by The Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, SSC
Since moving from the Biretta Belt to the Bible Belt, I have had to make a few adjustments. One humorous one is that many wear a necklace with the State of Texas on it, but won’t wear a crucifix since, they will say, “Jesus isn’t on the Cross anymore.” So I know they are a Texan before I can figure out if they are a Christian. Also, one can go into a store called “The Baptist Bible Bookstore” to buy a Bible, but a whole section is missing – the Deuterocanonical Books or Apocrypha. I was recalling years ago walking into a Religious Book Store in London to buy the “Authorized Version” of the Bible aka “King James” – and couldn’t find a Bible without the Deuterocanonical books! (Not that I really wanted one without the Apocrypha.) Another problem is that people will tell me that they believe every word in the Bible – so I am somewhat confused when they speak of the Eucharist “Lord’s Supper” as if it were a memorial event. Apart from not looking at the Greek word for “Memorial,” they would contend that it is not His Body and Blood. “This is my Body.” “This is my Blood.” Luke 22 and “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” Luke 6:53.
So…in the end I am happy to bring my Biretta to the Bible Belt, where we can agree that when Jesus says it – He means it. The answer to His words, however, is “Yes” not “Yes but.”