In his fourth encyclical, Pope William I, spiritual head of the Church of Self Actualization, discusses the importance of “Christian Charity” and “Doing Unto Others” as long as there is a “Buck to be Made.”
ENCYCLICAL THE FOURTH
CARING FOR THE SICK
Remember in 2010 when one silent protestor, a man with Parkinson’s disease, sat down on a curb in front of a large group of enraged Tea Party protestors? He held a sign saying, “Got Parkinson’s? I do. You might, too. Thanks for your help.”
This made the Tea Partiers very, very angry. One fellow can be seen on a video telling this silent gentleman, “You came to the wrong side of town if you’re looking for a handout, fella.” Another, subsequently identified as Christopher Reichart, said something about “starting a collection” for the gentleman and threw a dollar bill at him. He has since apologized.
But this act in Columbus, Ohio in March 2010 showed the true heart of these “God Fearing Christians” who want to “take back America” and make it a “Christian Nation, like our Founders intended.
”They actually SAY that, while holding signs that read, “Your health, your problem.
”Now, we’ve all seen the traditional translations of the Good Book that call explicitly for taking care of the sick and elderly. But that was the OLD Bible, not the NEWLY REVEALED Word of God. I’ll just bet that this NEW version of the Holy Scripture takes a Tea Party point of view. Let’s take a look.
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who take care of sheep from other flocks! Should not shepherds take care of their OWN flock? 3 You can’t eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals from other flocks, so you should not be required to take care of flocks other than your own! 4 If you have strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured of anyone not related to you, consider yourselves rebuked. Ezekiel 34:1-4 (Tea Party Version – TPV)
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people for a reasonable fee. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them provided they had private insurance or could demonstrate adequate means to pay. Matthew 4:23-24 (TPV)
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Seeing an opportunity to make some money, Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Hands off the threads, Grandma,” he said, “you’ll get blood all over me.” 23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region. Jesus turned to the father and said, “You’ll get the bill. If she drops dead again in 30 days, you’ll know there was a problem with your check.” Matthew 9:18-26 (TPV)
1 When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 “How highly does he ‘value’ this servant,” Jesus asked. “I mean, if there’s any funny business going on, I’m gonna keep walking.” He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “Lookee here! An IMPORTANT guy. Go there. Come here. Do this. Do that. Tell you what, Mr. Important Centurion, go check your servant.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant dead. “NOW who’s the important guy,” Jesus said. Luke 7:1-10 (TPV)
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And bring your checkbooks. Oil isn’t free and neither is health care. James 5:14 (TPV)
31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” 32 He replied, “Go tell that asshole, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal or their money runs out’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! At least, that’s what I’ve heard. Luke 13:31-33 (TPV)
But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. See what happens when you mock God’s messengers? Eh? Do you? 2 Chronicles 36:16-17 (TPV)
25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. You do not need a government agency to make sure it’s pure. I will take away sickness from among you who are properly insured, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span. Just sign here, where it says “signature” and this policy will be in full effect. Then, I’ll need a check for your first month’s premium. Exodus 23:25-26 (TPV)
The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. 13 However, it was discovered that he had foot problems in the past, rendering this current problem a pre-existing condition. Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors. Too bad for King Asa. He should have taken better care of his feet. 2 Chronicles 16:11-13 (TPV)
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. Jesus said, “Anybody else I need to heal around here to get a bite to eat?” Mark 1:29-31
12And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. Which was hard to do with his face laying there in the dirt after having fallen off his skull from the impact.13And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, Whatever: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. 14And he charged him the standard rate for leprosy cleansing and ordered him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 15The leper, like all lepers, was a liar of course and he spread the word about Jesus against his explicit orders so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. “What am I, a Free Clinic?” Jesus asked. And never again did he perform a miraculous healing off the books. Luke 5:12-15
9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 11 He said to them, “If any of you see a shekel laying on the road on the Sabbath, would you not bend over to pick it up? 12 I get 30 shekels per miracle! Therefore it is lawful to make a buck on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. “That will be 30 shekels,” Jesus said. “You have 30 days to pony up, or the hand turns back into a claw.” Peter wrote down an address for the man so he could send the payment. Matthew 12:9-13
11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, an apparent dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, wake up, get your ass off the bier and your sandals on the ground! I have no patience for slackers!” 15 The “dead” man sat up and began to apologize, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. The mother reached into her purse to pay Jesus, and he said, “This one’s on me. I hate slackers.”16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. Luke 7:11-17
24 A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’”32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “30 drachmas for the healing, you sneaky hag! An extra 5 drachmas to get my cloak cleaned. Peter? John? Collect from the nice lady.” And collect they did, but this time her bleeding stopped in a matter of hours. Mark 5:24-34
49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” 50 Hearing this and not wanting to miss out on his potential fee, Jesus said to Jairus, “Let’s go have a look anyway.” 51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 “Feed your damn kids every once in awhile and this will stop happening,” he told them. Her parents were astonished and gave Jesus his standard fee, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened, which of course they did because here it is, in the Bible. Luke 8:49-56
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You people,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” He rolled his eyes and exhaled a deep sigh. “Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Are you doubting me, brother?”24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Jesus grabbed him by the tunic. “Either you believe or you don’t. Which is it? Which is it?” He shook the man until he urinated.25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he smoothed the man’s tunic and told the crowd he had just healed the man’s kidney stone problem. Then, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of the boy and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. “That will be 30 drachmas. And another 5 for my tunic.” He lightly clasped the father’s cloak. “I think you got some urine on my tunic when I was ‘healing’ you. You saw that, right?” The father nodded his head in frantic, fearful agreement.28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “Because you are idiots.” Mark 9:14-29
10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. He collected his standard fee and sent her on her way. 14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” 15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Is there one of you who would see a drachma on the ground on the Sabbath and not bend over to pick it up? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” 17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing. Matthew nudged Luke and said, “When I write about this, I’m gonna say it was some guy with a withered hand. You write whatever you want.” Luke 13:10-17
And there you have it. In our next get-together, I’ll have a thing or two to say on the subject of Miracles and Parables. Don’t miss it!