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“ And you discovered that your boyfriend had been sleeping with your mother?” The audience snickered. The teenage girl on the stage ducked her head at the burst of attention.

The mother was a middle-aged woman in a too-tight black dress, sitting with her arm entwined with the skinny one of a boy in a sleeveless T-shirt. She waved to the crowd. He grinned.

Talk-show host Jerry Springer, wasted no time. “ Do the two of you really sleep together?”

The mother still holding the hand of the boy, looked at him. He grinned, and she smiled. “ Yes”

She went on to explain how she’d been lonely since her divorce. Her daughter’s boyfriend hung out at her house all hours of the day and night and, well, one afternoon he popped beside her on the couch and the two started talking and one thing led to another and the next thing she knew they were…Her face flushed, and the boy shrugged as they let the audience complete the sentence.

The girl sat expressionless and silent.

“Aren’t you worried what this might teach your daughter?” Jerry Springer inquired.

“ I’m only teaching her the ways of the world.”

“ What about you?” Jerry asked the boy. “ Aren’t you being unfaithful to your girlfriend?”

The boy looked honestly amazed. “ I still love her,” he announced. “ I’m only helping her by loving her mother. We are one happy family. There’s nothing wrong with that!”

The audience erupted with whistles and applause. Just as the hubbub began to subside, Jerry told the lovers, “ Not everyone would agree with you. I’ve invited a guest to react to your lifestyle.” With that, the crowd got quiet, anxious to see who Jerry Springer had recruited to spice up the dialogue.

“He’s the world’s most famous theologian. His writings have long been followed by some and debated by others. Making his first appearance on the Jerry Springer Show, please welcome controversial theologian, scholar, and author, the apostle Paul!”

Polite applause welcomed a short, balding man with glasses and a tweed jacket. He loosened his tie as he settled his small frame in the stage chair. Jerry skipped the welcome. “ You have trouble with what these people are doing?”

Paul held his hands in his lap, looked over the trio, and then back at Jerry. “ It’s not how I feel that matters. It’s how God feels.”

Jerry paused so the T.V audience could hear the “ ooohs” ripple through the studio.

“Then tell us, please Paul, how does God feel about this creative tryst?” “ It angers him.” “ And why?” “Evil angers god because evil destroys his children. What these people are doing is evil.” The strong words triggered a few hoots, some scattered applause, and an outburst of raised hands. Before Jerry could speak, Paul continued. “ As a result God has left them and let them go their sinful way. Their thinking is dark, their acts are evil, and God is disgusted.”

A Lanky fellow in the front shouted out his objection. “ It’s her body. She can do what she wants!”

“ Oh, but that’s where you are mistaken. Her body belongs to God and is to be used for him.”

“ What we’re doing is harmless,” objected the mother.

“ Look at your daughter,” Paul urged her, gesturing toward the girl whose eyes were full of tears. “ Don’t you see you have harmed her? You traded healthy love for lust. You traded the love of God for the love of the flesh. You traded truth for lie. And you traded the natural for the unnatural…”

Jerry could restrain himself no longer. “ Do you know how hokey you sound? All this talk about God and right and wrong and immorality? Don’t you feel out of touch with reality?”

“ Out of touch? No. Out of place, yes. But out of touch, hardly. God does not sit silently while his children indulge in perversion. He lets us go our sinful way and reap the consequences. Every broken heart, every unwanted child, every war and tragedy can be traced back to our rebellion against God.”

People sprang to their feet, the mother put her finger in Paul’s face, and Jerry turned to the camera, delighting in the pandemonium. “ We’ve got to take a break,” he shouted over the noise. “ Don’t go away; we’ve got some more questions for our friend the apostle.”

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