Visitation 101

Today’s video is from Southshore Baptist Church where church is the family business. Larkin (Children’s Ministry Director AND Director of Music) and his brother Braxton Hicks? (Assistant TO the Regional Dir…er…Pastor) show how to make a bad parody of an even worse activity that parodies itself so nicely it needs no help.

Part 1: Really, really white guy handshake.

Part 2: Who cares, I’m going back to watch the handshake again.

168 thoughts on “Visitation 101”

        1. Lol. The first comment was sent from my phone. I was so excited to see “0 Comments” that I neglected to capitalize. Then leo the lamb basically ruined my day. The second comment was sent from my computer, and why rush? My hopes had already been crushed…

      1. Dear But Seriously …

        Retract blade.
        Aim carefully.
        Release blade.

        May your offering strike the plate [or the pastor’s face] with all the musicality of a speeding turd striking a tin drum.

        Christian Socialist

      1. Reference the Arian reference: Darrell’s “Part 1: Really, really white guy handshake.” The German adds a spice of validity to said reference.

        I’m surprised Big Gary didn’t draw attention to my apparent lack of context (which is frequent…that is, my lack of context)!

        Auf Wiedersehen!

      1. It’s that bad? Oh well.

        It’s true that I only lived there for two years back in the 80’s and can only claim limitied knowledge. Also, I’ve never been to Berlin!

        B.R.O.

        1. Okay, you get a pass. My wife is a near-native German speaker, so I get corrected all the time. Keeps me on my toes. And the “Berliner” there refers to a jelly doughnut-like thing that is called “a Berliner,” or im Deutsch, “ein Berliner.”
          When I was in Germany (crazy 8’s, also mid-eighties) I did get to see Berlin. Years later, seeing Germans dancing on the ruins of the Wall was quite a moment. Couldn’t get a clear view at first because of all that dust. God bless you.

        2. “Berliner” can mean either the pastry or a citizen of Berlin.
          So when John F. Kennedy said “Ich bin ein Berliner,” the joke was that he really said “I am a jelly-filled pastry.” (I’m skipping some grammatical minutiae here.)
          But according to witnesses, his German audience at the time did not laugh, and apparently understood what he meant.

        3. @BG, including the article did indicate (in both Hochdeutsch and Berlinerisch) the pastry rather than a citizen of Berlin. This (informal, inasmuch as German rules are EVER informal :mrgreen:) rule has been going by the boards for at least 25 years – the increasing Anglicization of German is seen not just in borrowed words and phrases, but changes in traditional usage such as this. One of my German teachers was a witness (she claimed) to Kennedy’s speech – there wasn’t a general laugh at his mistake, nor were the Berliners confused by his statement. There was some chuckling, but everyone took his meaning and cheered it. It was NOT a President Carter Polish moment, for sure.

  1. Seriously? “An Italian-Irish thing with a prayer?” Did they really do that? Wow. That’s actually borderline racist. Is that how they think “Italian-Irish” people who pray spend their weekends?

    Anyway, those are obviously a couple of sincere, sweet young men. However, I’m always amazed when people come to my door unannounced and try to sell me stuff. Whether they’re selling books or they’re flavor of religion. I always smile politely, say “no thanks” and close the door. No indulgently listening to sales pitches, no trading Bible quotes, do taking of tracts. Door closes within 3 seconds of opening. Max.

    Anybody have a different approach?

    Peace,

    1. Last time JW’s came, I told them I’d just left one cult and didn’t want to join another and asked them to take note of my address so I didn’t get any more visits, then wished them a nice day.

      It was the first time that’s ever happened that I felt in control of the situation.

        1. yes, it is the Mormons with the special underwear. But asking JW’s about their undergarments might make them cross your address of their list for future visits. Win!

        2. With Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s good to ask them about the JW various predictions that the world as we know it would end and Christ would return in 1874, 1914, 1925, 1974, and 2000.

          They often remember an appointment somewhere else when this comes up.

        3. Dear I Came Out:

          I once printed an officious looking document saying that pursuant of the Public Health Act # xxx, section 9, subsection xvi, this building has been declared unfit for human occupancy and was condemned to be burned.

          It also declared that removing, defacing or covering this sign was a felony. Violation of the provisions of this regulation would result in 6 month’s imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both.

          I put this on my neighbor’s front door. [We were great friends and were always doing hilarious stuff to each other]. Anyway, the day the sign went up, the Jehovahs landed in town. EVERY place EXCEPT my neighbor’s was visited. I watched those two blokes stand there for 5 minutes, reading and talking before they left. LOL!

          Christian Socialist

        4. I think CS should provide this in an official looking form for Darrell to post so we can all benefit! πŸ™‚

      1. The last JW to come to our house was this sweet older woman, who maybe stood 5 feet tall. My youngest son answered the door. He’s 6’4″ (16 yo) and he just looked down at her with an eyebrow raised. He was wearing a grim reaper t-shirt, so her view was basically that of a skeleton and scythe. She politely handed him a pamphlet, turned and walked quickly away, and no words were exchanged. He thought it was funny.

      2. Tia,
        Where is the LIKE button! GOOD for YOU!!!
        I had a JW at my door a month ago. I basically said I was 100 percent not interested but I wished him well and told him to have a nice day.
        I was told the JW’s don’t celebrate halloween..I guess they don’t appreciate random people coming up to their doors lol…..

    2. I wouldn’t say it is racist. Both Irish festivals and Italian festivals are quite common. They just combined it to (try to) make it funny. They put the prayer in there as a way to justify skipping church to go it.

    1. Wow. If you attended the seminar, I bet you would get some Pastor Points after the video when the house lights come up and the managawd says, “heh, heh, heh, so who can tell me what these guys did wrong?”

  2. “Pastor let us knock all these doors by ourselves?” Guess I’ve been out of the IFB long enough that I forgot you need the MoG’s approval to go reach someone.

    1. Also, Pastor isn’t a real person with an actual name, but some kind of demigod who goes by his title only. He controls all lives (hence them needing permission) and cannot be questioned.

      Also, they are treated so badly they are grateful and feel wanted when Pastor makes them spend lots of time doing thankless work to grow his own business *cough* I mean ‘ministry’.

      Blecch. πŸ‘Ώ

    2. knock all these doors…

      Is that just how southern white guys talk, or do they make it intentionally ambiguous so that they can either knock on the door or knock the door down, depending on the circumstances?

    1. This is terrible. It’s about door knocking and handing out tracts. Clearly, they don’t even have a good reason for anyone to be interested in their church.

      Whatever happened to *being* a good neighbor, and *loving* your neighbor?

    2. Whoops, that wasn’t supposed to be a reply. But beer is always good. So lesson 1 in visitation is not to first invite them to church, but to bring them a beer. Not only will they not close the door in your face, but you’ll probably have a friend for life.

  3. It’s like watching an episode of Andy Griffith where the characters are hurdled in the future, but think they are hip and modern … but they are sadly stuck in 1953 with only a few modern catch phrases to use at their disposal.

    1. Since most “soul winning” efforts are not a big stretch better than a sales presentation (complete with branding, slogans, jingles, punch lines etc.), then some skilled training does indeed need to take place so that all the weasel words get injected into the conversation. If sincere, spontaneous witnessing is the goal, no one needs to be highly trained to tell someone else what has happened to them. So the vid is actually aimed at the proper way to pitch a sale or product. Even though the vid seems to be a spoof, the extent of a lot of IFB “witnessing” and “soul winning” is nothing more than “We’re from Barnstorming Baptist Church. We meet on Sunday at 11 am. We’d sure like you to come.” The focus is on the religio-corporate entity (that some call a church), and not on the Lord Jesus Christ. Directing someone’s attention to one thing does not guarantee his attention will then be drawn to something else (Jesus). And once the unwitting sinner does get to the church, the pulpit focus is often directed toward further “branding” of the church ministries, so that the sinner does not actually get introduced to the Savior (that is, until it’s time for the religious CEO to report sales figures…I mean souls won…to other religious CEOs). The whole endeavor is what I call “The Walmartization of the Church.”

      1. I well remember trying to stop my assigned compatriots on teen visitation from doing illegal things. the worst offender was usually the pastor’s son who seemed to believe that the ends always justify the means.

        1. I know of a preacher who taped a woman’s phone call to him and played it in church. There seem to be a lot of them who are very liberal when it comes to, “obeying God rather than men.”

        2. That wasn’t worded very well. A lot of extreme fundamenalists can rationalize breaking the law by somehow convincing themselves that they are obeying “God rather than men.”

          They often give themselves a lot of leeway when it comes to applying Acts 5:29.

  4. Why did the guy in the red shirt suddenly realize that there is a soul-winning seminar coming up. They should have written a 4th brother into the script who walks up, asks how they are doing – then invite them to the seminar! Duh.

  5. Has anyone noticed how young IFB men walk? They are so encumbered by the ideas of avoiding evil, that it seems to shut down their entire bodies. I’ve seen this many times before. (Just like the young man in the red shirt in the video) They walk stiffly, arms barely swinging. I saw this in they boys who tried really hard at Bible college, to live out the mountains of rules put upon them. They wanted, tried, so badly to be good, that the failure and imprisonment was all over their bodies. Of course, later, they learn that they can live outside the rules and be even holier. That’s where the cocky guys come in… πŸ™„

  6. I’m not really one for trying “jazz up” religion to make it superfically appealing…. but this just seems so dull…. I can’t help wonder that the radical guys from the first and second centuries would be such an inctredible contrast to this kind of slightly-awkward-yet-still-oddly-comfortable attempt at christian faith…

  7. Please, please tell me that they made this as an intentional spoof. I was cringing too much…couldn’t even watch the whole thing. I stopped when they committed the felony of pulling someone’s mail out of the mailbox.

  8. “Our Assistant to the Pastor and Church Pianist is Braxton Jackson. He is in his Third Year of S.M.I.T.E. (Summer Missionary Institute of Training and Evangelism.)”

    Braxton has also been recognized for his evangelism outreach through Find All & Reach Them (F.A.R.T.)

  9. You can tell they aren’t Mormons because they aren’t wearing ties. You know, for as much as they say they hate the Mormons, fundies seem to take a lot of cues from the Latter-Day playbook.

        1. Before I met him, my husband had thought about converting to Mormonism for the polygamy. Then he discovered he could drink neither beer nor coffee and that ended all consideration.

      1. D.S,

        A day late and a dollar short as usual.

        The other day you mentioned the spiritual exercise you received as a child where you were made to guess what sins the people at a mall might be guilty of based on their appearance.

        What would you have written if you had seen a fat man in a suit carrying a large Bible?

        1. Violating Ecclesiastes 7:16.

          “Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?”

  10. Did anybody catch statement when they headphone guy was inviting them to the festival? That one question represented everything wrong with most religion. They look at eachother, and one of them asks, “Do you think pastor would be okay with it?”

    They don’t ask themselves about God, scripture, personal morality, or anything else. It’s all about “pastor’s” opinion.

    “How can you believe when you receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory of the one true God.”

    1. Good catch…
      If this video is to spoof of improper methods of soulwinning, then we should all be giving kudos to this church for teaching their soulwinners HOW RIDICULOUS IT IS TO ASSUME YOU HAVE TO ASK THEIR PASTOR ABOUT GETTING PERMISSION TO DO ANYTHING FOR GOD.

      Good job Southshore church for poking fun at the idiocy of thinking you should “ask the pastor” to do anything.

  11. Soul winning seminar. I wonder how many of these soul winning seminars Jesus held and his disciples held as they taught the early church about witnessing.

    Soul winning seminar and the whole soul winning focus of the IFB makes witnessing and Christianity a formula to follow. It reduces salvation to heaven or hell issues. And it completely misrepresents the Gospel and what Christ did.

    Cringe worthy video on so many levels.

    1. Keep in mind that this video is reversed. It’s fundies trying to parody what _not_ to do when soul winning.

      So they’re trying (in admittedly ham-fisted fashion) to point out that trying to soulwin without a Bible is a big no-no. Not that they’ll ever read more out of it than the Romans Road, mind you. But you gotta bring your good luck charms along or else the magic doesn’t work.

        1. Since carrying a Bible raises the spiritual meter, how does carrying an electronic device with multiple Bibles downloaded effect my spirituality?
          And does having my Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show or Three Dog Night CDs downloaded to it unbalance the Bible carry effect?

        2. Depends what fundie camp your around. Simply having a bible on your digital device will open the gateway to hell. However having multiple bibles, even if you say its for “proving how bad they are” (I tried to use that excuse once), you are simply sending random people to hell within a 30 miles radius around you.

        3. Please change the first effect to affect. I guess I didn’t edit the post like I thought. ( I just woke up is my best excuse)

        4. By multiple Bible’s I’m assuming that Uncle Wilver is inadvertently admitting to carrying Satan’s favorite perversions on his Bible App of choice!

        5. I have Kindle on my phone. I have the ESV and some other version on it. Don’t read either one unless I happen to make it to church on Sunday. So does the fact that I don’t read either one make a difference? I wonder what other judgments people would come to if they knew what else was on my phone.

        6. Using an electronic Bible opens you up to all sorts of devilish nonsense. Who’s to say he doesn’t have the power to rearrange those pixels on your screen to say something God didn’t intend? And how will people know you’re reading the Bible, not 50 Shades of Gray? πŸ™„

          That being said, I’ve very much enjoyed the convenience of having the ESV on my iPad. Being able to easily search words and phrases makes it look like I know what I’m talking about sometimes. :mrgreen:

        7. Old time preaching – Preacher says “Turn in your bibles to (names chapter and verse)”
          Contemporary preaching -Preacher says “Turn in your bibles to, or click on your Bible app to (names chapter and verse)” (Yes, I do actually hear that now at my church!) :mrgreen:

  12. “Hey, mayun (or mayum), Ah jus’ wawnna invahtcha tuh cherrch own behaffa mah Pasterr.”

    How about you stop annoying people with cold calls & get involved with your community instead? Hanging out at the Irish-Italian fest was actually a great idea, if they could act like decent humans for a few hours.

  13. The one thing that always got me about fundy outreach- it was always about “soulwinning.” Not God, not Jesus, not the Gospel. I made it through, and unless I missed something I don’t think any of these was even mentioned once in the video. Fundyfacinated mentioned it a bit ago that the only thing they really seemed to care about was “what would the pastor think?” They admittedly only care about results, not the people themselves.

    On a side note, at least they realized that going about screaming “Heaven or Hell” is a bad idea. I had an associate pastor that I heard stories about (from my friends) that he went to a mall doing basically that. No tact at all.

  14. This is taken from Southshore’s how to get to heaven page:

    “Finally, repent of your sin and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you so that you may receive eternal life. Romans 10:9,13 ”

    This is typical IFB exegesis and unbiblical position on “how to get to heaven”

    Romans 10 says NOTHING about repenting of sin or asking Jesus to forgive your sins.

    They completely miss the simple message of Jesus and Paul about how to have eternal life:

    John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

    Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

    1. In all fairness, I think the issue of repentance stems from belief in Jesus and his death on the cross. After all, if you truly believe he died for your sins and grasp what that entails, wouldn’t you want to confess and repent?

    2. OK, I’m confused. Salvation doesn’t involve repentance?

      Didn’t Jesus say, “Repent and believe the Gospel”? That’s how He inaugurated His public life.

      1. If you are referring to the verses about belief, those verses are describing a belief that is more than just mentally agreeing to the truthfulness of certain statements. For example “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” is talking about trusting and relying on Jesus Christ in addition to accepting His Deity and the historical fact of His Resurrection. It could be said that genuinely trusting Christ by definition involves Biblical repentance. The dying thief who said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” recognized himself for what he was, and Christ for who He is. It might also be said that genuine repentance and faith are “two sides to the same coin.”

        apologies for the wordiness.

  15. Rightly Divided and Mag:
    YES and YES. I bow to both of you in deep, humble honor for pointing out what the gospel really is (and isn’t). You are voices in the wilderness of fundiedom and much of evangelicalism.

  16. The pastor’s “blog” is nothing but a bunch of sermon illustrations. And not your typical fundy “old smoker dying of lung cancer rejects the gospel and as he dies he screams MT FEET ARE BURNING” type of grand guignol.

    It’s mostly touchy-feely, power of positive thinking, Daily Bread, type stuff.

  17. By the way – the one dude in the blue shirt was walking down the sidewalk in the opening scene like he had the worse chafe of his life. He either needs to do a little less soul winning or carry a little cornstarch for the journey

  18. Brings back memories of Saturday morning soul winning practice sessions. Before we’d go out we’d sit and practice “winning” each other from the sheet of paper we had memorized. “Hi, my name is ___ and we’re from ___ and we have a very important question to ask you…if you died today are you 100% sure you’d go to heaven???”

  19. Couldn’t stand to watch it. Soulwinning/visitation is kind of a “trigger” for me. I remember going calling with a former HAC friend many years ago. She was absolutely distraught that she wouldn’t be able to win 25 people to the Lord like she had promised before she left for break. Sad and heartbreaking on so many levels.

    1. I wouldn’t say this is a trigger to me, but it certainly brings back memories. At MBC, we were required to ask 10 people weekly if they were saved. I felt like such a loser because I hated doing it. But our grade depended on walking up to total strangers at malls, in restaurants, or wherever, and asking The Question.

      It seems so much nicer to sit down with a cup of coffee with a friend and have a real conversation.

  20. They seem like nice, young guys, but the video is almost unwatchable.

    The problem isn’t people going out in pairs to tell others about Christ, the problem is that there are numbers of Fundamental churches that seem to have a mechanistic view of salvation. On top of this, many if not most of them (at least in practice) seem to have a mechanistic view of spiritual growth as well. In the first case, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” has been replaced by, “Don’t want to go to Hell?…Repeat after me.” In the second case, walking “humbly with thy God” has been replaced by outwardly conforming in behavior and appearance to standards which, in many instances, are nothing more than the traditions of men. Tragically, too many fundy churches seem to prefer bricks to living stones.

    Years ago, when I was still attending an extreme fudamentalist church, I heard a preacher praise a young man for being a “soul winning machine.” The “machine” part is where the problem lies.

  21. Having attended these How to be a better salesman soulwinner seminars, let’s see if we can spot the problems that will be taught from this video:

    1) Don’t forget your Bible (subpoint: don’t carry a big Bible – you may frighten you prey (pray?) away)

    2) Dress up; jeans too casual

    3) I’m not sure what’s bad about the fake prayer and handshake ritual, but I’m sure it’s bad for some reason

    4) Don’t read other people’s mail! (what would have happened if Marion had answered the door while the letters were in the “soul-winner’s” hand?)

    5) If you can’t tell whether the person answering the door is male or female (?), DON’T GUESS!!

    6) Keep control of the conversation and keep it about Christ (well, about the sale of avoiding hell, actually)

    7) If someone isn’t interested enough to turn down the music; stop watching TV, etc, don’t keep going.

    8) Don’t play knocking games on the doors

    9) Never open a door; don’t enter a house unless you are invited in

    10) Keep control of the conversation (2nd helping)

    11) If you’re inviting people to the church (but I thought they were supposed to be soul-winning!?!?), you should have something good to say about your church.

    12) Don’t throw things at people to get their attention.

    13) Success is not determined by “results” (see the Bible about one planting and another watering) – “success” is how obedient you were to God’s command to go. (I’m not sure if they’ll teach this point – my old church went back and forth on this point; sometimes saying that it was only important that we go, and sometimes castigating those who hadn’t “won one” to get busy and win one).

    14) Don’t scream at people (that’s the job of the mannagawd πŸ™‚ ) [sorry, couldn’t resist that one.]

    I think I hit most of the points, but I may have missed some.

    Disclaimer: I did not attend their training seminar

    1. Interesting enough it really has nothing to do with the Gospel….I am sure they will have the Romans Road outlined to them, highlight and tag in your bible, intro questions to get control of the conversation, etc.

      But that still isn’t the Gospel–Jesus never used the Romans Road formula.

    1. I started watching, but after a few minutes of feeling creeped out & yelling at Paige, “It’s a lie! Run away!” I remembered I have better things to do. More enjoyable things. Like washing laundry & scrubbing toilets.

  22. Cue the fiddle music! Time to start the journey of the country bumpkins.

    Full of stereotypes. The kid who has blown his ears out with rock music (played by by a genuine church kid with regulation haircut!). He can’t talk the language correctly, either.

    And did they keep going to the same house? Same door? Same mailbox? Same goofballs, some in disguise?

    When I was a young Christian, I was conned into the door-to-door guff. Occasionally, as an adult in the IFB, I couldn’t get out of it. I just didn’t see the point.

    After all, I hope I would have the intelligence not to just take the word of a couple of people who show up at my door that they have the keys to heaven. If I wouldn’t buy a vacuum cleaner from them, then I should take time to evaluate any messages I get.

    And frankly, it speaks to how little the IFBers think of the general audience. They see them as dumber than **** and they treat them that way. Pressure a confession! Souls must be saved before it is too late! Rash decisions are a must!

    You must believe a total stranger acting like a doofus, trusting completely in a message delivered in haste and less than 10 minutes ago in order to be saved. Salvation is not, after all, a decision one makes by seeing it in action or observing its effects in a life.

    I no longer go door-to-door. I am not a salesman. I hope to be an example for those who are looking at me.

  23. Question for former fundies: If I say something to the effect of “I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior” will they leave me alone? Or do I have to agree to come to their church in order for them to be satisfied?

    1. That is just step #1; we were supposed to then press people as to what they meant by that (in case they weren’t really saved).

      After that, if they were sinning by not being in any church, we tried to get them into our church.

      If they had a church home, we tried to give them subtle clues about how our church is better.

      So, no, just confessing Jesus Christ as Savior will not get you left alone. They don’t come back and mark addresses with saved people anywhere.

        1. I remember as a youth being told “NO SOLICITING” signs did not apply to us, because we weren’t selling anything.
          We were giving it away.

        2. Show up to the door either naked or in some kind of tight, short, low-cut outfit. Have a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. (Extra points if it’s pot you’re smoking!) Blast “Highway to Hell” or “Tonight’s the Night” or some heathen song such as that. Ask the soulwinners if they have any booze on them.

        3. We were told that a “No Soliciting” sign does not apply to soul-winning (or religious visiting). There have been court cases in which apartment managers declared their property to be totally “No Soliciting”, but that was found to not be allowed. Maybe one of the legal people here can discuss all of the ramifications, but I believe that court cases have said that you have a right to share your faith from door to door; no one has to answer your door, and you should not make a nuisance of yourself.

      1. Like I said under your other post, that is hair splitting

        It may be legally permissible for Christians to knock on a door that says No Soliciting, but if someone puts that sign up, they obviously don’t want anyone disturbing them, whether it’s a salesman selling siding or a religious person selling their religious beliefs.

      2. LOL. Many years ago, some very earnest kids from Jews for Jesus accosted me outside the subway kiosk in Harvard Square. When they asked me whether I knew Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I said yes, I did. Then they persisted: “But do you really know Him?”

        How can you convince someone that you really, really, really and truly know Jesus?

        I just took the tract and escaped. πŸ˜‰

  24. I had an SDA pastor come to my house doing a “survey” a couple years ago. It was a wednesday night about 7 pm. I had just spent the previous 2 hours with friends at the american legion club unwinding.

    I had very honest answers for his “survey” after five beers.

    1. Sorry to be commenting so late on this, but…I remember the “surveys” Evangelism Explosion wanted us to do. We were to go out amongst the unwashed masses and take religious “surveys,” which were just a ruse to get to the two EE questions. This is horribly dishonest and turned me off of EE even as a Fundamentalist Baptist. Now that I’m an atheist, I’m ashamed to have been associated with door-to-door evangelism at all.

      You can get a look at it here: http://www.barf.org/archive/ee/ee-questionnaire.html

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.