Just as I am, or, waiting on that Fred Thompson altar call..

First of all, does James Dobson not have anybody in his organization that can take the man behind closed doors and testify:

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR BONEY-ASS POWER-HUNGRY EAR-BLEEDING MONO-MANIACAL MIND?

I say that based on what I first picked up in Krumm-ville about Dobson claiming that Fred ‘Gasm’ Thompson isn’t a Christian in the particular Christian ghetto currently sheltering the ‘world leader pretend’. Apparently sycophants-r’-us supplies Mr. D with his aides-d-camp.

I kind of like old Fred. He’s an honest plain-spoken man who seems to be enjoying his flirtation with the elephant race that seems like it started about three minutes after the last election. Part of his appeal right now is that he is not the other guys and doesn’t have to stake out any positions or say much of anything other than dispensing judicial folk-medicine on a weekly basis on Law and Order.

All of that is to say I noticed something extremely interesting in the defense proffered by Thompson’s spokesman after Dobson’s dictum.

“Thompson is indeed a Christian,” he said. “He was baptized into the Church of Christ.”

Considering that I am a product of the church of Christ for lo, many many many years, I’ve got insight that all you non-saved heathens* might not understand.

Being baptized in the traditional church of Christ (I think things have changed in many C of C’s.) back in the day was one scary experience for most of us. The culmination of the experience was walking the aisle up to the front of the auditorium with everybody staring and then being immersed after donning a gown suitable for the occasion.

But, this was, as I said, the culmination. The C of C doesn’t believe in infant baptism. Nope…you gotta choose it yourself when you reach the mysterious ‘age of accountability**’. That magical age may be reached at age 9 for the really precocious bible -snappers or as late as age 16 for someone who really really didn’t like being pressured.

After you are deemed to have reached the age of accountability, the older women who gave you candy during the pre-accountible years are suddenly giving you ‘those looks’ during the invitation song that occurs after every freaking sermon. If you were unlucky enough to be trapped after the service by one of these drive-by biddies, you were implored to consider the consequences of not heeding the call***.

As the age of accountibility grew long in the tooth and the call went unanswered, the looks, the stares, the admonishments, and those horrid gospel meetings stretched endlessly until every waking church-related moment seemed to be a movie where the protagonist is trapped in one of those houses where the doors have been hermetically sealed and every creak is as ominous as a scream in the basement.

Needless to say, I caved. I did want to do the ‘right thing’, so I made a pact with several of my teenage-lifeboat crew..we’d all go down the aisle together. Luckily for me, a meteor did not tear into the roof of the church setting me and my fellow procrastinators ablaze before we made the necessary vow.

All of this is to say, that you get a LOT of attention BEFORE you make that committed walk down the aisle. Once you’ve made the leap, you get the smiles and the warmth, but you are no longer a point of focus. The church brigade now has other fish to de-bone.

I don’t know if it’s going to take the 15th verse of ‘Just as I Am’ for Fred to come strolling down the aisle, but I do know that if Fred’s C of C life was anything like mine, the pressure he is feeling now is certainly reminiscent of an earlier day.

You want to do what is right, but you just have to wonder if there’s not a better way to do it….you know what I mean?

One thing that Thompson’s spokesman may not realize is that the C of C doesn’t really believed in the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine. You can screw the pooch and drop out of the salvation bucket. Of course, you can always go forward again…but, I think we’ve already covered that one.

*uh, that would be some church of Christ sarcasm. There’s an old chestnut of a joke that when St. Peter is giving the tour of heaven to the newly inducted that he asks them to be quiet and tip-toe when they pass a certain room. When asked why, he explains that the room is for the church of Christ folks, and he doesn’t want to spoil their illusion that they are the only ones who made it.
I suspect that there is a similiar Southern Baptist joke.

**That may be a protected trademark phrase..not sure.. Sorry if I’ve infringed on anything.

***Not heeeding the call could possible mean perishing in an untimely fiery car wreck, the flames of which could be a foreshadowing of the heat to come. Or, God could choose to end the world while you were looking at that copy of Playboy you had stashed under your mattress and THEN where would you be??.

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12 Comments

Filed under Huh?, journey, politics, self-referential nonsense

12 responses to “Just as I am, or, waiting on that Fred Thompson altar call..

  1. Pingback: Bob Krumm » yet one more reason to like fred thompson

  2. Pingback: Trademark Answers » Just as I am, or, waiting on that Fred Thompson altar call..

  3. Beansox

    There is nothing to say about Fred other than for the last six years while the GOP has taken it from everyside..he has been out in Hollyowood “play acting” politics and banging some broad thats young enough to be his daughter.

    He wont ever get my vote.

    Fred Thompson=CHINO (Christian in name only)

  4. age 9 for the really precocious bible -snappers

    Hey! I resemble that remark!

    Why don’t Dobson’s aides “enlighten” him? Probably the same reason why “The Prophetess”‘s followers don’t question her…you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    For some reason, I have doubts about Thompson’s origin of “salvation”. I think we would have heard from the CofC contigents before now about his affiliation with “us” – either to saying, “yay! one of us” or “boo! he can’t associate here after falling away to politics and hollywood!”

  5. Pingback: Once More With Feeling » Links: reaction to Dobson v. Fred Thompson

  6. W

    That sounds remarkably like my experience being baptised in a southern Baptist church.

  7. Well, I had a good baptism experience, but that’s Mennonism for you. They’re very hands-off about it all.

    I’m just thoroughly amused at watching The Great Unwashed throw armchair quarterback comments about denominational differences, the definitions of Christianity, etc.

  8. John, I grew up in a small rural area and everybody was either Baptist , Methodist, or Church of Christ. The Baptists and Methodists would often fellowship together and sometimes worship together, but the Church of Christ folks would never accept an invitation to fellowship because they thought we were all going to hell. My classmates actually told me that.

    It seems like though, that either those attitudes within the Church of Christ have changed, or the churches close to Nashville are just a little more liberal, because most of the Church of Christ people I have met up here seem not to believe that. For example, my wife and I met a really nice Church of Christ lady at the park yesterday who invited her to a woman’s Bible study. She said that women from lots of other denominations get together from time to time.

    I think maybe they have lightened up a bit.

  9. Glen – absolutely. In fact, the church that Malia (see commenter above) attends is a church that no more resembles the church of my youth than a butterfly resembles the lowly caterpillar…there has been evolution, but my life-experience of my youth was certainly the norm of many churches of Christ (much like what you experienced) and is sadly still survives in many of the more orthodox C of C’s.

  10. Lee

    That joke you mention was told to me by a CofC fraternity brother of mine back at Murray State. Apparently it has made the rounds.

    And I’m was a lonely Lutheran living in Southern Baptist land. “You were baptized as a baby?” was all I ever heard from my cousins. But then again, Lutherans can drink beer, so they were jealous.

  11. There’s a contemporary COC in Hendersonville that has (gasp) a CHOIR!

    True story…I worked for a big Methodist church in town and one time in a member’s file, they had written to her COC that she grew up in and was baptized in for her letter when she joined the UMC and they wrote back saying “I regret to inform you she has not been a faithful Christian for many years.” I could not believe my eyes.

  12. Pingback: Nashville is Talking » Sticking to No

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