Monday evening revival, under the
They sing some hymns, a capella, in many keys at once. Maybe, since they're in New England, they are going for a Charles Ives polytonal effect. One of the hymns is The Old Rugged Cross (I listened to a few seconds, and could tell from the words), so Gary must have been happy.
The Hawkinses sing at the piano, as well. I skipped it all.
John 19:17-30 Gary can barely get through this very well-known text. I'm sad to say that none of his errors were funny, though - just pitiful.
You've heard of Christmas in July? Well, Gary seems to want Good Friday in July. I think Gary would like to talk about the Crucifixion and torture and burning in Hell every day.
Theoretically, I can see how the Independent Baptist approach - no specific prayers that must be said, no cycling through a liturgical year or reading Scripture in order - could be liberating.
But Gary uses it as an excuse to return to pet readings that support his politics, guilt-mongering, self-righteousness, love of gore, and inability to come up with new thoughts.
OK, enough diversion - back to the cross.
The yelling starts right away, in both directions. Gary's blood won't do you no good, but Jesus' will.
Becky gives her water bottle to the pastor to give to Gary. Hope Jacob is OK.
Psalms 103:12 - As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Gary is glad God has forgotten his sins. God was worshed your sins really far away - see:
Sporty ensemble, Gary.
Speaking of clothes, he tells us his oldest boy used to say he'd like to wear a purple shirt. Gary said "Not under mah roof, amen," and got the answer "Well, Jesus did."
"I said, 'and also, Jesus was beaten - do you wanna be beat? I won't have a problem doin' it.' Hey, (inaudible) was talkin' yesterday that his Mama and Daddy would say whenever they whupped him that it hurt them worse than it hurt him. I wantcha to know, when I told mah kids, when mah kids got whuppin's, ah said 'it ain't gonna bother me one ounce.' (incoherent bellow, lots of arm waving) AMEN!"
I guess we had to hear about beating children today, since he left it out yesterday.
BTW, this followed right on the stuff about Jesus forgiving and forgetting all of our sins. Ya ask whah? Fucked if I know.
Oh, and Becky and much of the congregation were in hysterics laughing about how funny it is to beat children, and to threaten beatings because they want to wear a purple shirt.
WTF is wrong with these people?
Gary says "Colossians chapter 14" then realizes there is no such thing. Oh - Colossians 1:14 - In whom we have redemption through his blood.
Oh, goody - blood!
"Ah unnerstan' there is some people that have blood, that you kin, you kin donate blood, and you can help some people."
"But it's only for a temporary thang, because we're in a temporary world. But Jesus' blood, y'know people say, 'well what about you got a bloody religion,' you absolutely raht. Every bit of Jesus' blood took away every bit o' mah sins amen. Ah'm talkin' 'bout listen hey His blood, He shed His blood. Some say He dropped it, some say he poured it out, some even say it's still sittin' there, ah personally believe, ah studied the Bahble, He's got the bloood settin' raht beside him in Heaven, amen. Wantin' to do what? Wash the world's blood - sins- away."
This is a very Gary image - we already know he pictures Jesus on the edge of his chair, ready to blow that heavenly vuvuzela to usher in the end of the world. Now we have him with a bucket o' blood, and, no doubt, Gary's spiritual dishrag, ready to wash our sins away.
Gary says that, when he's in Heaven, he will have Jesus' blood running through him.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
Gary says you can ask his wife - he's not always lovable. Becky says a loud AMEN. They have this comedy routine worked out, folks.
He says that Jesus died and gave his only begotten son. I think that's at least the third time he's blessed us with that original theology.
He tells us that he was given his truck because God loves him.
Gary says he's trying to lose 100 pounds, but he'll still have enough flesh to do wrong.
Luke 24:5-7 God is alive, and Gary has to shout about it for a few minutes.
Gary reminds us that Buddha and Mohamed are in Hell. At least he didn't say Allah this time.
We get stinky Lazarus for the first time in a while. "We all were stinkin' in some kinda filth before (drowned out by yelling)."
"All these clinics they got for dopeheads cain't take it away from ya, ya say how d'ya know? Ah worked with a guy, 'n' ah finally had to quit 'cause ah came home smellin' like a dope every naht."
"Here's a difference between a lost man that don't give a flip 'n' listen hey matter of fact just told, they told me the other day that mah cousin, after many years o' bein' married to the same woman, came home one day 'n' told 'im said 'ah want you to leave.'"
Gary does his "sin makes women ugly" bit, talking about the preacher who had the pictures of a woman who gradually deteriorated due to sin and his cousin who got kicked out of a car - we've heard those before, but this time he adds this:
"Mah Daddy talked about how whenever he first met mah mother, 'n' how when he first seen her, how beautiful a girl she was. You see her now? That's what sin does to ya. Messes you up."
Gary, you're a shitty son. And, if you were quoting your father there, he's a shitty husband. The woman is in her 60s and in kidney failure, and has probably worked hard all her life serving men - if she's no longer a "beautiful girl," those things might be the cause, not sin (not to mention that it's shallow of you, and none of your fucking business).
"You think about this - bulletin boards! I know Peter (inaudible) was prob'ly one of the best artistses that there prob'ly ever been in the days as far as the Christianity world, ah know there's some others that can do that, but amma tell you raht now the Devil has (inaudible).
Oh, he's talking about billboards! He keeps calling them bulletin boards, and does his bit about how the women on them aren't fat, but a "skinny, beautiful, naked woman," because the Devil wants you to drink "Bud-dumber."
Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The loudest yelling I think I've ever heard in my life follows.
Gary says that he said something wrong, in church, once, 15 years ago. God kept him up all night, convicting him.
John 14:1-4 Gary's heavenly mansion will not have rats or bedbugs - someone in the congregation calls out "black flies," and Gary repeats it, and adds "the state bird of Maine - mosquitos."
Then he cracks wise about his wife wanting her own place in Heaven.
These people are such sophisticated wits.
Gary, who never seems able to decide whether his flesh and possessions will go with him to Heaven, goes on about sand not ruining your heavenly vehicle, and all of the foods he will eat without ever getting fat. Some of his more delicious choices, involving the word "fried," are repeated reverently by members of the congregation.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
He tells how his oldest son was saved - Gary told him is was bedtime after devotions, and he said "I can't go to bed, I'm going to Hell." Gary tells us he said "'You say you can't go to bed, and you're goin' to Hell, but you're just gonna sit there. Ah can make you get on your knees, ah can make you say a prayer, but that's not how salvation works.' And he got on his knees, and to that day, he says he got saved."
Then we get Jacob's salvation story, which we've heard before - when he was 10, he got up out of bed where they were grifting - er, taking care of a church for someone on a mission. Gary says he thought at first that someone was breaking in, so I guess Jacob is lucky he didn't get shot. He started pounding on Gary's bedroom door, Gary said "What in the name of God is your problem?" and Jacob said (well, bellowed, if Gary's imitation is accurate) "Ah'm goin' to HELL!"
These bedtime salvation stories chill me to the bone. How terrifying it must be to be a child in that family.
Gary ends on a note of hope, reminding us that there's a casket waiting.