by: Rich Vaughan
One of my favorite comic strips over the years has been “B.C.” by Johnny Hart. It often has a humorous religious theme. I have a book of “B.C.” comic stripes and occasionally I pull it down just to have a chuckle. Recently I reread a comic strip in the book whose main characters were the ants that Hart sometimes features. In this particular comic, the young ant whose name is “Johnny”, was in school and the teacher asked the question, “what kept Daniel from being eaten alive in the lion’s den?” Johnny answered, “His Bible.” The teacher replied, “His Bible?” and Johnny’s response was “He read to them all night from his Bible.” The teacher walks away smiling and says, “That’s so darn cute Johnny, I am going to accept that.” If Johnny had left it there he would have been alright, but instead he replies to his teacher. “ERGO, HE BECAME THE FIRST PROPHET TO READ BETWEEN THE LIONS” (I can hear your groans from here!). The last caption shows Johnny coming home and his Dad saying to him, “you got thrown out of religious class?” Johnny replied, “God don’t really hate punsters…does he Dad?” (p. 76 “I Did It His Way”)
No Johnny, God does not hate punsters, or for that matter, politicians, or people. God hates sin. He hates evil. He hates anything that hurts his children (us) or that pulls us from Him. Proverb’s 6:16 says there are seven things God hates. They are haughtiness (looking “down” on someone), lying, killing the innocent, plotting evil, racing to do wrong, a false witness (i.e. gossiping), and sowing discord. All these have something in common, treating other persons wrongly. God does not like it when we think only of ourselves. The command to “love God and to love your neighbor as yourself” is not a suggestion. It is a command (Matthew 22:34-39). And, according to Jesus, these are the greatest commandments. It is also interesting that this was the scripture used for our Charge Conference Wednesday night. For those who attended they also discovered that Matthew 22:34-39 was John Wesley’s (the founder of Methodism) favorite scripture.
You know, the list from Proverbs of what God hates makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Probably because the Lord has gone “from preaching to meddling”. The truth is though, that if we “love God and love our neighbor as ourselves” we wouldn’t have to worry about the list in Proverbs would we? May those 2 commandments be written on our hearts and shared from our hands. Amen? Amen.