Friday, February 25, 2011


One morning I came across a sexy-looking evangelist working her audience on TV. I had been channel surfing to find COURT TV, but this particularly painted character resolutely standing by her pulpit and looking thoroughly disgusted with her flock momentarily caught my eye. 

“God will NOT make you do what you DON'T want to do," she emphasized the negatives. I was a little disappointed. I thought she was going to do something crazy.

"He will simply find someone else to do it.” Now I was really disappointed at this anticlimactic statement. 

But the hubris of her frosted hair and botoxed cheeks fascinated me. The cameraman zoomed in on a few sexy people here and there in the audience who evidenced agreement with her by the vigorous bobbing of their heads. Encouraged, her voice crescendoed to an uncomfortably high-pitched vibrato that betrayed her seniority. 

Via a number of highly suspicious narratives, she developed the scant connection between faith and a fat, financial portfolio. The more she castigated the crowd, the more agreeable they seemed to become. I watched a select few of the sexy people become animated and verbose at the prospect of an impotent God who exhibits the divine traits of omnipining and omniwhining. 

Of course, He is "still in control" despite his inability to have His will be done on earth as it already is in Heaven, she assured her transfixed crowd with an insistent fist-pound on the podium. I waited, but she did not further address this oxymoronic claim (as it was not her point). She was ad libing the script, too far from her notes, and too moved by the Spirit to employ the rational part of her brain to draw any reasonable conclusion anybody could logically follow. Her line of reasoning was not only classically heretical but entertaining in a humorous sort of way, like watching Michael Scott of THE OFFICE redeveloping policy on the spot. 

"God owns the cattle on a thousand hills!" She said this accusingly, sweeping her finger across the audience as if she detected the slightest pulse of faithlessness, probably emanating from the unsexy lowlifes in the crowd (It might as well have been her middle finger). 

"How DARE you think that God Almighty cannot take care of you!" 

Reaching back into the recesses of my religious education, I recalled that of all that can be said of God that God is willful sums the whole. As I understand it, God does the things He does because He wants to do them and not because He has to do them. 

So when God created the rhino, did God create the rhino with a walnut-sized brain because He had to create that size of a brain in order to limit the havoc the rhino could wreak had it a larger-sized brain? If so, then the rhino has to be “God” in the way we mean “God” to be. The tenuous will of the rhino would have altered the will of "God" which would make "God" a nonsense word like the word snerheryyrting (I turned it into a nonsense verb). 

When God created the rhino, surely God gave the rhino distinctive horns and hooves because God wanted the rhino to have those distinctive horns and hooves and not because the rhino had to have those particular horns and hooves. The point, I am sure, is not that the rhino is a rhino but that God created the rhino the way that He created it because He wanted to create the rhino the way that He created it and not because He had to create the rhino the way that He created it.

Surely the evangelist must at least intuitively know this to be true, but she is so far from her notes that she has fallen into a quagmire of fallacious poetry, interjecting her sagging (non-botoxed) line of reasoning with romantic platitudes like "God will have His way!" or "Jehovah-jireh!" or "Nothing is impossible with God!" Little bursts of inspirational silliness. 

At least none of it makes immediate sense to me, so my curiosity has deflated. I critically survey her outfit. Her porcelain smooth face is certainly layered. Her thin lips have a puckered look by the overlap of her red lipstick. She's wearing a pants suit designed to hide her wide hips, but it's not working. And the botox is not working. But the frosted hair looks hot.

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