And when it shall come to pass that the Lord shall bless the and thy household and thy ministry with a horseless carriage (such as was prophesied by John the Revelator if you know how to look) then shalt thou observe to follow all the commandments which I give thee this day. So shalt thou cruise about the land in the invention of that great American Henry Ford and so shalt thy flat tires, and engine failures, and traffic tickets be no more than the usual amount.
And thou shalt in no wise place a man and a woman who are not married nor related more distantly than first cousin alone in a car together. For in the beginning God made them male and female and then gave them strict instructions that they should not be allowed alone in a car together unless they are married, chaperoned, or one of them is the pastor and he’s taking her across state lines to do some “counseling.” For thus it is written: “Lust cometh not from the heart but verily it ascendeth up from car floor mats and doth make even the most reasonable person into a lascivious chump. This goes double for pastors.”
To this end also, thy car’s wireless radio shall be tuned only to such music as is meet for the provision of thy soul, namely the station that plays only songs, hymns, spiritual songs, and sometimes a little Southern Gospel which isn’t too bad as long as the drums aren’t too prominent in it. But if there shall be no old-time fundamentalist radio station in your town thou mayest on occasion listen to NPR but only Performance Today and such like shows with classical music. But of the news programs and talk segments thou mayest not listen lest the liberalism of Terry Gross and her ilk counfound thy soul.
On the rear of thy chariot thou shalt affix all manner of bumper stickers and magnetic signs to tell the world that thou art a Republican, and a handgun owner, and likely to leave the car unmanned in case of Rapture. Verily shalt they know that you are a Christian when you cut them off in traffic. But of the speed and recklessness of thy driving that is a matter of individual soul liberty. Only do not try handing the deputy sheriff a gospel tract with your license and registration when he stops you for speeding because after the way thy church sued the department after those men got arrested for street preaching you won’t be doing yourself any favors.
And as to which exact car you should buy, we have no commandment save that thou consult with thy pastor who is a wise man and full of advice and shall give you good counsel that you buy only large vans to hold all the children thou shalt have once you get right with God and stop using birth control. But of the sports car, and of the luxury sedan, and of the fun little coupe you know those would make a swell present for the pastor on his birthday.
Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements, p 255
And when it shall come up on thee that thou shalt spirit the children of thy congregation away to a separate place so that the sound of their crying shall in no way quench the spirit during the songs or the sermon or the invitation that thou shalt verily rehearse children’s songs in their ears that they may learn of great Bible truths and doctrines such as are meet. And the singing of these songs shall ever be on thus wise…
Thou shalt strive with all diligence to teach them of the Wiggle Worm and of the Poochy Lip and of the what they shall do with their hands and feet when they are happy and they know it. They shall then learn many motion songs and shall verily demonstrate that Father Abraham had both many sons and a wicked case of ADHD. They shall also sing of children of politically incorrect color designations and shall thereby signify that Jesus loves them regardless of their bad luck to be born that way.
And if thou shalt attend to follow all the words of this commandment then shall thy children certainly have joy down in their hearts (where? down in their hearts) and they shall let their little light shine and climb up sunshine mountain to make the devil sit on all manner of unpleasant things. But of the CCM song or of the Praise chorus thou shalt not sing. For they are repetitive and inane and prone to not be full of Bible unlike the good old songs we sang when we were kids and such as shall be sung by our children and our children’s children forever and ever, amen.
Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements p 662.
And upon the times that shalt gather thineself and thine children and thine manservant and thine maidservants and thine Pentecostal neighbors who don’t really know Jesus together into the church (never less than three times per week if thou wouldst thrive) then shalt thou sing the songs of Zion suchlike as Zion has never really actually sung. And thy song leader shall raise his hands aloft and shall beat the air with them in the manner of a man who is fighting bees and the piano and the organ and the trumpet shall give of their uncertain sounds and all the people shall lift their voices if not their hands. So shalt thou worship God as he has commanded all white, middle class Americans to worship him.
And if it shall come to pass that the spirit shall move upon the song leader then he (for it shall always be a he) shall observe to do some shenanigans such as shall make the hearts of all the people glad. And he with great joy inform them that upon the third verse the ladies alone shall sing and on the fourth verse the men alone shall sing. But upon the second verse shall nobody sing for it is an abomination in my sight and of great naughtiness.
He also shall insist that the people attempt to stuff as many “pow’rs” as possible within a line of that (not very) old hymn and the people shall rejoice for this is what passes for fun amongst us. He also shall instruct that everybody shall “watch me on the last” and that it will be worth it all when thou shalt draw out the line and hold it until thou shalt feel a bit lightheaded what is possibly the Spirit’s moving but more likely just a lack of oxygen. So shalt thou praise the Lord Most High for He doth greatly delight in the implied fermata and the hidden ritardando.
And everybody shall smile at the song leader and say what a great job he has done and feign surprise that he has never had any formal musical training at all even though it’s obvious that he has pretty much just copied what he’s seen other song leaders doing. For no matter how bad the song leading shall be at least it isn’t a liberal praise team or a band.
Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements p 663.
For when it shall come to pass that thou shalt really need to pull on the heart strings of the congregation and launch upon them such a guilt trip as is usually reserved for the Faith Promise Banquet, then shalt thou hasten to dust off the Favorite Bible Story. For (psalms of imprecation notwithstanding) there are few things that doth really fill the altars and the offering plates and the church cleaning volunteer list as a Bible Story fitly spoken in due season. And the telling of it shall be thus…
Thou shall in no wise pick one of the particularly juicy stories which is full of enough bloodshed and incest and general debauchery to put even the particularly licentious episodes of A Game of Thrones to shame. For these are Baptists and have not gathered here for titillation but rather for condemnation — for they are verily gluttons for punishment. But instead thou rehearse again and again the same stories of Jonah,Daniel,Elijah, and David being sure to leave out all the best bits which shall raise all kinds of uncomfortable questions about whether the hero of the tale is really a hero at all.
For it is well known among preachers and teachers and other various other story-tellers of all shapes and sizes that carefully hidden in every Bible story is The Moral. And this Moral is a bit of homespun wisdom which the teacher must every so carefully tease out from among the story details — even when it is so subtle in the text as to be almost non-existent. And The Moral will verily show the listener that he hath in no wise measured up to the characters in the story and shall in all likelihood receive that tragic end that is meet for being so pathetic. Also thou shalt spare not to use these stories to warn against all manner of modern entertainments, technologies, and jocularities such like the people in Bible times never even dreamed of.
So that when the hero has slain the giant or tumbled down the walls or slain the hosts of Midian then shall the teacher look upon the wondering eyes of the listeners and say in a loud voice “SO WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU LOSERS THAT YOU HAVEN’T DONE COOL STUFF LIKE THIS TOO?”. And then shall every heart quake with guilt and self-loathing such that nobody will begin to wonder whether all these things were put in the Bible just to make us all feel bad or if there might be some larger point about God himself and who He is. And then shall thou close in prayer
For thou must always bear in remembrance that whatsoever can be moralized can be manipulated. And whatsoever can be manipulated shall be put forth to teach law instead of grace. For too much grace is an incredibly dangerous thing.
Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements pp 7-8
When the time shall come upon thee that thou art ready to prepare the hearts of the people for the sermon then shalt thou stand before the congregation and shall instruct them to take up their hymnal and either sing or make a “joyful noise” — for that is a a joke that shall never grow old (never grow old). And the people shall stand and sing at the sound of thy command and they shall raise their hymnbooks from the little racks on the backs of the pews and then proceed to not look at them at all for they know all the words already. And they shall lift of their voices to sing on the one and four for in such doth the Lord delight.
And from the Majesty Hymnal and the Soul-Stirring Songs and Hymns and the Songs & Hymns of Revival thou shalt surely sing. For the songs therein may contain the occasional Gaither number but they have long since been cleaned up and added to the canon of songs in which the Lord delights (as long as thou shalt accompany them only by piano). And if thou art in any wise uncertain as to whether or not any other hymnal is up to snuff then simply check the words to At the Cross and if they have conspired to remove the word “worm” from the first verse then chuck it. But of the responsive readings in the back of the hymnal we give no commandment because we’re not even sure why they’re there.
And thou shalt in no wise conspire to to use a video projector to replace the hymn book for this is a great and terrible step towards wanton use of hands in worship. For in the day that thou shalt let any person have their hands unencumbered by a hymnal then shalt come terrible temptation to clap them together or raise them above shoulder level or wave them in the air like they just don’t care. For such displays are an abomination in the sight of the pastor who shall then begin to suspect that people are enjoying the music more than the sermon which follows.
But of the holding of the hymnal the following rules apply. It shall in no wise be the case with the unmarried couples that they both touch the hymnal for the man should with great care hold the hymnal for both parties and he shall hold it at an awkward angle where neither of them can see to avoid all appearance of evil and flirty fingers. Married couples may hold the hymnal together with one hand on each side as long as they promise to keep their minds on the singing and not engage in finger hanky-panky either.
So shalt thou dwell in the church with gladness and so shalt thy children and thy children’s children learn the music that was only written in the last century or so but is better than everything that has ever come before it or shall ever be written afterward. And thou shalt keep them on the straight and narrow and rhythmless path forever.
Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements p 664.