Or the tale of a zealot priest and his pernicious Inquisitor!
Paraphrase of Luke 6: 1-10; Matt. 15: 1-9; Luke 14:1-6, Luke 15:1-7, Luke 16:15, Luke 5:30-32
A Priest saw a young man who was behaving rather badly; and the more he observed this young man he just didn’t see anything good about him at all and thought that he should be punished.
So the Priest went to the young man’s father and said, “Your son behaves very badly. Behold for three years I have been looking for good in this boy without finding any. Besides, he shows me little respect, for am I not a priest? ”
“You should cast him out of your house. Why do you even let him live here? You see how displeased I am with him?”
But the boy’s father said to the Priest, “Let him alone, sir, for this year too, until I spend some more time teaching him right from wrong. He needs but a little more time to grow up. He is a bit different, I agree. Besides I am his father, willing to make such effort.”
“If he improves, fine; but if not, he has been warned and properly cared for so that he has no excuse. Then will I put him out.”
But the Priest said, “Nay, but he should go now. You must obey me! Have you not read where I have the rule over you!?”
The father said, “But where shall he go seeing that it is late and very cold out. He would have nowhere to lay his head except under a bridge or in an alley somewhere!”
The Priest replied, “I don’t care. It is not my responsibility. Put him out! Have I not the rule over you ? Now do as I say!”
But the father plead with the Priest to reconsider his demand, yet the Priest would not be persuaded and he continued to demand that the young man be thrown into the cold and rain, with only a thin cloak, and his lame donkey that could not walk. “For he is a sinner! “said the Priest.
The father refused because he had compassion on his son and because he wanted to treat his son kindly and to persuade him to rethink his independent behavior.
Besides, his son had murdered no one or committed rape or even theft. He was kind to many people. Had he not even fallen on his face before the Priest’s Inquisitor asking to be forgiven of his youthful indiscretions and for compassion?
Yet the Inquisitor liked not his words because they were not said the way he felt they should be from such a miserably independent young man.
“He is only here because he is miserable,” said the Inquisitor. So with contempt he said to the young man, “You have taken me away from my coffee for nothing. I am going back to it before it grows cold!”
The young man raged in frustration for being less important than the Inquisitor’s cup of coffee, but the Inquisitor said, “See you have an attitude! You are not sorry! Send him off! See, he is not sorry! Why should he feel so important?” And the Inquisitor’s followers said yea and amen.
Because the Priest had the power to do so, he called the city officials to come get the father and had him cast into prison as punishment for refusing the Priest’s order to throw out his son into the cold and darkness. For, the priest said, “Am I not God’s chosen to rule these people? They should obey! Not reason as does this sinful man!”
He forbad the man’s family from seeing him and threatened his children with the same punishment if they so much as brought their children to see their grandfather.
“Such a wicked man they do not need to see,” said the Priest, “for he is a bad example of followship.”
As for the young man whom the Priest despised for his lack of good deeds, he was chased out of town and told not to come back unless he bowed his will to the Priest and said the words of repentance satisfactory to the Inquisitor and to the satisfaction of his following.
Once all done, the Priest looked upon his work and was pleased that punishments were handed out to his satisfaction. “For have I not the right to sabotage the efforts of this rebellious father?,” he reasoned within himself.
He knew that God would be pleased with him, for he was pleased with himself for punishing the disobeying
father, he had cast out the good-for-nothing son, and he had threatened the children with the same treatment as their father if they so much as tried to see him or show him his grandchildren or felt sorry because of the Priest’s punishment.
“They will respect me now,” thought the Priest, “For am I not a man of God whose advice and judgments should be followed without question? Is not my power to bring down and to lift up to be feared? For am I not a just and righteous leader, chosen of God!?”
“If men are going to do what they’re going to do, then they disobey me who is God’s messenger. Therefore it is my duty to bring the judgment of God down upon their heads, for they must pay every whit for this presumptuous sin until they fully repent and assume their proper duty as followers?” “Yes,” smiled the Priest, “It is in my power to demand this respect of me or else they shall be as this father and his miserable son who denied me
the respect that is rightfully mine, for did I not earn it with my money, my help and my time?”
The poor father languished in prison not willing to apologize for doing the duties of a father. For even when he tried confession, was he not then accused even for having an attitude and for being wishy-washy? Thus it was written and also signed by the Priest and the sheep in his follow-ship.
The young man said, “If that’s the way men of God act, I’m out of here!”
So he made friends among other people far from the influence of the Priest and lived peacefully and
His poor father he found time to visit and did what he could for him to ease his many sorrows. Yet could he not free him from prison because of the priest.
The other children of the imprisoned father were made to believe they were honoring God by dishonoring
their father, whom the Priest described as an unreasonable malcontent.
“He reasons too much,” said the Inquisitor with the air of one filled with deep wisdom. “For when men reason, it means men are thinking and we cannot have thinking here. It is not safe for those who rule and for the sheep to hear. Should we not all say and do the same thing?!”
“Besides he questions the Priest when it is his duty only to follow as it has been written and spoken of many times from the pulpit and by those who are approved to write such things about authority and follow-ship. We will teach him not to question,” decried the Inquisitor, “so our sheep will fear and not act presumptuously. For it must be so if we are to control and to get honor to ourselves!”
“Besides,” gloated the Inquisitor, “who but I have set the best example for submitting to the counsel of brethren? How often must I point this out to this pitiful father! By my example is he not condemned!? Yes! I should think so!”
So the poor grandchildren never got to see their grandfather again. They only heard that he was an evil man getting his just dues and that they should not think and act freely of the brethren as he, who thought it was God one followed.
And they followed their parent’s example as required by the Priest with the artful persuasion and deceitful kisses of the solicitous Inquisitor so that one day they too would treat their parents in the same manner at the command of some disgruntled holy one who might feel slighted because he wasn’t obeyed or esteemed as he felt one such as he should be.
And God was pleased with the Priest for destroying a family in His name and for the sake of the Priest’s position and his great esteem as a leader in the community. For these things, you see, are far more important than a father’s love and care for his family, or than teaching his children to love and honor him as required by God. At least, so thought the Priest.
And you!? What do you think? Especially when it happens to you? For in due time, it may.
Is this the type of ministry you find comfort in? A ministry, which executes without care and without responsibility for judgments, which hides beneath a cloak of misinformation for the love of its office and the power of its position? Which esteems leadership more than God’s compassion for His sheep?
Or would you live a lie and sneak about to have peace? Would you be quiet and let a man suffer unjustly to escape persecution yourself? For, is not this the way of those oppressed by such who rule?
See Iraq? Did they not do that also? But they all suffered anyway for the tyranny of a few. And many died and were scattered because of it.
Truly the Bible speaks correctly when it says, “It is you leaders who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” Isaiah 3:14,15.
The people in this paraphrase of biblical parables are real. You can identify them by the words they use and the way they act. Watch them closely. Listen to them speak. In time you can be sure the sins of the abusers will find them out. Then you will come to realize what slaves we are, and they are, to the error of their teaching.
When this happens what will you do? Speak up against them or cower in fear?
Knowledge is liberating. It enables you to identify men whose end is to hold you captive for their own profit and self-esteem. And better yet, it removes fear so that you can break loose and take hold of the freedom God has freely given each of us to serve Him in purity and truth.
That is, my friend, the mark of a truly miraculous gift! It’s ours for the mere asking! Which is why we must guard it with all diligence, drink of it deeply and often, and toil against a clerical hierarchy which consumes it lustily and treacherously.
One of the fiery darts of the devil is guilt and these abusers are adept at the use of them in conquering and controlling their prey. Knowledge of God’s Word is a shield that protects us from these fiery darts so that we need not be stunned into an unholy submission by those who fire them at us. Take up that shield and suddenly you become a liberated man able to fend off the deeds of these controllers, which God hates and we should hate also. Not the men, but the deeds. For the deeds have control of the men who have fallen under the spell of Satan. For had they the true knowledge of God they would be the persecuted instead of the
persecutors. And they would be reconciling fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, whole families instead of driving them apart for the cause of their tradition and their honor.
What is it that catches the eye of a thief? Things that are precious. And what is it that Satan is after?
What God has liberated. And like God, Satan works in the hearts and minds of men. And these men are smart, cunning, powerful, and deeply religious - cisterns without water, deep pits filled with the bones of Christians devoured by men with an insatiable greed for the control of our souls and the wealth of our resources.
The foregoing story is happening right now in Joshua, Texas.
A father remains in prison. A banished son disillusioned. An assembly oppressed by a strange god—the pride of the Pharisees.
Who, O! God!, will come to our rescue? And, by
the mercy of Christ, may it be soon! Amen….
Richard Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org 817/379-0585