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The Minister and The Crackerhead: Round 2

Posted by Jerry E Beuterbaugh Labels: ,

The Minister: “Back so soon?”

The Crackerhead: “Are you ready to dive in?”

The Minister: “I don’t know.  I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

The Crackerhead: “Be assured that your feelings are quite natural, and not at all unfounded.  For there is much about what I have been given to say that will taste rather bitter to most, but after some time for digestion, it will become more and more sweet to those who are willing to accept what they have been allowed and enabled to.”

The Minister: “Hmm, just the opposite of what the Apostle John experienced
[Revelation 10:8-11].”

The Crackerhead: “As well as the Prophet Ezekiel
[Ezekiel 2:8-3:11], and in all honesty, I have experienced both sensations.  For in the beginning, it all seemed oh so very sweet.  For what I was receiving provided answers to a great many questions, but after I came to realize that the hardness of far too many hearts really was exceedingly great, bitterness soured my enthusiasm considerably [Jeremiah 5:3-5].  Since then, our Heavenly Father has settled me down, and I feel better about it now [1 Corinthians 10:12-13].”

The Minister: “Oh yeah, that really helped.”

The Crackerhead: “Be assured that my stomach has settled quite a bit.”

The Minister: “Why do you keep saying. ‘Be assured?’”

The Crackerhead: If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.  There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid
[John 5:31-32 NIV].  This applies to everything that I have been given to say about anything.  For it is truly of Him [Jeremiah 1:9], and not of myself [John 14:26]—be assured.”

The Minister: “Oh man, this just keeps getting better and better.”

The Crackerhead: “So?”

The Minister: “Okay, I must admit that I am rather curious.  Probably in the same kind of way as being curious about seeing people jump from the tenth story of a burning building.  That always makes me feel really good about myself, but I’ll go ahead and bite.”

The Crackerhead: “Where would you like to start?”

The Minister: “Let’s start with the meaning of life.”

The Crackerhead: “In order to put the meaning of life in its proper context, it would be helpful to think of it in terms of value.  For even the most apparently worthless of lives in the eyes of this world is of great value in the eyes of our Creator
[Psalms 72:11-14].  For all of us were, and will be, created to be His children by faith in order to give Himself opportunities to receive love that is freely given [Isaiah 43:21].”

The Minister: “Certainly seems simple enough.”

The Crackerhead: “Too simple for far too many.”

The Minister: “What do you mean by, ‘All of us?’”

The Crackerhead: “All of mankind.”

The Minister: “Each and every one of us?”

The Crackerhead: “Yes, each and every one of us
[Ezekiel 18:4].”

The Minister: “And what’s with the, ‘Were and will be?’”

The Crackerhead: “The were pertains to those who have already came into existence—both in the past and in the present, and the will be pertains to those who are yet to come—both in the present and in the future.  For we are all personally created by our Heavenly Father to be His children by faith
[John 1:12-13].”

The Minister: “How far into the future?”

The Crackerhead: “At least until the end of this world.”

The Minister: “Nothing personal—right?”

The Crackerhead: “Oh no, it is very personal.  For it is written: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them
[Genesis 1:27 NIV].”

The Minister: “I suppose it all depends upon which side of the tracks you come from.”

The Crackerhead: “Yes, considering what a mess this world has almost always been in, it does seem much more likely that most, if not, all of us were created to be the objects of our Heavenly Father’s scorn—certainly not His affections, and if what is of this world was all that there will ever be to our existences, there would be good reason to look elsewhere for someone, or something, to believe in.  For even the most blessed of lives in this world is as nothing in comparison to the least of lives in our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom of Heaven
[Matthew 11:11].  Nonetheless, the point that keeps getting missed is that the end of our time as a part of this world is not the end of our existences.  In fact, this world was never meant to last but for a little while in comparison to the whole of eternity [1 Corinthians 7:31].  Furthermore, our Heavenly Father will more than make up for all of the terrible, terrible suffering of this world in the world that is yet to come [Romans 8:18].  Therefore, should this not be what we look forward to [2 Peter 3:10-14]?”

The Minister: “Certainly not a very evolved way of thinking.”

The Crackerhead: “Yes, more and more have become rather comfortable with the idea of there possibly being a monkey or two hanging from their family tree, but I would think that most would want believe otherwise.  For if some of our earliest ancestors really were amoebas swimming around in a pond full of primordial ooze, what more is there for us after our time as a part of this world comes to an end?”

The Minister: “Couldn’t we have it both ways?”

The Crackerhead: “No.  For we were created as we are, and the same goes for everything else
[Genesis 1:31].”

The Minister: “What about the fossil record?”

The Crackerhead: “What about it?”

The Minister: “Doesn’t it indicate an evolution of the species?”

The Crackerhead: “No.  For what may appear to be an earlier ancestor of something is usually just another type, and in some cases, another species altogether.”

The Minister: “So, you believe that the world was really created in six days then?”

The Crackerhead: “Yes
[Exodus 31:17].”

The Minister: “And all of the scientific data proving otherwise is what?”

The Crackerhead: “Misunderstood
[Hebrews 11:3].”

The Minister: “I suppose there is no way that we could have originated in a galaxy far, far way—is there?”

The Crackerhead: “No.”

The Minister: “How disappointing.  For I was really hoping to finally meet some of my more distant cousins before too long.”

The Crackerhead: “Be assured that the most important thing to know and understand about this is that whatever our Heavenly Father may have done somewhere else has nothing to do with the plans that He has made for us
[Jeremiah 29:11].”

The Minister: “Are you saying that there is life elsewhere?”

The Crackerhead: “No, but neither can I say that there is not anything like what we naturally consider as being life anywhere else.  For nothing has been revealed to me about the subject, except for what has been already said about life possibly existing elsewhere having nothing to do with our lives in this world.”

The Minister: “What would you say to those who believe that there cannot be life anywhere else because of Eve being named the mother of all the living
[Genesis 3:20]?”

The Crackerhead: “Yes, Adam and Eve are at the root of every family tree in this world, but does this extent to the spiritual realm, in regards to her also being the mother of all of the angels?  Besides, if our Heavenly Father truly is the Creator of us all, would not Adam and Eve’s contribution be for the sake of appearances only
[Isaiah 43:7]?”

The Minister: “Well, the door may be closed, but it appears to be left unlocked.”

The Crackerhead: “Just being honest.”

The Minister: “Talking about being honest, aren’t you being a tad disingenuous about making things sound so personal?”

The Crackerhead: “No.”

The Minister: “Come on now, I know that many would applaud the effort anyway, but the rest of us have come too far to embrace such an archaic belief.”

The Crackerhead: “I certainly hope not.  For it is written: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be
[Psalms 139:13-16 NIV].

The Minister: “Oh yeah, that will score a lot of points in the scientific community.”

The Crackerhead: “Alas, it is indeed tragic that there is so much conflict with them.  For what science is really all about is a pursuit of knowledge and understanding about what our Heavenly Father has done, and is doing—even though it is not recognized as being as such.”

The Minister: “Maybe it would be helpful if more were more realistic about us being a product of the natural order of things?”

The Crackerhead: “In what way am I failing to do so?”

The Minister: “By insisting that we are still being individually created.”

The Crackerhead: “Could this not be a part of the natural order of things?”

The Minister: “No!”

The Crackerhead: “How could it not be if our Heavenly Father is truly all-powerful
[Job 12:13-25]?”  For who, or what, could exist if it was not in accordance to His will [Colossians 1:16-17]?”

The Minister: “There is a big difference between Him just allowing someone, or something, to exist and Him specifically creating them to do so.”

The Crackerhead: “Yes, there is, and I would think that most would want to believe that they were specifically created to exist.”

The Minister: “Whatever we may want to believe has nothing to do with the truth.”

The Crackerhead: “No, it most certainly does not.  For the truth is what it absolutely is—regardless of whether we want to believe it or not
[2 Corinthians 13:8], but then there is still a matter of the reasons for why we may want to believe that something is true or false that needs to be addressed [John 3:19-21].”

The Minister: “And I suppose that you would have us to believe that acts of God really are acts of God?”

The Crackerhead: “Yes.  For there is no such thing as Mother Nature
[Zechariah 10:1].”

The Minister: “Well, at least in this case, biological science has taken all of the mystery out of the conception of human life.”

The Crackerhead: “Yes, it would appear that it is just the result of a chemical process, but appearances can be deceiving—be assured
[Isaiah 42:20].”

The Minister: “Maybe so, but I do know of at least one thing that we can all be sure of.”

The Crackerhead: “And what would that be?”

The Minister: “That the scientific community is plumb religious about seeing is believing.”

The Crackerhead: “Blessed are those who can see what cannot be naturally seen
[John 14:15-17].”

The Minister: “Yes, blind faith would be required in the absence of empirical proof.”

The Crackerhead: “Not as much as what we have been so strongly encouraged to believe.”

The Minister: “What are you talking about?”

The Crackerhead: “That the kind of faith that truly is of our Heavenly Father is not blind, nor is it deaf
[Matthew 13:11-17], but this is a discussion for another time.”

The Minister: “You’re making this stuff up as you go along—aren’t you?”

The Crackerhead: Truly you are a God who hides Himself, Oh God and Savior of Israel
[Isaiah 45:15 NIV].”

The Minister: “Where did that come from?”

The Crackerhead: “Our Heavenly Father
[John 3:34].”

The Minister: “But of course!”

The Crackerhead: “It was a quote of Isaiah 45:15 in the New International Version (NIV) of His Holy Bible.”

The Minister: “Man, talk about having some mysterious ways
[Job 11:7-9].  I wonder why He would do that?”

The Crackerhead: “In order to make it easier to recognize His voice
[John 10:1-10].”

The Minister: “Huh?  What are you talking about?”

The Crackerhead: “The reason why our Heavenly Father will often directly quote what He had written about Himself in His Holy Scriptures
[2 Peter 1:20-21].”

The Minister: “By quoting the New International Version?”

The Crackerhead: “Along with several other reputable versions—depending upon the personal familiarity of the individual at hand
[Hebrews 4:12-13].”

The Minister: “Many Protestants would argue that the King James 1611 Authorized Version (KJV) is the only reputable version of the Holy Bible, and then there are all of those Catholics, Orthodox and others who also have their Apocrypha.”

The Crackerhead: “Since even the earliest of the texts that were employed to compile all of the reputable versions of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible—including the King James 1611 Authorized Version, are probably copies of copies of copies of the original texts, how can anyone have any confidence in any of them without the witness of His Holy Spirit?”

The Minister: “Well, all of that sounds very interesting, but I was actually wondering about why He would want to hide Himself?”

The Crackerhead: “In order to truly receive love that is freely given from us
[1 Chronicles 16:10-12].”

The Minister: “What?”

The Crackerhead: “It is in order to truly receive love that is freely given from us that is the reason for why our Heavenly Father chooses to hide Himself
[Proverbs 8:17].”

The Minister: “What about Him being too holy to be in the presence of sin
[Genesis 4:8-14]?”

The Crackerhead: “Yes, it has been widely taught that it is because of sin entering into this world that our Heavenly Father had to leave, but there is really nothing to it.”

The Minister: “It must be lonely at the top.”

The Crackerhead: “What do you mean?”

The Minister: “You being right, and everyone else being wrong.”

The Crackerhead: “No, it is not like that, but even if it was, it would not be the first time for such an occurrence.  Take Noah for an example
[Genesis 6:5-8].”

The Minister: “Hardly enough people around at the time to count.”

The Crackerhead: “Not that it should matter, but be assured that the same cannot be said of what happened with the Prophet Jeremiah.”

The Minister: “Refresh my memory.”

The Crackerhead: Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares.  If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.  Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ still they are swearing falsely.”  O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?  You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction.  They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.  I thought, “These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God.  So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God.”  But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds
[Jeremiah 5:1-5 NIV].”

The Minister: “Then what happened?”

The Crackerhead: “The land and the people were delivered into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and the city of Jerusalem was laid waste
[Jeremiah 21:1-10].”

The Minister: “Hmm, not so different from Abraham and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

The Crackerhead: “Alas, is not the story of Jeremiah and Jerusalem even more compelling?  For with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the number went from fifty down to ten
[Genesis 18:23-32], and those cities were truly dens of iniquity [Genesis 18:20-21].  Whereas, with the city of Jerusalem, the number was only one [Jeremiah 5:1], and it was supposed to be a center of righteousness [2 Kings 21:4].”

The Minister: “Okay, maybe there have been some situations when only one person was in the right while everyone else were in the wrong, but I still don’t see how you can say that there is really nothing to what has been so widely taught about God being too holy to be in the presence of sin?”

The Crackerhead: “How could there be?  For if it is possible for Satan, the devil himself, to enter into our Heavenly Father’s presence—even while He is sitting upon His throne in His Kingdom of Heaven
[Job 1:6-12], how could it ever be impossible for any of us to enter into His very presence?”

The Minister: “Maybe Heaven serves as some sort of neutral ground?”

The Crackerhead: “Come on now.”

The Minister: “I assume that you are referring to the account recorded in the Book of Job a couple of times about when God called all of the angels to appear before Him and Satan was also in attendance
[Job 2:1-7]?”

The Crackerhead: “I am.”

The Minister: “Perhaps it had something to do with it being a special day?”

The Crackerhead: “I would think that any day in our Heavenly Father’s presence would be a special day.”

The Minister: “Get back to me on that when Judgment Day rolls around
[Matthew 12:36-37].”

The Crackerhead: “All who are truly in Christ will not be judged
[John 3:18].”

The Minister: “Didn’t your parents also teach you that no one really likes a know-it-all?”

The Crackerhead: “I seem to recall them saying something or another about the subject a few thousand times.”

The Minister: “And yet you still insist upon presenting yourself as having an answer for everything.”

The Crackerhead: “Only to the extent of the knowledge and understanding that I have been given
[1 Corinthians 4:6].”

The Minister: “And you say that the reason for why the Lord God Almighty hides Himself is in order to truly receive love that is freely given from us?”

The Crackerhead: “Yes.”

The Minister: “That doesn’t make any sense to me.”

The Crackerhead: “Being as honest as you can possibly be, how do you think you would react to seeing our Heavenly Father if He appeared before you in all of His most awesome glory?”

The Minister: “Honestly?”

The Crackerhead: “As much as you can possibly be.”

The Minister: “I would probably be scared stiff!”

The Crackerhead: “And after the initial shock wore off?”

The Minister: “That would probably take awhile.”

The Crackerhead: “Try to stretch your imagination.”

The Minister: “Quite a while.”

The Crackerhead: “Try harder.”

The Minister: “Okay, to tell you the truth, I can’t imagine doing anything, except for maybe planting my face in the dirt and hoping for the best
[Exodus 3:6].”

The Crackerhead: “Whereas, there would be others who would only want to bow down before our Heavenly Father for their own personal gain
[Revelation 3:17].”

The Minister: “So?”

The Crackerhead: “Anything that comes from fear
[1 John 3:18-20] or greed [Deuteronomy 10:17] is really nothing to have and to hold [1 Corinthians 13:1-3].”

The Minister: “Certainly a matter of opinion.”

The Crackerhead: “A good one—I trust.”

The Minister: “Not everyone sees things as you do.”

The Crackerhead: “Now would be a good time to discuss the kind of faith that truly is of our Heavenly Father.”

The Minister: “The kind that is not blind, nor deaf?”

The Crackerhead: “That would be the kind—be assured.”

The Minister: “Surely you jest.”

The Crackerhead: “Not about this!”

The Minister: “Oh, I’ve got to hear this.”

The Crackerhead: “For it is written: Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a Faith as precious as ours: grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires
[2 Peter 1:1-4 NIV].”

The Minister: “I’m not following you.”

The Crackerhead: “The absolute truth of the matter truly is that the kind of faith that truly comes from our Heavenly Father is based upon knowledge and understanding—not mere belief
[Ephesians 1:14].”

The Minister: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but everlasting life
[John 3:16 KJV].”

The Crackerhead: “And who can believe in Him without the help of His Holy Spirit
[1 Corinthians 12:3]?”

The Minister: “So, believing is seeing after-all?”

The Crackerhead: “No, this is not to say that everything is always right out in the open.  For if we can clearly see what we hope for, the need for hope is greatly diminished, and it is in this hope that we are saved from eternal damnation
[Romans 8:22-25].”

The Minister: “What was that?”

The Crackerhead: “What was what?”

The Minister: “What you said about hope.”

The Crackerhead: “That if we can clearly see what we hope for, the need for hope is greatly diminished?”

The Minister: “No, the other thing that you said about hope.”

The Crackerhead: “That it is in this hope that we are saved from eternal damnation?”

The Minister: “I thought it is supposed to be that we are saved by grace through faith?”

The Crackerhead: “It is
[Ephesians 2:8-9], but that does not change anything.   For the true definition of faith is as it is written: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen [Hebrews 11:1 KJV].  Therefore, it is by our Heavenly Father’s grace that we are saved from having to face the penalty for our sins, but it is also through our having full and complete faith in Him that keeps us safe and secure in His arms forever and ever [John 10:25-30].  AMEN!!!”

The Minister: “Huh?”

The Crackerhead: “As it is with our marriage vows
[Genesis 2:21-24], and the way they are meant to be followed [Colossians 3:18-19], so is it also with our relationship with our Heavenly Father [Ephesians 5:22-32].  For He wants us to want to be one of His children by faith, and this requires Him to give us a true choice in the matter, which involves giving us the freedom to leave Him at any time we like.”

The Minister: “Now, I am not one to necessarily agree with the doctrine of once saved/always saved, but when it comes to eternity, I don’t even want to think about the possibility of being involved in some sort of a divorce!”

The Crackerhead: “Without that
[Hebrews 6:4-8], all that our Heavenly Father has subjected both Himself [Matthew 23:37], and us [Romans 8:19-21], to in this world would be rather meaningless.”

The Minister: “Hey, as long as I’m kept out of Hell, I couldn’t care less about what particular details may be involved.”

The Crackerhead: “Be assured that our Heavenly Father does.  For He wants more than to merely co-existence with us.”

The Minister: “How much more can He want?”

The Crackerhead: “He wants our hearts, and our souls, and our minds
[Matthew 22:37-40].”

The Minister: “But aren’t we created to be His children by faith?”

The Crackerhead: “Yes
[Galatians 3:26-29].”

The Minister: “And doesn’t the Bible say something or another about a son being a part of the family forever, which could be construed as saying that a child of His is His child forever?”

The Crackerhead: “Yes
[John 8:35], and great will be our Heavenly Father’s joy when the time comes for Him to gather all of His children by faith unto Himself—be assured [Revelation 21:2-5].  Nonetheless, be also assured that there is a rest of the story to this. For it would not fulfill His purposes to force anyone to spend all of eternity with Him in His Kingdom of Heaven as an heir to all that is His in glory against their will.  Therefore, only those who want to truly be one of His children by faith will be welcome to do so [Revelation 21:6-8].”

The Minister: “Who in their right-mind wouldn’t?”

The Crackerhead: “I would think that no one in their right-mind would, but the gates must still be left open in order to maintain the integrity of the relationship between us and our Heavenly Father.”

The Minister: “The integrity of the relationship?”

The Crackerhead: “One based upon love and affection
[1 John 4:7-19]—not an inherent right [Romans 3:29], nor some sort of a rite of passage [Romans 3:19-20].”

The Minister: “My head is starting to really pound now.”

The Crackerhead: “I could use a little break myself.”

The Minister: “To gather some more ammunition?”

The Crackerhead: “We’ll see.”


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4 comments:

  1. Rob

    So I like this direction of this conversation so far, but it's an interesting one in terms of, who is this "minister" character? They seem more like a nominal-Christian/agnostic minster more than an actual pastoral character, at least in the way they respond to the Crackerheads's apologetic. Was that your intention? A non-believing minister? (interestingly, I have known a few missionarial atheists before, so this character seemed a little familiar to me)

  1. FishHawk

    Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Rob!!! The minister represents bits and pieces of the various ministers I have had some direct talks with. I suppose to sum the character up, it represents someone who is making an effort to listen in order to fulfill the perceived requirements of their position, but is generally uninterested in anything I have to say.

    Be assured that I have reached out to more who did not want to make any effort to listen, and were quite clear in telling me that I could not possibly have anything that they needed to hear--let alone would want to.

    Both of these should be very familiar to you, and if they are not, they are to me. For the way I was before the change, I would want to know where someone was coming from before I would even start to consider taking them seriously, and if someone was not a Southern Baptist, that was often the end of the conversation right there. No, it is not something that I look back upon with delight, now.

  1. Rob

    Well, you have me interested in this conversation, and for what its worth, both characters in this narrative seem pretty real to me (the minister seems a little TOO similar to some skeptics I've known, too.)

    And for what it's worth, speaking as a Southern Baptist, I have a lot of respect for those in the SBC but I am also well aware that not all Baptists are made the same way! :)

  1. FishHawk

    Yes, I have been shown that, too. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Rob!!!