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Dr. Gene Scott Ph.D
Stanford University




Tough Shoes

for a Tough Trip


here is a method in what I do.  I grew up in the Church, and this Church is not designed to be another one of the normal ones.  When I came to town 10 years ago I said if you want just another church to attend, walk down any street—won’t take you many blocks to find one.  I’ve also said over these last 10 years you can have a new Pastor next Sunday.  Just go to another church.  It’s always interesting for me to watch, particularly as we move downtown, because the ads and other things have brought people who come curiously and they hear Great Balls of Fire.

You see, I’ve watched people for years in the traditional Church use Sunday for some emotional catharsis in neurotic behavior that if they did it on the street, they’d be committed.  I’ve watched them because their theology has so abnormalized them that they can’t participate in any of the joyful things of life.  The Church service becomes a banana-boat catharsis moment when in the name of worshiping God, they just go on an emotional binge.  And most of their energy is dissipated at some wailing altar experience until having done that, they go right back to their abnormal sub-spiritual behavior the rest of their week.  Churches create little monasteries with so-called ‘women’s missionary societies’ that are designed to cut personalities through gossip more than cut-up cloth to make quilts for missionary kids.  And the big event of the week in one of my churches was when they had the young people’s group meetings so they could do such exotic things as play Spin the Bottle. 



Supernatural means ‘more natural.’  Christianity doesn’t make a freak out of you.  You don’t have to float 40 feet off the ground, as I often say, to be spiritual.  Christians ought to be the salt that preserves this earth.  And this is a university classroom that meets once a week, not because you’re gonna be any better Christian by the fact you move your body down here.  You can go to heaven and never go inside a church.  About time some Pastor tells you that—you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.  The Church is a people that belong to the Lord who go to the Lord’s House—simply claim the promise “Where two or three are gathered together in His name He is in the midst” and the most meaningful thing that that Spirit of God in our midst can accomplish is quicken the Word of God to our hearts until there’s sight to see light and quicken the speaker until he unveils God’s Word, the result of which will be the coming of Faith for “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

Church services are not to be encapsulated freak societies with their own little dirges being played and, once you move out, never will what you do on Sunday anywhere approach what you face through the week.  And there’s probably as much bad theology in some of the dumb songs that are sung in Church—and they’ve done more to warp the minds of Christians than all the rock n’ roll in the world: “Hold the fort for I am coming; wave the answer back to heaven.  By thy grace we will.”  Horse spit!

Jesus said “I’ll build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Don’t give me one of those ‘dig-in-brethren and hope-for-survival’ songs.  The Church is on the offensive not the defensive.  That’s a bunch of bunk!  ‘Retreat, hell!  We advance to the rear.’  In some of these stupid little ditties of modern Christian songs, “If you want joy, jump for it!”....  I remember the last Church



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