A law was just passed making it a crime for any minister of the gospel to repeat the hate-speech found in the Bible. All the pastors of Triedmore Cove are called in for a deposition.
The Rev. Truman T. Throckmorton finds himself on the witness stand. The prosecuting attorney turns to him and says, “Rev. Throckmorton, isn’t it true that you regularly read from the Bible when preaching?”
“Well, sometimes,” Throckmorton answers.
“When are the times that you do?”
“You know the times when it says stuff like ‘God is love.’ I like to read affirming things to my congregation.”
“Would you characterize your theology as liberal or conservative?”
“Probably not,” the Reverend answers.
“Probably not, which one?”
“Sometimes I tend to lean to the right and sometimes to my left. It all depends.”
Frustrated, the attorney tries a different line of questioning.
“How do you explain the growth of your congregation and the size of your budget?”
“Oh, yes, well, people like to attend a church that is non-denominational and comfortable. They like the features in our building. The new children’s wing is especially popular with young families.”
“Isn’t your growth due to your efforts to reach the community with the gospel?”
“I don’t think so,” Rev. Throckmorton said. “Oh, you mean the fliers advertising the children’s choir program after school! Oh no, we just put Jesus with little children on there so the families would connect it with our church. The scripture that says, ‘let the little children come’ is the church motto from years ago.”
“Don’t you still encourage conversion?” the lawyer shouted.
“Sometimes. It depends,” Rev. Throckmorton answered casually.
“What does it depend on?”
“Well, mostly on whether the person thinks that Jesus can help them. If they do then I encourage it. If they think the Buddha can help them I encourage that. So, you see it all depends.”
“Rev. Throckmorton, we have a witness who is ready to testify that you read from the Bible at the Pridemoore/Natequist wedding. Is that true?”
“Oh yes, they wanted a more traditional service so I selected a passage from 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. I hope I didn’t offend anyone; such a lovely couple.”
“No, no one was offended. Rev. Throckmorton, I think I have all I need. You can go. I can’t find enough evidence to have you arraigned. Please stop by the Bursar’s window and pay your fine.”
“Thank you. It was lovely chatting with you today,” Rev. Throckmorton said as he stepped down from the witness stand.
· What is Rev. Throckmorton guilty of?
· What hope does Triedmore Cove have?
· Diagnose the problem and suggest a solution.
· How does Revelation 3:14-22 help you speak to this issue?