May the F.A.R.C.E. not be with you.

Mark 11: 27-33

“So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.'” v. 33 

“Uh Jesus, we’d like a word with you!”

“Sure, how can I help you?” (He says that a lot doesn’t he?)

“Yes. Well, we’re the Faith Activity Regulation Council Executive (F.A.R.C.E.) Committee. Our job is to ensure that no unauthorized spiritual activity takes place. You can understand how important this is.”

“Uh yeah, I totally understand. So how can I help you?”

“Well, Jesus, we have been monitoring your activity for the past three years, especially over the last 24 hours, and we are very concerned about your, uh, well….Okay look, you’ve been doing some things that, quite frankly, have upset some very important people and we simply cannot ignore it any longer.”   

“I see. What exactly is the problem?”

“The problem is sir, in addition to frequent Sabbath violations, failure to observe basic purity regulations, and questionable social interactions, you messed up a legitimate fund raising program in the temple yesterday. We’re still cleaning up the mess from your little tirade in the temple courts! As soon as you left the temple our F.A.R.C.E. team was asked to do some checking. We have a simple question.”

“Yes?”

“Who authorized you to just come in here and interfere with our program? What gives you the right to just go around disregarding centuries of tradition, and trying to start some kind of radical movement that is sure to get us all in trouble? We need to see your identification, your pedigree, and your official certificate of authenticity right now.”

“Oh I see. So you want to know who gave me permission to do what I’ve been doing.”

“Exactly! And don’t give us any trouble, or we’ll, uh we’ll be really mad.”

” No problem, guys, and by the way, I think you look really powerful in that flashy turban.”

“Oh… well, thanks, It’s the new trend in clergy wear…Hey! Don’t change the subject! Just the facts! Who authorized you to do all those…those..those….”

“Miracles, signs and wonders?”

“Uh…well…unapproved spiritual activities you mean!”    

” I think I can solve this problem for you gentlemen. May I just ask you a question?”

“What is it!”

“Uhm, You remember my cousin John?”

“Oh yeah, how can we forget that trouble maker. We had to cite him for offensive preaching, and unauthorized baptisms. Thought we’d never shut him up.”

“Yes. Well, who would you say gave him his authority?”

“Jesus, can you excuse us for a moment. We need to have an executive committee meeting to discuss your question.”

“Sure, take all the time you need.”    

“Okay guys, we’re in a bit of a pickle here. If we say John was authorized by God, we’re sunk. But if we say he was just going on his own, we’re gonna go way down in the polls…and I mean way down. Suggestions?”

“I have an idea, sir. I saw this in a political campaign once. Just say, ‘we don’t know.’    

“Bubba, you’re a genius! Any time you need to get around something like this, just play ignorant. That shouldn’t be too hard for us anyway. uh, I mean…oh never mind.”

“Yes, when faced with inconvenient facts, just pretend you don’t know the answer. I have the feeling this strategy is gonna be big in a few centuries.”

“Okay, Jesus, our official response is, “We don’t know where John’s authority came from.”     

“In that case you’ll just have to not know where mine came from either. Later.”

     Jesus walks away leaving the F.A.R.C.E. Team in a daze.

Lesson: When you have true spiritual authority, you don’t have to defend it or promote it. Just walk in it.                                                 

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