Callin’ on Dr. Jesus to save the auto industry
I’m still trying to decide whether I ought to be embarrassed or just painfully amused.
My wife calls me at work and tells me to look up this article in today’s New York Times talking about how the congregation at Greater Grace – Detroit’s largest church – decided to take prayer to a Ringling Brothers Circus level on Sunday when they called on Dr. Jesus to save the auto industry. Because when all else fails, we all know that a direct call to Dr. Jesus will bring down the Miracle Wagon every time.
Hallelujah. Glory. Etc.
OK, stop. Just so you know? I don’t have a thing against God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost. I consider myself a Christian, actually, although some might consider me one of those who just barely makes it in under the tent. But I just want you to know this isn’t gonna be a diatribe against God or Christians or anything like that.
This is a diatribe against stark raving sensationalist Holy Roller BS. Because when you decide that the best way to get God’s attention and blessing is to drive three SUVs onto the stage of your church during service and then have folks pray over these vehicles and get splashed with anointed oil, all as part of your master plan to save the Big Three? That’s when I think it’s time to call out that kinda circus act for what it is, namely a heavy load of stark raving sensationalist Holy Roller BS.
You think I’m lyin’? Check this out:
“Pentecostal Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who shared the sanctuary’s wide altar with three gleaming sport utility vehicles, closed his sermon by leading the choir and congregants in a boisterous rendition of the gospel singer Myrna Summers’s “We’re Gonna Make It” as hundreds of worshipers who work in the automotive industry — union assemblers, executives, car salesmen — gathered six deep around the altar to have their foreheads anointed with consecrated oil.”
—The New York Times, Dec. 7, 2008 “Detroit Churches Pray for God’s Bailout”
Look, I want the auto companies to get the loans just as much as the next Detroiter who is scared to death of what could happen to this city if our major employer bites the dust just when we’re already at our lowest point ever. This is critical, and I get that. But how is it you figure God needs you to drive a gas guzzling SUV onto a stage before he is able to see what the problem is. Is the God we serve blind or just deaf?
And whose idea was it to chose SUVs as the best vehicles to parade onto that stage anyway? Aren’t these the poster vehicles for just how dramatically the Big Three just don’t get it? I mean, if you’ve got to drive three cars on stage during your Sunday service to get God’s attention (and that of the New York Times who I’m sure just happened to be in the audience at the time this happened, cameras at the ready), then why not pull up to the pulpit in something a bit smaller?
Why in the hell would anyone with one functioning brain cell ask for God to give his blessing to our biggest mistakes so that we can keep on stumbling and tripping down Screwup Lane? Do the Big Three auto execs sit on the board at Greater Grace, because I swear this sounds like the kind of stunt they would pull judging by their Emmy Award-winning bonehead maneuver several weeks ago when they appeared before Congress, fresh off their Big Three corporate jets, hats in hand, pleading poverty. Oh, and they had no recognizable plan.
I’m sorry, do I sound pissed off?