Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Area Teen’s Pro-Reformation Stance Creates Confusion

KNOXVILLE, TN — No good deed goes unpunished. So Martin Erasmus Hinn believes, based on the events of the last couple weeks.

The 14-year-old Knoxville native recently wrote a letter to the editor of the City Chronicle in an effort to make more people aware of the existence of Reformation Day, which happens to fall on the same day as that other little-known holiday, Halloween. “This day isn’t just about creepy, flying goblins and mounds of candy,” Martin told the Doxology Press. “That is, unless you consider the ancient Roman Catholic leaders as the creepy goblins and Luther’s 95 Theses as the tasty antidote. My dad once tried using that analogy, but it never made sense to me.”

In the wake of the recent craze over the completion of the Harry Potter books, Martin decided to focus his letter on drawing parallels between the themes of the Reformation and the themes found in the Potter saga. “Some might consider that a bit of a stretch,” he conceded, “but I wanted to write something that captured people’s attention.”

As it turns out, Martin captured the attention of the entire city. The Chronicle printed Martin’s letter on October 20, the day after J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore, Harry Potter’s mentor, was gay.

“The timing of it all couldn’t have been worse,” he moaned. “Talk about an inconvenient truth. They wrote this huge article, Dumbledore and Diversity, under which they printed my letter, which they awkwardly titled, Dumbledore and the Reformation. I was mortified. I wanted to throw an invisibility cloak over myself, crawl into a hole and die.”

Over the next week, the Hinn household was bombarded with letters of outrage over Martin’s “endorsement” of J.K. Rowling’s announcement. One particularly agitated Potter Protestant wrote:

The only thing right about you is your name. You have the rebellious attitude of Martin Luther, the haughty mind of Desiderius Erasmus, and the Biblical accuracy of Benny Hinn. Immaturiosity Reverso!

Local Harry Potter fans have started referring to Martin as The Boy Who Lived To Talk About It In The Paper. Martin isn’t sure if that’s a compliment or an insult.

“Actually, the worst part about this whole debacle is that my father was the first in our family to find out about it—at the breakfast table. It all happened in slow motion. As his eyes fell across the two articles in the paper, he gagged on his coffee, spitting it out his nose and mouth. The convulsive action made him spill the rest of his coffee onto his lap. Yelping in pain, he jumped up and knocked his chair over. The chair landed on our cat, Sprinkles, making her scream louder than I’ve ever heard before. She ran outside for safety, only to collide with Mr. Jorgen on the sidewalk, who was taking his morning jog. I’m pretty sure the dead bird we found in the yard later that day was the result of Sprinkles relieving her angst from the whole incident.”

Martin’s parents grounded him for a week and made him sleep in the small guest bed located under the stairs to the second floor. “They’re convinced that I’ve jumped off the deep end. I guess it didn’t help that I tried joking that I was under the Imperius Curse when I wrote the letter; they made me wash my mouth out with soap. I haven’t had to do that since I was seven!

“It also didn’t do me any good trying to explain that my letter to the editor was not meant in any way to be an anti-Biblical stance on homosexuality. I firmly agree with the orthodox Christian view of the issue. What I really want to do is write another letter to correct the Chronicle’s error, but I’m afraid they’d mess that one up too.”

Martin’s fears didn’t keep his father from writing his own letter to the editor of the Chronicle, in which he chided his son’s Harry Potter analogy. Alas, his letter was inappropriately titled as well: Harry Potter Fan Rebuked for Honoring Reformation Day.

“Now I’m scared to death about this year’s Christmas celebration,” Martin said. “What I really wanted was the special collectible hardcover editions of all seven Harry Potter books snugly packed in a decorative, trunk-like box with sturdy handles and a privacy lock. But if I ask for that now, I may as well request a lobotomy. I’ll probably have to play it safe and ask for a tie.”

No one from The Associated Press contributed to this report
© 2007, I.M. Kitting

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Lesson Learned at Jiffy Lube

I went to Jiffy Lube the other day to have my oil changed. The attendant who came out to help me was an extremely friendly guy. As we went through the process of getting checked in, he explained every minuscule detail of the process, which quickly started to irritate me. Did I really look like I had the word dumb written on my face? I had been coming to Jiffy Lube for quite some time; I knew how things worked, and this kid’s attitude was starting to annoy the heck out of me.

Now, I’m the last person in the world who has a right to get angry about such things. You see, I know practically nothing about cars. I can fill my Camry with gas, make sure the tires have the right amount of air pressure, and on a good day I might even be able to change a flat. (Although the last time I tried, I broke one of the lug nuts, which ended up taking a bit of money to fix.) In spite of my vehicular ignorance, however, I still felt irritated by the way the attendant was treating me.

My reaction got me to thinking: why was I so upset? Well, the root answer was that I was reacting in pride. (I already knew I was a prideful person, but God sometimes sees fit to make me more acutely aware of just how conceited I really am.) It would have been illogical for the attendant to assume that I knew everything there was to know about both my car and the services Jiffy Lube provided. In an effort to best serve me, he was explaining everything in detail so that I would understand exactly what was taking place. I was offended because proud people oftentimes mistake servant-heartedness for condescension. The humble servitude of the Jiffy Lube guy irritated my pride.

It is this same pride that causes another vehicle-related sin: road rage. I can get so mad when I’m driving because I think others on the road should let me have my way. I literally see myself as the king of the highway and everyone else as my subjects. When they don’t do as I please, I become agitated. I may not be able to declare, “Off with his head!” but I can at least tailgate the sucker who gets in my way and/or speed by him the first chance I get—just to let my subordinate know his king is most displeased with his performance.

Ultimately, this pride is directed toward God Himself. It is His sovereign hand that I am raging against when traffic doesn’t go my way. “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35).

By God’s grace, I am becoming more apt to accept traffic conditions as the result of God’s loving and sovereign hand. Slowly but surely, I am getting less angry while on the road. Even so, if I happen to cut any of you off in the future or speed by you in protest of your poor driving skills, please bear with me; I’m a work in progress.