Pentagon Pentecostal vs Beijing Baptist

Pentagon Pentecostal vs Beijing Baptist (mp3)

Is unity too much to ask for? President Ma of Taiwan may think so. And I’m starting to agree with him. It’s not that I’m on the same page with Ma’s political policy. But when competing businesses hear their leaders talk about “unity”, certain terms start floating around—conflict of interest, rebellion, disloyalty, treason, heresy… just to name a few.

I grew up believing what I heard on Sunday morning: Love all people. We are united in Christ. Church is not the building, it’s the people inside. Don’t gossip, talk to people directly before talking about them with others. Don’t let money corrupt God’s good work…

But, when I talked to those “other” Christians across the street, well… The math didn’t add up anymore.

Why am I “rebellious” for rubbing shoulders with Christians who meet under different roofs? Why is it so important where I give my tithes and weekly donations if “money” isn’t as important as “God’s work”? If Charismatics are so evil, then shouldn’t the Baptists want to talk to them every week to persuade them to change?

Maybe the stuff I heard growing up was just a front that hides the money racket of denominationalism. Consider how much money there is in fighting alleged “heresy”. Most every denomination believes that most every other denomination has some sort of “false teaching”. The problem is, in all the denominations I’ve gotten to know, I have yet to see two opponents represent each other accurately.

Christians debate without actually knowing each other. It’s as if they have been divided on purpose—and, coincidentally, all the ink spilled in these uninformed, endless debates have proven quite profitable for Christian publishing houses… almost as profitable as the “War on Terror” has proven for FOX News. Isn’t it interesting that FOX owns Zondervan?

War is business. Turf wars in the inner city pivot on narcotic sales as much as segregated Sunday morning profits from weekly donations. It’s all made possible by “fear of the other guys [whom you should never talk to, just trust what your leaders say about them]“.

I still believe what I grew up hearing on Sunday morning. The Bible teaches the same thing—there is one Church, the universal Body, with one shepherd, Jesus. Gossip is foolish and usually gossipers are the most misinformed of all. God’s house tends to become a den of thieves and needs purging every so often. And for this, I’ve been accused of rebellion and heresy. And President Ma has made the same mistake.

His father’s dying wish was for a peaceful unification between Taiwan and China. But if President Ma had only grown up in American Churchianity, he would know that “unity” isn’t possible—it’s just something leaders say to make the people feel good as they continue to fight. Every pastor knows that.

War is a territorial business, whether its American Churchianity or Chinese Communism. Taiwan is a loyal customer of the United States military buying club. China, on the other hand, is in the Russian dealers gang. The “pastors” at “Pentagon Pentecostal” won’t be happy if Parishioner Ma makes too many Sunday morning visits to “Beijing Baptist”. They’ll likely denounce him as a “traitor” and a “heretic” as defined by the “canons” in the “Saint Washington Holy Potomac Diocese”.

“Unity” makes everyone feel good when we say it in speeches—but actually making it happen? Hah! What a silly idea. If Baptists and Pentecostals became friends or if Beijing and Taiwan united, it would hurt business.

President Ma shouldn’t take it personally. None of us should. It’s strictly business. Christians should easily understand. The Mafia does—they love to go to church. Drug dealers are some of the most loyal parishioners, the best dressed, well-mannered, and the biggest donors.

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