Breaking News: Ass-saddling is not worship

Apologies in advance, but I could not resist.

For reasons that I cannot adequately explain, I still subscribe to a number of CoC listservs and church bulletins. Daily, weekly and monthly, as the case may be, I receive generous servings of the various peculiar CoC doctrines.   Most of the time these publications just raise my blood pressure; occasionally I get a chuckle. I suppose, if I am honest, I also find myself occasionally challenged or enlightened. (It’s not all bad.) However, one recent article from the monthly bulletin of the Ellettsville (Indiana) Church of Christ (whose building cornerstone reads, I kid you not, “Established AD 33”)  sent me laughing out loud while rolling on the floor.

Just have a look at the September Issue.

Apparently, Ellettsville’s preacher – don’t you dare call him pastor – John Issac Edwards is upset that some people view one’s whole life as an act of worship. To prove that worship is limited to only a few choice actions (which he would probably define as praying, hymn-singing and listening to his mindless sermons) John Issac turns to the extremely creepy and more-than-a-bit disconcerting story of Abraham’s God-ordered attempted murder of Issac. Edwards writes:

When Abraham was called upon to offer Isaac, he “rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you” (Gen. 22:3-5). If everything is worship, early-rising, ass-saddling, taking, wood-cleaving, rising up, lifting up eyes, seeing, and saying was worship. These were not worship, since worship was “yonder.”

Aside from the shallow logic of this article, I think we can all agree that if you find yourself using the phrase ‘ass-saddling’ in your church bulletin, it is time to shelve the KJV and use, oh say, any other translation!


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