input/output II
input/output II (Photo credit: ollesvensson)

Within I find Two

A Parody Part Two

My Early Christian Research…

I know full well the integrity and quality of any output is directly dependent upon the quality of the input, we have all heard junk in, junk out. So to do justice to Output I immediately went about collecting data regarding both Jesus and Christianity. Output on the other hand would just lie around and when asked what he was doing; he said, “I’m just waiting for Input”.

I began to read the bible in earnest, in fact it seemed as though I could not find enough time because that was all I wanted to do. The Bible was making sense and my understanding was slowly moving forward and I began to feel a sense of excitement beginning to build. As I continued to delve deeper into the scriptures I found mention of a new and better covenant and having studied contract law I had some semblance of understanding in this regard. So I figured God was laying out a contract implying joint responsibility with performance clauses to wit both parties agree and ascribe. This agreement was and is sealed by and through Jesus Christ.

The prescribed methodologies to carry out the stipulations of the Party of the First Part are made known, and the necessary tools supplied to the Party of the Second Part for the successful completion of the agreement. This Agreement is sworn to and endorsed by the Blood of the Party of the First Part and the Submission and Obedience of the Party of the Second Part. Successful completion of this covenant the Party of the Second Part shall be compensated by full rights and privileges afforded to all who have become brethren to the Mediator of this Covenant and to the Founder and Chairman of the Board.

What do think Input? Great job Output, for the first time it appears you have made a contribution to this process of becoming a Christian. With the newly signed contract in hand I continue on with my investigation into this vast chasm called religion. As a part of this investigation I begin to once again attend church, all kinds of churches and while there are some similarities there are vast differences as well and in some cases outright hostility between denominations and their perspectives.

All I find, are very interested in money and church membership development. I and Output attended one particular church long enough to be invited to join their staff as one who could assist in development strategies for church growth and to build a financial foundation to under-gird new church construction. It definitely was a learning experience as you get a whole new perspective from the inside that you never see on a Sunday morning. A case in point involves a particular staff meeting when the daughter of the Pastor began to criticize a particular member of the congregation and Output asked her when she had received a memo from the Lord requesting assistance in judging another. The splinter – plank kind of thing in the eye you know, and her Mother who also at the meeting told me that I had this dark cloud over my head. I asked Output if this was so and he said that he was pretty certain that this type of scenario was where the concept of the cartoon character Linus may have originated. That was helpful. Anyway all was forgotten until sometime down the road at another staff meeting the Pastor’s wife asked how can we grow church enrollment and the Pastor said “I suppose we can provide more seating”. To which Output said “if you are preaching truth won’t the Holy Spirit send them”? Shortly thereafter it was determined that it would be better if we part our ways to which Output was quick to spout, well done good and faithful servant, wait a minute Output, you were the one doing all the talking.

Along this process of looking in on in this business of Religion, I had the occasion to attend a Businessmen’s Weekend Retreat. The keynote speaker or lecturer or whatever he was, started out with a Friday night three hour manifesto and followed the next day to give two or three teaching workshops stopping often to take a collection for this or for that along with promoting his book/s. I kept digging in to my wallet until I thought or rather Output thought wait a minute, isn’t there too much output going on here? And for once I agreed. And then the frosting on the cake came along when a friend asked if I would ride along as we took the speaker back to the airport but to relax for a moment while another offering is taken, which Output defined as the “umpteenth time”.

Upon arrival at the airport we drove on to the tarmac to the speaker’s plane and we all climbed on board and my friend gave the speaker a pouch of money. As we sat there he proceeds to count the money, which I thought was a little crass if not downright weird. After he finished he looked at my friend and said, is this all of it? This barely pays for my fuel. My startled friend said that it was but he would be glad to write him a personal check for more if he wished. Before the speaker could respond Output asked, so what is your purpose in doing these weekend retreats, money or to serve God? If you would get on a speakers list then you could establish your fees up front like everybody else and you wouldn’t have to act like your spiritual or something regarding that faith thing. The speaker replied that’s a good idea, I looked at my friend and said I will wait for you in the car.

I am beginning to sense that this Christianity business isn’t much different than worldly business and it added to my growing doubt as to whether or not I could ever fit in with this system of religion. By the way did you know that the leadership of a lot of these man-made churches talks about you and how much money you have? Output even mentioned to me that if I really was smart I would get into this racket to increase our monetary input so that he could have a greater output. You know something Output you are a pretty fair speaker but you wouldn’t have a darn thing to say if you had no solid input. Touché, “Wise One”. Do I think all church activities are like this, absolutely not? Do I think all persons involved in religious activities are at one level or another like the outlaw I just defined? God forbid. Yeah but a bunch of them are. Be quiet Output. But if I read the scriptures correctly even Jesus himself became a little irked at the money changers. By the way Output, you are sure getting a little loose with the lips could you temper it a bit? Does a bird fly? I don’t think a Dodo did!

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