From the harrowing climax that is called Wednesday part 2:
I remembered that Sharp and MacDoogan had called the Bacon Lane elders the night before and sowed seeds of doubt about my mental stability. I could tell that my assertion that they were attempting to extort me, combined with the tape of my meltdown at the breakfast table, wasn’t helping my case. On the other hand, Brother Dean is one of those tin-foil-hat conspiracy theorist guys. He believes the world is ran by the Club of Rome, that the government is trying to poison us with fluoride in our drinking water, that the Holocaust and themoon landing never happened, and that the real culprit behind 9/11 was the Jews. How could a fellow who believed all that stuff not believe that I was being railroaded? Seems like it’d be right up his alley, really. “Were they also trying to blackmail you when you cussed out Mack Snipes?” he asked.
from Day 3.1:
Brother Jones waved a dismissive hand. “My views on Hell were well known amongst those people years ago, Calvin,” he said. “Up until a few months back, they just thought of it as one of those pet anomalies every preacher is allowed to have. Let me give you a few examples: Alasdair Cornwall, one of the eighteenth-century visionaries whose ‘back to the Bible,’ non-denominational preaching spawned our little movement, was an Arian, and I’m not even sure if he knew who Arius was. The pioneer revivalist ‘Onion’ Jim Throckmorton taught that it was a sin to get sick. O. D. Gypsum, the much-venerated Greek professor at Steed-Ramrick University from 1923 until 1965, was a staunch pacifist. Yet all these men are quoted freely from Brotherhood pulpits. Then, there’s a slew of outright bigots, such as Lloyd Q. Sargent, Jephthah Wigglesworth, and Zebulon Butcher, who put down their black brethren in their journals and belittled any white congregation that allowed a black evangelist to come preach there. But they are still seen as heroes for their strident defenses of orthodoxy, despite such blatant manifestations of a sinful attitude. It wasn’t an odd perspective on Hell that caused them to put the ban on me, Calvin. I’m in trouble for a much graver display of heterodoxy than annihilationism. And now that I’ve offended them in a great matter, they are calling me to task for every small matter, as well.”
“Excuse me,” I said. More applause, more whistling, more stomping feet. So I spat the words out like a school teacher who has returned from a restroom visit to find her classroom baptized in chaos: “EXCUSE ME!” The applause abruptly choked, except for Skeeter McDoogan, whose clapping sort of sputtered out like a dieseling engine. Then I calmly added, “Excuse me, but I do have some questions.”
“First, I keep hearing Mack Baldato and Strudel Harrison being chastised for wearing sweaters. What’s wrong with wearing sweaters? Maybe they just like wearing them. I don’t see how that’s a sign of apostasy.” Continue reading →
from part 4:
“Just look at the logo on the dust jacket. This book was published by the once-sound, now apostate Harlan Publishing House. Let me give you a brief list of titles, so you can see what other heretics they are harboring. They’ve put out My Mama Sang Tenor, Too by the weepy story-teller Buddy Silver. They published the downright odd volume,Jesus and the Art of Volkswagen Repair by the so-called “Hippie Preacher,” Archie Klein. And they also released an awful book called Lessons I’ve Learned About Christian Living From Playing Texas Hold ‘Em, by Francis Spicoli. That Harlan Publishing released this book from Brother Jones is very telling–it means that none of our faithful publishing companies like Banner of Love or Full Armor Press will touch it with a thirty-foot pole!”
“After a wholesome and patently uninteresting luch at a nearby Picadilly cafeteria, I arrived back at the Doogood Ave. building about half an hour before Brother Mack Snipes’ lecture, “Hell is ETERNAL,” was slated to begin. I checked the lectureship schedule, and saw that the session was to be held in room 17 of the children’s wing. It turned out to be a classroom for five-and-six-year-olds.”
From Day 2 part 1:
I told him I wasn’t rebuking anyone. “Besides,” I said, “wouldn’t he have to be here at the table with us to qualify it as me rebuking him? I just want to know why we can’t sing ‘Just as I Am.’”
“I’ll tell you why we can’t sing that song,” croaked the man with the hearing aid who’d been shushed for “Amen”-ing the evening before. “It encourages moral laxity. You start singing a song like that and people get too comfortable with being sinners. They’ll say, ‘If it’s all the same, I’ll just go on sinning, since Jesus will take me just as I am.’”
Over the next week (or two) I will be reblogging a series of installments by my friend and fellow blogger, Jeremy Marshall. As he himself will tell you, these installments are completely fictional. I mean, no church would ever dare to limit God’s grace to the event on the cross, let alone mark hymns as “dangerous” that focused on God’s grace.
My week at the Full Armor Lectures: “Day One”. by Jeremy Marshall
Brother Olley continued this way: “See, God’s only just so gracious. You know John 3:16, that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have e-ternal life!” Brother Olley’s delivery of that verse was rapid-fire; he can quote Scripture with the speed and force of a machine gun. “Now that’s all the grace a man or woman could ever need, folks!” He concluded, “And there’ll be no repeat performance of that, Hebrews 9:25-28. Essentially, the message of the Gospel is that we’ve gotten all the grace we’re going to get, so stop messing up! Or what? Should we continue in sin, so that grace may abound, Romans 6:1? Certainly not, because there’s no more grace to be gotten!”