Did You Hear The One About The…?

Did you hear the one about the church group trying to help a needy guy they assumed was addicted to drugs?

Yeah, they studied for weeks, reading books, attending lectures, searching websites, and inquiring professionals about how to politely and effectively tell the bum to get a job.  I mean they met to discuss strategies, devise plans, research some more, met again and again looking for the best and most effective way to tell the bum to get a job.  But then they read some more books, attended some other lectures, searched some new websites, and found some new professionals to inquire about finding just the right way to tell the bum to get a job.  And after all that, they found a new book, a guru professional, and researched a statistically proven strategy devised by some researchers at the Baltimore Institute for Selling Books That Really Convict Rich People To Tell Bums To Get A Job, and suddenly they found the conviction to more effectively tell this bum to get a job, but first they had to study up on various approaches that seem to have better success in laboratory conditions with lab rats hooked on drugs.  And after that, they found a new video series that explains how that at root what “these people” really need is an effective strategy for telling a bum to get a job.  And then finally they devised a proven strategy for telling a bum to get a job so he would have dignity.  Dignity.  Yes.  It was a new idea, that would finally be the key to the effective strategy of telling a bum to get a job.  After all you have to contend with the ***ELEPHANT*** in the room when you are dealing with addicts.

Oh…  You heard it already?

I guess you had to be there.

Oh… wait, I forgot to say… the needy guy froze to death in a snow storm during the winter while this group worked so diligently to help him.

Isn’t that funny?

Yeah.  Makes me laugh to beat the band.

Did I mention it was a church group?

Yeah, they believe in Jesus and hang on every word he says.  Yeah.  That’s how they came up with the very effective way of telling the bum to get a job with dignity.  They learned it from Jesus!

Isn’t that funny???

Yeah.  I should have told that part before, then it would have been funny.

Oh well, the whole thing would be a joke if it weren’t so sad.



  1. T. F. Thompson · March 8

    Now they will need a committee and still another book to learn why the man froze to death while waiting to be told that he needed a job. Such a shame as we all know a job would have cured it. Makes the cold warmer.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. clashofcashntrash · March 8

    Good one.

    Yeah. think I heard that one before.

    You seem really frustrated. I saw your email… What’s up?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · March 8

      I sat through a meeting of the Seeking Shalom class again where we talked about helping people have dignity by getting a job.

      Here’s the kicker. We talked about the video we watched during the week before (It was actually a good video) and how it made us change our views and what we learned from it and shared a few of our personal experiences being blessed by kids at the vo-tech school and drew some diagrams of circles and arrows on the board and tried to tie in the words “mutuality” and “participatory” into the discussion (but that didn’t segue in too smoothly, really) and we talked some more about getting a job and having dignity. And I finally looked at my watch and saw we had been doing this for 40 minutes of class time and had yet to crack a Bible at all.

      Then we finally opened up to Luke 14 (a favored passage on this blog!), read through it, and then someone thought they saw how good it would be if these needy people could find dignity at a job.

      And I was stunned.

      Have you ever read Luke 14?

      Go look at it now. See if you find anything to do with a job or with dignity in it.

      On the contrary, Jesus basically picks a fight by healing a guy on the Sabbath and then goes to a party where he picks on all the guests as they are taking their seats. Once he has the guests all chewed on, he turns his focus on the host and rattles his cage for inviting all his rich friends. Then he tells a parable about a rich man throwing a party than none of his friends come to, so he sends out the servants to pack the house with the poor, the lame, the blind – the riff raff. And he actually says to invite these lowly people WHO CANNOT REPAY you the favor (I assume because they don’t have jobs!).

      There is some more in the chapter about counting the cost of discipleship, but there is NOTHING in it about jobs and dignity at all! Not a single word.

      So how do you get “jobs” and “dignity” out of Luke 14???

      You don’t. Honestly (we should be honest, no?) You don’t. It’s not there.

      NOW! If you sit around talking about jobs and dignity for 40 minutes, and then open your Bible but don’t really read it with any critical analysis at all, then you can read jobs and dignity INTO the text, but you wont find it in there to get it out.

      And this is the way the class is going. And I confront it using English – the common language among us – and using simple words, not hifalutin theology or philosophy at all, and these people just sit there and blink and think I am some kind of jerk.


      Keep in mind, Jesus was a jerk! He was picking on the very people who invited him to their party! You gotta figure he made the “DO NOT EVER INVITE AGAIN” list after that! I sense I did just about that with my confrontation.

      How do I make it more plain that while we were talking half the winter away about helping these needy people, we left them outside our locked up church house doors each night? This is God’s house, not ours, right? He does say to let them in, Right? I can show you the passages! How can I make it more plain???

      Here’s the thing:

      I can’t.

      And making it more plain is not the problem.

      At this point it is quite clear. We have a dialog of the deaf. It’s not that this is too complicated; its that I am talking to hard hearted people who crawl into warm beds at night while my friend Wendy sleeps on a blanket on a tennis court in a park down in central Lubbock. How do you crawl in your warm bed and talk to God when you have a key in your pocket to his house and he is locked outside for the night? Is that a soft heart? Really??? Explain that to me!

      Yeah. I am frustrated.

      I am still holding out hope, but it is getting dim.

      This church has surprised me over and over again. I am open to more, if only…

      But rather than dealing with the issue, we have a course that smoke screens it to death on the one hand, and when I confront it, I am told, “I can see you are passionate about this…” on the other. Now I am passionate. Not oh… my… Jesus is locked out – Hey, someone get him in here with us! No. Not that. Just I am passionate. I am the problem.


      I am banging away on the door of these hearts! “Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If you open up, I will come in and party with you! -Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

      • clashofcashntrash · March 9

        Keep your eyes on Jesus.

        Agent DJ, Agent V, and Agent GL are praying for you and your teacher! The school of prophets are watching, praying, and hoping that God will move with a fresh wind in Lubbock. All things are possible.

        Be strong and courageous.


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