But Lord, I Could Never Be A Preacher!
We’re on the home stretch, guys! Only 23 more pages left in the book. That’s 23 more pages and 3 chapters I can finally feel like I’ve accomplished something. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book review on the blog before, so, this would be something to celebrate. You can all do so by sending me flowers. I’m told that the receiving of flowers is essential to being a female, so, quick, send me some before the boob fairy comes to confiscate my womanhood.
This chapter is very short, so I’ll try to post two chapters today, but we’ll see how it goes.
Ever since Doug got saved, he’s been trying to
badger people into converting to Christianity witness to everybody he meets.
Shortly after he is baptized into the SDA church, the pastor holds an evangelistic series. Doug figures it’s a great way to witness to the people he meets, so he invites everybody.
The evening the meetings began, our small church over flowed. I stood at the door and watched for friends I had invited. Many of my neighbors in the mountains attended that first night and continued to come. When we had our first
mass dunkingbaptism, 10 or the 12 who were baptized were those I had studied with and invited. “What a joy to serve God!” I thought. “This is happiness, and it doesn’t leave a hangover.”
I don’t recall exactly who I talked with about this, but I was talking to a person the other day who thinks that drugs and religion are very similar things. They both can make a person “high,” and they are both very addicting. Doug has not beaten his addictions. Rather, he has traded in for another. But just because Doug is no longer slowly murdering his poor innocent liver doesn’t mean he is not hurting himself. Doug is now hurting his mind, and the minds of others. And that’s a lot worse than a 24 hour hangover.
Pastor Joe eventually approaches Doug and asks him to preach. He declines, as he doesn’t have an education. Pastor Joe tells him he doesn’t need to have a college education, and I wonder if he is aware that Doug is a high school dropout?
I do agree with pastor Joe. You do not need a doctorate in theology, or even a high school degree, to preach a good sermon. (Drink!)
Over the next few months, Pastor Joe wears Doug down, and he eventually agrees to give it a try.
This, perhaps, is why nobody ever let me preach the sermon. I thought this was how it worked. First, the pastor approached you, and you refused. Then he would keep approaching you and you would gradually allow yourself to be worn down. In reality, when the pastor hears you say “no,” he thinks you actually mean it and doesn’t bring it up again.
Or maybe that was just because I am not the possessor of an almighty penis, and therefore am unfit for preaching anyway.
I used to daydream about being asked to preach in this manner. I also used to daydream about having a great story like Doug’s.
Doug is very nervous as he gives his first sermon (no, we don’t get to hear what it’s about.)
If I live to be a hundred, I’ll never forget that first “sermon” I preached! I didn’t even own a suit, and I forgot to put on a tie, but it wasn’t my clothes that bothered me….my hands perspired, and I could feel my heart thumping in my throat….I grasped the edges of the pulpit. I was glad to have something to hide behind so the audience couldn’t see my knees knocking together.
I gotta give Doug (or Tooker) some credit here, this isn’t terrible writing. Doug does tell us he’s nervous, but then he also goes on to show us. It’s a pity Doug/Tooker will never take a writing class. Whoever wrote this has some potential.
After the sermon, everyone shakes Doug’s hand and tells us what a blessing he is.
Me? A blessing? I thought. I noticed that several of the saints who complimented the sermon wore hearing aids. I figured that they must have been broken that morning.
Do you have to insult disabled people in order to lift yourself up?
“Doug, you really should go to college and train for the ministry,” Pastor Phillips urged. “The Lord has given you a special talent for this work, and I know how much you love sharing the gospel. his work needs you.”
Go to college? I never even finished High School! They’ll never let me in there!
Just kidding, Doug doesn’t say that. He tells pastor Joe he will “pray about it.”
Usually this is Adventist speak for, “I’m trying to refuse you but I have to be polite about it.”
In the end, I did go to school to take a few classes. Dear old Dad! He had always wanted me to get an education, even if it was a religious one, so he was happy to help, and for 6 months I attended Southwestern Adventist College in Keene, Texas.
Doug tells us he “took a few classes.” Did he graduate, I wonder? Did he go back and get his GED, or was that not a requirement for that particular school in that particular time? I have read that Doug has a boatload of honorary degrees, as well as a GED, but it took quite a bit of googling to even find that, and frankly, I couldn’t find an actual source for it.
Most people have their degrees/diplomas listed on their websites, so, I’m gonna at least say that this is pretty sketch.
I think I made this point earlier, but if Doug has no degree at all aside from a GED, he may find it difficult to find other employment. If Doug ever does “see the light,” as many Christians are praying he will do, he’d pretty much find himself out of a job in an unstable economy.
At this point, I’d say Doug is in too deep to leave anyway, even if he wanted to.
Doug tells us that me made straight As in college, and read a book about how Benjamin Franklin taught himself 7 languages, invented things, and was a vegetarian. Doug figures that if Franklin could teach himself, so could he.
He does not go on to say he tried to teach himself college level algebra, but he does claim he taught himself Spanish, flute, trumpet, flying a plane, and windsurfing.
At the time I was learning to sing–though my friends were begging me to give that up!
Heh. That was actually kind of funny.
In all seriousness, I hope he did not teach himself to fly planes. There are just some things you shouldn’t attempt to self teach, and that’s one of them. This is one of the main reasons teachers exist.
I also want to state that there’s a reason Benjamin Franklin’s accomplishments are so impressive: they’re not common. Not everyone is able to self teach. Myself, personally, I can only teach myself a little bit before I get overwhelmed and need help. This is another reason teachers exist.
After college, Doug worked in Texas doing some Revelation seminars.
Later that year I was invited to join the famous gospel singing group called Heritage Singers–as their devotional speaker. I’m still working on the singing!
I’ve never heard Doug try to sing, so I’ll just believe him on that one.
Doug closes the chapter with a statement that makes me bang my head against the wall.
Eighteen months of speaking five times a week more than made up for what I had missed in the way of formal education.
I… I’m just gonna let that stand. I think this statement kind of speaks for itself about Doug’s views on formal education.
This chapter has been mercifully short, and mercifully not awful.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for chapter 16. Chapter 16 is going to have me raging, so, we’re gonna save it for another day.