Now I will sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved hath a vineyard in a very beautiful fruitful hill. And he fenced it and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vineyard and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein, and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes….And now go to ; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down.
.....Issiah 5: 1-2. 5 (KVG)
I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch to me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that barest fruit he purgeth it, that they may bring more fruit…I am the vine ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing.
.....John 15: 1-2, 5 (KJV)
Christian Dominionist Minutemen United geared up for Pride early this year.
On June 7, Minutemen founder Dave Daubenmire, Bill Dunfree, pastor of New Beginnings Church in Warsaw, and a small group of Minutemen consecrated Bicentennial Park, site of the annual Pride Festival, to “defend the vineyard.”
Taking Isaiah 5 and John 15, with their prophetic imagery of the vineyard (the Kingdom of God-- ie, OT Israel/contemporary US), the hedge (divine judgment), the hill (the church), and the wild grapes (the self-willed/the unfaithful), as the foundational message for the consecration, Coach Daubenmire and Pastor Bill, called for American Christians to be the “light on the hill.” Though he condemned homosexuality Daubenmire counseled, “we can’t be mad at the homos” Bill Dunfee added later, “We don’t want controversy. We want God.”
The “homos” in fact, got little actual play. In the end they seemed to be a ghost in the vineyard, a handy looming specter among other specters (abortion, feminism, evolution, divorce, illegitimacy, modernity, liberalism, Islam), mucking Grendel-like through US culture wearing the stamp of secular state approval. Or to mix metaphors: the wild grapes
“God planted His church in America, not China or Iraq,” Daubenmire exhorted. God expected America to be good.” Instead, the “grapes of Sodom” are being brought forth. Pastor Bill reiterated. “God started a good vineyard, with good intentions.
Judgment,” he declared, “is the pruning fork.”
Despite the subject of the afternoon’s event, the wild grapes of homosexuality, Daubenmire, directed much of his invective to the unpruned vineyard of the “compromised church” that rejects God’s laws and prophets, at least, according to the particular scriptural interpretation of the Minutemen and their co-theocrats. “Where did the wild grapes begin?” Coach asked? “From the pulpit! From the compromised word of God!”
Yet the question runs deeper. Are, in fact, the Minutemen and similar organizations out to “save” others, the church, and the country? Or are those salvations tied ultimately to their own? “The Lord is the vine. We are the branches. What are the grapes but the fruit of the vine through the branches? Daubenmire declared.” If so, then the wild grapes spring from their own unfaithfulness. Can they not be saved unless others are?
After Bible study, the Minutemen, led by Pastor Bill knelt at the park bench, each taking turns at prayer. Then, after a couple ran to feed the meters, they walked silently to the site of the Pride Festival stage. They prayed at the four corners, and then split up, some with Bibles raised in the air, for a prayer walk around the park and at the Scioto.
When it was over, Coach Daubenmire returned to the bench. “Did you see how filthy the river (apparently the trash heap for current Broad Street-area repairs), is? Horrible. Disgusting. . Water is supposed to be symbol of life. That river is the River of Death.”
No word yet if the Minutemen plan any action at this year’s parade.