33 Chapters
Medium 9781574411836

Chicken Soup for the Damned

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Chicken Soup for the Damned j

Jesus was born in the biggest house with the finest stable in

Bethlehem. His mother was a member of the Daughters of Jericho. His father, Joseph, was a famous hero who drove a stake through the heart of a Palestinian and became CEO of Nazareth

Land Development, employing hundreds of carpenters and masons, creating Mt. Tabor Estates, and reducing the Cedars of

Lebanon to Shittim Wood.

As a boy, Jesus was the best athlete in Galilee, and once, to help his father hide gold while tax collectors slept, with five smooth stones he killed three roosters before they crowed. He also knocked out the eye of a Pharisee’s son but gave the boy a gold coin to replace it.

When he became a man, Jesus used the management skills he learned in his father’s office to assemble a team of adherents who would denounce dissenters, punish the poor, and appropriate the sick in order to enrich themselves. Preaching health, security, and prosperity to all who followed him, Jesus found a hearing wherever he went. Once after he had told them the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids who cornered the market on lamp oil, hangers-on followed him until they were faint. Jesus told them to give him their money and he would give them the secret of everlasting bread. His adherents took the shekels to the nearest McEdonia. Upon their return there was a scramble for the bagels and lox. After they had eaten all they could, they bought all Jesus’ lamp oil at inflated prices. Then Jesus told them the secret of everlasting bread was in the lamp oil of

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Ten Mistakes that God Has Made

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Ten Mistakes that

God Has Made j

Haskell Gatewood, an evangelist of the Southern Baptist persuasion came to Chillicothe for a revival. After a tour of the churches, school, water tower, and cemetery—the cemetery had the most people in it—he pitched his tent, ready to save folks from sin, sickness, disease, doubt, and Democrats.

Brother Haskell put his tent where downtown used to be, before the general store migrated to Electra, and gathered a crowd by declaring a week of preaching on “Ten Mistakes That

God Has Made.” A sermon on one of God’s mistakes each night of the week and two sermons on the Alpha and Omega Sundays. A large crowd showed up for the meeting, many of the people bringing their own lists of God’s mistakes.

Brother Haskell said the first mistake God made was giving himself too many names. “God” was easy to remember, easy to pronounce, and easy to spell. When God went beyond that, He made a major mistake. Was it Yahweh or Jehovah? No one seemed to know. Those other names, Immanuel, Incarnation,

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Born-Again Jesus

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Born-Again Jesus j

A clandestine group of scientists, even more secretive than the Masonic Lodge, met at the sacred mounds near Chillicothe.

Among them was a Nobel laureate, two who had received

Pulitzers—one in Specialized Reporting and one in Explanatory

Reporting—one winner of the Intel Science Talent Search, two National Medal of Freedom winners, and four Teachers of the Year.

By the third grade they had been the smartest kids in their schools, including the high school. By sixth grade, they were the smartest people in their church, including the pastor. They had won national championships in science fairs, spelling bees and Bible sword drills. They had learned evolution in school and six days times twenty-four hours a day equaled 144 hours of creation in Sunday School. Reptilia in school and subtle serpent in Sunday School, physics and The Rapture.

They believed E equaled MC squared and that glossalalia equaled vision. They believed the first law of motion, that things remained pretty much the same without external intrusion, and that eating everything on their plates aided hungry children in India.

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Testimonial Time in the Baptist Church

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Testimonial Time in the Baptist Church j

Sunday night meant testifying at the Chillicothe Baptist Church and folks who weren’t Baptists came to see what their Christian brethren had been up to. Testifying gave a whole new meaning to the expression, “No news is good news.”

After singing, praying and a short (for him) sermon, Brother

Wachel opened the floor to those who wished to bear testimony to what the Lord had done for them.

With a husky voice Butch Trulove testified that his mother’s dying words to him were, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

After she died, he tried to drown his sorrow in a whiskey bottle. Late one night he left a bar and a piece of paper blew up against his foot. He picked it up and it was a tract with the words, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Butch recognized it as a message his mother had sent from the grave. “And that’s why I’m in church tonight,” Butch said.

Folks nodded politely but in West Texas sin tracts were as common as cactus. Baptists believed Butch started drowning in a bottle before his mother took sick. Methodists believed turning fifty had cured Butch of more sins than Jesus had.

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If You're There God, Pick Up

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

If You’re There God, Pick Up j

Billy Mac Wilhite came home from the seminary to be ordained as a Baptist preacher. Tommy Foster, who was fourteen, remembered Billy Mac as a quarterback for the Chillicothe

High School Eagles. Billy Mac was Tommy’s hero. Tommy didn’t care that for his ordination Billy Mac wore a plaid coat with gray slacks and a bow tie, had tassels on his shoes, and paisley socks. The Holy Spirit does not always come with good taste.

Billy Mac had attended one of those Southern Baptist seminaries that teach “God is deaf” theology. When he was invited to preach, Billy Mac preached that God couldn’t hear the prayers of a whole bunch of folks. Including the Methodists.

Billy Mac said he had been to Jerusalem where prayers, calls for prayers, incense for prayers, bells for prayers, and prayers were heard day and night. Catholic prayers, Jewish prayers, Armenian prayers, Coptic prayers, Muslim prayers,

Orthodox prayers, Anglican prayers. Was Jerusalem a city known for peace and love? That proved that God didn’t hear the prayers of those folks.

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