92 thoughts on “GOH: My House is Full (But My Field is Empty)”

    1. I usually never get first because I’m on the West Coast. Woot woot.

      1. Don’t feel too bad. I’m on the East Coast and always too late to comment as well. 😐

  1. IFBy Anthem
    Guilt Level Hit Points:M/b> 100
    Experience points: 75,000,000
    Power Level: TBD by MOGamemaster who may narrate and induce special guilt at any point while anthem is being played.

    1. mmm george? that “M” should be a <
      Darrell could you help george out and correct that?

      1. Does George ever sleep? He needs something else to keep him busy. I haven’t listened to this, but am very familiar with the song. My biggest problem is the use of absolutes. “No one” wants to work. Wouldn’t that include the mog?
        No one? Really?

        Ah, well. Lunch is over. Back to work. See you all tomorrow afternoon when I get up.

        1. Good catch, Uncle Wilver. Saying “NO ONE wants to work in my field” is the sort of exaggeration common in humans but not GOD. Jesus Himself said that the laborers were FEW, not that there was no one at all.

          (We see this exaggeration in Elijah when he said that no one was left who worshiped God when there were actually 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal.)

        2. …aaaand, George is visiting, mostly because I’m in enough pain that I haven’t slept, and I’m taking yet more meds… Right handed, right hand, wrist, elbow, all flared up, turning ‘Mom’ into ‘Mo’…

        3. Elijah was definitely whining! But God corrected him, so I don’t think God wanted him having the attitude that “there was no one left who was really faithful.”

          And this song is whining too.

        4. Uncle Wilver,

          You have identified one of the main problems in Fundystan today – hyperbole. “No one” wants to go…not true. The “greatest” this or that…how many times have we heard that? This is your “one time” to “accept Christ”, “dedicate your life”, or whatever else.

          Fundies (and MOGs in particular) lose all credibility when they start tossing around superlatives and platitudes like that.

          Bro Bluto

        5. Hyperbole is ten times as great as the greatest thing ever. It’s even greater than itself.

  2. Just read a Facebook post from Mrs. Fundy Missionary saying what a blessing the preacher’s sermon was Sunday morn. “I had to ask myself, what am I doing to win the lost at any cost.” Every time she comments on a sermon she unloads guilt. None of us can ever do enough because God didn’t create us to supermen and He said we make up the body of Christ together, each one a part of it. We are not each one the whole body. The Fundies are so worried that if they miss one opportunity to witness to some poor lost soul, that person could be forever doomed to hell; no more opportunities. The words of Mordecai to Esther were that if she didn’t intervene with the king on behalf of the Jews, their rescue would come from another source. God gets His work done and he doesn’t depend solely on us to do it or all is lost. I would love to say this to Mrs. FM but I fear she would brandish at me a crucifix (an empty one, of course) and string garlics around her neck. So glad thay haven’t made it back here to the UK!

    I do know this song. We used to sing it with piano and a really cool country arrangement with lots of Floyd Cramer style bent notes. Fun to play! I don’t care for this arrangement. I didn’t listen very far in, to be fair; it was just too saccharine. Bleh.

    1. Ah, yes, the Church of Guilt.
      Whatever you’re doing, it isn’t enough.
      So compelling, and so counter to the Gospel.

    2. I really dislike the “Win the lost at ANY cost” – really? Any cost? How about the cost of your separation? How about skipping church and pestering people 24/7 with “Are you 100% certain that you would go to heaven if you should die today?”

      1. You know, back in the summer/fall of ’88, guy came out with a book: 88 reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 (http://www.amazon.com/reasons-Why-Rapture-Will-1988/dp/B00073BM8O/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371100901&sr=1-1&keywords=88+reasons) It swept through our area like wildfire- everyone I knew read it. People were really excited and had lots of reasons for saying that this one was real- not a false alarm. And of course it didn’t happen. But just after, our pastor preached on it, came down really hard on everyone- basically the premise was that if we’d REALLY believed that Jesus was returning in that time, we would have been collaring our loved ones, banging on our neighbors’ doors, grabbing people off the street. How could we not, knowing what would happen otherwise?

        Boy, was that a sobering sermon. I still remember, 25 years later.

        1. Sooooooo, because we don’t go around paranoid, buttonholing people at every corner and screaming the wrath of JAY-zuz into their collective faces,
          and spending every waking second trembling in fear like some demented Xian Kevin McCarthy from “The Body Snatcher”, sooooo that means we aren’t REAL True Committed Xians? πŸ™„

        2. A-yup. It does make some sense, in that if we really believed it, we’d do everything we could to keep others from a terrible fate. Rather like if the wildfire’s on the way, you bang on your neighbor’s door to make sure they get out in time. (My brother is keeping an eye on the fires in Colorado at the moment.)

          But we don’t- at least, only the real freaks do. It makes me wonder how deep the roots of belief go, and what is under them.

        3. I think it’s because we model ourselves after Jesus. He never button-holed people and screamed at them to turn or burn. He called people to follow Him. His Spirit produces peace, gentleness, and self-control, none of which would be exhibited if we tried to strong-arm our neighbors into believing.

          Anyway, the realm of faith is different from the physical world. We can see and observe a fire; we know when it’s coming. I could physically remove a protesting person and carry them to safety and they’d be safe even if the flames destroyed his home. But you can’t force things of the spirit. You can’t make someone believe something they don’t want to believe and trying to force them to results in some of the horrors of history (like the Inquisition).

          I am also reminded of the man who lived near Mt. St. Helen’s and refused to evacuate though he was warned. He was allowed freedom of choice, and he died when it blew.

    3. In my teenage years at a fundy high school, we were told that we must go soul-winning every opportunity we had, because if we didn’t there would be people out there that wouldn’t get saved otherwise. Once in heaven, our hands would literally be covered in their blood. πŸ‘Ώ

      Score one for scare tactics that worked.

      1. Sadly, in much of the IFB world, “soul-winning” is nothing more than selling the “MagicPrayer” to people. Members are humiliating into going out; many a time, I heard “if you’re not going soul-winning, you’re not right with God!” Longview Baptist Temple (Bob Gray, Sr) used to make members stand who were going out soul-winning that week, and if you didn’t stand, you were ranted at. There is no justification for such behavior: they never make people stand who pledge to read their Bibles, or give money, or let the mind of Christ dwell in them.

        The reality is that we are to be witnesses to the truth, and it is the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin.

        As one evangelist pointed out, what is the Scriptural precedent for leading people in “The Sinner’s Prayer”?? Talk about a forbidden question in most IFB churches!!!!

        More people might be willing to be Christians if Christians were better people.

  3. I remember singing that song in youth choir. It was never one of my favorites, but I was used to singing songs I didn’t like just because I liked to sing.

  4. The alto has some pitch problems. Just being critical, but I’m in that sort of mood today. (It’s a quarter to 5- cut me some slack…)

    1. I’ve heard so many of these women’s trio/quartet pieces that to me, they all sound alike. So do the trios and quartets. You could interchange the names of the groups and it wouldn’t make any difference.

      Fundy music is so incredibly lacking in anything remotely resembling creativity.

  5. Will they still use this song knowing the songwriter (Lanny Wolfe) came out out of the closet?

    1. From what I can tell, Lanny Wolfe was caught having relations with college-age boys; his wife left him and he was kicked out of his job.

      But he apparently repented of the sin he did. I don’t know what he currently says about homosexuality, but it sounded like he may think it is wrong.

      Hardly one who “came out”.

    2. My mother’s fundie hymnbook has hymns written by Ralph Vaughn Williams. He was an atheist.

      1. I had heard there were rumors about Lanny Wolfe, but hadn’t heard of anything definite.

        I guess now that he’s not the Pentecostal/Charismatic go-to songwriter he was during the 1980s, it’s okay to use his songs.

  6. I hate the song, I hate the clunkers, and I’m pretty sure I hate them as people. Lest anyone think I’m being hypercritical, my grandpa’s in the hospital. The members of the church I used to attend (the ones who HAVE reached out to my worldly self, anyway) asked if he was saved. Not how my mom was doing. Not how I was doing. They wanted. To know. If he. Was saved. I realize I’m salty and hyperemotional, but that’s like Asshole Level: Expert right there.

      1. Thank you so much for your concern. He has been put on hospice. While it is what’s best for him, it’s rough for the rest of us. But thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    1. Sincerely hope the best for your grandpa and all of your family in this tough time.

      1. Thank you, John. He has been placed on hospice care, and it is what’s best for him. He is going to the facility I work at, so I will be able to take care of him the way he cared for me as a child.

    2. I’m so sorry about your grandfather.

      Hospice is a blessing, in that it eases the caregiving responsibilities for the family and you all can just be with your grandfather. It’s still oh, so hard though. There’s never enough time with your loved ones. Ever.

      I pray for peace and comfort for all of you.

      1. πŸ˜†
        You’re lucky it wasn’t me belting one out. Your ears would be bleeding.

    1. The ministry is just so hard on the ole gray haired MOG. Shame on those fundies for not doing their part at knocking 500 doors a day.

    2. Seriously! I mean, if Churchians were really committed then they would make sure they were all knocked up for the Lord. Anyone who is serious about their salvation will be on the streets working it out. That’s a load of guilt to swallow. 😯 😈

      1. The wife of my former religious leader was knocked up for God — eight times, as a matter of fact.

  7. Does anyone remember “Shall We Lose the Harvest” ??
    That was another missions conference favorite

    1. Me too. There’s a reason why I won’t watch the video…too many memories better left alone for me.

  8. I remember this song, and all the guilt it would heap upon me. “If you ain’t winning souls, you ain’t nothing” may well be the slogan of many IFB churches.

    – A child molester? Just win souls and don’t tell me about it.
    – An adulterous husband? Just keep it quiet, keep tithing and winning souls

    1. Back in the “good old days” when the house was full, someone must have been working. ❓

  9. I liked this song growing up. Still don’t really mind the song itself, though I agree it was used to manipulate

  10. BTW, listening to Aerosmith’s “Dream On” while reading the comments. Live version. Really changes the whole SFL experience…

  11. I heard this song many times while I was growing up. Now it is stuck in my head. I am off to Youtube to try to find a song to dislodge it.

  12. My parents used to sing this one with a sound track. It had a sound effect after the line “But a hush…calms the singing.” Right after the “hush” everything would go silent and this tiny little bell would ding. Like a fairy or something. It was so awesomely 80’s…

    1. I played it live on piano with a local church trio, and I believe my “bell” was Bb in the upper register.

    2. I like the idea of Tinkerbell running across the platform dinging the bell at just the right moment.

  13. I’ve been an independent Baptist for 37 years, and while I enjoy some of the music, I have to admit that upon analysis, much of the music creates its own theology and reality that is sometimes foreign to the Bible. This is one of those songs. Guilt-tripping is a human tactic, not a biblical premise. Guilt is a burden and Jesus says, “I will put none other burden upon thee.” If songs such as these (or preaching for that matter) is aimed at motivating the lethargic, restful, slothful sheep to greater depths of Baptist slavery for their religio-corporate entity (some call them churches) then it’s all for naught. If it’s aimed at enhancing the MOG’s income and bottom line, it’s an exercise in futility. And if it is designed to get big attendance on a “special day” so that the MOG can go to a fellowship meeting and receive accolades for “running” so many in “his” church, no rewards in heaven will be forthcoming because it was done to “be seen of men.” As a recovering pastor, I know these things, have tried these things to build a church, and have grown tired of these things.

    1. It really breeds a religious addiction. I can no longer mouth so many of these songs that are full of someone’s misunderstanding of what it is to be a Christian. I am sure many of us would really like to be a blessing in towns in America that are full of churches and not hide our light under a bushel, but it becomes difficult to get through to people who have been exposed to much religious assery in their own town, as there are many unauthorized door knockers that have really messed it up in my town (i.e. Pete Ruckmann and his boys.)

  14. These are not the original words to this song.
    It was first written as a preacher’s lament entitled “My Belly Is Full, But My Mind Is Empty.”

    1. Speaking of a full belly, Evangelist Billy Kelly used to say that his belt was a leather fence around a chicken graveyard.

      He also said, after eating a large meal, that he was “full up to the neck”. His hostess asked if he had room for dessert, his answer, “that’s what I saved my neck for”.

      He was a friend of my dad’s family in South Carolina.

  15. What’s up with the Google 502 error on this post and the “Twisting Scripture” post?

  16. This song is in the same category of stupid songs as “I Wonder Have I Done My Best For Jesus”. I already know I haven’t. Only a stupid person wonders if he has, let alone thinks that he has.

  17. I used to listen to this song (usually at mission conferences) and would become enveloped in guilt. Certainly, the people around me who were “amen-ing” were out seeking the grain that was white into harvest, while I busied myself providing for my family and attending and serving in ministries “every time the door was openβ„’”.

    But then I realized… Those Amen-ers weren’t bringing any new people to the church either. There’s a psychological term for this (I can’t recall the nomenclature) but it basically posits the idea that reading about something often, or hearing about something often will give a person a vicarious experience. They feel as if they have acted upon the idea, even though it was only in their imaginations.

    Peter Kreeft likes to say that we shouldn’t become like the scholar who was given the choice between going to Heaven… And attending a lecture on Heaven. And chose the lecture!

    I think that’s why some people say that they enjoy “hard preaching” that “steps on their toes”. They feel that just ‘hearing’ about changes that they need to make in their lives in some way “changes” them.

    So, perhaps listening to a song like “My House is Full…” Is enough to fill them up… With delusion of compliance.

  18. At least Ludington is a waterfront town. Too many Lighthouse Baptist Churches in landlocked towns.

  19. Don’t recall having heard this song before. Don’t think I ever really want to hear it again.

    And Darrell? Don’t knock the key changes; the pianist gets bored. Plus, they add “*sparkle*!”

  20. Ah Darrell,
    This song always takes me back to the week we first met. You know, back when we were both amazingly annoying and obnoxious people! So many memories…

  21. We sang “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations”
    at my United Methodist Church. I realized it is not Fundy theology.

    Talking about turning spears into plows, and bringing God’s Kingdom to earth.

    I remember going with my Fundy aunt and uncle to a missionary conference when they were missionaries. There was a song called be a missionary everyday. It ended with something about Christ returning soon and not enough time. That was in 1977, must not have been in such a hurry – LOL

    1. When my husband was youth/music pastor, the senior pastor told him not to sing that hymn because he did not believe it.

      The other song goes like this:

      Be a missionary every day (clap, clap, clap, clap)
      Tell the world that Jesus is the way.
      The Lord is soon returning;
      There is no time to lose, so
      Be a missionary!
      God’s own emissary.
      Be a missionary to da-ay-ay! Yeah!

      1. I prefer the missionarKid’s version:

        “Be a missionary every day,
        Learn to eat whatever comes your way!
        If it’s ants down in your corn chips or it’s roaches in your coke,
        Just don’t let it bug you, just eat it till you choke!

        Oh, be a missionary every day,
        It may stink but eat it anyway,
        It may be warm and fuzzy, and sometimes it still moves, but..
        You don’t need a skillet!
        Chew it till you kill it,
        Be a missionary today!”

      2. I don’t think I’ve heard the missionary version. we used to sing it,

        Be a soul-winner every day (clap, clap, clap)
        Tell the lost that Jesus is the way
        The Lord is soon returning,
        There is no time to lose! So!
        Be a soul-winner
        Go out and catch that sinner
        Be a soul-winner to-day (hay, hay, hay!)

      3. We were just talking about this song the other day! Our church’s version was very similar to yours, but added a part in the middle:

        Be a missionary every day (clap, clap, clap, clap)
        Tell the world that Jesus is the way.
        Be it in a town or country or a busy avenue
        Africa or Asia the task is up to you!
        So, Be a missionary every day (clap, clap, clap, clap)
        Tell the world that Jesus is the way.
        The Lord is soon returning;
        There is no time to lose, so
        (CLAP) Be a missionary!
        (CLAP) God’s own emissary.
        Be a missionary to da-ay-ay! Yeah!

    2. I know people that object to that song vociferously. It’s entertaining to hear their objections as they often reveal their poor knowledge & fundy backgrounds trying to sound like they know what they’re talking about. πŸ™‚

  22. blech I’ve heard worse and I’ve heard much better, but the song is a guilt-trip. Don’t think that’s what Jesus had in mind. πŸ™„

  23. Unfortunately we get a lot of our bad theology from poorly written hymns or gospel songs. Maybe that’s why fundamentalist churches always skip on of the stanzas! You know, weed out the bad theology….it must always be the third stanza.

  24. I remember thinking the first time I heard this song, “So we don’t want people in God’s house? When we’re out in the fields, where are we supposed to be inviting them to? The fields? But they’re already there!”

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