Monday, September 9, 2019

Michael Jones’ Sermon: My Response



I read with interest Michael Jones’ sermons from Shrine Mont, particularly in light of Dysfunctional Bob’s impending retirement. And while I agree with much of what he says, particularly his remarks about the importance of being positive, I want to rebut the underlying premises behind his sermons.

Specifically, Grace church is not a wonderful place. Bob Malm is not a wonderful priest. And God is not on the church’s side.
  • Jesus was very clear in offering choice words for clergy who are hypocrites and who interfere with the faith of others. 
  • The Bible is very clear about bearing false witness—as in Bob Malm’s perjury, done in writing, under oath, in front of parishioners, and with legal counsel involved.
  • Jesus would have no use for a church that thinks it’s okay to try to drag a drying woman into court. 
  • God does not approve of the deliberate misuse of memorial donations. 
  • God is outraged when Bob Malm pushes Mike out of the Christian faith, after being received into The Episcopal Church only 18 months earlier.
  • God is not okay with a church where members are so morally bereft as to think it’s okay to urge others to commit suicide.
Nor did Dysfunctional Bob and Sugarland Chiow act in isolation. They acted with the approval of the vestry and a family system that allows, permits, and endorses such conduct. And one can understand the real motives and values of the parish by examining these behaviors and actions, for Jesus is clear: “By their fruits you shall know them.”

In the case of Mike Jones, he and others who wash their hands of these issues offer tacit, if not explicit, endorsement. They are hypocrites of the first order, modern-day Scribes and Pharisees. Turning a blind eye to evil is itself evil. Or as Desmond Tutu says:

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

I would add that if you say the elephant is great, wonderful, and doing an awesome job, the mouse will not only be ticked, he will think that you are a liar, a bully, and an enabler. And if you are an organization that makes that claim, the mouse likely will conclude that you are an organizational narcissist.

Meanwhile, Michael Jones conveniently ignores Fanny Belanger’s abrupt resignation, two years early, for “personal reasons.” We all know the real reasons for that, and sweeping the matter under the rug does not help anyone.

Further, even if everything Bob Malm claims is true, and it certainly is not, nothing justifies bullying Mike, lying under oath aka perjury, or trying to drag a dying woman into court. 

Nothing.