Mar 12 2009

Paul Revere, Shrek, and Donkey

By John Immel

I actually have another post coming uno momento called Spiritual Roofie, but it is not quite finished and I got sidetracked in my mind musing to myself as I am wont to do. So, apropos of nothing here is some stream of consciousness fodder.


You know Paul Revere would have been screwed if the British were coming from both directions: land and sea. What the heck is a guy to do if they are coming by both?

I fancy that I’m kinda like him… just a guy galloping about on my blog talking about tyranny, pounding through some of our delicately-held beliefs, and paper-thin sensibilities. The methodology is just a tad better than horseback and signal lights but not mass communications enough to be more than elaborate Morse code. Or at least, that is how it feels sometimes.

If I wrote posts about tyranny in China by the beloved people’s state against Christians, we would all nod our heads in agreement at the terrible oppression of the masses. How dare those dastardly tyrants perpetrate such evil on the poor beleaguered Christians of the world? China would be the sea version of my Paul Revere metaphor–tyrants in a land Far Far away across the sea.

But that far far far away stuff doesn’t really matter to us much. We’ll pray for them and thank God we are free, and hope that God sends Shrek and Donkey to get Fiona out of the tower. But if it’s already here, if the foundations of tyranny are laid on our own soil, in our social institutions, and most importantly, in our churches, what is a forerunner supposed to do?

Lanterns in the church towers isn’t really gonna work too well this time. In case folks haven’t noticed, churches don’t have bell towers and steeples too much anymore. I suppose there is a social commentary on our aesthetics and Christian symbolism in there somewhere but not fodder for this post.

Architecture and lanterns aside, what if folks think that the coming invasion is actually a manifestation of deliverance?

That is where we are in American history, and more significant, this is where we are in Christian history…… AGAIN.

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    1. 1

      I’m shivering…

      John, thanks – I have this little visual of you now, riding through America on your horse called Freedom and Truth, and this for some reason is bringing back a memory from long ago..not quite as far back as the days of Paul Revere..but rather the days of Binkley.

      Remember Bloom County, and Binkley’s Anxiety Closet? Here’s a snippet someone wrote who is far more clever than I, to give you a reminder…

      Binkley is in bed, but not asleep. The snorklewacker is bouncing on his bed in a veritable tizzy of anxiety-producing euphoria.
      “Wake up, Binkley! Wake up! Wake up!!”
      Binkley sits up, clutching the blankets to his chin, as the snorklewacker continues, “Oh, we have wonderful anxiety of yours tonight, Binkley! Hoo boy, it’s really the pits!!”
      The snorklewacker waves something in front of Binkley’s bleary eyes, explaining, “Look! Look what I found in the back of the closet, Binkley! A Dr. Seuss book! “Green Eggs and Ham!”… Remember it? Now, wait while I go fetch Mrs. McGreevy!”
      Binkley sits, holding the book, and tries to remember… ‘Mrs. McGreevy? Why, she’s the… the…’
      THWONK!! A battle-axe embeds itself in the wall above Binkley’s head.
      …librarian!!” Binkley finishes the thought and screams the word as a little old lady, carrying a bloodstained axe, smiles at him and says, “119 weeks overdue, dear…”

      OK..so my anxiety (which is as a result of this post) is quite different from Binkley’s..but if I could draw (which I can’t) I’d love to draw the comic book version of John Immel’s Midnight Ride through America.

      I’m thinking John, that people are so blinded in their own bondage that they would see the actual deliverance being offered as a threat..it’s the same deliverance that has always existed and been ignored…and the alternative that has taken it’s place has always been offered as well.

      kinda reminds me of the Pharisees and their leaven…oh, wait..they still exist today, doing the same thing: spreading about leaven and mucking and yucking everyone and everything up – especially those in churches.

      Here is the church, here is the steeple (oh, wait, that’s right you said no more steeples..)

      Here is the church, Here is the powerpoint screen, open the doors and see all the carnage…

      ok so it doesn’t rhyme. Now you know I can’t draw comics or write poetry….what’s a girl to do? :)

    2. 2

      Hahaha..totally don’t get the Binkley thing, but lovin the church steeple “not so” rhyme.

      I thought it was a manifestation of delieverance for sure. My thoughts: Surely there has never been an age of men so Godly as these in all their good works. Since good works stem from Godly character, truely I am in the presence of greatness.

      Hmmm…decieved…quite possibly. What’s the answer? I don’t know. We’ve been reading some about keeping the numbers low, gathering in small groups, getting the gospel out and transforming families for Christ who will then go out and serve beyond the churches. But how do you keep from getting right back where we started.

      First you just have a small meeting group then bigger, then you need a place to meet, and money, and electricty, and a bigger place, and someone in charge and more people in charge, and to snuff out troublemakers, and a bigger place, and more snuffing out, and more leaders, and then you’ve removed all individual thinking to prevent more trouble makers, then… what? A man on a horse ringing bells and shouting?

      Surely some have died and gone before Christ to be called “good and faithful servants.”

    3. 3

      Bloom County was around about the time you were in grade school, so no worries about not knowing who Binkley was – “old” people like me (37 now) usually remember though if they were a fan like me…go online and search Bloom County and you’ll find loads of great stuff.

      I don’t know the answer to how we can function well in groups, but I would imagine it starts with a strong individual identity, not able to be “shaken, stirred, or consumed” by the group we are presently in. If we come to a group without this identity intact, we are at the mercy of men who will control us eventually, as we allow them. And that is never a good thing.

      So, each man or woman, doing his part, builds each other up, builds up the Body, glorifies God, furthers His Kingdom. I believe the Kingdom of God is closer than we imagine it to be though. That’s a big thing to realize. I don’t mean closer in terms of time, I mean in terms of proximity – it is as far away as our beliefs will take us. Or as close as our beliefs will take us.

    4. 4

      I would imagine it starts with a strong individual identity, not able to be “shaken, stirred, or consumed” by the group we are presently in. If we come to a group without this identity intact, we are at the mercy of men who will control us eventually, as we allow them.

      This is good, Juli!

    5. 5

      Ellie – thanks…I was in fact thinking of James Bond when I wrote that…hehe

      except that he was “shaken, not stirred” and that is what made us love him, huh?  :)

      Juli’s last blog post..Individual Identity, Not Collective

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