A bearded man in a car grinds to a stop near a group of children and asks them a question out of the window.

“Come closer kids,” he calls when they answer, “I can’t hear you.”

The children stop their playing and stare at the beckoning stranger. Then they wisely choose to tell some adults about this character instead of approaching him. So the man drives off…and goes and finds another group of kids to try it on again.

Multiple people call the cops who interview the scary stranger and eventually release the following message:

Ah, it wasn’t a child molestor. It was a soulwinner. Evidently some of them are hard to tell apart.

I guess that whole “wise as serpents; harmless as doves” thing just doesn’t quite register with some people. All too often soulwinning is seen as carte blanche permission to engage in behavior that would otherwise get you arrested.

203 thoughts on “Oblivion”

  1. As a teen, I was routinely told to violate “No Solicitors” signs while going door-to-door to promote our VBS.

    1. Needless to say, I rebelled, mostly because I live in the rusty redneck buckle of the Bible belt, and didn’t want to get shot.

    2. We were always told “It’s not soliciting if you are not selling anything, so ignore those signs”. I always thought, ” We are selling we are just not asking for money”. πŸ˜•

        1. “yet”

          so true, so true

          My former pastor actually hypothesised from the pulpit about approaching people who were visiting and asking first if they were saved, and second if they were tithers. If the answer to number 2 was no, then he said he might tell them that this church wasn’t for them.

        2. Jackie- Very true. We were close to a military base. The pastors countenance was so different around “officers”, he could smell the money! James would always come to mind and the verses about giving the rich man the seat of prominence and ignoring the poor or those less likely to benefit you. πŸ™

        3. @Fred, that’s funny because unless the officers had a high rank, they probably didn’t make much money. I made less as a LT than I did as a teacher.

  2. Love the last paragraph. And the mouse-over comment.

    I don’t see how ANYONE who’s read the Bible thinks that the end justifies the means. “I’m witnessing so it doesn’ matter what I do.” When Paul said that “God chose the foolish things of the world,” I don’t think this kind of behavior was what he had in mind.

    1. Maybe I’m just not seeing it, but what mouse-over comment? It sounds so interesting, but I can’t find it! πŸ˜₯ Please help?

      1. Use your mouse to put the arrow over the picture. Then wait a couple seconds. Some words will come up. Maybe.

        1. Now you have to go back to the archives and do it over all the rest of the pictures. That should give you something to do for a month or so.

      2. put your arrow over the light blue that Darrell scanned and put in the middle about the police response. (there are hundreds of these sub-text commentaries scattered throughout archived postings on here) πŸ˜€

  3. This is horrible but true…one of the bus captains back in my Bible college days would completely match this scenario except for one thing..he asked to speak to the kids while holding onto a jar of pickles. There would be little Chicago suburb kids running after his car for blocks…

        1. They used to offer them watermelons. At some point they were no longer allowed to do that.

        2. They offered watermelons? That has to be the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Well, I guess I can’t say much…the church I attended would give out fruit punch on the bus.

        3. Yes, they would tell them they could have “All they could eat” and then took all the kids to a big field and a truck load of watermelons was dumped out. It is one of my most horrible memories of that time.

        4. They would have gladly taken anything they were offered. They also just wanted a little attention from the bus captains. I think they (for the most part) needed adult males in their lives. The IDEA of that bus ministry was probably good. The problem is that those children were not the reason for the bus ministry. At least when I was there the reason was the number of bodies transported to the church so the “WORLD’S LARGEST SUNDAY SCHOOL” could keep its title. A good consistent inner-city ministry is very much needed in those neighborhoods though.

        5. They were covering all of their “politically incorrect” and “culturally insensitive” bases already, then the promise of watermelon put them over the top.

        6. @PlankEye Your ignorance is amazing…you actually think that promising all-you-can-eat watermelon to inner city African-American kids is funny…are you aware of racial stereotyping? This is another line that you just don’t cross. Hello?

        7. Jeez, ex-fundy youth pastor, I really don’t think that was intention :S The mental picture it brings to mind IS rather funny: you expect cookies, or pizza, even pickles I suppose, but watermelons is just so…..random

        8. @ex-youth pastor, I am well aware of racial stereotypes. I thought it was funny because it was so ridiculous that a church would offer black children something like watermelon. You would think that they would have better sense. I’m sure a youth pastor came up with the idea.

  4. Maybe he would have better luck had he been wearing a red T-shirt with the Flash on the front and a dashing fedora.

    1. And see…this is why I sometimes break down and ban people.

      What on earth does this comment have to do with the price of tea in China?

      What does that outfit that I wore for a video one day have anything to do with the crazy and frightening techniques used by some soulwinners?

      The constant stream of random and childish ad hominem is tiresome. At some point I’m likely to help you stop making stupid comments by removing your ability to make them.

      1. Easy there, tiger, I meant no disrespect. I was simply trying to lighten the mood. One thousand apologies.

        1. It’s just that there are some subjects….you…just…can’t…joke about. Do you have children PlankEye?

        2. As a matter of fact, I do have children. Lots of them…please remember, I’ve been labeled a fundy, so I have to fit the stereotypes, right? In reality, I have three boys. And you are right, there are some things that shouldn’t be joked about. However, I was under the impression that this was supposed to be a satirical and light-hearted look at the foibles of the Fundamentalist movement. For this being a “light-hearted” website, some folks get mighty uptight.

        3. hey Patch, “it is but you ain’t”

          Your comment missed satirical, and light-hearted by a mile. It came across as you trying to personally ding Darrell. If you have something to say to Darrell or about Darrell then just say it because your humor is wearing a toe tag.

        4. The “I was only trying to lighten the mood” defense wears pretty thin pretty fast. If you were sincerely trying to be funny, remember that simple textual data contains so little context reinforcement data that it’s nearly inevitable that people misunderstand you. Emoticons simply don’t do the job.
          I will have to admit that my suspicions are that you were intentionally being offensive; I’ve seen here and in other fora that people try “just funnin'” when they cross a line. Not many are fooled.

      2. @PlankEye in defense of Darrell. I was replying to that stupid post at first and then thought “nah, I’m sure PlankEye didn’t mean it like it sounded”. Now I know he wasn’t kidding.

        How many strikes is this for PlankEye? πŸ‘Ώ

        Thank you for continuing to remind us that there are serious freaks out there using Christs name to hurt people. And yes, there are freaks out there in all demoninations but the most dangerous thing about the IFB is that they will cover up and harbor criminals and demonized victims like no other denomination I’ve seen.

        And Darrell,your Flash t-shirt and Fedora are fabulous!

        1. Hilarious! You all STILL act like the fundies you spend your time denouncing! Darrell seems to have a cult on his hands, possibly from staring into the abyss too long….

      3. my first thought was sheldon, from ‘the big bang theory’, but then i remember he dislikes children and fedoras are probably germ-laden receptacles.

    2. PS, I think this totally counts as a datapoint for Scorpio’s theories that humor is a foreign thing to fundies. They don’t get anyone’s humor and their attempts at it are total fails.

      1. So I guess the question now is: Who is the fundy? I’m assuming you are meaning me, but Darrell is the one who did not get the humor, where both you and I did.

        1. You may not be a fundy, but that was as stark an example of failed humor attempt as I’ve seen in a while.

          It. was. not. funny.

          I don’t think it was an attempt to really dig @ Darrell, but the funniest thing about it is the thought that it must’ve seemed funny when you typed it? Surely you can see how there wasn’t any kind of a punch line or anything funny, right?

        2. @ex-pastor, it’s no wonder you are a former pastor. You don’t know me. You made assumptions based on an incorrect reading of a blog comment. To call someone racist and immature is inappropriate without knowing the person. For example, based on your posts, I could assume and make the suggestion that you are no longer a youth pastor because, like so many other fundy pastors, you took liberties with individuals in your church. Is that true? Probably not, but does that keep me from making unfair judgments about you? Nope. See my point? Probably not, but that’s how it goes, I guess.

    3. What did PlankGuy mean? Did he mean that it’s easier to “go soul winning” with the red β€œFlash” tee and fedora, or that the red tee and fedora would be better bait to pick up and harm children?

      If he was saying that the red “Flash” tee and fedora would work better when soul winning, it is a bit less odious and harmless. Not what I’d consider a “Ban-worthy” joke, nor would I consider it to be witty or satirical.

      Now if it’s was implying the 2nd (bait to pick up kids) then, yeah, ban-worthy. Saying D-man’s a perv was like J-man saying rose was a woman of ill repute, unfounded.

      All in all Plankguy needs to show more care when posting.

      Avoid all appearance of evil communication corrupting good manners of speech

        1. My owner is wearing his sandals today, so I’m working with two pairs of shoes today. That is four soles and two sets of laces. I can type 2x as fast as I usually can. It’s a freeing feeling

        2. @ PlankGuy:
          I was trying to find the needle of good in your haystack of evil.
          I was trying to see the good in your apparent bad.
          I was trying to HELP you look like you weren’t a trool.

        3. Trool: a person who enters a blog comments conversation with the intent to hijack it or divert it from it’s subject and tone but does so in such a clumsy, clueless manner as to provoke laughter and derision rather than humorless animosity. etymology: the word, trool, was “invented” a few months ago as a result of careless typing. it proved to be an immediate hit amongst commenters at firedoglake from which it seems to have spread virally. – UrbanDictionary

          Shoes…… was this intentional? πŸ˜€

        4. HAHAHA … no it was a typo, but i guess the tool/ troll hybrid is more appropriate

  5. I remember a conversation with the pastor about how easy it wold be for someone to steal kids. All you need is a church van, some candy and a trailer park. Usually it was my wife and I that ran our route but looking back, nevermind… I hate looking back πŸ™

    1. I agree! People will put their kids on a church bus with total strangers without a second thought. One time our church bus had someone other than the regular driver going out on the Wednesday night route, and two kids got on that had never come before. The driver didn’t know, because he didn’t know any of the kids anyway. They were pretty small kids, and when it was time to go home, they didn’t get off the bus and no one could remember where they lived. They had no idea what their address was, or a phone number to call. They had to just keep driving around until they spotted their house. After that, parents had to fill out emergency paperwork, which is what they should have been doing all along!

      1. We once had a mom send her BABY along with us on the bus. NO LIE! I remember I held the baby until we got to the church where I deposited her into the nursery and then went and retrieved her for the ride home. I felt so sorry for that baby I wanted to just keep her. (I guess that would have probably gotten me into some trouble, yeah?)

        1. As I recall she wasn’t old enough to sit up by herself, so I would say maybe less than 5 or 6 months. I asked the Bus Director why we were bringing a baby to church when the baby wouldn’t be able to learn anything and the answer was, “It is one more PERSON to count.”

        2. One more person to count??? So we want to count people who can’t even begin to comprehend the message,just to boost our numbers?? That is just… I can’t even think of a word for it…

        3. That poor baby! How nice of you to show her some love. I have kids and completely understand the need to have a break from them, but some people….wow!

        4. No words. I can’t even comprehend sending my 5 or 6 month baby with strangers. I am so happy you were there that day Sheryl. You were literally Christ’s hands and feet for that baby.

      2. When I did Bible Club during college, many of the parents did the same thing. We had one mom send her kid to Bible Club even though he was sick with diarrhea. Poor kid had to poop in the bushes because were too far from his house and not close enough to the playground. It was awful.

  6. The hidden text made me laugh!

    Anyone else have a guy who occasionally drives through the neighborhood in an old beat up station wagon with Bible verses written all over it, with the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” sung in creepy high doll voices blaring through a megaphone attached to the top of the car? Just me then?

    1. Maybe instead of buying more blue busses, they should consider just buying ice cream trucks and save some time and money.

        1. Oh wow, I had no idea it had already been done. Around here ice cream trucks are all code for drug dealers. (No kids are ever at the stops, just skeezy looking guys.)

        2. We had an incident a few years back where some guys “disguised” as ice cream men burglarized a couple of houses. Our regular ice cream man is very nice and I look forward to seeing him every summer; however, I NEVER allow my kids to go outside or purchase treats alone. Though when the freaky station wagon religious nut comes around, I will turn tail, grab the kids and make a run for it!

        3. I just read that thread. And now I’m angry. All those years I rode a church van, and NO ONE ever offered ME ice cream. πŸ™„

          The KJV argument just made me angry.

        4. There are a lot of ice cream trucks in my neighborhood, but as far as I know they just sell ice cream. At least, I see people buying actual ice cream at the trucks.

          Quiz: Which is worse: Ice cream trucks used to peddle illegal drugs, or ice cream trucks used to bamboozle your kids into a crazy fundamentalist cult? Think carefully before you answer.

        5. The drugs are illegal. This makes them easier to spot as dangerous. So I will say the crazy religious ice cream truck is worse. (Admitting I did not think about it longer than a minute or two)

        6. This whole idea of using an ice cream truck is disgusting. How easy would it be for a child molester to see this and steal the idea and go on the same routes. I emailed the pastor and questioned him on his motives, and how easy it would be for someone to pose as the church. He didn’t share my same concerns. πŸ™„

        7. I looked for an old ice cream bus for a while. I wanted to do a puppet ministry out of it.

  7. The problem is that a lot of Churches (and Fundies) are still trying to do outreach in ways that were acceptable 50 years ago, but aren’t today. Door-to-door is a classic case in point. What this bloke was doing goes way beyond that, though. I mean, you would think that in this day and age he’d realise that such behaviour would get him pegged as a possible child molester! Finally, GET OUT OF THE CAR!

    1. There is a revelation for fundies! Try to adapt instead of reliving the 70’s! I know church is not business but you can relate some applications. It’s called marketing! Look at old TV commercials from the 70’s. Would they work today, no. We may get a good laugh but things change, society changes and our approach to people should change.
      I pushed and pushed for our church to drop the big $ yellow page ads and invest in a “professional” website. I told all who would listen that few people under 30 ever look at yellow pages, the “Google”. Let’s meet people where they are instead of getting stuck in tradition.

    2. The problem is that the New Testament talks about going “house to house”, and some churches take that as a mandate for the only way to do things.

      1. That probably relates more to what some churches call ‘community groups’ than door-to-door invitation to church services.

      2. I believe that was fellowshiping or meeting house to house. I also think that involves inviting ones’ neighbors to ones OWN house. 😯

      3. Ha! The Acts 5 “house to house” or the Acts 8 “house to house”? Because in Acts 8 its about going “house to house” to drag men and women off to prison. And that just created a joke all on its own…

  8. Well, the first sentence of the story proves it wasn’t a fundy doing it. It says “A bearded man” ALL good fundies are clean-shaven.

    1. At least the ones at Hyles and PCC are.

      Did you notice Steve Anderson is sporting a crazy looking beard these days?

      1. Did you all see the video of him picking a fight with border agents? That’s the same guy right? He set up his own persecution! πŸ™„

        1. The funniest part of that video is when he gets tasered and he starts screaming like a little girl. Granted, I would probably do the same thing, but it is still pretty funny.

      2. Bob Jones has beards on faculty! Stephen Jones likes the goatee, so I think he made it legal……….

        1. Clearwater’s actually gone a step further and allowed their senior class men to grow “beards.”

          Unfortunately, there still is no facial hair ban for women…

      3. I feel incredibly shallow saying this, but let’s see the beard! (Anybody got a link to a photo or video with the beard?)

        1. The phrase “Steve Anderson’s Beard” makes me giggle, and think of his wife…

        2. Just think about how great his “piss against the wall” sermon would have been if he had had his beard.

        3. @Theo, I might bring that up at praise band practice tomorrow night, but I’m sure the other people won’t get the reference.

        4. I still say he looks like Matthew Fox’s twin. The beard makes it more so. Matthew Fox should sue to get his face back.

  9. And this is why my church doesn’t send guys out alone to pick up kids for Sunday School, except in extreme circumstances (like everyone who normally picks up kids is sick or away or something, which might happen a max of once a year). Just a little bit too creepy if a random man walks up to a house and takes the children away in his van.

    1. Oh, and I should mention that my first reaction upon seeing the title was “Oblivion the videogame?”

        1. I don’t want to talk about it. Do you know how much freakin time I spent on that game WITHOUT actually completing the central questline?

        2. Haha, I bought it a few months back and still haven’t finished it! There’s just so much to do…

        3. Play as a barbarian. It goes faster. Same with Diablo, by the way. Matter of fact, I can’t understand why anyone would play as anything other than a Barbarian on Diablo, they are ten times more durable than anything else.

  10. Our former fundy pastor would always say he would never send his children with anyone he didn’t know regardless if they were going to ‘church’ or not, and that any smart parent would never send their child on a bus with people they didn’t know or let them talk to adults with candy walking around the neighborhood. Of course, he has 2 buses and brings in more kids than there are members, and the new approach is that he has members bring them in their cars, as well. Sound completely off to anyone?????

    Justification-“It’s our God-given duty to educate the kids of the parents that are not smart enough to know better.” ‘puke-icon’

  11. During my police career there was a local convenience store that I took most of my breaks in (good coffee and free!) I got to know the manager and staff and considered them all friends.

    There was an elderly man that frequented the store who was pentecostal and fundy as you could get. Once he found out that I was a christian he would always want to engage me about spiritual matters, I usually enjoyed the conversations, but I began to notice when other customers would come in he would begin to amp up the volume so that others could hear our conversation, kinda like the fundies that pray real loud in restaurants, so I would purposely lower my voice, and walk away if necessary. Anyway this “preacher” took to “looking over” alot of young ladies in the store and told one young lady you’re way too pretty to be wearing such a short skirt, and then go from there to preach her a modesty story. One of the female cashiers told me one day that she thought the guy was a perv.

    Continuing, my “preacher” pal eventually got “banned” from the hospital for his inappropriate “witnessing” techniques, and if you asked him today he would tell you quite a tale how he is suffering for Christ’s sake.

  12. As a coordinator of children and youth, that is just creepy. It’s people like this who give Christians a bad name. I remember when I was little going with my Dad, who was a deacon, while he passed out Chick Tracks. But then, I couldn’t understand why we would be rude to people who came to our door to pass out their stuff.

  13. Or he really *was* trying to catch a kid, got caught, and it was a convenient cover for him.

    1. So the lesson to be learned here is that any time you are caught being shady, blame Jesus. Jesus is all-powerful so he can take being thrown under the bus.

      1. It worked for Jack Hyles, David Hyles, Bob Gray, Mac Ford, Olen King, Lestor Roloff and hundreds of others for years. If someone calls you on sin or your underhanded dealings just throw up your Man-o-gawdloveJesuschurchworkfortheLord force field. And prest-o change-o you have instant immunity.

  14. “Ah, it wasn’t a child molestor. It was a soulwinner.”

    Unfortunately, as we’ve seen from the news lately, these two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    1. it took this long to get this comment under here? Wow, we must really be slipping, the power of the trools must have created a disturbance in the force, this should have been at the beginning right after the “first” nonsense

      1. In fairness, it didn’t take that long. There’s just been lots of replies to other comments, pushing this one on down the list. (Note time stamp.)

        Even so, I was surprised someone hadn’t already said it when I posted it.

  15. I wonder if, when you are not sure if the kid heard your message or not, does this still count as a gospel presentation on the stats board back at your soulwinning church?

    1. Obviously. The seed has been sown! And you’ve sown the seed to the parents as well! M-M-M-MULTI KILL!!!!!!

      1. G-G-G-GODLIKE!

        I was a student at BJU for three years before leaving of [mostly] my own volition. It wasn’t that long ago. In fact, who was your freshman speech teacher?

        1. Greg Kielmeyer. It’s the best class I’ve taken there. He was an amazing teacher. Also…. When you use the quake sounds plugin for CounterStrike Source….. 24 killstreak gets you to Holy S***……. Pretty humorous when that happened in my room one time. :mrgreen:

        2. Yeah, those used to play on DotA, too. But they let you use headphones at Clearwater, so it wasn’t an issue for me. 😎

          I asked because I still have some … personal connections in the speech GA department. Anyway, I highly recommend Ms Aumiller’s Public Speaking, if she’s still teaching it. Also, when you get around to taking Doctrines, you should try to take it with Dr Ormiston (at least, I think he’s a Dr now). He’s so NOT a Bob Jones guy.

  16. I can’t tell you how many times as a teen I told the church this exact thing. Aren’t we supposed to abstain from all appearance of evil? Definatley an appearance there. I always thought it creepy and sometimes I was the one doing it! I don’t care who it is or what they look like, if some stranger offers my daughter candy, pickles or whatever and offers to take them to a nice place, i’m screaming bloody murder and calling thecops!

    1. No actually, we’re not. We’re supposed to take great care in interpreting new prophecy offered by those who have the gift. That’s what the ‘appearance of evil’ means. Check it out in an NIV. πŸ™‚

  17. Downright scary how stupid people can be in the name of “soulwinning”!!

  18. Drive-by soulwinning??
    Fundie Gansta’s with their fish emblems and “Turn or Burn” magnets signs plastered all over the car. The cassette tape playing through the in-dash speaker, turned up loud, squawking out the churches quartet singing “Honey in the Rock.” Pockets full of Chick Tracts, and a console loaded with breath mints and hundreds of sun bleached “Simple Plan of Salvation” tracts.
    Has his 9 at the ready.. that is his big ol’ 9 inch black King James with the Romans Road marked with wordless Bible ribbons. Yeah their coming to your neighborhood looking for sinnahs to preach to! 😯

    1. george,
      don’t you know the difference between “there”, “their” and “they’re”????
      “…they are coming to your neighborhood…”
      they’re = they are not their. 😳 πŸ™„

  19. Having a “bus ministry” is not always a bad idea, but you have to do it right…
    I have helped serve on the “bus ministry” for a local fundie Church here in town, and we have seen some great sucess with it-for some of the children we minister to, the church is the only place where they are shown genuine love and care-most of the children we work with come from broken homes, and we use the bus ministry as an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Jesus.
    The key to our sucess, though, is that the Pastor goes and meets with the parents of these children every week. In fact, he met with the parents before ever picking up a child. If a child does want to come to church (because they see their friends are going), the pastor always asks to speak with the child’s mom and asks permission of the mom to take the child to church…
    The guy in the post just did it all wrong…

    1. My father and mother did the closest thing to a bus ministry that I’ve been associated with. We lived a distance out of town up a valley and drove past a place that was a real dump on the way into town. There was a large number of young kids and the father was a drunk. When the chuech was given a bus Dad asked if he could use it to pick up the kids. Many years later I wound up working with one of the kids. Though, at the time, none of them got saved he said that later a couple of them, including him. Riding that bus and Mom and Dad paying attention to them are his best and most cherrished childhood memories. Never would have thought it at the time. They were totally undisciplined and obnoxious and anoying to be around. Dad has been gone 3 years now and these were not the only kids he and Mom “adopted”. I miss him

  20. OK, I get that we need to teach kids to be careful around strangers (and even people they know). I really do. I also get that this guy’s method of preaching was pretty strange, ineffectual, and even scary.

    But how can we get out of this situation where any adult talking to children is presumed to have bad intentions? It has gotten out of hand.

    Case in point: Yesterday, I was sitting in the veterinary clinic waiting room with my cat. A little girl (she might have been six) sat down next to me and started talking to me about the cat. We had a nice conversation, but all the time I was worried about what other people would think. Neither of us said anyting improper and neither tried to touch the other, and her parents and other adults were nearby, but I was still afraid people would think my friendliness toward the child marked me as some kind of creepo pedophile, just because I was a lone man talking to a young girl. I hate it that I can’t have any interaction with children without worrying about somebody calling the police.

    1. BOY can I relate! I have 5 kids and by the end of August I will have 13 grandkids under the age of 7. Not only do I love my grandkids I love all kids and greatly enjoy trying to catch thier attention. Not only do I have the same feelings you do with strange kids but when I have my own in public I get sideway glances from some people. πŸ˜₯

    2. I thought of that too πŸ™ Though I suppose there is a difference between a casual chat in a public place, as opposed to you making the advances.

  21. The idea of bus ministry is so bizarre. There are parents around here who will send their kids to every single Vacation Bible School over the summer regardless of what church is offering it, but that’s as far as things go.

    There are a lot of Baptist churches here, but I get the feeling that the “soul winning” part of the culture is deemphasized. That’s probably because there are only 14,000 people from one end of the road to the other and we don’t get casual day trippers from the mainland. When the “benighted strangers” whose doors you knock on ask you how you’ve been and whether your daughter will be in dance class again this fall, it’s hard to maintain the illusion of being a missionary into the outer darkness.

    OTOH, the Seventh-Day Adventists still knock on doors and leave tracts.

  22. BTW, there are perverts out there who do use “soul winning” as a pretext to line up targets for sex. And there are men busted for soliciting prostitutes who lie and say they were soul winning

    1. Ken Bently, who now styles himself as “Dr” Ken Bently, used that excuse when he got busted in 1978 for soliciting a prostitute.

    2. William E. Gladstone, the Victorian-era British Prime Minister, was said to walk the streets of London at night, picking up prostitutes, with the intention of trying to talk them out of prostitution and get them into missions designed to rehabilitate them.

      Apparently, he did this sincerely. I don’t know of any evidence that he had sexual intercourse with any of the prostitutes. But it’s a rather surprising hobby for a Prime Minister, especially with his direct, hands-on approach.

      Gladstone’s other favorite hobby seems to have been chopping down trees. Whether or not there was a some psychological connection between these two pastimes is a matter of endless speculation.

      Here’s one discussion of Gladstone’s “work” with London streetwalkers:

      1. Wow! All I can say is WOW! And all I can conclude is, men sure can get into weird states of mind! Couldn’t he have just become a vegetarian and taken cold showers?

        1. Huh? Please excuse me; I’m not very hip. What do you want me to knock down?

      2. “I don’t know of any evidence that he had sexual intercourse with any of the prostitutes.”

        He doesn’t seem to have come down with syphilis, which would have been a clue.

  23. “Homer, you’re as dumb as a mule and twice as ugly. If a strange man offers you a ride, I say take it.”

  24. My bus captain used to do this a lot when we were on bus route. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen any more. But I do believe it to be awkward. I was constantly worried about something happening, but nobody ever listened to my concerns until it was too late. Nothing major ever happened on the bus, but there were little things that could have been prevented.

  25. On a totally different side of this coin, I remember being sent out “bus-calling” when I was 12 and 13 in downtown Saginaw with only one other teenage girl… girls and guys couldn’t go together so it was just us. I can’t remember who many times we were offered drugs, “strongly encouraged” to step inside a sketchy home or chased by dogs. I can still trying to run away in my jean skirt… πŸ‘Ώ

    There’s just so little thought given to practicalities in the Fundy world… “God will protect you if you’re doing what we tell you to do” was the reasoning, I believe, behind the horrible decisions…

    1. Saginaw represent! It always bothered me that two churches in suburbs on two sides of the cities bussed kids out, but never made any attempt to do any real work in the city itself.

    2. I appreciate churches like the ones associated with Acts29 that are going INTO the cities and living in those communities and investing in their neighborhoods, showing the love of God daily.

  26. Several years ago, our church adopted an outreach borrowed from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church called “Evangelism Explosion.” (Devised by Dr. James Kennedy – now deceased.) I was a teacher trainer. Every Tuesday evening, we met for a half-hour training session and someone always brought doughnuts. Then we went out visiting. If we did not have visitor cards, we had to go “cold calling” – just randomly knocking on doors or going to a mall and approaching people. At the time, I thought it was a good thing to do. Looking back now, I’m not so sure. How would the average person react to some stranger knocking on their door when it’s dark outside?

  27. My God, what a giant cry baby. I love how Darrell can trash anybody and everything, but someone makes a little tease on dipshit hat and living in mommies basement t-shirt and he goes of the tracks and threatens to ban !

    1. Yeah….because making fun of my hat was exactly what I was chiding him about.


      1. I think many people did not catch the double entendre that was, possibly unintentionally, inserted into Plank Eye’s “little tease”. Just a thought. Some people, like Bro. Phil Armenik for example, may be a little slow…. :mrgreen:

    2. I love you how can throw around dipshit and pretend you’re not the one that word best applies too.

      In the love of Christ of course.

    3. Wow. Go away JR.

      Or not, I love watching people try to start arguments here.

      “Lord, forgive me for feeding the trolls, Amen.”

      1. Too obvious. At this point, he has to have learned to use something less conspicuous. Like PlankEye. Or Realize the Truth.

    1. I’m so glad we have increased our vocabulary today with the word trool! πŸ˜†

  28. Even the moderate Baptist church, that I attend now, emphasizes child evangelism. It is an admission that it has been harder to lead adults to Christ than children. We don’t use buses but needless to say, AWANA is not filled with middle class children. Ultimately, very few of this children retain any interest in their teen years.

    Friendship evangelism is rarely accepted in fundamental circles but offers a more realistic way of bringing adults to Christ (sadly it requires Christians who are content in their faith and more effort than a Saturday morning of doorknocking).

    1. Its also easier to lead children to believe in magicians and the tooth fairy. Likewise, its easier to vicitimize and exploit kids. I see a pattern here…

    2. “Friendship Evangelism” Did it take 2000 years to come back to that? πŸ˜†

    3. Friendship evangelism requires “more effort than a Saturday morning of doorknocking.” YES!!!!

      Because people are giving up their time and because in our day and age it’s awkward to knock on strangers’ doors, fundies act like door-to-door evangelism is the epitome of being sold-out for God, but in reality, it’s actually easier to recite the Romans Rd. to a stranger than to take the time to actually get to know someone, to listen to their problems, to help, and to spend your emotional energy on them. When your hour is done on Saturday morning, you can turn in your record of doors-knocked-upon and be done, but someone who is discipling someone is making a long term investment in that person’s life.

      1. exactly…I could not have said it better.
        My father wrote a tract and gives it to waitresses and I see it is a source of pride for him.
        I believe God can use a tract in special circumstances (much like a guy who found Jesus in the front row of a rock concert-heard that on unshackled) but for me personally, I twitch when I encounter one as it brings back memories of going door to door on Saturday mornings when I should have been home watching cartoons!
        And you’re right PW, anyone can hand out a tract, but taking time to develop a relationship ??

      2. exactly…I could not have said it better.
        My father wrote a tract and gives it to waitresses and I see it is a source of pride for him.
        I believe God can use a tract in special circumstances (much like a guy who found Jesus in the front row of a rock concert-heard that on unshackled) but for me personally, I twitch when I encounter one as it brings back those memories of going door to door on Saturday mornings when I should have been home watching cartoons!

      3. Very well said. If only I (and my parents) had understood this when we were at our former IFB church…

      4. And that folks is “it” in nutshell. Discipleship, loving your neighbor, the widows, and the fatherless does not take the form of “soul winning”.

        Loving people is messy and difficult.

        You are an absolute sweet heart PW. I love hearing from you.

  29. If the message cannot appeal much to an adult thinking individual, you’ve got to wonder about that message.

      1. I was responding to the notion that kids are “easier” to convict (ensnare) than adults. That says a lot about the message.

    1. I think the problem is that adults are naturally more cynical and doubting, not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with the message.

    2. Jesus commended children for their faith. I argue that it says something about the messengers, not the message. πŸ™‚

  30. This brings to mind how the pastor at the last IFB church I attended would complain about how they couldn’t get the bus ministry started. “None of the parents will send their kids to church!” I have to admit being dense about that until I started leaving fundyland.

    And the “bus” was an old, white, 1970’s 15-seater van that spewed enough exhaust fumes to choke a horse–inside the passenger compartment.

    1. No matter how they may feel about the church’s teachings and its methods, most parents don’t want their children riding in a death trap.

  31. Oh brother, I can hear him saying to the police- in a high pitched voice with eyes darting back and forth as he draws his hands across his goatee- “Yeah, yeah, that’s what I was doing. I was handing out a gospel tract”
    side note: just watching “cult tv” (streaming live of a Wednesday service) and all the little children are running up to throw money into a big bank and then hug all the men on the platform. Many are too fat to close their legs so the kids walk up to them and hug them. I get sick every time I see it!

  32. I like how he doesnt even get out of his car to evangelize the children. Quick kid, repeat after me, I need to get my soul winning numbers up, and I have places to go.

  33. Every Sunday on our way home from church we follow a local church’s bus home ACROSS STATE LINES! I guess this church has figured that there aren’t enough kids in their own backyard they need to cross over the line and get kids to come…my husband and I discussed just last week as to whether they get a permission slip to transport kids into another state…betting NOT!

  34. Anyone else notice the irony that this happened in a town so closely associated with Flannery O’Connor? I’m sure she would have deliciously cutting words to say about this if she were still alive…

    1. Thanks, SarahK, I, too, noticed that this happened in Flannery O’Connor’s home town. It’s like something right out of one of her stories!

  35. Why is an Egyptian pyramid sitting on top of a very short Greek column?

    Are you sending me subliminal messages that I should follow Ra and or Athena?

    Still not separate enough in my books.

    If separation is your prime doctrine, you end up alone.

    1. I can only wish they’d separate to the point of solitary confinement, sadly they just keep trying to sucker more people into their bunker… πŸ™‚

  36. Brings back memories of “soul winning” via bus routes. The only good thing I ever did in 2 years of that nonsense was to forget about going door to door passing out flyers and promising candy, and just spend the morning fixing a kid’s bike for him.

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