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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


April 07, 1998

REVIVAL

A few miles into Stanley County, I saw signs that they were going to have a revival at a Baptist church down the road on NC 49. I pulled into the church parking lot about a half hour before the revival started. Before the revival started, the pastor gave me permission to camp out under the revival shelter on the stage. Also, one guy slipped me ten dollars in a green handshake.

After the offering was taken, the pastor recognized me in a greeting. Before the guest pastor spoke, I felt compelled to join the other people who stood up to give short testimonies to tell the congregation about myself and my faith. The guest pastor spoke mostly on the tenth chapter of the eighty-forth Psalm.

What was so different was that the guest preacher who was white pretty well used the style of the African-American pastor who I had heard speak at the Dexter King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He really yelled out his message and there were a lot of shouts of praise and confirmation from the congregation.

The chapter that the pastor talked about peace, praise, power (strength) in the House of the lord. He used a lot of southern humor in his sermon. He said that if you couldn't be solemn in a church you should be loud. If you weren't loud in your voice, you weren't right in your faith.

This was a direct contradiction to what the Bible. The Bible said that you shouldn't brag about your faith but go into your closet and pray. It seems that Baptist seem to want to make long prayers that could be considered as being sermons. A lot of people in their prayers seem to go from one thing to another instead of one particular thing. These prayers could be considered as being "buck shot" prayers because the intention of the prayee is scattered in a big pattern instead of a small hole. Some people seem to want to try and boast on how long they can pray or preach about.

When this happens, my mind goes back to one of the sayings of Ben Franklin. Ben Franklin said that "he wished that religion was more about charity, kindness, and mercy instead of the saying of long prayers, attending of long services, and the hearing of long sermons. If this was all to a man's faith, it would be like that person being compared to a tree who was proud to be watered and pruned but not producing any fruit."

After the service, I got twenty-seven dollars in "green handshakes". Instead of camping out, I got invited to stay with a guy in Mt. Pleasant who's nickname was "Lizard".




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