Dennis says "I'm just sayin'..."
My all time favorite, with a bite, childhood story is Hans Christian Anderson's, The Emperor's New Clothes. In the 19th Century, Thomas H Huxley also noted in a similar way as Anderson, that it took the simplicity of a child to see through the smoke and mirrors of adult illusions and delusions.
First a refresher...
Summary of „The Emperor’s New Clothes“
by H.Ch. Andersen
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a story about an emperor who is very fond of his beautiful new clothes. He doesn’t care about anything else in his country but his clothes and he has a different outfit for every hour of the day.
One day two swindlers arrive at the capital of the kingdom. They pretend to the emperor to be weavers and boast to be able to weave the most beautiful cloth he’d ever seen. They explain to the emperor that clothes made of this material have a special effect, only those who are good at their job or are intelligent would be able see them.
The emperor is very enthusiastic about the material and gives a lot of money to the two impostors so that they can start their work right away. They set up two looms and pretend to be working. The news of this magic cloth spreads quickly throughout the whole country.
After a few days the emperor sends his old minister to look after the work but when he gets to the weavers he sees nothing. He is very upset and afraid to be judged as being stupid. So he reports back to the emperor how beautiful the new cloth is. A few days later another man is sent to the weavers to make an inspection of the cloth. This man doesn’t see anything either of course, because there is nothing to see. Afraid of not being good at his job he also pretends to see. He returns to the emperor and tells him everything about the most wonderful cloth he has ever seen.
Now the emperor decides to visit the weavers himself and to see how things are going. Arriving there he naturally sees nothing but because of his fear to be seen as stupid or incapable he tells the weavers how magnificent the cloth is. He even gives them more money, silk and gold and asks when they will have finished their work.
He decides to wear his new clothes at the upcoming great parade. On the day of the parade the weavers meet with the emperor and dress him in his new clothes. They tell him how beautiful he looks and praise the lightness of the material. The Emperor, without seeing anything, praises them for their excellent work. He then goes out to the parade with nothing on but his underwear while all his lords-in-waiting are holding the train of the clothes, or at least pretend that they are holding it.
All the people in the streets and at the windows say: “How magnificent these clothes are!” No one dares to admit that there is nothing to see because then he would either be incapable or else very stupid. But suddenly a little child says: “But he hasn’t got anything on!” After a moment in silence soon everyone is shouting: “He’s really got nothing on!” And because children are innocent and honest, it is clear that the child doesn’t lie.
Even though the emperor realises that they are right, he proudly walks on with his lords-in-waiting, holding the train that isn’t there at all. Only because he is too proud to admit that he has been cheated.
Sound familiar? Can we see the old familiar story coming alive in the Unification of All the Churches of God by the end of August 2013 as spoken of by Haggai the Prophet and misapplied by The Emperor of the Restored Church of God? Can we see the Council of 16 in the story of the Emperor's New Clothes. Can we see ourselves outside the hype as the child simply noting what actually is?
"Ummm....he gots no clothes on..."
As the clock ticks away on the now silent Apostle David C Pack's debut of his new garments, that he has made up in his head, having exchanged them for the filthy garments of having soiled himself wasting time in the Global and Living Church of God, the children gather for their final view of the finished product. I don't feel any doubt as to what we will see when the Emperor puts August 2013 behind him. There will be a shiver of uncomfortable coolness and a terrible temptation on the Emperor's part to find a way to still be nicely clothed but not quite as originally promised. Will we hear the time worn excuses of "God is mercifully giving the splinter people more time to consider their ways", "I never said 'I' was literally Joshua the High Priest spoken of in Haggai...it's spiritual!", or "You people assumed ......"? In a short time we shall know.
What you probably won't hear is "I apologize. I get excited about stuff in the Bible and I was wrong." Nor will you probably hear, "I don't know what I was thinking and am sorry for going a bit overboard on this."
You can be sure you won't hear...
Why did none of you quote this right back to me? I told you I had the potential of going off the rails. Oh I know I said "but brethren, I'm not going anywhere..." but that was just so I could tell you to watch out for me and be careful of my weird and strange ideas because I have some, but then not really look too closely at me because you're safe and I want to explore my weird and strange ideas. . I know how I think and I got ya! You council of 16 are fine friends! Why did you not say something....?" (Michael Venish did but that didn't work out so well for him).
Lessons the Church of God learned in August 2013
For the love of God...please stop setting dates for anything!
Maybe we to whom it applies need to reconsider the Rogue Minister Leader Problem
Perhaps continuing theological and pastoral skills classes for ministry should be mandatory and where our minister gets to listen instead of doing all the talking.
If the minister gets bored with his fast running mind, we still need to be sure he doesn't just make shit up to keep us overarching
Perhaps there is something to be learned from the good ol' boy, who, after hearing Joe Tkach's Big Sandy screw what we all believe sermon, stood up to lead songs and said..."Well wasn't that the biggest load of crap you ever heard. Let's all rise, take our hymnals and sing to the real God."
Maybe it's time to trade in all this religion, which seems to be what the Emperor tells me all about, where to be, how to be and how much to turn in, for an inner spirituality that has nothing to do with what others think, feel, do or demand.
Maybe I need to do the Huxley..
“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing”
....and admit the Emperor is has no garments at all.
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