Ritual, Antithesis, and All-Guy Chick-Rock Cover Bands

If I Get Home Before Daylight, I Just Might Get Some Sleep Tonight...

The marks of a true church are the faithful preaching of God's word and the proper administration of the sacraments.

If the Church is an alternative, a new kingdom, her rituals will be much of what identifies her as such.

The enemies a man has say a good deal about that man; you could say that the enemies a man makes are a part of who he is. In the same way we know that a man bearing himself gracefully has an elegant soul (not good, but well-fitting about the shoulders), we can deduce that a man with vociferous and persistent enemies is a resolute man.

The Roman church (which, those who know me know, I have little love for) is such a man.

Most apostate evangelicals despise (in the old-fashioned, "think little of" sense) their former churches, but seldom hate them. "Recovering Catholics," on the other hand, usually direct powerful deathrays of rancor and bitterness at their church. Their church told them they had to come gain salvation through her...evangelicals only experienced a little hand-wringing on the part of their parents and sunday school teachers when they began to stray. Apostate evangelicals often get the pleasure of closing the door in their church's face, instead of vice-versa.

If the Church is an alternative, new kingdom, she will have a different way of doing things.

I gained some sympathy for the Roman church Friday night.

I saw a band (I didn't go to see, I just saw) called Men Without Pants, a very popular cover band that only did '80s chick rock songs. This was, apparently, their last gig, and they pulled out all the stops. Their rendition of "Walk Like An Egyptian" was a lot of fun, and the whole crowd sang, "eh, oh, eh, oh...eh, oh, oh, eeeeeeh, oh!" along with them.

And then...the Service. The drunk lead singer harangued the crowd; this is an abbreviated version:

How many recovering Catholics are in the audience? [hands are held up] All right, we've got a little service for you all tonight. Every f**g (this is a family site) Sunday of my life I was told I needed Jeeeee-zuss to save me. But you know what I've got to say to you tonight? 'Hail Satan!' [cheers] That's right! You're all going to hell for even watching this! Everybody with me: 'HAIL SATAN!' Now here on drums, we have Anson, and you'd better worship him. God hates us, and we bow down to Anson. Won't take much for you to figure out that Anson's the antichrist. Hail Anson!

Now, all this is just a prelude to the very, well, clever thing they did next. One thing's for sure, they sure understood what God thinks of them.

[lead singer pulls out a bottle of whiskey he's obviously been at unseen] Every Sunday I was told some bulls**t about the body and blood of Jesus. Well, this is my blood! Drink! [bandmates drink] Drink my blood! You all finish that! [passes bottle into crowd, then pulls out an acoustic guitar, breaks it, and throws the peaces into the audience] Here is my body! You're done! We can't top this! Go home!

In this sacrament of theirs, their was one very un-Catholic bit...all the faux preaching (there was a sermon I excluded, which is for the best) was done in a Deep South accent. For where the evangelical church is strong, it is strong at the pulpit.

Still, collapsed (picture a collapsed lung) Baptists or Presbyterians or Church of Godders would not have thought of staging a mock supper, even though it is one of the most vicious, hateful things you could do to the Christian faith. It mocks the gospel itself, not just the works surrounding it. The Roman church gives real weight to the Sacraments (to the two, I mean), and connects them to the gospel. They describe the link incorrectly, you could even say they link them incorrectly, but they link them.

Where is the church that preaches God's word, administers the sacraments, and presents herself as the City of God?

The enemies a man makes show who he is. A man bearing himself gracefully has an elegant soul, and we can deduce that a man with vociferous and persistent enemies is a resolute man. The comedians and musicians who rail most personally and bitterly against churches rail against the Roman church. She tells them to their faces that their ways of life aren't just personally harmful, but that they're disgusting and evil.

I look forward to the day my church pisses pagans off the way the Roman church has done.