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We all remember the parable of the Prodigal son...

However there was also the Prodigal Pig...

 

Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

1 John 3:9

We have heard the story of the prodigal son from Luke 13, but have you heard the story of the prodigal pig? That's in the Bible too. (see 2 Peter 2:22).



  1. The Prodigal Pig Grew up in the pig pen, like most of us... His momma was a pig his daddy was a pig... So were his brothers and sisters...They all did piggish things... every once in a while, Oscar (Or in pig Latin, “oink snort oink”) would find his way out of the pig pen through a hole in the fence and wander all over the farm yard looking at the cows, being chased by the geese, rooting up veggies in the garden... but mostly at night, cause the farmer would get mad if he was seen doing it in the daytime... that way someone else would get blamed... And of course Oscar was always underfoot at lunch time, nearly knocking over the farmer as the slop bucket was poured into the feed trough...

However Oscar was vaguely aware that the slop came from the farmhouse and maybe just maybe there was more and better slop in there... So, in the evening he would plant his soft nose onto the kitchen window, see the nice way the people in the house treated each other... Not at all in the piggish way he was used to and the food looked much nicer that what he got in the pig pen...

So one day when the youngest girl was plating in the yard, he stopped and watched... The girl stopped skipping rope came over to him and asked Oscar if he wanted to come into the house and meet God...

Now Oscar didn’t know about God or who He was or even if He was... But the food looked really good on the evening supper table...So Oscar replied, Yes, I'd like to try this God thing... The little girl squealed with delight, ran back thto the house, got her sister, and the both brought out a pail of hot soapy water and scrubbed him really good... The hot bath felt SO Good!!! Wow this is gonna be neat, he thought... Finally, they tied a big blue ribbon around his neck, and led him into their fathers house..

Oscar was amazed by everything he saw... finally, when their parents came home, the girls told them about Oscar... Now they were happy that Oscar wanted to find God, and to leave the pig pen. However they were also a little skeptical as to why... However they wanted to be good Christians, so showed Oscar his room with a bed, and told Him not to be late for dinner... At the word “Dinner” his ears perked up a a big smile across his face... He went into the living room and was puzzled that the family watched the same stuff on TV as he did at home... but he said nothing of course...After all this was a Christian home and GOD was here...Finally, dinner was served... And Oscar watched everyone really closely as to his table manners and everyone said they were so glad he was there...

After supper, the whole family gathered in their living room along with some neighbors and they did what they called evening church... This puzzled Oscar a bit because he thought that church was the big white building downtown... But it seemed these people did Church several days a week... very strange

.. strangest, though, was that the church elder who came from across town for the meeting said that all pigs were going to hell (wherever that was) and so were everyone who dug up other peoples gardens in the night... Oscar squirmed in his seat a little at that... Why, that teacher was talking about Him!!! However he noticed a few other people looked a little guilty as well, so Oscar felt a little better...

The teacher also said that unless you were chosen by this God person to be saved, you were going to hell regardless of what you did... This confused Oscar... What did saved mean, and what was hell?

And if you went to this hell place, whatever that was, it sounded really bad, why would pigs leave the pig pen?

Later, he asked the little girl about being saved and hell... She said since he had been washed and was now in the fathers house all that didn’t really matter... Just be nice, clean, come sing songs, eat at the table stay out of the pig pen and Oscar had nothing to worry about...

Oscar was a little bit confused after all the teacher had said something from a book called Thess-something that said something like “No one believes in this God unless God makes Him”Read from a Bible called the “New Illiterate Version” He also said that if a person sins (whatever sin is) they will go to this hell place even if God called him... Called him to do what or to go where Oscar wasn’t sure...

And worse yet no one could ever go out and have any fun, watch TV or go to movies--(Oscar looked then did a double take into the corner of the living room and the TV wasn’t there.. A table with a floor length table cloth with a flower pot was there instead... a table the same size as the TV... Oscar stared until he got a reproving glance from the mother, then looked down at his folded paws... and then was lost in confusion....

Anyway, after much more what seemed rambling ranting, the teacher closed the church meeting with a prayer... everyone stood around taking about what a nice sermon it had been... then as soon as the food was gone, people made excuses and left... as soon as the last one was gone, the mother picked up the flower pot, the oldest girl whisked off the table cloth and the family sat down around the TV to watch the evening shows... Just like Oscar did back in the pig pen... This was very confusing to Oscar...

but the food was good, his bed was warm and soft so he said nothing...Near the end of the evening, they watched The living message from Brother Ralph's Universalist church... Brother Ralph promised that if you sent him money you would be forgiven from all your sins and that if you sinned more you were forgiven more and to be forgiven more you had to sin more...– as long as you sent him money...well, you were good--- Afterwords, everyone talked about how much they liked that message and just maybe they would buy Brother Ralph new book, “God wants you happy rich and giving—to his church”...

At 9pm sharp the TV was shut off, everyone went to bed... later Oscar wondered about this church stuff, sin stuff, his head swam in confusion...after a long time he fell asleep....



the next day as Oscar wandered about the farm yard, the geese chased after him laughing at him for believing in this church stiff... the sheep said it was all BAAAAAD news, the cows turned a stiff shoulder and when he walked past the pig pen mother pig snorted and shook her head in dismay...

Youl come back to the mud soon, I hope, she said and forget all this church foolishness... Then she turned her back on him and lay down and rolled around in the mud...



Oscar was ashamed with himself... He trotted down to the creek... there he saw some some rich gooey mud just at the waters edge... Oscar carefully untied his pretty blue ribbon from around his neck,

Then jumped off the bank right into the mud, rolled around around in it,,, it felt soooo good... Finally, he cleaned himself off,put his ribbon back on, then solemnly walked back to the house in time for dinner....



The next month, he played church, but once in a while went wallowing in the mud down by the creek

after all, no one would know... and after all he Was a pig !!!

Well of course sooner rather than later a goose was winging her way back home to the farm from an illicit affair with a handsome gander and spied Oscar lounging around in the mud... The story was all over the farmyard by the time he got home... The sheep saw him coming and cried out Baaaaad Baaaad , everyone laughed at him... There was total silence at the dinner table that night... Afterwords, Oscar walked away from the farm down the dark road, looking for a pig pen he could comfortably wallow in where no one would know his name.....

There are both prodigal sons and daughters and quite a few prodigal pigs in every church...



So, where did The Christians in this story get it all so wrong?

Does getting washed, cleaning up your act get someone saved? Sadly, lots of Churches think so. The Episcopal church I attended as a child tought that church membership got you into heaven. They also deny all the doctrines of the faith...grace, blood attonement, virgin birth, resurrection, coming again... The Nicene Creed they say by rote every Sunday mentions these, but the priests dont believe it...

Hypocracy... There did not seem to be much difference between how the pigs lived and how the Christians lived, what they watched on TV... Pretending to be pious, they covered the TV with a table cloth when the Bible teacher showed up... really confusing Oscar...

No Discipleship .. no teaching about the doctrines of the faith,,, along with lots of christianese gobbdegook like saved, faith, hell, sin, and who was this God everyone was scared of-- or just pretended to be? All very confusing... And then there was the teaching the Christians agreed with that if you were a christian and “”saved”” if you sinned more you would be saved, forgiven more so lets go out and sin more---- Just as long as you didnt go out and rool around in the mud... that was a Legalism that would get you thrown out of the church...

Legalism-and seemingly endless list of rules you had to pretend to keep to stay in church to get to heaven... whatever wherever heaven was... No wonder Oscar was confused !!!

We all have a sin nature and find ourselves in the mud from time to time... A believer does not stay in the mud, Our precious Holy Spirit spanks us so we repent, wash off the mud , and once again enjoy fellowship with God...

Without the Holy Spirit we are helpless to keep out of the mud, or leave the mud once we fall- or jump- in... so why do so many people like Oscar leave the Church after a while?

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