grieve over our sin, love for God’s Word, a teachable spirit, a weaning away from love for and dependence on the values of this world, a hope of heaven and an eagerness for Christ’s glory, etc. New birth is the only way to enter the kingdom of God, according to Jesus. This is the path. There is no other. The fundamentalists get this. Us evangelicals tend to equivocate and soften the edges of this teaching.

The teaching of the new birth is also a curb. It makes a distinction between the mere religionists who in some sense believe and are kindly disposed to religion (and who would never question another person’s religious convictions) but have no real taste for the excellency of Christ nor desire to live wholly unto Him. I have found that the church can attract these in buckets. If the music is good, the preaching interesting, the facilities up-to-date and the nursery and children’s programs are safe and well-run, they will come and never wholly let on that there is, in fact, a deep divide between their experience and desires and what the church seeks to be true for its people. I have always been stunned by the numbers of faithful church attenders who are good people, as we count good, but have no problem with cohabitation, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage (multiple times), a dismissive attitude toward the unique authority of the Bible, and any number of other matters. The teaching of the new birth makes a distinction between the broad way that leads to death and the narrow way that leads to life. If this difference is clouded, the church can fill up with those who have no experimental knowledge of Jesus.

But it is a curb in another sense. It keeps in the way those who do love Him but can become sentimental in their affections and fail to make the true distinction between what it means to be in Christ and outside of Christ. This weakens their zeal, waters down their commitments, and exposes them to constant pressure, even in church itself, to cool their own spiritual passions for they are surrounded by many whose own coals of spiritual fire have grown cold, smoky and cloudy.

I have recommitted myself to a new zeal for teaching the new birth in a manner that it puts this “Jesus truth” at the center of my ministry. At times I have given the benefit of the doubt, as charity so disposes us. But I have often done so not to the blessing of the hearer but to his hurt and to the hurt of the community of the gathered church.