The parable updated.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” This prayer concludes the 139th Psalm. I etched it in my zipper-lined King James Version, the Bible that fortified me through my years in junior and senior high school when the ladder on my Sunday school perfect attendance pin had grown so long and heavy that I tilted to one side every time I wore it on my lapel. While growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I repeated that prayer daily.

Before I matriculated at the University of Wisconsin in the early sixties, I had attended—as infrequently as my parents—a Greek Orthodox church in Milwaukee. The faith of our fathers, celebrated in our home most vigorously during the church’s holy feasts, failed to satisfy my raging appetite for religion. So I attended with extreme regularity a Bible-believing church located in an inner city neighborhood several blocks away from our two-story frame house. In the evenings I lounged next to my burgundy-colored short wave radio, the size of a fat midget’s coffin, and listened to the religious broadcasts emanating from the missionary headquarters of the Voice of the Andes in Quito, Equador. As a youth I rejoiced in the simple Bible-oriented broadcasts. Through them I found an edifying sense of witness in the testimonies of those who were serving the Lord in strange and far away lands, for they, more than any other group I knew, realized the dictates of the Great Commission: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

For my all-day Saturday diet of religious broadcasting, I listened to Chicago’s WMBI, the radio ...

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