Well, it's been a week or so since The Pooverview Part One, and my mobile has literally not started ringing with people clamouring for the follow-up.
|There is absolutely no reason for this picture to be here.|
Artist: Aaron Draper Shattuck
2) That I knew him, but couldn't really give a monkey's about what he wanted for Christmas.
3) That whether I knew and cared or not, I only had three quid, five minutes, and a Sainsbury's from which to procure the perfect gift.
|"Oh, for some Hello Kitty nail varnish to complement my dusky complexion."|
Artist: Ford Madox Brown
|What Paul might have looked like if he had been green and featureless.|
Artist: Richard Anuszkiewicz
|Well might you look wistful, young girl at your toilet.|
Artist: Glyn Philpot
By now I hope you've caught the scent of this post, so I'm sure I don't need to explain what "vessels for dishonourable use" might be. But I do need to explain the context, since 99.99999% of the world's problems are caused by people taking bits of the Bible out of context.
Paul is at the end of his life, and is passing on the baton to Timothy. And he's warning Timothy that there will be trouble. Much of the trouble - then as now - came from within the church - from false teachers. False teachers say things like "Oh, don't worry about what the Bible says, let me tell you what I think instead." They also say things like "Give me all your money and God will bless you", or "If you trust God enough you'll never get sick" or "God hates fags" or "God doesn't care if you follow Jesus or not, as long as you rescue dolphins", or "Jesus he knows me, and he knows I'm right, been talking to Jesus all my-" oh, wait, that's a Genesis song.
On either side of this vessel analogy, Paul is telling Timothy not to be a false teacher, but to "rightly handle the word of truth". Now, if rightly handling the Bible means being a cleansed vessel for honourable use, then being a false teacher means being a dirty vessel for dishonourable use.
In other words, says Paul - if you are not teaching the truth, then you are full of sh-
|Vessels for honourable use. And big cheeses. I love cheese.|
Artist: Floris Van Schooten
Why am I telling you this?
Well, mainly because it's about poo, and this is the Pooverview.
But also because it's important. Paul wasn't scaremongering when he warned about the false teachers. They are everywhere. If you are investigating Christianity (and if you made it this far through a two-post series about Biblical bum fruit then you must be fairly committed) then you need to be aware that a great deal of what you hear coming from a pulpit might just be manure.
So for the start of 2013, a great New Year's Resolution might perhaps be to pop into a church or two, if you're not already doing so. But be on the look-out for funny smells. If the preacher isn't preaching the Bible, then he's talking bull.
Maybe a good test would be to ask him to name at least nine occurrences of human excrement in the Bible.
Happy new year.
* I don't know medical stuff but I assume the intestines and the cardio-vascular system are generally kept separate.
** He wrote this from a prison cell where he was awaiting possible execution for refusing to shut up about Jesus.
*** But at least we're not all paellas**** like the Roman Catholics.
**** Courtesy of my spell-checker, which neatly solved my "can I get away with saying that or not" crisis by rendering it nonsensical for me.