Discerning…Demas?

Jon Speed comments
| Satire

This being my first contribution to The New City Times, I want to introduce you to an item we have acquired in my bivocational role as a used and rare bookseller.  I have in inventory what I believe is a manuscript written on vellum of a letter purported to be by a close associate of the Apostle Paul.  Whether this epistle is authentic I will leave to those who are more knowledgeable than I.  However we did pay a homeless guy five bucks who has a background in twelfth century Ge’ez manuscripts to do the translation, so I am reasonably sure it’s the real deal. 

Without any further adieu, I present you with...

The Epistle from Demas to Believers All and Sundry

Greetings, believers all and sundry.  I hope this letter finds you well and rejoicing in my last letter I sent to you.  I’m sure you’re waiting with bated breath for my latest.  Circulation has been slow because, as you well know, my letters are not read in the churches.   But I am nothing without my fans.  [Our resident Ge’ez expert says that this isn’t an exact translation, but “fans” will do in a pinch.]

I continue my ministry of reporting the downgrade in Paul’s (formerly known as an Apostle) ministry.  My weekly missals have kept you abreast of the latest in Paul’s compromises.  I have in my possession a copy of a letter that Paul has recently addressed to Timothy.  You will remember Timothy as the excessively young and timid sidekick who pals around with Paul.  I wrote about him awhile back when I alerted you to the fact that Paul compromised and Judaized Timothy with circumcision.  You will also remember how I exposed Paul’s insulting language in his epistle to the churches in Galatia, his expletives in his epistle to the Philippians, his bragging in the epistle to the Corinthians, his replacement theology in the epistle to the Romans, and his record as a murderer (and his jailbreak!) in Luke’s account. 

What I have to relate to you today is almost unbelievable.  In fact it would be unbelievable but I have come to expect these sorts of things from Paul.  In my time doing ministry with him I saw all sorts of weaknesses not to be expected from someone who calls himself an “Apostle.”  (His failures are certainly not what I expect from a Christian, much less an Apostle.  I no longer drink the cooled flavored water.)

Case in point: this letter I hold in my hand.  In it Paul recommends to this young, impressionable believer that he should “take a little wine for his stomach’s sake.”  We all know of Paul’s compromises with secular literature, even quoting it in letters that he regards as God’s Word!  His visit to the Areopagus in Athens and preaching with pagan philosophers was bad enough.  But now he is contradicting himself and recommending that Timothy drink wine. Isn’t this the same Paul who commanded (yes, commanded) the church in Ephesus to “Be not drunk with wine”?   Bear in mind, Timothy is FROM Ephesus and must endure the temptations of that debauched city daily.  And he recommends that he "take a little wine"?  Hypocrite!

Some will say, “He’s not encouraging Timothy to get drunk.”  It’s a slippery slope.  Well, as my readers well know, everything is a slippery slope.  I remind you of that as often as I can.  Except my letters.  Those are all reliable because I say so.  

Others might point to the possibility that Timothy has stomach ulcers and might be using this medicinally.  It’s amazing how stomach ulcers suddenly pop up around this guy who claims to be able to perform miracles, isn’t it?  If Paul’s such an apostle, why doesn’t he heal Timothy? 

As per the usual, Paul refuses to reply to my letters.  He claims he is too busy writing the Bible and Luke reports that he’s back in prison (at least until the jailbird flies the coop again). 

In the meantime, he has the gall to warn people about ME.  Well, of course he does.  He doesn’t want his own compromises exposed.  He does not care about the truth.  He wants to hide it.  I, on the other hand, love the truth as you should too.  And I know you do, my beloved fanboys [again, our translator says this isn’t exact, but if he transliterated the word it would be offensive in English, so we’ll go with his translation] because you subscribe to this letter.  Copy this letter and pass it around.  Just don’t do it at church.  Those people have been influenced by Paul and who knows what would happen if they got a hold of this. “You’re divisive, this is gossip”, blah, blah, blah. 

Your beloved friend and shepherd from a distance,

Demas

Author

Jon Speed

Jon is married to Kimberly and they have four children with another on the way in November. He is a bivocational church planting pastor in postmodern Syracuse, NY since 2011. His "other" job is as a used and rare book seller operating Jon Speed: The Book Scout (since 1994). He currently operates a brick and mortar book shop on the south side of Syracuse, near Nedrow. You can check it out at www.JonSpeedBooks.com. Jon is the author of Evangelism in the New Testament (2009) and co-produced the pro-life docuentary, Babies Are Murdered Here (2014).

My Website: http://www.christiskingbaptist.com/