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Doctrine in dialogue format
POPINJAY FINDS A CHURCH
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall
In today's episode we find Peacock conversing with Popinjay regarding the day's events. Listen:
"It is indeed Mr Peacock. And might I say you look quite erudite in your panoply of accouterments as well."
"I thank you Mr Popinjay. Is that a proper word you used in your description of me Mr Popinjay?"
"Does it matter Mr Peacock? It sounds nice, does it not?"
"It does indeed Mr Popinjay. Please, dismiss my inquiry. And I supercede it with yet another. What, may I inquire is the special occasion you alluded to but a moment ago? Might it be of interest to me as well?"
"I do believe it would Mr Peacock. As you are so fully aware, I have been catering to the notion of attending a religious establishment, strictly for the sociability of the gathering you understand."
"Most certainly Mr Popinjay. And how goes the search? Has it to do with the point of our discussion perchance?"
"It does indeed Mr Peacock. Today I ventured into just such a said establishment, a rather elegant domicile in a simplistic way, yet sufficiently fitting someone of our exceptional esteem."
"A most needful requirement Mr Popinjay. Do go on. I find your eloquent portrayal of the event most absorbing."
"I do have a way about me, do I not Mr Peacock? Thank you for noticing. Yes in deed, the accouterments of the establishments I found most abhorrent."
"Another interesting word Mr Popinjay. And how did you find the people Mr Popinjay?"
"I just opened the door, and there they were. Oh, but aren't I a witty one though? I just couldn't resist the opportunity for a bit of jocularity. You do understand I'm sure."
"I do indeed Mr Popinjay. And a wit you certainly are. And upon finding these people for which you searched, were they receptive to one of your ilk? Did they hold you in the esteem the which you are entitled?"
"I do believe they did Mr Peacock. I was afforded the most gracious of hospitality. Indeed. There was great effort expended to cause one and all to feel comfortable and self-satisfied in every aspect with no sense of judgementalism or condemnation in any form"
"We then have gracious hospitality and appropriate accouterments, certainly a fine beginning. But what of the requirements to join said organization? Is there no rit of initiation? And what of financial support such as dues? I would not like to be placed in a humiliating or pecuniary deficit."
"Nor would I Mr Peacock. And to assure this possibility was not in question, I interrogated the man of the cloth about just such matters. He assured me I need not contribute if I should be so inclined, nor is there any rit of passage but that of what he called baptism. In his own words, I, that is we, are accepted just as we are. Howbeit there is one bit of a snag, if I may be so vulgar as to use such a word. In order to receive full benefit of said organization one must partake of a dip in a pool or have a spoonful of water sprinkled upon his head, the rit of passage aforto mentioned. For myself, I do believe I veer toward the sprinkle. He also added that a word or two of what he called a confession of faith would be appreciated. But if I understand correctly, this is something that accompanies the baptismal process as already described."
"As would I Mr Popinjay, that is, prefer the sprinkling over the dip. However, I was baptized as a mere tad of a lad, so I am beyond that stumbling block to admittance."
"As am I Mr Peacock. At least, so I have been informed by my mater. I therefore assume that I have also provided the additional proviso of confession of faith. Although I can not imagine that such confession could have been more than a whine and a gurgle vouchsafing the messing of one's diapers."
"An understandable understanding I must say Mr Popinjay. Thus we have consolidated our rit of passage. But tell me Mr Popinjay, what of beliefs? Is there no manual that must be set to memory, or a credenda one must follow in order to take part in said organization?"
"Indeed there is Mr Peacock. The man in charge provided me with all that is needed to be known in order to fully understand the complexities of said organization, the which I have with me this very moment, if you would like to peruse the document."
"I would indeed Mr Popinjay. You say you have it with you? May I see it?"
"Certainly my good man, just as soon as I locate.... Ah, here it is. On this card is everything you need to know about the church and its beliefs. By accepting these words as our own set of beliefs all the power of God Himself becomes our own."
"Do I understand you correctly Mr Popinjay? On this tiny list all the requirements required by God Himself is stated? And what of the Bible Mr Popinjay? Is the reading and believing of it also demanded of us if we should decide to grace this establishment with our attendance?"
"As I understand it Mr Peacock, the Bible is secondary of importance to what is written on this card. To believe anything other than what is printed here is to be doomed to an eternity in hell. This card holds truth Mr Peacock. This is the one vital requirement as I have been led to understand it."
"What you have said seems to me to be simple enough, and within my realm of acceptance. But first might I ask you this Mr Popinjay, is this by any chance what is known in respectable circles as a cult? I understand that they are inclined to place their own set of beliefs and manifestos above that of the Bible as does this organization you have found. Is this perchance a cult? Not that it matters you understand, but I inquire in order to satisfy my own curiosity."
"No indeed Mr Peacock. This is not a cult, although I can easily understand your misapplied perception. This is a highly respected segment of the traditional churches. You need not concern yourself on that point Mr Peacock. No indeed."
"I must say Mr Popinjay, I am experiencing a tingle of anticipation within my person. I do believe you have touched my arena of acceptance. But I have yet one more question, if I may be so bold. You spoke earlier of the benefits of full membership of said organization. What might these benefits consist of?"
"I'm glad you inquired Mr Peacock. I have been assured by the man of the cloth that all members in good standing will be in possession of full access to all the blessings God bestows upon His children, which we will be upon entrance into said establishment. And when we pass this mortal coil we will instantaneously and assuredly be whisked into Heaven where we will live forever in a great golden mansion. So, what do you say Mr Peacock? Shall we partake of this experience?"
"I do believe you have persuaded me Mr Popinjay. The rewards are no more than deserving one of our caliber of course, considering our high degree of achievement and our status in society. And the comradery of others, although certainly beneath us, might be found acceptable, and even profitable if given the right circumstances. Yes, Mr Popinjay. I do believe I will accept your suggested venture. Lock arms with me and we will sashay to this find you have made and offer them our congratulations for being so fortunate as to have two such fine fellows as you and I grace the roles of membership, shall we?"
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