By John Brentlinger
Since we all know by now that there is no basis for the separation of church and state, except for the absolute constitutional prohibition of the government interfering with religion, perhaps we would do well to remember the biblical example of a preacher and a king. The Bible does have a lot to say about politics, and if you look closely at the old or new testaments, you will find that in America today, our politics are pretty tame. That is unless you uncover some terribly condemning facts on one of the "leaders." Now, as then, if you broadcast it, you are dead. Funny how they still make it look like an accident, but I digress.
So there is the new testament story about John the Baptist, about whom Jesus said that there was not a greater on earth. And of course you know about this John. His theological training was learned in the deserts, alone with God, where he ate only natural food, locusts and honey, since there were no 7-11 stores in the desert. And he only dressed in camel's hair and leather, since the nearest Joseph Banks was in Jerusalem.
So John preached, crowds gathered, he was pretty direct and to the point, preaching repentance for sin and faith in Jesus. He drew great crowds of common people, and terribly offended the religious leaders of the day, the Joel Osteen method of wimpy ministry not being invented yet.
And in John's preaching, he attracted the attention of the king, or president, if you will. Seems there was a menage a trois going on in the white house, I mean
the palace of the king, and John, being a preacher of the gospel was not afraid to remind the king/president of that repentance thing. And of course you know what
happened, the king sent the secret service personnel, probably the ones in Colombia with the strumpets, and John was put in prison in chains, and eventually put to
death. So you see, things haven't changed much, on the government side.
On the preaching side, things now are a lot different. Our modern "preachers," and I use the term loosely, show up at the king's palace, I mean the white house and bless the king, pat him on the back and "pray with him," as he is signing bills to murder babies, send our best and brightest to die for oil, and plunge our nation
trillions more in debt.
What happened to the notion that a preacher was to preach righteousness to the king? What has happened that keeps a preacher from telling the truth to power?
Could it be that our modern day preachers learned their theology in some cushy cemetary, sorry, meant seminary, instead out in the desert, alone with God?
We don't get much real preaching today. We get watered down, positive thinking, God wants you to be happy non- sense, non-fat milk from the idiots on television, instead of the meat of theology, and then local churches attempt to imitate the same worthless preaching to bring in the crowds. Judy Collins said it best, "Send in the clowns." Where is a real preacher when you need him?