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"Windy City News"

A Poem by Tom Graffagnino

"Perhaps our greatest problem today is that we have the greatest respect for Christianity...We just don't believe it."—John Senior

"But we are not eager to have them [Southern Baptists] come into this community to proselytize. We have a very good but fragile balance among innumerable religious entities here."—United Methodist Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, Chicago Area Conference, (Nov. 30, 1999)

"My Christology 'from below' interprets the deity of Christ, unique and normative, as resulting from a radical trust relationship in and through which the very heart of God, the essence of deity, was made manifest in Jesus of Nazareth."—UM Bishop, C. Joseph Sprague, 1997

"Jesus was a religious seeker who focused on God and not himself as a messiah. It was the church that made Jesus messiah."—UM Bishop, C. Joseph Sprague, 1997

"Windy City News"

Dear Lord, we have heard,
That your message is blurred,
In the town that gave us Capone.
There your Word is found hostile,
And what passes for gospel,
Is a message You would never condone.

Up Lake Michigan way,
There's a new way to pray,
To a Jesus who isn't Eternal.
You're demoted in rank,
A theological prank,
From the 'master of lies' most infernal.

In the City that's Windy,
We hear teaching that's trendy...
"Christology done from below"...
Where there's no Virgin Birth,
And I think, "How on earth,
Can our 'leaders', Lord, scoff at you so!?"

There the "gospel of nice",
Is said to suffice;
The world's "truths" we now
Comfortably blend.
It's so neat and so "pleasey"
Go out now and "speakeasy"....
After all, we don't want to offend.

Just like Bonnie and Clyde,
We're along for the ride,
Shooting holes in your Good News so dear.
With tommy guns blazing,
'Til your Grace ain't Amazing,
And the Truth's made more cloudy,
Than clear.

It's a real "inside job",
By this spiritual mob,
Who slipped in,
And are casin' the joint.
It's the "Godfather -thing",
An ecclesial "sting"...
Even "goddesses" now we anoint.

Now we ride a new "El",
With this gospel from hell.
We look down on Your Word once complete.
What we see now's perversion....
And conversion aversion,
As the "gangstas of luv",
Prowl the street.

Bootleg Bibles are out,
For the less than devout,
It's a deal that "you just can't refuse".
It's by skeptical scholars,
And Biblical maulers,
Guaranteed to amuse and confuse.

Called "The Bible of Fiction",
(For Avoiding Conviction)....
It's produced for massive appeal.
This Scriptural heist,
Is quite reasonably priced....
In fact, you might say it's a "steal".

This rendition is great....
No Matthew 28!
It's replaced with:  "Can't we get along?"
Thus the Lord's Great Commission,
Is now "The Bishop's Omission",
First dreamed up by Crossan and Spong.

Forgive us, dear Lord,
For this dullness of Sword,
And for leaders asleep on the wall.
Your watchmen deserted,
The flock's being converted,
To the Way of the World, after all.

"....There are many accommodating preachers, and too many practitioners in the church who are not believers. Jesus did not say, 'Go into all the world and tell the world that it is quite right.' The gospel is something completely different. In fact, it is directly opposed to the world."—C.S. Lewis

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage---with great patience and careful instruction, for the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." (2 Timothy 4: 2,3)

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28: 19,20)

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