Sunday, June 27, 2010

The International Couple versus the Crazy Churches: 0 for 1

Oh la. This is why we were listening to Chuck Swindoll sermons on iTunes podcasts.

My husband convinced me that we should sleep in this morning instead of heading to the church in the Ritz. We decided we’d rather check out a church that meets in the evening—we’d heard they offered real-time English translations, which lets my husband actually get something out of the service. That is, if there’s actually anything IN the service.

Mega weird mega church. Bible waving, strange stomach patting and way too much clapping by the overwhelmingly beautiful folk bouncing around like kids taken off their Ritalin. Almost zero content in the sermons, of which there were two, one to remind the good folk sitting in the chairs that they were supposed to be giving the pastors, ahem, God, their proper percentage of their earnings so that they’d be blessed with financial security. My fidgeting at this point was already starting to attract attention, but I wrote down my complaints on my ever handy scrap paper and hoped for the best from the guest speaker. She spoke on…yeast.* And missed all the interesting points that could have been made about breadmaking** while managing to put an astounding hour and a half of content-less sentences together in something resembling coherency. What she said could have been resumed in less than three minutes. I think. I can’t really tell you, because we walked out.

However, I do have a stunning piece of artwork: it shows the endless mathematical possibilities of frustration relief from this sermon which would have sent Jesus down the street for a beer at Belmonte:

If my stick figures are a little difficult to decipher, I apologize. I was in acute mental and spiritual anguish. We didn’t end up with Jesus at Belmonte…we got our beers and beef a little closer to home instead!

*The parable of the yeast, to be more accurate, from Luke 13:20-21: "Again he asked, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough." I also need to add that she probably never made a loaf of bread in her life, as she bungled every comment she made that referred to kitchen happenings. Research for sermons can, in fact, include asking your maid for information, or cracking open a recipe book. It won't ruin a manicure. Really.

** My notes included the following questions: if the yeast is like the kingdom of God, what's the flour? Yeast changes the physical structure of the flour, making it a new substance, correct? It "lifts up" the whole dough, so it can't be separated out into yeast, flour, water this something we should dig a little deeper into? And is yeast reproduction asexual or a wild bacterial orgy???


anne said...

too bad any one can start a church/speak in a church...or so it would seem. Reckon the mega church is never a good idea...I grew up in a large parish, but it had multiple masses so that we weren't "any bigger" than any one else...
I like the yeast idea, she wasted an opportunity.
Bet you and vance were really the best/most beautiful people there, by the by (inside and out)

Ali la Loca said...

I have an excellent recommendation for church: the one where we got married up in Santa Teresa. I know it's out of the way, but the reverend there does fabulous sermons and is one of the kindest women I've ever met. I believe the church's proper name is Igreja Anglicana de São Paulo.