Ever on a Monday

No matter how early you go to bed on Sunday night, Monday morning comes too early.  The only thing that makes my long, penitential commute survivable is the book that will take me away for an hour or more on the way to the city.  At the Port Authority Bus Terminal it’s pretty obvious that people are in no hurry to get to work as they shuffle along at a speed that says, “I’m taking the subway, so why rush?”  The subway doesn’t go near where I’m headed and it is a small hike in the concrete forest.  Actually, parts of Midtown smell more like a zoo on a Monday morning.  I try to get through as quickly as possible.  So when I guy steps in front of me I try to dodge around to catch the light across 8th Avenue.  He doesn’t move, but hands me a slip of paper and recites, “I believe in Jesus Christ.”  First thing on a Monday morning.  He got out of bed to tell frustrated commuters his personal credo.  I stuff the yellow paper in my pocket and try to avoid kamikaze taxis all the way across town.

Word4Today_0002
 
I’m always curious about those who brave the crowds of New Babylon with the news that they have the truth. I pull the paper from my pocket.  I decided to check out the website on the cheap tract.  It seems that the Church of Bible Understanding (it seemed to be all in small caps) has formed a splinter group and is wondering why, despite the grace of God, it isn’t growing like in New Testament times.  I did notice that I was visitor 2429, according to their web counter.  There seemed to be a lot of complicated history to wade through and this was a Monday morning, after all.  The main point seems to be that you don’t need all this churchy stuff, but just belief in Jesus.  Over this, it seems, churches split.
 
I have to wonder about the constantly splintering composition of the Christian tradition.  Recent scholarship suggests that there was no unity at the very beginning.  According to the Bible even Peter and Paul didn’t always agree.  Although there may have been a very roughly unified church under Constantine, the outer-lying reaches started developing ideas that didn’t always sit well with Rome.  And this was well before the Reformation.  Since Luther’s theses, the number seems to have grown exponentially.  Well, maybe not exponentially, but I am concerned for the spiritual well being of my fellow hive animals on this island made of schist.  It might be easier, though, if we agreed to disagree.  Nobody has the truth that will convince all others.  And for evangelization purposes, getting in somebody’s way on a Monday morning may not be the best proselytizing technique.

4 responses to “Ever on a Monday

  1. There is absolutely no present connection, nor will there be any future connections between wordfortoday2 and the church of bible understanding. Neither does the author of wordfortdoday2 want to be part of the church of bible understanding. If anything he escaped, got away from the church of bible understanding and will never go back, except to try to talk to members still there.

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  2. Your article is well written and you have a talent for wry observations. There aren’t any splinter groups of the Church of Bible Understanding or resuscitations of it (as far as I know). COBU was a totalitarian cult under the sway of a dominant and controlling leader. It would be hard for anyone who was in that group to recreate it.

    COBU is much like the religious utopias in America in the 1800s, such as the Oneida Community, which was also a communal group run by a controlling leader who claimed to have the only true version of Christianity. That group eventually morphed into a business-only operation known at the Oneida Limited tableware company. COBU is not almost a 100% business operation that has several highly-profitable architectural antique businesses in the city, called Olde Good Things.

    If you were to write an essay on COBU’s Olde Good Things business, I’d look forward to reading it. Along with all that sects and violence, I wouldn’t mind reading about prophets who make profits.

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    • Thanks so much for your kind words, as well as the suggestion to look into COBU! I will certainly put that on my to do list. The idea of prophets for profit has always been of interest to me as well, and it helps to have the suggestion made by someone else to look into it. Thanks for the comment!

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  3. You’re welcome! – and by the way, the word “not” in my comment above is a typo. It should read “COBU is now almost a 100% business operation.”

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