When was the last time you went to an old fashioned book burning? Maybe when Harry Potter first came out? Fundagelicals always loved them some good old fashioned bonfires to burn up ungodly stuff. In High School, I had a friend who burned his Queen albums several times. He would burn them, backslide, buy them again, repent, and burn them again.
Burning stuff has a Biblical precedent. After Paul preached in Ephesus and some Jewish exorcist had things go sideways, “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way, the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” (Acts 19:18-20 NIV) So, burning stuff is one of those Biblical principles that Fundagelicals love.
Over the years, I’ve seen bonfires for pornography, heavy metal music, and “occult items.” You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a Magic 8 Ball melt and bleed out its dark murky fluid. You know God is laughing when the die falls out and lands on “Outlook Not So Good.”
Vinyl LPs melted and turned into liquefied pools, cassette tapes shriveled and curled up like shrinky dinks. Porno magazines curled, turned to ash and then floated away. Ouija boards would slowly blacken, and you would wonder if the demons were trapped inside or if they screamed as they flew out.
The teenagers involved would get a slight look of self-righteous glee. Their expressions showed a duality of pride in their holiness and perverse pleasure in their love of burning stuff.
However, bonfires are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Technology has taken the joy out of teenagers playing with matches and burning their sins accessories away. Let’s face it, gathering a bunch of serious-faced teens together to simultaneously delete songs off their iPhones just doesn’t have the same effect, especially since you can always just download it again when you backslide.
No more gathering together to burn your copy of The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington or Heather Has Two Mommies you simply hit “remove from device” on your Kindle. Somehow that doesn’t seem to produce the same pyromaniac palpatations..
Thank God for hipsters. They’re bringing back vinyl LPs! In a few years, we can all gather in our church parking lots and break out the lighter fluid. I knew hipsters must be good for something.
Anyway, don’t forget to subscribe (You can always repent and unsubscribe, backslide and re-subscribe later) and thanks to everyone who is a current subscriber. You can catch me vlogging over at Rev’s Reels on YouTube.