Zorba the Greek goes to church: I have a right to be clean

When Zorba the Greek said: “Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and look for trouble” I don’t think he meant the best way to deal with a preacher who says wrong things is to whack him. I am sure that after a church service, many a preacher, when accosted by the roaming critic who ticks him off about something he said in his sermon, also wants to take off his belt and whack him one; but immediately thinks “that is not the way for a Christian to manifest the fruits of the spirit.” Guides have been written for preachers on how to deal with the post-sermon pain in the kneck.

Let me tell of one of these nuisances who attended a Methodist Church in a city he was visiting, Johannesburg.

After the sermon he introduced himself to the preacher/pastor, and after the exchange of a few sweet nothings, asked him about the line in “Bind us together,” the final song of the service, namely,

Verse 2 third line

Made for the glory of God
Purchased by His precious Son
Born with the right to be clean
For Jesus the victory has won

Pain – Surely everybody born into this world has not been born with the right to be clean.
Preacher – Perhaps it should say those who have been born again have the right to be clean. Let me see. (The song appears on the printed sheet he is holding). No, it does mean everybody without exception is born with the right to be clean. Look at the context. (He reads):

“Made for the glory of God
Purchased by his precious son
Born with the right to be clean.”

Pain(ful) – But surely not every one born into the world has been/will be “purchased by his precious son” (thinking to himself – all those God knows from eternity whom he has condemned to hell), because if Christ purchases, that is, pays with his blood to release everyone from bondage to sin, this means that everyone born into this world certainly is washed clean of sin, and will, logically, end up in heaven, whether they are born again (through grace by faith), that is, born of God or whether they are born of a husband’s will.

Preacher – I disagree with you (pointing to other people who wanted to speak to him).

Pained, I said goodbye and retreated.

Accosting a preacher-pastor straight after a church service – who is usually exhausted and sometimes, hopefully, wondering whether his sermon failed – is not exactly the most tactful or considerate thing to do. But what was I to do? Calvinists can’t help getting into a scrap, especially when so much scrap is flying around.

Remember another nugget (that could’ve come from) Zorba: no pain, no gain.

5 thoughts on “Zorba the Greek goes to church: I have a right to be clean

  1. I think the line is referring to those it identifies, those made for the glory of God. The elect since before the beginning of time.. Although it could be argued that the damned are also ultimately made for His glory… I miss the post sermon pain… 🙂

  2. Matt, if you’re a Calvinst/Augustinian, then “born AGAIN” – as you say – would be the way to read it, but, as the Methodist preacher above demonstrates, Arminians (synergists) see it the way he does.

    I bet my bottom, if not my dollar, that the writer of this song is an Arminian.

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