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A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR THE AMERICAN CHURCH IN 2010

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A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR THE PROMOTION OF PERSONAL EVANGELISM IN AMERICA, THUS RELIEVING THE BURDEN OF EXTREME GUILT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DISOBEDIENT TO CHRIST’S COMMAND TO GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOOD NEWS TO ALL CREATION.

It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel throughout the country, when they see in the streets, the roads, the bars, the movie complexes, stadiums and parks, all the lost for whom there is no hope, nor glimmer of smile from the weary and heavy-laden.

I think that it is agreed by all parties that Western Christianity has forsaken its sacred obligation, nay privilege, of spreading good news to all those who are perishing, those following gods of their own making, accountable to no one except their creditors and even then, slacking.

Years have passed and false Gospel presentations have been erected allowing all sinners to just ask Jesus into their hearts without fear of God or repentance of sin; the fruit of these endeavors being a false hope and negligible security for entrance into Heaven, but a most certain assurance of damnation to the lake of fire.

This being the case I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection. I have been assured by my many meditations on the subject, and know in my heart that what I will suggest is true, just, and right. I know this because I feel it, and we all know that feelings are the basis for all established matters of good doctrine and practice. I do therefore meekly offer to Christian consideration this: all our good works have come to naught.

The fruit of Christian charity and love has left a nation in shambles as evidenced by increased divorce, appalling abortion statistics, gay marriage, debt, violence, and general putrefaction. The reason that this is so is because we have forsaken our first duty: to seek and to save that which is lost. We have neglected the preaching of the Law, the fear of God, repentance, impending judgment, and a fiery Hell as eternal punishment for all who would trust in their own good works for salvation from a dreadful God. This has led to a general disregard of all things Godly and has perpetrated complete unbridled callousness toward all things decent.

To remedy this catastrophic condition I propose a cessation from all good works for a season of time to focus our attentions on solely preaching the Gospel. All good Christian churches that have a burden for the perishing should devote themselves only to those headed for destruction and work only and wholeheartedly toward that end.

Eliminate food programs for the poor and let the liberal churches, the seeker-friendly churches, the Catholic churches, the Muslims and atheists tend to this. We as a good Christian church should devote all monies to the cause of evangelizing the lost. Building projects and further acquiring of properties should be forestalled and all offerings and generous gifts to invalids, shut-ins, and prisoners should be completely eliminated and put toward speaking the truth in love by the proclamation of the Gospel. Leave the beggar in the street and the Samaritan in the gutter; the church down the block shall own him. Paid ministers, accountants, administrative assistants, and the like shall work as menial laborers and all salaries devoted to the furtherance of teaching about sin, righteousness and the judgment to come.

Expository preaching should be stopped, pews torn asunder, and pulpits destroyed whereby every parishioner shall be displaced and forced into the streets to share all spiritual wisdom with the dead in spirit. Ignore the cries and the plight of the alien and the stranger in your land only to shout loudly, proclaim proudly, that all should come to repentance.

This should continue for a year or till revival breaks forth and Christ is once again exalted, God feared, and Christianity proven true.

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the good of my country, and the furtherance of the Gospel.

*Why write satire? Click here.

23 Comments

  1. how can any body believe in this rubbish!

  2. I’ve only one thing to say:
    http://richarddawkins.net

  3. Trying to pull a “Swift” one on us, eh bro? :^)

  4. Robert,

    As you can see, not everyone gets it! Ahhh, 1729 all over again…

  5. “An open mind is like an open mouth, it was meant to close on something solid”

    Takes me back to the good ole days of debating college science professors and the intellectual elite on campus…

    They scoff at the Dogmatic, all the while drowning in a sea of it!

  6. It is funny you can lead an article with ‘here’s Swift’s satirical proposal, now here’s mine’ and still apparently fool people.

  7. Swift fooled people, too, with a noble end in mind.

  8. I was Poe’d.

    I’m curious what Pastor Doug sees as “dogma” for “college science professors” and “intellectual elite on campus” (btw, who even uses that phrase?).

  9. Steve,

    How much of this is satire, and how much do you actually believe? I assume that you do think that evangelism is more important that anything else, so a fair portion of this essay would be quite accurate, wouldn’t it?

  10. Sign me up. Let’s get going!

  11. The fruit of Christian charity and love has left a nation in shambles as evidenced by increased divorce, appalling abortion statistics, gay marriage, debt, violence, and general putrefaction. The reason that this is so is because we have forsaken our first duty: to seek and to save that which is lost. We have neglected the preaching of the Law, the fear of God, repentance, impending judgment, and a fiery Hell as eternal punishment for all who would trust in their own good works for salvation from a dreadful God. This has led to a general disregard of all things Godly and has perpetrated complete unbridled callousness toward all things decent.

    Now, are you satirizing those that preach the law but don’t do good works

    We as a good Christian church should devote all monies to the cause of evangelizing the lost. Building projects and further acquiring of properties should be forestalled and all offerings and generous gifts to invalids, shut-ins, and prisoners should be completely eliminated and put toward speaking the truth in love by the proclamation of the Gospel. Leave the beggar in the street and the Samaritan in the gutter; the church down the block shall own him. Paid ministers, accountants, administrative assistants, and the like shall work as menial laborers and all salaries devoted to the furtherance of teaching about sin, righteousness and the judgment to come.

    Or, are you satirizing those that complain about all the money that goes to big name evangelists (like Pat Robertson) or into mega-churches (like Saddleback)?

  12. Bathtub: In all fairness to the first commenter, David H., I didn’t preface my essay 3 years ago by explaining that it was satire. I would have preferred to not explain it, but sometimes people get all up in arms about things and I wanted to avoid the hassle.

  13. Perdita,

    Read it carefully. It’s no fun if I give it away….

  14. Church minus seeking and saving the lost = ? At least the outside of the cup is polished 😉

  15. Steve, I have read it carefully. I like this bit:

    I know this because I feel it, and we all know that feelings are the basis for all established matters of good doctrine and practice.

    But other than that, I don’t know who or what you are satirizing. Swift’s problem was what to do with starving Irish children. His ‘modest’ proposal was cannibalism.

    Your problem is what to do to counter the spread of false gospels. Your ‘modest’ proposal is to stop all works and preach The Law.

    To remedy this catastrophic condition I propose a cessation from all good works for a season of time to focus our attentions on solely preaching the Gospel. All good Christian churches that have a burden for the perishing should devote themselves only to those headed for destruction and work only and wholeheartedly toward that end.

    So, it appears that you are satirizing those that promote The Law without Works. Maybe I don’t get it because I wasn’t aware that this was a problem.

  16. Perdita: See Peter Johnson’s comment.

    My modest proposal was to eliminate all church good works and activities until the full gospel is preached and revival happens.

    Of course that is ridiculous. Unfortunately, the majority of churches today neglect the first thing in order to do the good thing.

    Thanks!

  17. Steve,

    I think that what Perdita is getting at is that your satire….isn’t satire.

    “My modest proposal was to eliminate all church good works and activities until the full gospel is preached and revival happens.

    Of course that is ridiculous”.

    Yes, you are pretending to hold a position that you think is ridiculous – but that doesn’t make it satire.

    Satire would be if you wrote the article calling for all Christians to stop preaching the Gospel until every last homeless person is sheltered, every child is fed and clothed and every drug fiend rehabilitated; only then can we begin to spread the Good News. That would be you satirizing those that value works over the Law.

    As it is, you’re just saying a lot of impractical and, as you say, ridiculous things (many of which are positions that you do actually hold) but you’re not actually satirizing anyone or any real position.

    I can understand Perdita’s confusion.

    Regards,

  18. Mat,

    Thank you for your position.

    It is bad satire.

    But I like it.

    Sorry you don’t.

  19. Editing posts after-the-fact again Steve, didn’t we talk about this?

  20. This article is so funny, I can’t stop laughing. In fact I should be crying, because it addresses a valid point. I love this guy. Wish we had more like him.
    The responses are somewhat surprising. Looks like Peter got it though.
    If this were to happen, I would really miss the coffee and donuts, and a good excuse to get away from my spouse for a few hours every Sunday though. ha ha.

  21. I think this would really separate the sheep from the goats! Few other things he should have added. Shut down all the schools of Theology, so the Holy Spirit can do the teaching. Burn all the Theologian’s books and CD’S and DVD’S, so folks can concentrate on God’s words instead of man’s warped interpretation of it. This guy’s idea is good, but I think the Jehovah witnesses, and the Mormons beat him to it. They are so busy sharing their faith in the communities, they don’t have time to build churches. Can’t even remember where I’ve seen one.

    Jail time for anyone selling any of these products. Huge fines for anyone caught buying them who have not read the entire bible at least twice. Jail time for anyone evangelizing, wearing any Christian logos or crosses, who have not yet denied themselves, and picked up their cross. All the evangelists must be able to explain what it means to be a Christian, and what saving grace, and faith looks like in practical ways.

    I think this guy must have studied Jeremiah, Ezekiel 9, and all the woe’s in Matthew 23. Unfortunately, his warning, just like all the prophets will be ignored.

  22. Ever noticed how few of the missions trips are focused on evangelism. Last year I wanted to go on at least 2 overseas ones-preferably in the 10-40 window, but could not find one. I checked out several. The agenda’s were things such as Surfing, Sports, ESL teaching, Typing, Building Projects, Food and toys distribution, Arts and crafts etc.

    Jesus said “My food is to do the will of My Father”. So were these Jesus’ top priority? What do you think?
    Ever noticed how talking about living a godly life many times is spurned as self-righteousness, and legalism ?

  23. ExPatMat: Two words, my friend: My blog. ;>)

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