Archive for the ‘Preacher’s gotta preach…’ Category

That’s the sound of freedom, right there, said the preacher,

full of hubris and pride, pointing skyward at the fighter jet,

breaking the sound barrier, making the air shudder,

shattering the peace.

Indeed, that’s the sound of military-imposed “freedom”, I reply,

from a godless system, on high.

Happy Birthday,

to me, you and

America.

 

©SvetkaSamizdat

 

The preacher has two main churches:

one in the capital of the South,

one in New York City,

the capital of Capitalism.

I was in town, so as to speak,

and,

having seen the preacher on TV,

opportunity and providence aligned,

I went to a sermon.

I was engaged by the Word,

the preacher was in a rich vein,

congregation inspired,

motivated,

righteously hyped.

Then after an hour,

the preacher said a few banal words,

basely suggesting: “offering time”.

Buckets were passed around,

as hands reached into pockets and purses,

and the vibe changed from holy expectation to human desperation.

(Buy your blessing!

Don’t be shy…

Small plastic trinkets available in the foyer, only $49.99, plus tax…)

Strange.

I’d thought New Yorkers would be more “sophisticated”,

cynical, one might say.

Turns out they’re just as desperate to believe as everybody else.

 

Preacher says once again

that the end is nigh:

it’s clear the world’s heaving

and in a worst state than ever before,

bleak prophesies

long prophesized,

warnings

now realized.

I’m inured,

having heard it all before,

like echoes

of nuclear Armageddon

lapping at the polluted shore.

And I wonder what the concentration camp inmate,

1944,

or the inquisition victim,

burned alive,

1572,

would say if you told

him/her

that 2016

was the worst year ever.

The world has never been so depraved and evil,

as yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 

Rabbi taught on the tabernacle and the importance of an attitude of gratitude.

He emphasized how the children of Israel were brought closer to God by the process of stripping, out in the wilderness, humbled.

Indeed.

Naked.

The essential and elemental.

We must strip away the vestiges,

wannabe idols of human construct.

Modesty as a form of self-righteousness…

Adam and Eva in the Garden,

cursed,

fig leaves and a legacy of bullshit,

my mind got to thinking.

I agree.

It’s what we want to see.

It’s what we want to be.

Something about it, just *feels* so *right*.

I am naked, therefore I am.

What more do we need?

 

 

Miller Lite comes in child-friendly sized cans. About the strength, I couldn’t decide. I opened another can. I didn’t dislike it.

I thought about my half-life and being in limbo, still waiting. … Still waiting for the beer to have any effect.

Meanwhile the TV Preacher went into a lather about how there’s no law anymore for the righteous. The Gospel of Grace. Believe and receive, and you will act righteous, without even trying. But, and it’s a big butt. It’s still right to honor the Lord by giving an offering from your first fruits, if you want to be blessed in this lifetime. AKA the tithe, and more. …

Ya’ll are under Grace. There’s no Law anymore, but… You are a steward, after all, and the money is God’s, and *loving* money is the root of all evil, but money in itself isn’t bad, and if you prove a just steward, then God is good and you’ll be a rich motherfucker on this earth… So, get with the program… And listen to the promptings within (which may be the Spirit, or may the residual, not-so-subliminal effects of hearing me preaching this message)… You know, spreading the gospel ain’t cheap. If I’m ministering to you then it’s only right to contribute to this ministry… Sow a seed, wait to receive…

Believe?

 

Preacher says we’re in this world to be Kings and Priests,

not bit-part actors or mere minions,

it’s in the Word, after all,

the righteous, by Jesus, have dominion.

I want to believe.

I need to believe.

But I get no respite,

no relief from the shit of life,

people and systems screwing me over,

constantly,

drowning at the bottom of the barrel.

And, yes, I can do all things through Christ Jesus,

but why does it always have to be the hard way,

for me,

every day like pushing a massive boulder up a narrow mountain trail.

So tired,

pissed off and rejected,

pissed upon and dejected.

It seems I’ve been forgotten,

failed.

A king and a priest?

Like a Romanov and Rasputin?

1916, 1917,

all semblance of propriety lost,

bludgeoned and beaten.

(No, Jesus, no…)

 

Hubris seeping through every pore,

the preacher made his point:

“Give long and prosper”.

… Lay claim and take…

The congregation happy –

materialism,

suspicions and hopes

confirmed.

American exceptionalism,

some say, scoffing, as they burn the flag.

Actually, it’s a global thing, imbuing all desires,

religions, frenzies, the secular and faux-holy,

acts of desperation, terror and exploitation.

We think we can profit at someone else’s expense.

The Universe is a poorer place.

 

Preacher says you need to praise your way outta the situation, victory comes through worship, a supernatural gift from God.

Preacher says you aint got a car, then praise God you live near a bus stop.

Preacher says you lost your left hand, praise God you got a right one.

Preacher’s gotta preach no doubt,

whooping and a-hollering.

Preacher’s gotta give us a reason to hope.

But, I don’t get it:

Preacher’s logic says the more shit I’m in, the more I oughtta give praise…

Thankya, Jesus!

… But, really?

God, my Father?

Love, and hope?

In this world we have dominion?

It makes me question everything.

Praise Machine.

 

It looked like a miracle and it sounded like a miracle. We were impressed – that someone (an American!) would care enough to come to our distant region and heal this woman in front of us all.

Others followed. Indeed, we all wanted to follow. In one way or another, we all wanted to follow and probably did so, in our minds, if nothing else. A few of us nervously laughed, noticing the cameras, commenting that at the end they’d want to baptize us and it’d be like the Russian church where you had to be baptized naked as a sign of your pure acceptance of, and openness to, Christ Jesus.

Okay, maybe not tonight, I found myself thinking and that, perhaps, miracles in my life are more likely to occur in private.

Private, that is the way of Faith.

Private and still.

Still, I believe.

Still, steadfast.

Still…

Still, if I am to be an example in this world, as the Holy Word says, then why not be radiant? Miraculously obvious? … Okay, I am open!

It was a Friday night. There were thousands of us in the old Dynamo Stadium. We had a myriad of reasons for being there, from the ardent to the curious. Some wore old Orthodox Crosses prominently, some counterfeit heavy metal t-shirts. Old and young, entrepreneurs and prostitutes, all swept up in the search for something to believe in, something bigger than themselves, something to help them through the night, and next week.

There was music and singing on the stage – we only recognized a few words. We swayed and waited. Patiently.

Eventually, the superstar preacher came out with a translator and, as he said, some Holy Ghost fire…

How we wanted to touch the Americanness! … We soaked in every second-hand word. … Charismatic. … Something happened. … We worshipped.

(TBC)