And Now This… :: by Desiree Effner

Step right up, America, land of all-you-can-eat. Have it your way.

Have all you want, 24/7.

That’s it. Liberty and license for all.

You are the arbiter of truth. It’s all about you. You know that.

Life here is not a walking shadow, strutting on stage. It’s an endless banquet.

It’s not just for the adipose to plunge into, either. Our unique heritage sets the scene (I mean, place setting) for more than gustatory satisfaction. We derive satisfaction from the never-ending choices of everything. We can’t make up our minds. Still, we insist on limitless options.

Gleefully we recall Robin William’s character having a mental breakdown over the bottomless coffee choices at the grocery store, in Moscow on the Hudson.

With trepidation we make our way to the fertility clinic for operation turkey-baster. Sadly, the clinician will have to choose which of the three or four fertilized zygotes must die to make room in the womb for its brothers and sisters. Oh well. The loser goes directly to heaven. Can’t be so confident about the zygotes that make it to birth.

Seventeen plus candidates in one party? They’re not even clones of he who was anointed by Skull and Bones. Just clones of each other.

Can anyone tell me, of all the colors a car comes in, why do most people pick white?

My husband and I do not own the idiot box called television. But last Thanksgiving we spent the day at a home where TV dominates all other activities. The furniture is even arranged accordingly.

We wanted to eat and we liked the people, so we endured a few hours of the unfathomable garbage. At no point were the broadcasts not advertising a product. Especially the department store parade. Yet, every few minutes, they switched to a commercial. How do the accountants work that out?

More mysterious, though, everyone we know who has access to 800 plus TV channels, watches the same few programs day-in, day-out. Why? And naked survivalists eating worms? Is there any question America deserves the back hand of the Lord?

America is so hopelessly mesmerized by this evil light source, people still think the only controversy is about content. Truthfully, they’ve become part of the medium.

Seriously now. Suppose you’re out to purchase a new Bible. Think Robin Williams again and go anaphylactic. There are hundreds to choose from.

Now, average American Christians being superficial bipeds who are barely intelligent, discerning or tasteful, realized long ago that they don’t need to study anything for themselves. It’s all been done for them.

Americans outsourced their brains long before smart junk arrived on the scene. Here’s how:

They don’t buy a Bible. They get a “Study Bible” and read the notes. The multitude of translations/paraphrases facilitate a plethora of doctrines to choose from. Whatever you don’t like, no problem. There is a Bible for you.

Feeling hemmed in by the denomination or church you’ve been stuck in for years or months or weeks? Hit the road.

Better, ditch church altogether. Escape personal contact with lesser life forms. Watch it on TV!

Confused about some verse or spiritual issue? Google it. There’s a website for everyone and every belief. The most popular sites even feature conflicting views. And they’re all backed up by dreams and visions. Can’t sort it out? Why bother?

Did the Lord equip us to discern truth from error, and sound doctrine from nonsense – when disseminated by a machine? I don’t think so. Only perverts settle for relations with robots. But here we are. And we only communicate with each other through a machine.

Are we not men? No, we have devolved to the point of believing and trusting in a machine. And becoming one ourselves.

In all our years of ministry, my husband and I have yet to be officially examined in the faith on our doctrinal beliefs. We thought Christ’s under-shepherds had a responsibility to do that, to kind of like insure we were on their same page. Apparently not. The statement of faith we prayed and labored over, continues to go unread. They just want a warm body to do the work the pastor used to do.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to beashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

You’ve done that (sort of). So what. Who cares? No one will know the difference.

Just rake in the dough. Be a flash in the pan. Then exit, stage left. Generate excitement. Spark enthusiasm. Keep them entertained, enthralled, desperately awaiting the next installment. DO NOT unravel. Keep building. Someone else will orchestrate the climax. Someone who knows better.

Who loves you, babe? You’ve been absorbed. Yearning to star in a podcast, you’ve become a pod person. How do you know you’re alive? Is it your collection of stuff? You’re A-list of acquaintances? The strong feelings you have exhibited for all the world to see—there on a t-shirt or tattoo?

You insist you would give up everything for Christ, if He asked. But, fortuitously, He won’t. (He knows the depth of your sincerity and that’s all He wants, right?) Followers so willing… Really?

Aww, go on, keep the stuff. Accumulate more. Good old fashioned Gnosticism, American style. The material really has no relation to the spiritual. “No, not one bit.” Now say that with conviction!