Part 4 - See the entry of June 8 for Part 1.
The mule stands working his jaw, as if thinking, for a moment.
"My son advocates mercy."
The two levitating theologians are eased gently back to the floor.
"Let's talk turkey," says the mule, as the cameras come back on.
(A shimmering light appears around the mule as the animal is transformed into a short, dark-skinned man wearing a business suit with a stole over his shoulders. Features of every race and ethnicity seemed to be combined in him -- Asian, African, European, Indian, Islander, Aborigine. He is masculine in form, but with a delicacy of feature and manner.)
"My children, you can relate to me more easily in this form, now that I have your attention." He sighed. "It's hard to keep you focused on the truly important things.
"Handyman, I can quote you all the Bible passages that speak of love, of treating each other the way you want to be treated, of building each other up in love. You've read them all many times before, but they don't seem to get through your and your associates' fixation on 'homoerotic' love."
The man's eyes twinkle in amusement, then turn serious.
"I could go into a discussion of psychology here, but I won't. Look at the past 10 years spent keeping your congregations fixed on the things that divide instead of uniting you in love. The energy and talent put into vitriolic wrangling over real estate and tax-exempt status and being the "true" believers instead of feeding my sheep is an affront to me. All of you have been sinners in this.
"And treating my children as if they are not worthy to enter my home. I am offended. Just as it is not what goes into your mouth, but what comes out of it that makes you unclean, it is not an act of sex that makes one unclean -- it is having it without caring for your partner, having it without love, fidelity, commitment and acceptance of responsibility.
"It is lack of love that pollutes a church, not sexual orientation. I weep when I see such lack of love as I have been seeing, my children.
"Jesus came to free you from the yoke of the law. You must stop seeking to bind up my children with it anew.
"If you love me, if you love my son Jesus Christ, whom you may also know as the Word, Sephia, Wisdom, you will honor my request."
Moderator: Yes, well, aha, thank you very much, church leaders and, er..
"You may call me God, or Father or Mother or Creator or Abba or what describes me best in terms you can understand."
Handyman: But what about the Scriptures. They are your words, if you are God. You can't suddenly change the rules in midstream.
"I have never changed the rules, my child. It is your understanding of my plans for you that I have been changing over time. If you did not believe the cynics when they said 'God is dead,'then you must understand I am active in the world. I am not reduced to words written in a book, even if that book is the Bible."
Handyman: But you wrote the Bible and it said--
"No, I did not write the Bible. I breathed my inspiration into those prophets who wrote it. I spoke through fallible human beings, who couldn't help but insert some of their own thinking, a product of their times and culture, into what they wrote. That's the way I work. Do you think I turn human beings into ventriloquists' dummies?"
The little man shakes his head sadly. "Then you accuse me of being the prince of demons, who would do such a thing.
"The Bible shows you the direction you must go to find me. But the Bible is not me. You, and you also, Mr. Knowit, must quit picking the Bible to pieces to find only what suits your purposes. Look at the whole of the Bible, which even within it shows an evolution of understanding the human in relation to the divine, and what are you taught? To be hospitable to strangers, for you never know if you might be entertaining angels. To show love, mercy and compassion. To be a light to the world. To worship the Lord your God."
(Cracker, Rusett, and Ensley, who have all been sitting open-mouthed, drop to their knees and prostrate themselves before the little man. Technicians and audience members, including rabbis, a robed Hindu leader and a turbaned Muslim, approach the stage and do likewise. Snively, the moderator, looks around in bewilderment, then throws himself to the floor, too.)
Knowit: This is absurd. This is more staged parlor tricks. God doesn't just suddenly appear as a mule or a short man and start lecturing people.
"This is why I don't care to make many appearances. And you wonder why Jesus couldn't stay with you. You always demand more, bigger, flashier proof of who I am."
"No buts. You will rescind ACN-ACCCH church policy banning gays and lesbians, and open wide the doors of your churches, which are actually mine, inviting all to worship with you and asking forgiveness from them and me. Those who are to respond to the invitation are to make reciprocal efforts. You, Handyman, and also Granola, will initiate action to reconcile with the rest of my Christian church. You will delete any derogatory terminology from your creeds and start ordaining believers from those groups you have excluded. You will ask forgiveness for your words and actions of hatred. You will ask for my mercy, and mean it."
(The little man snaps his fingers. A cloud appears from nowhere. The man steps onto it and it disappears through the clutter of cables and equipment above the set, on up through the ceiling. Several people faint.)
June 12, 2014
PAINO, TEXAS (UNS - Unsaintly News Service)
The Rev. Canon David Rosencrantz issued a statement from the steps of the ACN-ACCCH Christ Church in Paino today, in response to queries about the North American Chapter of the ACCCH's reaction to the presence of God at the group's international convention in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as an appearance in the US at today's PSS taping of a roundtable discussion on religion.
"We will take under advisement these alleged statements of God. We will hold them to the light of Holy Scripture to determine if they meet our criteria of orthodoxy before we can accept them as being indeed, the word of God.
"We are baffled by some of the statements from a personage alleged to be God, statements that sound like revisionist rhetoric from apostate liberals. We just do not understand how God could let unrepentant sinners into his churches. We do not understand how God could chastise the sole traditional and orthodox church.
We will issue a statement after further deliberation."
The Right High Rev. Pete Granola, head of the Confessing Anglican Union, the ACCCH, CAPA, the Province of Nigeria and Boy Scout Troop #119, issued a call to "all the faithful" to take part in the day of confession, repentance and prayer scheduled tomorrow, in conjunction with the Rev. Billy Cracker's day of prayer in Yankee Stadium in New York.
Granola said that he was convinced to take this course of action after a phone call from Cracker in which Cracker said he had been healed of his debilitating illness after God's appearance on PSS (see the related story) today. Cracker said he could walk for the first time in seven years, unaided by life support systems.
Granola said, "That's good enough for me," and asked all Nigerian believers to pour into the streets for prayer and forgiveness tomorrow. He said he would say special prayers for God not to smite Lagos or any part of Nigeria, or anywhere else, for that matter.
NEW YORK CITY
The Rightly Rev. Susan B. Russett, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, echoed Billy Cracker's call for a day of national repentance, saying she planned to join the evangelical preacher in Yankee Stadium, and asking "all who believe in God" to join them.
"This will be our opportunity to show our unity in the love of God," she said. "And if you don't believe in God, come and find out what it's all about."
Russett said she expects an outpouring of love for God, and God's love for humankind at the event.
"This is truly an exciting time to be alive," she added.
David Sanctimonius, spokesperson for the ACN/ACCCH and right-wing in general, as well as host of the blog site "Sanctimony," posted a statement saying he did not believe God could be "a pansexual promoter of association with degenerates and liberals."
He asked, "How could God possibly expect us righteous, orthodox types to mingle with such depravity? It just can't be."
Sanctimonius concluded with a request for donations to his tax-exempt fund in England.
Sources at Billy Cracker's Crusade informed UNS that Sanctimonius refused to take calls from either Granola or Cracker today to discuss recent developments. The same sources also revealed that Cracker intends to change the name of his group, realizing that the word "Crusade" is outmoded and not in the spirit of harmony to which God is calling him.