All Welcome

Angel - Demon

Pastor:

“… and it is my deepest pleasure to invite everyone – everyone! – to our next Fellowship Meal. All welcome! Come along and share our joy of being together, as we support one another with mutual encouragement and tender understanding and affection…”

Guardian Angel in Training:

I note that your charge – Pilgrim – is unmoved. That’s strange – he’s making for the exit! Wasn’t Pilgrim wanting some true Christian fellowship?

Guardian Angel:

Quite right, dear chap. And it is precisely because Pilgrim wants true Christian fellowship that he is leaving. You appear – confused?

Guardian Angel in Training:

Yes. I confess I don’t quite follow…

Guardian Angel:

Us angels are never prepared for the devilish complexities of the human mind! Humans rarely speak the truth: almost never, as a rule. You can still hear that pastor’s words: rolling on like a river in flood. But – has it ever occurred to you whether he actually means what he says?

Guardian Angel in Training:

No. Ah!

Guardian Angel:

You begin to perceive. Very good. Now pay attention. That pastor keeps repeating ‘all welcome’ like a talking parrot. But: when was Pilgrim ever welcomed here?

Guardian Angel in Training:

(Thoughtfully). Well, some newcomers were welcomed…

Guardian Angel:

Yes, some. Those few whom the pastor liked. The rest were ignored, along with Pilgrim.

‘All’ never actually means ‘all’, you see. A pastor’s words are merely plausible, socially-acceptable hypocrisy: when he says ‘all welcome’ what he means is ‘all welcome if we think you worthwhile to know’. Their welcome is always conditional: but the condition is suppressed to allow the speaker to sound nicer than they are.

Guardian Angel in Training:

(Shocked.) That’s dishonest! That means that Pilgrim is forced to evaluate the truth – or falsehood – in every word they hear!

Guardian Angel:

Indeed.

Guardian Angel in Training:

But – but – this is calamitous! How long must such things continue?

Guardian Angel:

Our Lord did say that “wheat and tares shall grow together until the harvest”. There are many tares inside churches today: many are pastors and church leaders…

Alone in a crowd

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