The Ballad of Pastor Jed

Today’s guest post comes from SFL’s very own Uncle Wilver.

Come and listen to a story ’bout a preacher named Jed.
Poor rural parson barely kept his family fed.
Then one day he went to Pastor’s School,
And when he returned, he was a Fundy tool.
(Gimmicks, that is. Proof texts. Lotsa rules.)

Well the next thing you know, the Mega Church looks great,
Buses everywhere throughout the Tri-State,
New Basement Bible College and Academy,
With just one man to rule so there is no anarchy.
(Dictatorship that is. Pastoral Authority. IFB heroes.)

Well, now its time to say goodbye to Jed and all his ilk.
Now that he is doing time his wife’s no more in silk.
You’re all invited to stop in on Thursday about noon
To commiserate with the former Fundy church tycoon.
(The Elm Street Embezzler. That’s what they call him now.
Property auction in two weeks. Ya’ll come bid now, ya hear!)

Commandments Concerning Technology

When the bounds of thy habitation shall widen and the size of thy television shall likewise become ginormous then shalt thou listen to words of these commands that thy use of technology be not very naughty in our sight.

And the adoption of a new technology shall be on thuswise: firstly thou shalt fear it above all things and shall shew unto the faces of the congregation how that this new tech shall be used for laziness, and for lust, and for the rise of the one-world government. And thou shalt verily condemn those early adopters as the spawn of Satan and the purveyors the prurient. So shall thy wisdom be established and all the congregation shall fear mightily in that day.

Then when a day, and a week, and a year and time and half a time shall pass thou shalt verily make allowance that this new thing might be useful for missions. And then shalt thou make haste to use it for thy bus ministry, and thy youth group, and thy missionaries and thou shalt verily find the son a church member of suchlike as will work for no pay and shall verily press him to service to make it all work for this newfangled technology is complicated and the Lord loveth free labor.

And when this technology shall be embraced by thou and all thy house and thy deacons and thy deaconesses (Note: apparently not actually a thing Ed.) and such shifty persons as hang around the back of the church playing with the sound equipment then shalt thou forget in that day that these things were once ill spoken of and shall flush it all down the memory hole. So shalt thou put the Old Paths onto the Information Superhighway and so shalt thou profit.

Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements, 640(k)

posted from my iPhone 7

GOH: Come Ye Sinners (I Will Arise And Go To Jesus)

One of the frequent complaints that fundamentalists make about contemporary Christian songs is that they “make Jesus sounds like your boyfriend.” But if this hymn is any judge that sort of sentiment predates the modern praise chorus by a fairish bit (not that this has stopped modern artists from using it)

I also personally think that Freud would find this song very interesting. But that’s as far as I’ll take that line of thought.

Our Great Big American God (Book Review)

In the interest of full disclosure let me say that Matthew is good enough friend that he once lent me a pair of pants. Just so you know.

What is God like? The answer depends very much on whom you ask.

In the book Our Great Big American God (A Short History of Our Ever-Growing Deity), Matthew Paul Turner asks a slightly different question: “What is God like in America?” It’s a question that has much less to do with God as a theological construct and a lot more to do with what our culture, politics, and various agendas have claimed that God is.

In his typical humorous and snarky style that was so much on display in his previous books, Matthew takes us on a light-hearted romp through America’s religious past in quest of finding out who our God has been. It’s a wild ride through a serious of names both familiar and obscure as we trace the ancestry of the current American Evangelical God from his Puritan, Revivalist, and Fundamentalist iterations.

I will warn those of my friends on the right that Matthew’s perspective is decidedly towards the liberal. This left-leaning bent does rather leave me wondering whether Matthew also appreciates the irony in those who have re-written Abraham’s God as a supporter of their own pet causes and agendas on the blue side of the aisle. If he does, those sentiments don’t quite make it into the book. That notwithstanding, there’s still plenty for people from both sides of the theological and political aisle to enjoy here.

The book does well inspiring readers more pursue more serious works in American religious history while retaining a whimsical perspective and acknowledging that the history of God in America is often funnier than a lot of dusty footnotes would lead you to believe. Newcomers to the story will be entertained while they learn about America’s Christian past, while those well-familiar with the tale will find a bit of the hilarity they’ve missed in drier tomes.

If you’ve ever wanted an easily read and funny guide to “how we got this way” in our marriage of evangelical politics and religion you may want to check this one out.

A free copy of the book was provided to me by the publisher for the purposes of this review. Although that was really nice of them, my opinions about the book as written here remain my own.

A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.