Follow the Prophet, Don’t Go Astray?

So I found myself sitting in nursery this past Sunday watching my 2 year old son play around and saw Ursula reincarnate.  Not really, but certainly the thought came to mind more than a few times.  For those who try and break free from the corporate church, and its teachings, primary is often referred to as one of the last few bastions where the gospel is still pure and simple, where the teachings still focus on and about Christ.

I had that in mind as the scene played out in front of me.  I’m not sure if it’s a churchwide program that our unit (nice, I just called it a unit – very correlated) has been following with what primary songs they sing and when, but ours has been on a program which has been focusing on the infamous (to me, at least) primary song:  Follow The Prophet.  It would be safe to say that chills nearly run up and down my spine when forced to listen to that song, for reasons I’ll try and discuss.  But these aren’t ones that I enjoy.  Probably more like fingernails going down a chalkboard.

A few weeks (months?) back the primary president gave me a CD of the primary songs the primary was working on so that I could pass it along to my wife who could then listen to those songs as we drove with the kids in the car.  Problem is, it’s only a 5-track CD and one of those tracks is “Follow the Prophet.”  So somehow – and I promise it was an honest mistake – the CD was misplaced for a couple of weeks before my wife finally found it.  I’ve managed to skip that track a few times while present, but so far the inundation of that song at church is beyond my control.  Unfortunately.

A few years back, I overheard my nephew singing that song by memory and thought about how cool it was that he had learned such an inspiring song.  Now, I’ll be damned if my kids sing it.  Shows just how far I’ve fallen.

Seeds of Dislike

So, why my particular dislike for this particular song?  Well, it’s not quite as simple as you might guess, though it really is.  Sound confusing, or at least a bit muddy?  Good.  Now we’re getting somewhere.

My dislike probably had origination with the whole “the prophet will never, indeed cannot, lead us astray” meme.  Though even that is a tenuous link.  It really is just one of those things that happened, and really happened overnight more or less.  Whereas before (as in the case of my nephew mentioned above) I found it entirely beneficial, and probably inspiring, to sing such a song, now I can’t stomach it.

I did a simple search on google using the terms, “Follow the prophet” and found a few worthwhile links which will help reinforce this point, and it’s a point I labor with at home as well.  We’ve been taught by many that the Lord will still bless us if we do what the prophet tells us, even if he’s wrong.  We’ve been taught for 120+ years that our church leaders simply cannot lead us astray – try as they might.

This is recorded by Marion Romney and repeated in Ezra Benson’s Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet (a talk which is difficult to find anything within to agree with):

President Marion G. Romney tells of this incident, which happened to him: I remember years ago when I was a Bishop I had President [Heber J.] Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home….Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: “My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.” Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.” [In Conference Report, October 1), p. 78]

Blind obedience is required – check your coat (and free will) at the door.

Primary Revisited

So, just what are we teaching our primary aged children, and younger?  Well, taking a couple of the verses of the song might elucidate the conversation, if only slightly:

Adam was a prophet, first one that we know.
In a place called Eden, he helped things to grow.
Adam served the Lord by following his ways.
We are his descendants in the latter days.

Enoch was a prophet; he taught what was good.
People in his city did just what they should.
When they were so righteous that there was no sin,
Heav’nly Father took them up to live with him.

Noah was a prophet called to preach the word,
Tried to cry repentance, but nobody heard.
They were busy sinning-Noah preached in vain.
They wished they had listened when they saw the rain.

Abraham the prophet prayed to have a son,
So the Lord sent Isaac as the chosen one.
Isaac begat Jacob, known as Israel;
Jacob’s sons were twelve tribes, so Bible tells.

Moses was a prophet sent to Israel.
He would lead them to the Promised Land to dwell.
They were slow to follow, or so it appears.
They were in the wilderness for forty years.

It might not appear so “slow,” if you step back and realize that we’re now treading on 180 years of wandering in our own wilderness, awaiting the redemption of Zion and our own promised land.  The problem then becomes, though, what happens when the term “promised land” gets redefined by the same church that has been wandering aimlessly, or nearly so, in regards to Zion?

For example, at this past summer’s commencement speech, Whitney Clayton gave a speech on the promised land.  Though I, as of yet, have been unable to find the transcript of the speech to ascertain the entire message he intended to give, we’re given a few snippets in the LDS Church News.  These tidbits suggest that (a) the land of promise is, today, merely a way of life, “not a place like it was in the Old Testament,” (b) the “promised land” usually isn’t a place – “it’s found wherever an individual is at the moment,” and (c) today’s college graduates are “cross[ing] a modern Red Sea or River Joran, as you graduate from BYU and move one – no generation has been better trained or more richly prepared for its future.”  Better trained and “richly” prepared?  To do what, presactly?  To continue building up and sustaining Babylon, or to actually redeem Zion?  Based on the text of the talk I’ve been able to read, it leaves little doubt – we’re to continue our toils in Babylon, seeking for our land of milk and honey and, not so coincidentally, riches.

Daniel was a prophet. He refused to sin;
So the king threw Daniel in the lion’s den.
Angels calmed the lions, and the king soon saw
Daniel’s pow’r was great, for he obeyed God’s law.

Here’s an interesting conundrum:  was Daniel’s power great because he obeyed the law, or did Daniel really have any power at all?  And, did he refuse to sin, or did you merely listen to the spirit in doing what he did?  Granted, a song – especially a primary song – has got to rhyme, so we should probably grant the author a little leeway, but still, who here is exactly comfortable with the lessons being taught here?

Now we have a world where people are confused.
If you don’t believe it, go and watch the news.
We can get direction all along our way,
If we heed the prophets-follow what they say

Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; don’t go astray.
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet he knows the way.

Here, really, is the crux of the song.  The last verse talks about the troubled times we live in – which we’re constantly being reminded of – but then it takes a turn for the worse, much worse.  Instead of reinforcing the idea that we should seek to get answers directly from the Lord, as is evidenced in several of the verses of this song, we’re redirected into a belief that we need to follow what they say.

Verse 1:  Adam served the Lord by following His ways.

Verse 2:  Enoch leads his people in righteousness.

Verse 3:  Noah was called, as an individual, to preach the word.

Verse 4:  Abraham prayed and received individual revelation.

Verse 5:  Moses was called, as an individual, by God to lead the people.

Verse 6:  Samuel answered, as an individual, “Here I am!”

Verse 7:  Jonah learned to listen.

Verse 8:  Daniel disobeyed the laws of the land and prayed.

Verse 9:  Now we’re confused, and we need someone else to tell us what to do.

Alternate Ending

So, the next time you listen to that song, perhaps we could think of this alternate ending that some seem to like:

Now we have a prophet, in the latter-day,
He is here to guide us in so many ways.
If we choose to follow all that he may say,
We will have the Spirit with us every day.

alternate ending verse for the primary song “Follow the Prophet”

Perhaps even worse than the first couple of verses, now we’re told that if we follow all that the current prophet says, we will have the Spirit with us every day.  That, of course, gets back to the whole blind obedience argument.  Blind obedience, though, has never been taught in the church, or so Joseph F. Smith stated back in 1892.

“Not a man in this Church, since the Prophet Joseph Smith down to the present day, has ever asked any man to do as he was told blindly. No Prophet of God, no Apostle, no President of a Stake, no Bishop, who has had the spirit of his office and calling resting upon him, has ever asked a soul to do anything that they might not know was right and the proper thing to do. We do not ask you to do anything that you may not know it is your duty to do, or that you may not know will be a blessing for you to do.” (Joseph F. Smith, Collected Discourses, ed. Brian H. Stuy, Vol. 3 (Burbank, B.H.S. Publishing 1987-1992).)

If only he’d waited a few years, his eventual successor, Heber J. Grant, he’d have heard this very thing taught to the members.  Quoting, once again, Marion Romney:

“Standing by me, [Heber J. Grant] put his arm over my shoulder and said: “My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.” Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.” [In Conference Report, October 1), p. 78]

It really is shocking, to me at least, when you look at it this way.  Perhaps it’s true that the culture is so screwed up that they’d benefit from a prophet coming amongst us to tell us to repent, or await the certain destruction that’s coming.  Perhaps it’s true we need an outside voice.  That’s fine.  But, how about we draw the line somewhere?  Perhaps we could draw that line at – oh, I don’t know – Follow the Savior, He Knows the Way.

That’s what is so bizarre about this song.  Where it could be good, it falls measurably short.  Where it could teach kids to follow the Savior, it teaches them to rely on the arm of flesh.

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” (D&C 6:36.)

The scriptures teach us – almost ad nauseum – that we need only follow one person – Christ.  And yet, here we have a primary song that teaches us to follow someone else.  If this could be broken down into images, it would look something like this (in my mind):

Doc2

In these two representations, the one on the left is what I’d call the “Joseph Smith Model,” whereas the one on the right I’d call the “Follow the Prophet Model,” or the model now espoused by the church, and church membership, generally speaking.  The reason I’d call the one on the left the “Joseph Smith Model” is because it’s the egalitarian approach he seemed to espouse, while the one on the right highlights just how much we’ve abdicated our personal responsibility in seeking truth.

“Do you believe Joseph Smith, Jun., to be a Prophet?’ Yes, and every other man who has the testimony of Jesus. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. … Salvation cannot come without revelation; it is in vain for anyone to minister without it. No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a Prophet. No man can be a minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus; and this is the spirit of prophecy. Whenever salvation has been administered, it has been by testimony.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 119, 160.)

Wild Things

So, with that in mind, it might do us some good to revisit Ursula.  In our nursery, as is probably typical of most (and is of the ones I’ve ever attended), a member of the primary presidency comes in each week for music time.  This past Sunday the song of choice was, as you rightly guessed, Follow the Prophet.  But, it wasn’t just that.  The sister passed out maracas, tambourines and all sorts of musical gadgets and gizmos to the 11 or 12 kids in nursery.  The effect was one of no small mayhem.  So, picture if you will, a scene from Where the Wild Things Are (which just may have been the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but the images work) where all the monsters are dancing and singing and chanting around the fire.  The member of the primary presidency leading the pack of wild, ravenous 2 year olds as they listened to a cultic song and shook their maracas with all the muster their tiny arms could.

That, in miniature scale, is what I saw in nursery.  I even tried to snap it on my cell phone, but didn’t get it out in time.  I was nearly appalled and probably would have been had I not been so taken back by the whole scene playing in front of me.

Cyberspace Questions

And, not so appalled as I am at some of the websites currently floating around which reinforce our idolatrous ways.  The President of the church has his own website, owned, managed and ran by the church, which reads more like a resume than anything else.  And, there are countless others devoted to following just what the president is doing on any given day – like www.followtheprophet.net – which literally seeks to “follow” him on his travels.  Once there, you might have some fun going to their post on May 24th of this year and asking yourself, should a prophet be limoed around in a Gulfstream IV – the Huntsman jet – which has a price tag hovering around $36 million and change (new).  Just a question.  We’d all do a little better to ask a few more questions each day.  Start with that question.  Then, imagine that Gulfstream landing in rural Guatemala, or Mongolia, or Uzbekistan or wherever it lands.

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” – Lloyd Alexander

As a culture, we’re so far removed from processes which create the goods and services we want that all we really care about is the end result.  When we go buy a toy at our nearest Wal*Mart, we care not how it came to us or where it was made.  We couldn’t care less that an 8-year old kid is working 12-hour days to help support his family, just so they can have a ¼ cup of rice on the table at night.  No, so long as we get our toy at a good price, that’s really all we care about.  Same with our groceries, shoes or whatever it may be – just so long as it has an appropriate price tag on it.  The last quote of my post on Samsara and Perfume discusses this idea and refers to it as “world building.”

The same principle goes with this Gulfstream.  Instead of asking ourselves some questions like these:  “does he really need a $36 million airplane to traverse and gallivant across the globe?”, “So what if it reeks of extravagance to the extreme?,” and others along the same vein.  Instead, we simply throw those questions aside and, as the original story on FollowtheProphet.net mentions, find no shortage of adulation for such conveniences.  Questions, lots of questions.

“The power to question is the basis of all human progress.” – Gandhi

Alternate Ending, Part 2

So what’s my whole beef with this issue?  Mainly one of focus.  We, as a church and a people, are so fixated on an office that we can’t see the forest for the trees.  We have developed such a cult of personality that we no longer verify things, no longer think that God can (or does) work outside the bounds of the corporate church.  We think that all we have to do to be saved is listen to a man.  Any man, really.  So long as he ascends the hierarchy and holds on longer than the rest, that means we are bound to listen and adhere to everything he says.

Like the above graphics note, we’ve replaced intimate relationships with corporate institutions.   The idea and belief that Christ now must speak through someone else, and that that someone else is impervious to ever doing anything contrary to the will of the Lord is about as egregious a teaching as I know.  We’ve strayed from the path that instructs us to go on and on in our search for Christ, and strayed into a path that we only need search for a president – for then we’ve found the only person we need listen to (allegedly).

Denver Snuffer wrote about this in his 3-part series on the Traditions of Men (Part I, Part II, Part III – which are well worth your time), part of which I include here:

“In our context, what has happened as a result of this alteration is that the former significance of the church’s president was administrative, and priestly.  He was a final arbitrator and judge, a presiding authority and a leader whose words were to be considered carefully.  He was NOT considered infallible or to be invariably inspired.  In fact, during the presidencies of the Prophet Joseph Smith, President Brigham Young and President John Taylor, they all spoke against any notion of infallibility of the church’s president.  President Young was particularly cautionary about trusting church leaders instead of the Holy Spirit as your guide.  President Young said too much trust of a church leader would bring the saints to hell.

President Woodruff was so criticized by members for the Manifesto that he defended himself by claiming that the Lord wouldn’t let him make a mistake on that order.  He said that the Lord just wouldn’t let the church’s president lead the saints astray.  That comment was what would later be used to buttress the notion popularly believed today that the “prophet is infallible.”

President Heber J. Grant was an unpopular church president.  One of the problems with getting the saints to respond to the church president’s counsel was solved when the president of the church became the living “Prophet.”  You can reject or question counsel from an administrative authority.  But to question a “Prophet of God” was to invite the damnation of hell.  So the change in nomenclature worked a mighty change in the perceptions of the Latter-day Saints.  The “cult of personality” was an inevitable result.  Everything the president did would be done as “God’s Living Prophet.”  No matter what decisions were made, no matter their wisdom, goodness or undesirability, the result was the same: “They MUST be inspired.  We may not have the human capacity to see it, but God’s ways are higher than man’s after all.  To question is to lack in faith.”

The change put the president into a league in which at a minimum criticism was disrespectful.  Worse, if you were convinced that he made a mistake, it followed almost as an inevitability that you were absolutely forbidden from saying so because to do so revealed a “weakness in the faith.”  In fact, there are General Conference talks which speak about criticizing the church president (or “Living Prophet”) claiming that the criticism was due to a weak faith, and it would lead to apostasy unless a person repented.”

Weak Faith

So, I guess at the end of the day, all this probably means that I have weak faith and am on the road to apostasy.  Such is my plight.  If you’re here, perhaps you’re experiencing the same weaknesses.  If so, soyez le bienvenue (French for:  “Welcome”).

So while the primary may generally be one of the last few bastions of pure Christlike doctrine, that song isn’t doing us any good.

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Comments
  1. Grim Creeper says:

    I was actually in primary a few months back when they sang that. Marched around the room as if we were dancing to “why is the red man red?”

    It really felt as if we were acting like native americans singing an awkward song.

    Not implying the church is a scam artist or anything of the kind, but the first rule of scammery is to instill a belief that you could never lead them astray, to gain trust. What a sweet deal to be a leader who says you could never be wrong or else the Lord would strike you down? You never get struck down, which then translates into you being true? It’s by no means a segregation of duties.

  2. Nobody says:

    Hum a numma num num.

    Never really noticed the circular logic you just noted, but it seems to be working great.

    I can never lead you astray, for if I tried I would be “removed from my place.” Since I clearly haven’t been removed from my place, I’m not leading you astray. Since I’m not leading you astray, you must admit that I cannot lead you astray. Since you admit as much, you must follow all that I say, for only in following all that I say will you find the Spirit in your own life. And, as you follow what I say (in all things), and the Spirit attends to you, you will rightly admit that we can now never be led astray because I can never lead you astray. If I were to lead you astray, I would surely be “removed from my place.” And, yet I’m still here. Follow me, everything is alright.

    Yes, I’m still here. :)

    If you want a good piece of what I would define as Babylonian drivel, here’s some drivelous reading.

    “However, the prophet has never been led astray, nor will the Lord suffer him so to do. He would sooner be removed from office (by God playing the “death card“).”

  3. ElderChantdown says:

    Has anyone else ever noticed how the tune to this primary song sounds like some cliche jewish melody? Like it was inspired by The Fiddler On The Roof musical or somethin? Try this. Replace the words to the chorus with:
    Yai dai ya dai dai…yai dai dai dai
    Yai dai ya dai dai…yai di dai di daaaii!

    I can hear it set nicely to some Klezmer musical accompaniment…complete with whining clarinets and ridiculous kazoos.

  4. Grim Creeper says:

    Furthermore on the death card. If the Lord ever really decided that was the case, where he needed to remove the Prophet for leading us astray, wouldn’t that also indict quite a few people surrounding him? Q12 would be complicit in such activities would they not? Would they also be removed?

    Even furthermore, when a Prophet passes on, is there ever a spiritual autopsy done to make sure he didn’t pass on because the Lord removed him because he was leading people astray? Would that information ever make it out if that was the case?

  5. ATU says:

    Grim:

    A spiritual autopsy would be one of the coolest inventions, though the true results would likely be suppressed if anything unsavory turned up, especially for someone occupying the president’s seat – a true conspiracy of the best kind. Someone (here) made an attempt to decipher when the “death card” was used. Though, admittedly, I have no idea what their rational for determining that, “the face-value interpretation would be that God tended to use the death card in the first half of the Church’s history but used natural succession in the second half,” was. I couldn’t decipher any meaningful reason for concluding as much. Thus, given that “natural succession” has occurred in this second half, per that person (and millions of other fawning admirers), that gets back to the idea that the church is on the great expressway to the celestial kingdom.

    Justin:

    Help a brother out. When I click on that link, I’m led to a comment that starts out, “…I put November. That might screw up your timeline a little, but November is really huge…”

    Is that the comment you intended to link, or is it another one?

  6. Justin says:

    No — that is wierd because it doesn’t send me there when I click the link. Strange. The comment I inteded to link to is further down, by dyc4557 on August 23, 2010 3:25 am, and begins with, “My comments are always too long and so if you want to get to the kernel of this one skip down to the lines after the break.

    To save any of your other readers the headache of a bad link, I’ll copy below the text I felt was relavent to Grim’s comment:
    “I thought of the fall of the conference center and the death of all the apostles currently holding the priesthood keys of the present LDS church. I thought, “Of course how could it be any other way?” The actual gathering to Zion and building it up will be the predecessor to the millennial dispensation as was the earthy ministry of Jesus. Peter James and John had the keys to the new Church of Jesus Christ but were not instructed to replace the church of the Jews (dispensation to Moses) until after the resurrection of Christ. All dispensations are restorations from a falling away. How could we have new apostles of a new church (am I correct in understanding that it will be called the Church of the Lamb of God or similar?) if there were still even so much as one living apostle from the old church? New wine in old bottles doesn’t work. Not that every apostle from the old church would be apostate but that he would no longer be an apostle in the new church. And don’t we all know that except for excommunication the manner apostles are released is in their death? The fall of the conference center would be the Lord releasing all the apostles of the LDS church.”

    It seems that we have set-up a system where the only way we will allow the Lord to release an apostle is with that man dying. So the Lord, may perhaps, oblige us.

  7. Nobody says:

    So in perusing the internet tonight, I came across this site – an official, LDS-approved and sanctioned website. The following thoughts come directly from it:

    (a) “God promises that those who follow the prophets “are heirs of the kingdom of God” (Mosiah 15:11).”
    (b) “Have you ever heard one person tell one side of a story, then heard another person tell the opposite side, and both versions sound true? With so many people and opinions competing for our attention, how do we decide what to believe? To help us know His will—to help us figure out what is true—God calls prophets and apostles to act as His spokesmen.”
    (c) “A prophet is a faithful, righteous man chosen by God to speak for Him here on earth.”
    (d) “In order to speak for God, prophets and apostles must have the priesthood, or divine authority, required for such a holy responsibility.”

    And, lastly, this section on “Follow the Prophet” is included in the Mormon.org page entitled: “God’s Commandments.”

    Now, honestly, who writes this stuff? Anyone want to dissect those comments, if/as needed?

  8. Justin says:

    (Mosiah 15:11)
    Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the COMING OF THE LORD — I say unto you, that all those how have hearkened unto their words, and BELIEVED THAT THE LORD WOULD REDEEM His people, and have LOOKED FORWARD TO THAT DAY FOR A REMISSION OF THEIR SINS, I say unto you, that THESE are His seed, or THEY are the heirs of the kingdom of God.

    Where did Abinadi put his emphasis — the prophet = heirship — or Jesus = heirship?

    A prophet is a faithful, righteous man chosen by God to speak for Him
    This disregards the history of women manifesting the gift of prophecy. In any official Church source, it must be remembered that “prophet” = “President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint TM”. I’ve heard a comment in a Gospel Doctrine class that, “Since they were contemporaries, how could Jeremiah be a prophet, as well as Lehi?”

  9. Jibbs says:

    Thanks, now I can’t get that song out of my head. I avoid primary for that very reason. Why couldn’t you write an article about the soul sista or something?

  10. Richard says:

    As an “all is not well in Zion” Mormon, I now know that even in Primary all is not well.

    Church members do not have the right to command those at the head, nor to try to set anything in order, but they do have the right to NOT sustain even the President of the church.

    If it is a sin to not sustain him, why even ask for a vote for or against him? I believe church members should claim their God-given right to NOT sustain the present church leadership, and to seek to end all controversies over him and his successors.

    Just a thought.

    Richard

  11. TB says:

    Thomas S. Monson is the prophet Christ has chosen to lead His church today. Christ has taught that when the prophet speaks it is as if He himself is speaking. Sure, a mortal man is not perfect, even if he is the Prophet, but when he speaks (or Christ speaks) we can trust it is right, and trust that if we follow we are doing what Christ wants and expects. If we have a problem with this concept, then we are on the path of apostasy.
    The prophet leads us to Christ. (Your thoughts do the opposite despite your perceived intentions.) We need to think for ourselves, and seek personal revelation, and we will consistently find that the spirit will direct us in the same direction as the prophet as long as we are humble and seek with a sincere heart.

  12. TB,

    I think you are missing your ‘M’ at the end of your username. Its ok, when you experience personal revelation for the first time and act on it and then receive more. You will not even have any need to come back to this point to apologize or even feel directed by the spirit to feel silly and dumb for not following Christ for so long. Repentance just takes you and sets you on a path of no regrets. Because you have been CHANGED, CONVERTED. Until then (the day when you remember/realize for YOURSELF the significance of the mark in your garment just above the knee) there are only two things for you to do. Either read and reject/pervert scriptures like Matt 15:

    13 But he answered and said, Every PLANT, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
    14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

    Then deal with the ditch. Or you could always follow another piece of wise council from The Master given in Luke 16:9 and just…

    “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”

    If you are tempted to disbelieve my words on the whole ONLY two options thing well just keep reading down to verse 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    Interesting are the verses that flesh out Jesus’ point against the Pharisees’ argument

    14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
    15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
    16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

    If you’re not ready to worship Christ yet and don’t like the ditch option that The Lord provides…might I offer some Babylonian scriptures to help you at very least make WISE [Luke 16:8] (although not righteous) decisions.

    1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

    Enjoy the Journey brother/sister wheat/tare wise virgin/foolish virgin Genetic Cousin through Abraham/ Generation of Vipers whatever you are.(That is up to you)

  13. mcarp says:

    My favorite boy scout camp song was “Donkey Sunday School.” (It is also known by other names.) As a scoutmaster I looked it up to find the words, but on singing it, I realized that it is the same meter, and nearly the same tune, as Follow the Prophet. But,t he verses are all a little sarcastic. For instance,

    Samson was a strong man, of the good old fashioned class,
    He killed a thousand Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass,
    The along came Delilah and cut off his curly locks,
    Now, the only strength that Samson has is in his dirty socks.

    Chorus:
    Young folk, old folk, everybody come.
    Come to Donkey Sunday School and have a lot of fun.
    Please to leave your chewing gum and candy at the door,
    And you’ll hear the Bible stories like you never heard before.

    Try that to the tune of Follow the Prophet. (Not perfect and even in the original there are a few lines you have to rush to get into the tune.)

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