Did anyone 'get' you for April Fool's Day? My brother 'got' me by telling me our planned trip to Melbourne after Easter to go to the Melbourne Comedy Festival had been cancelled. I bought it hook, line and sinker.
A couple of young women in my class told their mothers they were getting married. One even said she was pregnant. I think, at these times of the year, I am just a bit too nice.
The sort of comedy I enjoy is the sort produced by Christian writer Adrian Plass. Adrian Plass came to my attention in the late 1980's with his book The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass. Here was a Christian writer sending himself up - believe me that's a rarity.
Plass is funny, humble and a good writer. I have read nearly all of his books and I never fail to be amused and entertained. He is like a breath of fresh air into the mass of Christian literature.
His latest offering Bacon Sandwiches and Salvation is no exception. It is an alphabeticised guide to Christianity. Short pieces which is good for my current scatty concentration span.
I will share my two favourite excerpts, with a little commentary for those who aren't familiar with the Christian subculture.
"Doctrine the things that I believe, not to be confused with heresy, which is the things other people believe."
Each church has its particular doctrinal slant. In my case I go to a Presbyterian church. Their slant, if you like, is predestination. They are inclined to, in layman's terms, focus on 'God directing everything' rather than humans having personal choice.
My father's family are Quakers. Their doctrinal slant is peace. They do not believe in war or violent conflict for any reason. They emphasise verses like 'Blessed are the peacemakers' etc.
The church where I became a Christian is a Pentecostal church. They emphasise spiritual gifts or supernatural gifts such as prophecy and speaking in tongues.
These slants are, I think, quite fine but, unfortunately, they have led to accusations of 'heresy' and outbreaks of hatred and conflict. This, really, goes against the teachings of Jesus.
If we can laugh at these things we will, hopefully, both minimise and appreciate these differences.
Now for the second quote: "Old Testament The part of the Christian Bible containing the Scriptures of the Hebrews. Must, of course, be regarded as inerrant, infallible and a guide to daily living. That is whuy modern churches regularly take their disobedient teenagers out and stone them..."
Yeah, it does say in the Bible that parents can have their kids stoned for unrelenting disobedience. Nowdays the stoning would be murder and child abuse and the offending parent would be jailed for a very long time. Really makes you think doesn't it? How times change.
In Australia now parents aren't even allowed to hit their children, although many do. How do you think modern Christians should deal with these sorts of passages? Any ideas would be welcome. I'm sure I don't know the answer.
The fact that this is humourous underlines, I think, that know one knows what to do with these sorts of passages.
Anyway happy April Fool's Day.