By Bill Britton
MYSTERY BABYLON DENOMINATION
Rev. Saul Paul
Dear Mr. Paul:
I have your application for missionary appointment before
me, and will be as frank as possible concerning your qualifications as a
foreign missionary. We have to be very careful in choosing our missionaries,
and our Missions Board has reviewed your case thoroughly. We have decided that
it would be unwise to send you to the foreign field for the following reasons:
1. It has come to our attention that you are doing secular
work on the side. We do not feel that making tents and full time ministry go together very well. It seems that you do
not have enough experience in trusting the Lord for your income. You should
make up your mind whether you want to preach or continue your profession.
2. Your previous actions have been very rash and unseemly
for a minister. We learned that in a public meeting you opposed Dr. Simon
Peter, an esteemed minister with a high reputation. We also hear that you
argued so violently with some of our ministers that a special council meeting
had to be called at Jerusalem
to prevent a serious split in the churches. We frown on such radicalism. For
your own good, I am enclosing a copy of Daius Carnegus book on How
to Win Jews and Influence Greeks.
3. We understand that you do not agree with all the points
in our constitution and by-laws, and do not even believe in all our doctrines.
In checking back, we discovered your Christian education consisted of a three
year course in Arabia. We find that the
Arabian school has not been approved by our accreditation board and we hear
that there are some strange unknown doctrines being taught in that school. We
also hear a rumor that; you are a snake handler. Such a reputation could only
hurt the true cause of Christ and the Church. We don't have all the details on
that episode at Melita, but we understand you claimed
immunity to harm from snake bites through a promise of Christ. It has come to
the attention also that you preach much about the Power of God, and the
gifts of the Spirit. Also that you speak in tongues a great deal. Surely
you realize that such as this only drives off the better class of people, and
attracts only the riff-raff. It would be better to tone down those more
sensational forms of worship. You sound as though you are off the deep end, and it has been proven to our satisfaction that
you had hands laid on you at Antioch
with prophecy going forth, with none of the Apostles or Headquarters brethren
present to conduct this ordination service in the prescribed manner. You must
remember that prophecy is a dangerous thing unless handled properly, and we
fear that you are associated with that so
called New Order of the Early Rain. Stay away from that brand; it could
ruin your ministry.
4. We see here that you have a jail record in several
places. If this is true, it puts you in a bad light, for our denomination has
always stood for a high standard of holiness, and I fear it would damage our
reputation to have someone representing us that had served time in jails and
prisons. Frankly, Mr. Paul, we seriously doubt you could have been innocent and
the judge wrong in so many cases. It just doesnt look right.
5. It seems that you are a trouble maker Mr. Paul. Several
business men of Ephesus
have written us that you were the cause of severe loss of business to them and
even stirred mob violence. You must learn to cultivate the friendship and
influence of men such as these. We also have some details of a lurid over-the-wall-in-a-basket episode at Damascus, plus a stoning
at Lystra, and several other violent actions taken
against your ministry. Havent you ever suspected that conciliatory behavior
and gentler words might gain you more friends? We have never condoned such
sensationalism in the ministry. This is just not the type of ministers that we
send out. We have learned through channels that following some trouble with a preacher
on the island of Cyprus, you had to change your name.
This does not seem to us to be conduct becoming to the ministry.
6. You admitted in your application that in the past you
neglected such needy fields as Bithynia,
just because the Spirit didn't lead that
way, and that you undertook a hazardous journey on the strength of a dream
you had at Troas. Mr. Paul, surely you dont
expect us to go along with such flimsy and fantastic excuses for your seemingly
purposeless wanderings. Many times you did not stay long enough, in our
opinion, to get a church established. You left your converts many times without
even a pastor to guide them, and without setting the church in order in some
good fundamental denomination. We hear also from Troas that you preach too
long, one sermon lasting almost twenty-four hours, even to the extent that a
young man fell asleep and was seriously injured. We understand that you claim
to have restored his life and raised him from the dead by falling on him and
embracing him. What nonsense! If the man was injured, you should have called in
a competent physician and had a rigid physical examination made. And instruct
the church to carry sufficient liability insurance to take care of a situation
like that. We need practical men in the ministry, Mr. Paul, not high strung
emotional radicals. Our advice is for you to shorten your sermons considerably.
We find that about twenty minutes is the longest a minister can hold the
attention of his audience these days. Our motto is Stand up, speak up, and shut up.
7. We understand from your own home church that you could not get along with your fellow ministers,
that John Mark, a commendable young man and nephew of one of our leading
ministers, had to leave your party in the middle of a journey, and that you had
a violent quarrel with gentle, good-natured Barnabas. Now these men are well
thought of in Jerusalem,
and we wonder why you are always having trouble with your fellow workers? We
have notarized affidavits from three fine brethren, Diotrephes,
Demas, and Alexander, to the effect that it is impossible for them to
co-operate with either you or your program. From what we hear, you seem to have
a self-exalted spirit, boasting about your revelations and that God has chosen
you to reveal some new Mystery.
Cant you realize that any new truth that is to be revealed would come through Headquarters to the recognized,
more mature brethren, and that after it had been checked by our Procedure and
Doctrine Committee that we would pass it on to the ministry? On top of all
that, we hear that you are claiming to be an Apostle. We know nothing of this
being passed upon by the proper authoritative channels, and wonder how you
could back that claim up, when the last Apostle was voted into office right here in Jerusalem. That is a dangerous doctrine Mr.
Paul, and I advise you to forget it.
As you see, Mr. Paul, we feel definitely after close
scrutiny of your case, that you are undoubtedly the most unqualified applicant
we have ever seen, and my advice for you is to find a church where you can work
in harmony, and use your past education as perhaps a Sunday school teacher. I
hope I have prevented you from making a terrible mistake in your life.
Most sincerely yours,
J. Flavios Fluffyhead