The following sample is from the first chapter of the book Apathetic Christianity – The Zombie Religion of American Churchianity. If you like it, please pass along this link to anyone else you know who might me interested and inspired by the message of this book. Thank you for your prayers, patience, and support!
For more excerpts and to address any formatting issues with this one (blog posts/emails can sometimes be thoroughly mangled in transit), please feel free to head on over to www.FireBreathingChristians.com. There is a lot of info on Apathetic Christianity posted there, along with clips and previews from other R3V Press releases.
That said, and without further delay, here’s your sneak peek at Chapter 1, “Pastor Feelgood and His All-American Salvation Machine”:
PASTOR FEELGOOD AND HIS ALL-AMERICAN SALVATION MACHINE
HE WILL FEEL YOUR NEEDS AND FEED YOUR FLESH
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
~ 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (bold emphasis added)
“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”
~ Leonard Ravenhill
“My God…” the man let slip as he took in the image before him.
He and a fellow military intelligence operative sat at the table, looking down at a sketch in the old book as they sat there in the university library. Two professors stood looking on from across the
room, where the four had come seeking seclusion for a conversation of significant importance.
“Yes, that’s just what the Hebrews thought.” Dr. Brody answered matter-of-factly as he walked slowly toward the table where the increasingly intrigued agents were sitting.
“What’s that supposed to be coming out of there?” the second intelligence officer asked.
“Lightning. Fire. The power of God or something.” Dr. Jones responded from behind Brody, standing just in front of a large rolling blackboard.
The first officer spoke again, this time in a more deliberate, concerned tone: “I’m beginning to understand Hitler’s interest in this.”
“Oh yes. The Bible speaks of the ark leveling mountains, laying waste to entire regions.” Brody explained, “An army which carries the ark before it is invincible.”
So begins Indiana Jones’ fabled quest in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the runaway hit and pop-culture staple that first graced the silver screen in 1981. Steven Spielberg’s and George Lucas’ star-powered cinematic collaboration struck many chords with many people on its way to its current iconic status.
For all of the considerable success resulting from those well played chords, one truth that the film simultaneously confirmed and relied upon, perhaps unintentionally, was its exposition of the nature of man’s regard for God – when he regards God at all, that is.
The idea is basically this: God is a tool.
Man’s tool, to be precise.
This was the Raiders’ plot lynch-pin delivered via Indiana Jones’ friend Dr. Marcus Brody:
Hitler could manipulate the supernatural power of God if only he could find and control the ark. God’s power would then become
the ultimate point-and-shoot weapon in the hands of a presumably invincible Nazi army. Thus it is clear that any man – Nazi or
otherwise – can tap into the unstoppable, unmatchable, supernatural power of God and manipulate it to his ends…if only he has the right tool or mechanism by which to do so.
In effect, through this realization you become god-like, or, for all practical purposes, God Himself. You realize that the tool is attainable by you, you seize the tool, and you use it as you please. In this, you ascend to the throne, take your seat, and direct His power – now your own – by your will, according to your desires, and for your ends.
Pretty neat, huh?
But hey, this is just the movies, right? I mean, should we be bothering reading so much into a Hollywood production when it comes to the nature of man, God, supernatural power, and the like? Raiders of the Lost Ark was a good flick and all, but does its little pitch and perspective on these subjects really matter?
You see, sadly enough, the “Any man can claim, own, and control the power of God through tools” philosophy so central to Raiders is essentially the same view of God that is embraced and exalted by most of those leading the zombie religion movement in America.
In a very real sense Raiders is, at its heart, just another zombie flick.
Just as the Nazis fell under the spell of the charismatic Adolf Hitler, so too do the undead hordes of American Churchianity have their need-feeling, flesh-loving leaders. And, like Hitler, these leaders have an almost magical ability to captivate an audience and build a movement – a ministry, if you will – by appealing to the “itching ears” of the living dead.
And what do those ears most want to hear?
What do zombies assume to be true, yet yearn to have confirmed? Why, that they are actually alive, of course.
Zombies want to be saved, or so they will often say. And many think that they are. Yet they are, and they most certainly wish to remain, zombies.
They love the flesh.
They live for it.
They feed it and feed on it; they can imagine nothing else. And it is in turn that the leaders of American Churchianity feed on them, by feeling their needs, feeding their flesh, and leading them straight to Hell and judgment, most often with a big smile, a kind word, and a warm, friendly pat on the back. If nothing else, the leaders of the Church of the Living Dead are masters of two things:
Deception and encouragement.
I’m Okay, You’re Okay, and Nobody Goes to Hell
“For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed;
they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD.
~ Jeremiah 6:13-15
“A popular evangelist reaches your emotions. A true prophet reaches your conscience.”
~ Leonard Ravenhill
“God isn’t mad at anyone.”
~ Tyler Padgitt
Can you pick out which of the above three quotes is “not like the others”, as the Sesame Street song used to ask? Any wild guesses as to which one of the above speakers is the odd man out?
(Chapter continues in Apathetic Christianity: The Zombie Religion of American Churchianity, available at FireBreathingChristians.com.)
© 2011, 2012 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.
For more excerpts and other cool things, head on over to www.FireBreathingChristians.com.