Sunday, September 18
We all know that if someone is carrying a rain umbrella, it will not rain. In fact, even if one person in a large group is carrying an umbrella, and no one else is, it will still not rain. You might say, that One person carries the umbrella to save us all from rain.
Ah, but how to apply that salvation from rain to each individual member of the party?
Calvin would say that it is simply enough to believe that the One is carrying the umbrella.
Luther would largely agree, yet he would insist on being constantly reassured that the One is really, in fact, carrying the umbrella.
Catholics, on the other hand, would each carry their own paper cocktail umbrella, fully realizing that the paper party umbrellas would never protect them from actual rain, yet convinced that they are to imitate the One carrying the umbrella, and suspecting that, on some level, all of them carrying their small umbrellas together adds to the infinite dryness already won by the One.
Orthodox Christians believe the same thing as Catholics, except with fancier Greek words. And they don’t replace the little paper umbrellas when the paper tears off; they keep using the same ones anyway.
Evangelicals get really excited about telling EVERYONE about how DRY they’ll become if they just believe that the One is carrying the umbrella, but secretly everyone else in the group wonders when these guys have any time to actually appreciate the dryness.
20th Century Mainsteam Liberal Protestants are glad they are dry, but they rather resent that everyone who doesn’t believe that the One is carrying the umbrella gets rained on. They try to explain this away by emphazing that, when it rains, the humidity in the air renders everyone somehow wet, and the space between rain drops renders everyone somehow dry: but the people under the umbrella have the gift of more aptly appreciating their dryness.
Critical scholars analyze both the umbrella and the rain at the molecular level. Seeing the small size of the water atoms and the spaces between the umbrella's fabric, they sincerely doubt that the umbrella would really even keep its original Holder dry. The suggestion that others who believe the Holder is holding the umbrella will themselves be spared rain is clearly a result of the community dealing with the frustrated promises of dryness given on the package in which the umbrella originally came.