the baptist trinity
salvation, approval, and fried chicken,.... its the Baptist trinity
I really dislike the new uber Christian, "nuvo cristo", the ones who spent the first 20 years of their miserable existence ruining their lives at every turn, so that after 2 decades of drugs, sex and pawning off their devastated children on others,... they "find Jesus". after this, for some reason, they seem to have a deep spiritual need to ask complete strangers, including me, the stereo typical question...... "have you found Jesus?",.... and i always reply, "why? did you lose him?" while that’s trying to sink in through the narrow cracks in their thick skulls, i usually laugh my ass off and walk away,.... unless I’m spoiling for a good verbal beat down.
who are these folks after all, to deny me my 20 years of hedonistic happiness?,... they had their time in the sun, now get out of the way and stop spoiling my sinning!
i was raised a missionary Baptist. i had more "Jesus" shoved down my throat in my first 16 years than they will ever have if they attend church every Sunday for the rest of their shrill little lives. let me first say that the term missionary had nothing to do with sexual position, though it was an often told joke. if you believed everything you heard in our churches growing up you'd have thought that children were really delivered by the stork, and that sex simply did not exist, let alone matter. the church building had to be white, it had to have no modern conveniences such as plumbing, climate control other than a wood stove, and ABSOLUTELY NO ADORNMENT. many of them didn’t even have electricity, and when they did, it was bare light bulbs only. there was a gigantic copy of the church covenant on the wall and one picture of Christ.... that’s it. mine in particular had no cushions in the seats, and that was decided by vote, that we should not have cushioned seating.(commandment #11, thou shalt have sore ass's while in my un-adorned house of worship)
as a Missouri missionary Baptist, you need three things to get to heaven,.. salvation, approval, .....and fried chicken. I know it sounds screwed up but that’s the way it is.
we'll cover these three indespensable items in three seperate hubs,... the first here,... salvation.
item #1, salvation
you need to have had a "genuine salvation experience" as defined by your brothers and sisters in Christ (folks that go to church with you),... meaning,.... you need to go to a revival and experience an exhaustion induced state of euphoria.
let us define "revival"
first you gota promote it for at least a month. this is done by a dedicated flock of blue haired little old ladies that are convinced that all the souls in their family must attend. even if you’ve already been saved, you gota go and pray for those who haven’t. works pretty good, cause it don’t take too long for you to agree to go just to shut aunt flora up.
second, you gota have a good venue. summertime is the best, and if you can get a big fireworks tent, you'll really have the stage set. now you fill it with the most uncomfortable chairs and benches you can lay your hands on, and let the magic of uncomfortable seating happen.(I’ll explain later)
most important of all, you gota have the right preacher, like bro. marsh Henderson. we had hell fire and brimstone preachers, the real scream and holler types. bro. marsh was a pig farmer by trade and a preacher on the side, though it might have been more appropriate to say it the other way around. 4-6 sermons a week at 4-6 diff churches in his circuit,... with a 300 mile radius, he killed a lot of cars over the years. he was popular, putting on the best(loudest) show in the association, therefore putting butts in seats, which puts money in collection plates,....& he was my favorite.
he would yell soo loud for soo long that you would be lulled to sleep by it,... the older folks especially. then slowly he would tone it down notch by notch until he was using a normal quiet speaking voice,.... then BANG! .... he would break into that full throttle take you to hell with ring side seats kinda thing he did,.... it was big entertainment for me to sit as far in the back as possible just to watch half the room jump 6" out of their seats!
once the collection of guilt tripped souls of the saved and unsaved have assembled for the 7 day three ring Jesus circus, the singing, praying and testimony can commence. you usually have a tag team of two preachers to take turns in scaring the living hell out of those present... i always assumed that this was based on the theory that A) the word of god is hard work and you need back-up, and B) you cant get 'em to heaven 'till you've scared the hell out of 'em.
throughout the night, the songs will have been chosen with care so as to inspire the sinner to think about all the horrible things you’ve done, thought about doing or might do in the future, the ravages of hell, the eternity of damnation, and the loving arms of jesus of course.
your aunt flora, or your mother, or whom ever has the power to tug at your heart strings you will be praying for you at your side, and at some point when the preacher announces the alter call, she'll begin to weep little old lady tears, whimpering softly, maybe even digging her fingers or elbow into you to the point of physical discomfort until finally you step up the alter to pray with the preacher.
if the little old lady strategy isn’t available, the magic of uncomfortable seating comes into play.
by the time the screaming preachers have brought the volume level down to a speaking voice to plead for the sinners to come forward for alter call, you’ve been sitting in that un cushioned hard wood bench for 3 hours or more. your left ass cheek is fast asleep, you haven’t had brain to toe contact in at least an hour, and if you wet your pants you wouldn’t feel it, so at this point you’d run head long into an oncoming train just to get the hell out of the that seat.
when you reach the front you'll be encouraged (shoved) to a kneeling position which is fine with you since you couldn’t stand yet if you wanted,.. and now we pray..... all of us,... every where.
we pray loudly.
we pray on our knees.
we pray flat on our faces on the floor looking as if a mass murder has occurred.
we pray with the water works running.
we pray while gesturing to the heavens.
we pray until your willing once more to jump in front of that oncoming train to make this revival experience stop.
now is where the biology kicks in.
your 17, its a Thursday night, you left for this revival directly from football practice with only a short stop for a shower. you haven’t eaten anything since lunch, and your mom told you that the love of christ would sustain you since she didn’t have time to fix supper before the tent meeting'.
at this point your blood sugar is at rock bottom, your tired as a twice beat mule, and the hangover from Wednesday nights secret drinking games with a girl manned Sarah at the church youth lock-in never really went away.
its at the point of no return that the human body kicks in. you get a last moment burst of adrenaline and find yourself suddenly on your feet, and feeling like you could climb mountains. the room erupts in praises and amen’s,. and its when the endorphins kick in that you are sure you see a bright light,... now there are hands all over you, patting you on the back, shaking your hands and you can hear the singing that has broken out seemingly spontaneously.
congratulations, you've just had THE salvation experience. cherish it, memorize it, and get good at re-telling it because your going to be called on to "testify" to it at the next revival and possibly every revival you attend for the rest of your natural life.... especially if your good at tellingit.
item #2,..... approval
must have item #2 in the baptist trinity is approval. this means that your fellow brothers and sisters in christ need to approve of you. even if they cant stand you, they need to approve of you as a christen. this means that you gota go to church on Sundays, attend the church dinners, show up when they want you to re-tile the foyer, etc,.... and all those things that you do and will continue to do over the years that are less than perfect in the eyes of the church,.... you gota keep that shit under wraps! and if you catch one of your fellow brothers or sister doing the same fun shit you do, you gota keep their shit secret too, cause chances are they know all about your shit, so its mutual black mail.
approval is centered in looking like you've got it all together and keeping everyone’s shit a secret until they piss you off or they tell your shit, then all bets are off,... and if all else fails, you just pick a new church to attend where no one knows your shit yet. and maybe this time you'll do a better job of keeping your shit under wraps!
last but not least,... the midwestern holy grail,.... fried chicken
oh come on now, you ever been to a baptist pick nick on the ground that didn’t have fried chicken? i woulda chosen deviled eggs but they have the word devil in it and some of my folks are a bit sensitive to that. you can bring deviled eggs, we'll eat deviled eggs, but while at church please just call them eggs..... same goes by that chocolate cake that we like.
so there you have it,... my thoughts on the baptist trinity,.... what are yours?