God Makes Surprise Visit

According to a recent article in The Onion, God Himself recently made a surprise visit to a North Carolina church (and I quote) —

GodFAYETTEVILLE, NC—Parishioners at the First Presbyterian Church were left stunned and in awe of His glory Sunday, when the Lord God Almighty dropped by their 11 a.m. service unannounced.

Interrupting Pastor Terry Pridgen’s sermon on His unending mercy, God appeared suddenly before His flock as an intense beam of white light, instantly dispersing the earthly forms of those seated in the first two pews. Sources said the remaining congregants had to avert their eyes from their Creator, whose booming celestial voice overwhelmed their worldly senses and humbled their hearts as He politely apologized for not calling first.

“I AM the God of Abraham, the LORD MOST HIGH, who brought you forth from the bondage of Egypt,” God said unto church members, many of whom cowered in reverent fear of Him. “Thought I’d just pop in and see how things were going. Please, pretend like I’m not even here.”

The Supreme Being then thanked the choir for its “lovely introduction” and took a seat to the right of the altar.

The story continues here. However, I must note one particular quote —

Since the Almighty’s decision to stop by the First Presbyterian Church, the theological world has been thrown into chaos. Presbyterian leaders said God’s appearance was indisputable proof that their denomination is the one true faith, but afternoon sightings of the Lord at two other Fayetteville churches, as well as one synagogue, have cast doubt on that theory.

Now, this is an interesting thing indeed. I’ve scoured Brotherhood publications and blogs for any evidence that the Almighty visited a Fayetteville church of Christ, or that they were even meeting in the afternoon — which is highly improbable as the Franchise Agreement is quite clear that churches of Christ meet on Sunday mornings and evenings. And if the Great Eternal visited several churches (and a synagogue!) but not a congregation of the Brotherhood, surely there are theological ramifications. I would hardly be surprised at a cover up.

I’ve checked the web sites of every “church of Christ” and “Church of Christ” in the Fayetteville area, and there is nary a mention of God’s visitation — nor any evident challenge to debate the Presbyterians, meaning that our brothers in North Carolina have gone soft on the gospel, I’m sure. (I should write them a very pointed letter, I think.)

However, there are several churches that have no web site, and as this follows the First Century pattern, they are surely the soundest of the congregations in that area and thus the ones most likely to have been visitated. So perhaps it happened, and perhaps in their sanctified humility, the church that enjoyed His holy presence hasn’t shared the news.

This is a story that needs to be told! What did the Great I Am say when he visited a truly sound, First Century pattern church of Christ? What would the preacher and elders have said to him?

Did they ask for clearer instructions? Did they accuse God of deception? (I mean, how many of our preachers have said that if Presbyterians are saved, God is a liar? Well, I don’t know how many, but it’s a bunch. A whole bunch.) Did God smite anyone? Was there a debate? Or were the churches of Christ skipped because God was doing remediation at the other churches and the churches of Christ were doing just fine without God’s presence?

There are so many possibilities …

The story needs to be told. The story must be told! And I ask the readers to think of this as like one of those cartoons-without-a-caption contests. Read the rest of the article at The Onion and share with us: What would The Onion have reported if God had visited a local church of Christ?

[Thanks to Justin Michael Allen for pointing out this item of news overlooked by all the Brotherhood news sources.]

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6 Responses

  1. What makes you think they would let Him in the door after hearing that He’d been to another church?

  2. My favorite quotes from the article include…

    God: “Thought I’d just pop in and see how things were going. Please, pretend like I’m not even here.”

    Church Member: …”And I didn’t dare draw attention to myself with two teenagers wearing blue jeans to church. I could barely look at Him, I was so ashamed.”

    Classic!

  3. That reminds me of a quote:

    Think further of these Sand Creek brethren moving on to the “pale realms of shade”; and reaching the pearly gates, they see inside Campbell, and Scott, and Johnson, and Hayden, and Stone, and Franklin, and Milligan, and Errett, and scores of others who worked in the missionary societies; and they hear the sound of the harps and golden reeds accompanying the song of redeeming love; and all joining in the chorus of praise, because they have been redeemed out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation–a grand reunion missionary song–think of these Sand Creek brethren refusing to go in because of the instrumental music, and the presence of persons they could not regard as brethren on this mundane sphere; and the grand results of organized missionary work, as seen in the host that no man can number! Think of Sand Creek refusing to go in!

    Well, Sand Creek will be consistent and stay out–Sand Creek has sand.

    — from the Christian Standard, in an article titled “Sand Creek Chronicles”, Sept 28, 1889

  4. Alan — great quote!

  5. Jay,

    Just got back from the Pepperdine lectures (God was definitely there every day!), just now read this article and had to respond. I’m the pulpit minister for the Helen Street Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC! 🙂

    I enjoyed the article from Onion (with tongue firmly implanted in cheek), and was quite surprised to see that God made a visit across town. To answer your question about the churches of Christ here in Fayetteville, I can’t speak for the rest of them, but I can tell you that God visits here on a regular basis. The reason you haven’t heard about it is that we didn’t think that was all that unusual! 😉

    Keep up the good work!

    Alan Smith

  6. So perhaps it happened, and perhaps in their sanctified humility, the church that enjoyed His holy presence hasn’t shared the news.

    I KNEW the church God visited would have a preacher who reads this blog!!

    😀

    God would never visit a church without a sense of humor. What fun would that be?

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