Thursday, 27 March 2008
The Devil's Beatitudes
Here are the "devil's beatitudes":
Blessed are they who are too tired and busy to assemble with the church on Sunday; for they are my best workers.
Blessed are they who are bored with the minister's mannerisms and mistakes; for they get nothing out of the sermon.
Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church; for he is important to me.
Blessed are they who do not meet with the church on Sunday; for they cause the world to say, "The church is failing."
Blessed are they who are easily offended; for they get angry and quit.
Blessed are they who do not give to carry on God's work and missions; for they are my helpers.
Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother; for he will be with me forever.
Blessed are the trouble-makers; for they shall be called the children of the devil.
Blessed is he who has not time to pray; for he shall be easy prey for me.
Incidentally, the right version, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is as follows:
Matthew 5:3-11 (The Message)
You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.