Today’s blog post is guest written by Dusty Thompson. Dusty is another snarky former Fundagelical hanging out at Open Door Ministries. He is also a blogger and author with two books under his fabulous Gucci belt. Make sure to check out the links below to get more of his writing and humor.
Take it away Dusty,
I spent my childhood smack dab in the middle of the Fundagelical paradise known as The Deep South (LA, MS, TX), specifically within the confines of the Southern Baptist Church. Southern Baptists set themselves apart from other Fundagelicals in many ways, but the most interesting and least understood is their view on beverages, especially those consumed on the grounds of the church.
Baptists don’t drink alcohol at home, so why would they defile the sanctity of the church by drinking actual wine during the Lord’s Supper, which is what we call Communion. It’s the main reason Baptists think Catholics are headed straight to hell. That and their worship of Mary, Jesus’ Mama. The Baptist interpretation of verses found in the Bible when referring to wine is that it is often called new wine, which to them means unfermented grapes which is grape juice. Ah, grape juice. The nectar of the god, or rather, God. I know, what you’re going to say. What about the wine at that wedding in Cana? To that they will say, it was also grape juice. If you press any further, they will call a prayer circle about the condition of your soul.
Baptists think Mormons are in a cult and that is unacceptable. However, Baptists do insist on the children “drinking the Kool-Aid”. The way it is not cult-like is the fact that the Kool-Aid served in Children’s Church or Vacation Bible School or other moments when children should be seen and not heard. Of course, the recipe does nothing to encourage enjoyment or fun as the recipe seems to be nine parts water, one part Kool-Aid mix, one part prayer, and one more part water, just in case. Red Kool-Aid, which is a flavor, by the way, was something precious, akin to Frankincense and/or Myrrh. How else would you explain the all-encompassing need to water it down to a shade of red that more closely resembles the color of your white underwear after it’s been washed and dried with a new red t-shirt because you can’t be bothered to listen to your mother when she gives you specific laundry instructions, Dustin Terryll.
The most important water, Baptistry Water, plays a very important part in baptism, the full immersion kind. The best way to describe the baptistry in a Baptist church is to imagine there is a hot tub behind a curtain directly behind the choir loft which is directly behind the altar where the preacher preaches and the unclean become ‘washed in the blood’. Right above the hot tub may be a simple cross. There will not be a carving of Jesus hanging on that cross, because that reeks of Catholicism and we are having none of that all up and through here, do you hear me? Back to the water: the best way to ensure you are well and truly saved is a full immersion baptism like John did for Jesus in the Bible, y’all. Real Christians don’t get sprinkled with water like those uppity Presbyterians. You must be held under the water for a minute or two, so you can let your old spirit die there in the watery depths like the victims of a shark or jellyfish (if you’re allergic). Only then can you say that you are saved. Sprinkles are for cupcakes, heathen.
According to Dolly Parton, sweet tea is the house wine of the South. While we don’t necessarily like that language, sweet tea is everywhere, especially during the dinners-on-the-grounds that happen every month where there are five Sundays as well as Easter and Mother’s Day. It was all a part of the tradition that allowed you to discuss the various sins of the other Baptists, who happened to sit at a different table than you. If you fell into a discussion of the strength (or lack) of their walk or their level of maturity as a Christian and what, specifically, they need to do to atone themselves in your…I mean, Jesus’s eyes, it wasn’t gossip; it was fellowship.
Finally, there is a particular beverage, served at Baptist weddings, that only exists in space and time next to a cake, several bowls of Jordan Almonds and nowhere near anything resembling food. Baptist Wedding Punch is delicious and helps you identify the female members of the wedding party. Any young lady who is wearing a dress the same color as the punch is a bridesmaid. The recipe consists of your choice of the three flavors of sherbet available at the Piggly Wiggly (orange, lime or raspberry) mixed with Sprite or any off-brand lemon-lime soda. Ginger Ale comes from Canada and we are not having any of that Yankee nonsense.
Obviously, this limits your color schemes to variations on pastels. If you are looking for colors outside that narrow list, your heart is not right with God. Yellow means you are a hippy and worthy of scorn. Brown means you are tacky and is proof you weren’t ‘raised right’. Black means you are trying to be fancy like an Episcopalian and they worship Queen Elizabeth II or some other gobbledygook and you need to sit down and listen while grown folks tell you all about yourself. If you are planning red dresses for your bridesmaids, you are a harlot. And not like that heroine/wayward soul Rahab, who helped the Israelites capture Jericho. You’re like Jezebel right before she was torn asunder by dogs, much like your marriage will be torn asunder by Satan himself.
Now that you understand a little more about the Baptist section of the Fundagelical Buffet, you can loosen up that Bible Belt, grab your choice of the aforementioned beverages and get to fellowshipping with your brethren and sistren about all the poor souls who are not as sanctified or enlightened. But don’t enjoy yourself too much. Church is about anguish and laying (figuratively) prostrate on the altar, waiting to receive atonement. If you want to have fun, go be a Methodist. They may smile and clap without repercussion, but we all know where they’re spending eternity. That’s right, smack dab in the Lake of Fire, y’all. And no beverage, Baptist or otherwise, will quench your eternal thirst. Nothing but the (figurative) blood, brought to you by Welch’s.
Can I get an Amen?
Dusty is a displaced Southern Gentleman and Writer who has his own blog www.pennyloafersattherodeo.blogspot.com. You can also find his books (A Gone Pecan and Almost Odis) online at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.