In an unprecedented move to show unity, love, respect and interfaith cooperation, the prophet Elijah has announced that he will be holding a major ecumenical service with the prophets of Baal this coming Sabbath. Calling the event “Faith Shared” the renowned prophet said this event was needed to ease religious tensions in the area. Elijah put it this way at a recent press conference:
“Faith shared seeks to counter the anti-Baalist bigotry and negative stereotypes that have erupted throughout the country in the past year and led to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases, violence. This countrywide, day-long event will engage faith leaders on the national and community levels in a conversation with their houses of worship, highlighting respect among people of different faiths. This event will help counter the common misperception abroad that most Israelites are hostile to Baalism. It will send a message that Israelites respect Baalism and Baalists, as they respect religious differences and freedom of religion in general.”
Elijah, who in the past has been criticised for his confrontational approach, and his intolerant stance regarding foreign religions, has clearly had a change of heart, and now admits that he had got it wrong. “I used to be very zealous for the glory and honour of Yahweh, and saw rival religions as an affront to him, and a hindrance to unique and pure worship in Israel.”
He continued, “But I have since realised that by being so closed-minded and intolerant, I was not really displaying the love and compassion of Yahweh. I was being far too narrow and exclusivist. I now see that there is wideness to God’s mercy, and I now believe that in the end, ‘Love Wins’.”
Elijah had formerly condemned such interfaith cooperation, labelling it as idolatrous and dangerous. He once believed that exclusive worship and allegiance to Yahweh was the only way for Israel to proceed, but he now admits that such an unloving stance may have alienated Baal-worshipers, and other pagans in the region.
“In my youthful zeal to defend the name, honour and reputation of Yahweh, I was unnecessarily alienating all these good people, who each in their own way are also good religious people. I now realise that such dogmatism and narrowness is not the way of Yahweh, and that he sees all idol-worshippers and pagan religions as just expressions of his wide, affirming love and acceptance.”
The cry of the hour, he said, was not more divisive religious bickering and fighting, but the need to all just get along and realise that we are all on the same path anyway, serving the same God. It is time to put an end to these useless divisions, and unite for the good of humanity.
“As Israelites and as people of faith, we must use our great traditions to come together for mutual enrichment and understanding,” said Elijah. “At its core, this project will bring together Jew, Baalist and heathen clergy to read from and hear from each other’s sacred texts. In doing so, they will serve as a model for respect and cooperation and create a concrete opportunity to build and strengthen working ties between and among faith communities moving forward.”
It is hoped that this interfaith meeting – the first of its kind – will lead to even more works of peace, harmony, and love. The Jerusalem event, which begins sharp at sunrise, will also provide tangible expression of good faith and cooperation. Elijah announced that a pig will be slaughtered and offered to the many gods in the region, followed by a great feast of roast pork.
He also hinted that in future services, the Torah might be publically burned to demonstrate how serious Israel has become in renouncing its intolerant past, and show that it means business by embracing the various religions in the surrounding area.
And as a final act of goodwill, Elijah said that only females would be allowed to officiate at this special service, and those in a loving and committed relationship with another female would be given special prominence in the sunrise to sunset service.
Elijah said a number of local Israelite groups had gladly come on board for this exciting initiative. These include members of the Emergent Synagogue Movement, the Progressive Israelite Alliance, the Uniting Synagogue of Israel, the Shiloh Sojourners fellowship, and the Social Justice Collective of Judah.
Correction to press release
I have to pause here and mention that the above press release is a little bit inaccurate. It is 98 per cent correct, but a few names have actually been changed. The real press release was put out May 17, 2011, and it featured this headline: “Pastors to host readings from the Qur’an at churches across the country to display respect and combat anti-Muslim bigotry.”
Aside from that, the two press releases are basically the same. A group of 50 churches in 26 US states has committed to participate in this event, and it is being taken quite seriously by many. Needless to say, I find this entire initiative absolutely incomprehensible from the standpoint of biblical Christianity.
Just as Elijah and others were quite happy to use satire and irony to rail against the false religions and idolaters of the day, there may be a need to do so again today. I am utterly staggered that these so-called Christian pastors have even countenanced such foolishness.
Indeed, what will they do next month? Read atheist works from the pulpits? Invite Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris in to give the sermons? I can just see the headline for this: “Pastors to host readings from Dawkins and Harris at churches across the country to display respect and combat anti-atheist bigotry.”
And then the following month they can bring in drug dealers, pimps, abortionists, and paedophiles. After all, Christians have given these folks a bad name over the years as well. In condemning their activities and lifestyles we have obviously failed to show Christian love and compassion to them, so we need to repent, and show our solidarity with all these guys.
Better yet, if we really want to demonstrate how serious we are about all this, why don’t we just allow our churches to be turned into mosques, or witch covens, or shooting galleries, or brothels, or New Age havens, or gay discos, or crack houses? Why all these half-hearted measures in interfaith dialogue? Let’s just go the whole hog and get it over with.
Indeed, since some folks are clearly intent on putting up the white flag of surrender, why don’t we just renounce our allegiance to Jesus Christ altogether, and tell the whole world that all religious systems are equally true and equally pleasing to God – whoever or whatever we consider him/her/it to be.
Hey what’s the diff if we proclaim Jesus is Lord, or Muhammad is Lord, or Dawkins is Lord, or Lady Gaga is Lord, or Bart Simpson is Lord? The main thing is that we all just get along, isn’t it? One big happy family – that’s what we want. No more evangelism. No more proselytising. No more divisive theology. Let’s just build one big modern ecumenical Tower of Babel. Surely that is something God is in full favour of.