Early one Sunday morning, an old saddle-bum, worn out from a month-long drive, rode into town. He passed a church with "Everyone welcome!" on its markee, and decided to give it a whirl, looking for some inspiration and motivation. Once inside, he found all the upper-crust there to show off their finery without a word to say to him. He was the last to take a seat before the service began, during which people moved away from him, ladies with upturned noses and ejaculations of "OH, how goche!" and gents spouting "I say old boah....Rather!!!" The preacher stopped numerous unplanned places in his hellfire-and-damnation/salvation-by-altruism diatribe to stress "the importance of detail", to harp particularly on the essentiality of "having all things decently and in order" and to affirm that "he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much" in effeminate voice while leering daggers down his nose at the newcomer. Once the beratement was over, everybody lined up to shake the reverends hand while leaving, almost all of them having already forgotten what he said. The cowboy thought he had picked up a jellyfish when he took Brother Poindexter's south paw. The preacher took the opportunity to say "before you visit again, you might ask the Lord what He considers proper hygene and attire when in His house on His day."
The cowboy rode home, made up some lunch of biscuits, coffee and beans, and as his manner was, thanked the Lord for making clarity of the confusion since their last conversation as he read the Word over his meal.
Next Sunday he returned to church as he had before and was promptly stopped at the door by the preacher, who said down his nose "I thought I asked you to consult with the Lord about proper ettiquete for this..."
"And I did, Reverend," the cowboy replied. "He said, never having been in this church from the beginning He'd have no clue!"
Listening to religious people yammer, I'm continually amazed at the preoccupation with things that do not matter and the utter neglect of what does!
I am happy that my closest exposure to such anymore is the radio station mentioned in an earlier post, because prolonged, close-quarters associations might tempt me beyond ability to refrain from administering "wake up!" face-slaps! The obsession with gossip, TV shows, fancy cars, play-pretties, clothes and other WASP CULTure dainties and neglect of the Church epistles in general and the example of what they are actually supposed to be set forth in the Book of Acts in particular is religion's most distinguishing characteristic! There's nothing wrong with looking or feeling good, but instead of overemphasis to idolatry of them at extremes, wouldn't it be better to be right on the Word, so you can experience both? I have much more respect for "a simple leyman armed with Scripture" like unto the cowboy in the story than "the mightiest Pope without it exemplified by Vaticanism and its Protestant-in-name-only progenitry, especially when those who actually do the Word and the work are ignored or put down by "The Church" in favor of her pseudo-Judean financiers and Mafia bank-rollers!
The Church of Laodicea has little to no concept of what it is to be, which makes it something to be avoided in favor of the Bible.