In a church with an atrium
like a Gulfstream hangar,
ushers herded their sheep
past coffee shop and bookstore,
comforting with Bluetooth staffs.
A stadium posed as sanctuary
with a pulpit like a mound
where the ace pitched a promise
to spot the best me: wanted,
and missing so long.
But the best me loitered
like a lookout man, chain-smoking
outside a mid-western bank:
banshee tires, gunfire,
Randall reads "Sermon Notes":
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Randall confesses: "Like others, I’ve been troubled for years by the 'prosperity gospel' broadcast on the media and preached in some churches. I’m reacting to the sights and sounds of what I consider serial deceit and distortion—a message that reduces the sum of human flourishing to wealth, power, comfort, and an elevated self-regard. In contrast to Christ’s insistence on forgiveness and redemption of human brokenness, the prosperity brokers downplay the problem of evil, insisting on a breezy, self-assured positivism. I believe the problem of suffering and human evil, of my personal evil, is more deeply rooted."