Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cherry Pickin'

One of the most common charges leveled against progressive Christians is that we're the smorgasbord faithful.

We progs stand accused of wandering up to the Jesus buffet line and only taking those things that look yummy to us, while pointedly ignoring the stuff we don't like.  We serve ourselves a heapin' helpin' of Sermon on the Mount Roast, and a pour a big mess of 1 Corinthians 13 Gravy on our 1 John Mashed Potatoes.

The Revelation Hellfire Lentil Loaf doesn't even get a second glance, and we make a funny face at Ol' Uncle Paul's Obedient Slaveberry Pie.

For our pickiness, we're assailed from both sides.  Fundamentalists and atheists both assail us for...lets say it together..."cherry pickin'."  You only take what you like?  Cheaters!  Outrageous!  All or nothing!

So now, boys and girls, let's use the imaginations God gave us, and see ourselves standing in a garden.  Before us, there's a cherry tree hanging heavy with thousands of plump red morsels, the fruit ripe and delicious and in season.  We're hungry, and the smell is sweet.

Behind us and to our left, we've got the atheist, who looks at the entire tree with its leaves and branches and fruit.  I'm not going to eat that whole thing, he snorts.  Much of it is completely inedible!  And the fruit has pits!  How do I know I might not be allergic to it?!  He sits down in a snit, and with his best pinchy defiant two-year old pout, insists he'd rather starve.

Kneeling at the base of the tree, we have the fundamentalist, her mouth full of bark and twigs and leaves.  She gnaws vigorously at the indigestible hardwood near the bottom of the trunk.  Bits of masticated wood mingled with fragments of tooth enamel and dark green leaf juice drip from her lips.  It's absolutely, presuppositionally delicious, she insists.  By definition, it couldn't possibly taste any better.  And as an added benefit, she says with a slightly broken smile, I'm so much more regular now!

Cherry pickin'?  I suppose so.