Thursday, January 31, 2013

Only Slightly Exaggerated

I got my copy of Jerry Faught's "Rev. Dr. Megalo Maniac's Supernatural Salvation Spectacle and Marvelous Mega-Church Meeting" in the mail yesterday. I laughed out loud so much as I read the first few pages that my wife had to know what was so funny. Her curiosity could not be assuaged until I read excerpts like this out loud:
When Megalo pastored in Broomville a nearby Cowboy Church invited him to speak. Megalo donned his Ostrich Skin Boots and his Stetson Cowboy Hat and prepared to rope some lost people for Jesus. Megalo preached his sermon while doing some rope tricks he had learned as a youth. He talked about how God had roped him and wrestled him to the ground back when he was a rebellious young steer and had captured his heart.

"God corralled me for Christ -- roped me for the redeemer -- lassoed me for the Lord." Megalo declared.

In the middle of Megalo's sermon an old rodeo clown ran down the aisle crying and asking Jesus to save his soul. The clown then asked Megalo to baptize him but he requested that his horse be allowed to watch the baptism. Megalo agreed and the clown brought his horse in through the back door of the church and down the aisle near the baptistery. When the congregation applauded after the baptism the horse got spooked and started running up and down the aisles.
I've got so many serious philosophy and theology books to read that I rarely read a work of fiction. I made an exception for Dr. Faught's work because I got to know him during the ten years that he was Professor of Religion at Oklahoma Baptist University. A year ago he parted ways with the increasingly heavy-handed fundamentalism of OBU's current administration and became Associate Professor at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.

I suspected that this book would be a cathartic exercise for Jerry and it is obvious that it is. I also anticipated that, in the midst of the humor, Jerry would make some astute observations about the spectacle of evangelical fundamentalism. Often he needs only to slightly exaggerate the truth to show the absurdity of what has become commonplace in Southern Baptist life.

Now, I've got to hurry up and finish reading this book. Kylene wants to read it.

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