You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

How to know when you've been attending a Presbyterian church too long

UPDATE 2: I meant this (below) as a parody, but for the pure milk of Calvinist humour, which is not that far off, see the real thing here.

24. Even though you consider television a prohibited graven image, and do reject, despise and ab[h]ominate Big Brother for its shameless sex, nudity, mixed bathing,and Sabbath-breaking... you couldn't not vote for a contestant named Geneva.


1. You want to bring formal heresy charges against Tim Allen because he's played selfish yuppies named "Scott Calvin" and "Michael Cromwell". (Wasn't there a Swiss Reformer named "Desiderius Lightyear"? Maybe "Buzz" is the non-Latinicised original of "Bucer"…) That's religious vilification, sir!

[Update: The heretic Allen completes his arc of anti-Protestantism by playing a "Luther Krank" in his latest oeuvre. Can't he at least partially atone by getting hitched on-screen to an attractive Calvin?]

2. You believe that the Roman Catholic Church reads far too much into Matthew 16:18-19 - yea, far more than the text thereof can rightly warrant. For, far from establishing an infallible Papacy, it is plain to even the most unlettered reader that, when He said "upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it", Jesus was simply identifying the Antichrist as Bill Gates.

3. You ban Cold Chisel because you're certain than in at least one of their singles you can distinctly hear Barnesey singing "Good Bahá'í"…

4. You think Amy Grant's been a bit theologically dodgy - not because she got divorced in 1998, or because she went commercial in 1991 - but because in 1982 she espoused semi-Pelagianism by releasing "I Have Decided".

5. You don't eat yoghurt because that's tantamount to worshipping Krishna.

6. Every Microsoft Word document you print has the text aligned to the left-hand margin, just so it isn't justified by Works.

7. You formally charge R.F [you know who you are, R.F! - ed] with error - yea, with gross heresy - specifically, that of the Sabellians or Modalists - because in prayer she addresses the Triune God as "youse".

8. You formally charge J.M [you know who you are, J.M! - ed] with falling into the error of Docetism - because when asked "Have YOU accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?" she replies "Umm, yeah, Jesus… He was, um, like, a man who, um, lived two thousand years ago…"

9. You're not letting your kids go to any Wiggles concerts until they replace "Dorothy the Dinosaur" with "Theodore the Leviathan".

10. You get very angry about subliminal messages hidden in popular music - not just the backmasking in Stairway To Heaven, but the fact that The Lion Sleeps Tonight contains thinly-concealed Pentecostal propaganda for "the Wimber Way".

11. After an initial misunderstanding, you walk out of Election fifteen minutes into the movie once it becomes apparent Matthew Broderick ain't about to start preaching the most sweet and godly doctrine thereof.

12. You were actually relieved to find out that the Beatles' Let It Be is about marijuana.

13. Since the Uniting Church in Australia is led by a Moderator and their magazine is called "Journey", you think the Presbyterians should be led by an Immoderator (whose office is to rouse the congregation with three-hour sermons denouncing Popery) and their magazine should be named "Staying Put" (or, for the WezPrez, "Reversing At 60 Miles Per Hour").

14. Your two most fundamental articles of theology are (a) support for the death penalty, so that murderers, thieves, rapists and Sabbath-breakers will suffer just punishment on account of their own free and voluntary choices; and (b) belief in double predestination, not only of the elect, but of the damned also.

15. You decide that under your planned Christian Reconstructionist regime, the city of Darwin will be renamed "Bob Jones"… and that the whole cast of Will & Grace will be put to death for promoting homosexuality, except for Debra Messing because she played Mary Magdalene in Jesus: The Miniseries.

16. Out of sheer habit, you always refer to hypnotist Barry St James as "Barry James" and the capital of Minnesota as "Paul, Minnesota".

17. Unlike all other fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation, you like "Wesley Crusher" - what a great name!

18. You believe the Anglican Church to be an apostate harlot daughter of its Roman mother, governed by corrupted bishops… You also believe that the King James Version (KJV) is the only accurate and reliable translation of Holy Writ in the English language.

19. You bring a lawsuit for slander against the (engineering or computing) firm you work for, because in the company newsletter they describe you as "charismatic" and say you're "quite an enthusiast" who's "advancing through the corporate hierarchy".

20. You cancel your policy with your insurance company because their thinking is so infected by Arminianism that they won't count deliberate damage by vandals as an "Act of God".

21. When someone asks "Do you know any of the St Kilda Demons?", you answer: "Only some of them - so far I've named Ashgaggerroth, Zordunakulon, and Hamoshphitophel as operating in or around that particular suburb…"

22. You publicly question the much-touted Calvinist orthodoxy of Dr Graeme Goldsworthy himself, because he keeps rejecting your written demands that he officially change his name to "Graeme OnlytheslainLambsworthy".

23. You wasted thousands of dollars on a crash-hot new personal computer because you misinterpreted the salesman's promise about how it was "good for burning CDs really quickly."

24. You have Matthew 5:22-based objections to the For Dummies how-to books.

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