Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

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Apostateabe
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Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Apostateabe » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:31 pm

This morning, I decided to go to a service of my local Pentecostal church. I was curious. According to a recent news story, Pentecostalism is the religion of Sarah Palin, and it is more dominant in South America than Catholicism. The Pentecostal church I went to this morning is the Faith Tabernacle Assemblies of God church in Klamath Falls, Oregon. In the lobby, they sold little vials of anointing oil for six dollars ("purely symbolic" the office attendant told me). And they advertised courses, on Thursday evenings, of Kirk Cameron's and Ray Comfort's Way of the Master courses, the origin of the famous banana argument.

Pentecostal services are not your typical Sunday morning boring affairs. Their main divisions with the rest of Protestant Evangelicalism is that they believe in modern faith healings, speaking in tongues, prophecies, and very emotionally-driven sermons. Out of any church in a typical town, the Pentecostal church is most likely to resemble a dangerous cult. And Faith Tabernacle, from what I experienced this morning, is no exception. The service began with the pastor telling of how an old man in the congregation got healed of lung cancer, though the doctors said he wouldn't live for six months. Because of his faith, he got a radiological scan and "not one thread" of cancer was left! The whole congregation ate it up. Cancer is one of those ailments that is popular for faith healers--ending in either death, which can be ignored, or in natural remission, which can only be the hand of God at work in our lives. Never a word on healing something permanent, like cystic fibrosis, type-1 diabetes, HIV, or limb amputations.

It was getting toward the end of the service, with plenty of shouting and chanting and emotional displays, when I was looking through my Bible and shouted, "Oh Jesus!" I got up, approached the pastor and said, with the same emotionally-charged style of speaking that the sermon had inspired me with,

"Sorry pastor, I have got to interrupt."

He said, "No you don't."

I said, "I do! I do! It is a matter of life and death!"

"Are you saved?" he asked me in the coldest and most un-animated tone that morning.

I said, "No, that is the problem!"

I turned around and faced the congregation, holding the Bible.

"I just read a passage in the Word of God. This is the Word of God! In Deuteronomy 13:6-16, it says that if any one of your friends or family members entices you privately saying to worship other gods, then you must put him to death! You must be the first to stone him, and then everyone else must stone him too!"

By this time, four guys were standing right behind me, maybe to make sure I didn't do anything too strange. Most of the congregation was speaking in tongues, apparently pretending I wasn't there. I continued,

"So I must say to everyone very publicly, not privately, publicly, I would like everyone to worship Chuck Norris and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. So it is public, now you don't have to have to stone me to death."

The four guys behind me heard that part (one of them laughed nervously a little like it was a joke), and they grabbed me and started walking me out. I continued my plea with the Bible in my hand,

"It is public now, PLEASE DON'T STONE ME!!"

In the lobby with the door to the worship hall closed, one of those four men, an old man, asked,

"WHO DO YOU WORSHIP?"

I said, "Chuck Norris and the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

"Not in this church you don't, get out of here."

So I gave him the Bible, backed out of the entrance, wished them a happy Sunday, and left, glad I still had all my bones intact.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next episode I hope will be written by you. My challenge is this: go to any Biblicist (Bible literalist) church on Sunday morning, stand up, and tell everyone loudly that they should worship other gods, and you are saying this because you don't want true Christians to stone you for saying it secretly. If you do, I will mail you five dollars for a beer at your local pub.

Steps:

1) Prepare your speech.
2) Give your speech sometime during the service.
3) Write your inspiring account in this thread.
4) Private message to me your address and the church's name and town. I will contact the church staff and verify the story.
5) Wait for your beer money!

By the way, if you live in the Bible Belt, I will increase the prize money to $$ ten dollars $$. :) Enough for two quality brews and a tip for the bartender.

Creativity is accepted and encouraged. As long as the feat embarrasses the congregation and/or yourself, you deserve the cash for a good brew.

8)

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby fueledbycoffee » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:03 pm

I would... but I'd kinda need the beer beforehand, knamsayin'?
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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Apostateabe » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:06 pm

fueledbycoffee wrote:I would... but I'd kinda need the beer beforehand, knamsayin'?

How about you buy the beer, do the thing, and I'll reimburse you for the beer afterward? :)

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby fueledbycoffee » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:32 pm

Sounds like a plan. Now I just have to get up off my lazy ass, pick a passage from the Bible, find a church, work up the courage to go to church, say the thing, run screaming away, call the cops for protection, call the mob for protection... I think I'll just stay home.
Vote Pieces for Pope! She didn't buy me off with the funny hat, I swear!... She made me a cardinal.

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Apostateabe » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:39 pm

fueledbycoffee wrote:Sounds like a plan. Now I just have to get up off my lazy ass, pick a passage from the Bible, find a church, work up the courage to go to church, say the thing, run screaming away, call the cops for protection, call the mob for protection... I think I'll just stay home.

OK, haha, next time I am in Baltimore (my sister lives there), I'll do it again, just to show you that church-goers are not really as violent as you think.

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby fueledbycoffee » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:00 pm

No, I know they aren't, but I'm lazy as all hell, and can use them as an excuse.
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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Apostateabe » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:21 pm

fueledbycoffee wrote:No, I know they aren't, but I'm lazy as all hell, and can use them as an excuse.

Yeah, it wasn't that easy for me. When I was sitting in the seat, I had to try not to crap my pants because of what I planned to do in front of all those people, spoiling their high and all. I think the sermon gave me the courage to stand up and do it. The brainwashing seemed horrifying to me.

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby MonkeysInACan » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:23 pm

Wow! That was awesome! I don't think i would have the balls to do that. My Girl friend goes to a Pentecostal Church and even the she isn't very religious and knows I don't buy that crap she is always asking me to go, probably just to keep her company. I plan on going with her eventually and when I do I don't plan on making the speech, I will however not hold back when someone asks me about my faith in the FSM. :fsm_float:
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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Apostateabe » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:27 am

MonkeysInACan wrote:Wow! That was awesome! I don't think i would have the balls to do that. My Girl friend goes to a Pentecostal Church and even the she isn't very religious and knows I don't buy that crap she is always asking me to go, probably just to keep her company. I plan on going with her eventually and when I do I don't plan on making the speech, I will however not hold back when someone asks me about my faith in the FSM. :fsm_float:

Cool, maybe you can attend wearing full pirate regalia. When other people raise their hands and say, "Amen!", you raise your cutlass and say "AAARRRRRR!!"

That would earn you a beer for sure.

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Spector567 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:14 pm

So it's all right for you to walk into there church where everyone who was there choose to be and to force your beliefs on them??? So it's alright for YOU to do it to them but not the other way around.... You do understand my confusion.

YOU choose to be there,
YOU choose to sit down and stay,
YOU choose not to get up and leave,
YOU choose to stand up,
YOU choose to speak when they politely asked you not to,
YOU choose to turn around and make a spectacle out of yourself.
YOU choose declare FSM as the reason you did it.

THEY choose not to stone you.

So far it's looks to me that THEY collectively made a more strong and honorable choice than the several you made that morning.

Now YOU choose to try to compound YOUR choices and try make them OK by encouraging others to do them......

YOU have become exactly what you think your fighting against.



Let me refresh you on a couple of the "8 I'd rather you didn'ts"

1.) I'd really rather you didn't act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don't believe in me, that's okay. Really, I'm not that vain. Besides, this isn't about them so don't change the subject.
2.) I'd really rather you didn't use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don't require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.

As much as I would find this amusing to see on YouTube, I'd also find it hilarious if they picked you up and dropped you in the mud on the way out.

There is a line between amusing, daring and Jackass. I think you overshot it by a lot.

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Apostateabe » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:28 pm

Spector567 wrote:So it's all right for you to walk into there church where everyone who was there choose to be and to force your beliefs on them??? So it's alright for YOU to do it to them but not the other way around.... You do understand my confusion.

YOU choose to be there,
YOU choose to sit down and stay,
YOU choose not to get up and leave,
YOU choose to stand up,
YOU choose to speak when they politely asked you not to,
YOU choose to turn around and make a spectacle out of yourself.
YOU choose declare FSM as the reason you did it.

THEY choose not to stone you.

So far it's looks to me that THEY collectively made a more strong and honorable choice than the several you made that morning.

Now YOU choose to try to compound YOUR choices and try make them OK by encouraging others to do them......

YOU have become exactly what you think your fighting against.



Let me refresh you on a couple of the "8 I'd rather you didn'ts"

1.) I'd really rather you didn't act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don't believe in me, that's okay. Really, I'm not that vain. Besides, this isn't about them so don't change the subject.
2.) I'd really rather you didn't use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don't require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.

As much as I would find this amusing to see on YouTube, I'd also find it hilarious if they picked you up and dropped you in the mud on the way out.

There is a line between amusing, daring and Jackass. I think you overshot it by a lot.

Spector567, occasionally, religious people knock on my door asking to talk about their religion. Can you guess what I do in return? This may surprise you. This is what I do: I invite them in, sit them down on the couch, and I have a conversation with them about their religion. If I were to start my own church, I would love nothing more than to have people who disagree walk in and disagree with me. I would love to have my sermon interrupted, so I could sit them down on a chair in front of everyone, and have a conversation. The double standard that you think I adhere to simply does not exist. I am not becoming the kind of person I am fighting against. I do not try to convince anyone that cancer can be healed in any way but by medicine and physiology. I do not indoctrinate children and adults in any belief system that is profoundly wrong and harmful. I persuade through reason and debate, not through emotion, fear and censorship.

I am not forcing my beliefs on anyone. Their church is open to the public, including people like me, I was actually invited to the service, and I left exactly when they wanted me to leave.

I don't adhere to the 8 "I'd rather you didn'ts." I follow my own moral philosophies. You need to remember that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is little more than a joke. If Bobby Henderson tells me that he does not want me to use the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in this manner any more, then I will respect that wish. I will stick with Chuck Norris.

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Edd » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:02 am

Apostateabe wrote: I am not becoming the kind of person I am fighting against.


It's worse than that, Abe. You are becoming elijah.
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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby black bart » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:29 am

Did someone mention elijah?
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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Apostateabe » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:12 am

black bart wrote:Did someone mention elijah?

That was Edd.

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Re: Abe's Challenge: Declare your faith in church, win beer!

Postby Edd » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:33 am

Did someone mention Edd?
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