Joe Bob's Guide to World Evangelism

By Joe Bob Briggs | 05/13/2008


Okay, all you guys who like to sit in football stadiums while somebody reads the Bible and then fat women in purple robes sing the Doxology and then you walk down to the fifty yard line and cry a little and "rededicate" your miserable self to the J-Man, I need you to listen up here for a minute.

It's not working.

I'm not buying it.

This is a toughie for Joe Bob "The Exegete" Briggs, though, cause we've got that pesky little scripture known to jungle-dwelling missionaries throughout the world as "The Great Commission." I speak, of course, of Mark 16, verse 15. If you will please read it, Don Pardo, por favor . . .

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

This is the verse that accounts for your Billy Grahams. Of course, it wasn't that big a stretch for Billy, because he started out as a Fuller Brush salesman. He was ready to sell something.

joebob

But this is also the scripture that accounts for your doorbell-ringing Jehovah's Witnesses, your screaming televangelists in rural North Carolina, your white-shoed tent revival specialists, your Times Square rave-masters, and every girl who ever fluttered her eyes and said, "Joe Bob, I really like you, but I think I need to witness to you about Jesus Christ." When you hear these words, by the way, your brain will start flashing "No nookie tonight! No nookie tonight!" This is not necessarily true. If you listen earnestly to what she has to say, and drop a tear or two, it could mean massive mind-blowing Coitus Spiritualis, which is a particular form of sexual ecstasy practiced mainly by the daughters of ministers. (Robert Mitchum, may he rest in peace, said that it's even better with the wives of ministers, and proved it in many a town where he was filming. But we all can't be as adventurous as Big Bob.)

chick_missionary

Obviously I've strayed from the subject here, but you get the idea. Any time some bluff and hearty Fellowship of Christian Athlete has clapped you on the shoulder and said, "Brother, lemme tell you about Christ!" and you've felt your whole body cringe in mortal terror, then you have been victimized by Mark 16:15. You have been bludgeoned with the Great Commission. Maybe you've even been hornswoggled into carrying on the great bludgeoning tradition and psychically battering a few heathen yourself. Maybe you've gone on the dreaded "Thursday Visitation" outings, in which you sit uncomfortably in the living rooms of beer-bellied guys you don't know, saying, "Randall, we sure would like to see you and the wife in church one of these Sundays. That is, if you know where the wife is these days."

Now. Before I go into the true meaning of Mark 16:15, let's take a quick look at another scripture that Billy Graham doesn't mention so often. Don Pardo, if you will read from the book of Matthew, chapter 23, verse 15, and we are still in the red letters here, by the way:

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."

Interesting, right? On the one hand the J-Man seems to be telling the disciples to go out and proselytize. On the other hand, he says that all these holy men who do travel to Siberia and back to make new believers are actually creating something called a proselyte, which is that fearful thing, the zealous young child of hell who stands on street corners and in airport lounges, saying obnoxious stuff about God.

"But, Joe Bob, in one scripture he's talking to the disciples, and in the other one he's talking to those evil Pharisees!"

Sorry, not buying it. If one word is written to us, then it's all written to us. A Pharisee is anyone who gets his identity from doing things for God, and that's dang near everybody in organized religion today. How many children of hell have these guys created? I would suggest you study those strange-eyed neo-hippies who hang around the Davos meetings and other big public events, singing syrupy songs and spouting cliches and carrying self-righteous signs with lame cliches on them in a way that pretty much turns off anyone with half a brain. All they do, 24 hours a day, is talk about God, and they're damn proud of it. These, my dear friends, are proselytes.

Here I pause for one more digression. Ole Anthony, the publisher of The Door, is one of the few sane men I know who actually does like to talk about God 24 hours a day. He's a good guy to have around if the Jehovah's Witnesses show up, because he'll say, "Yeah, come on in! What's on your mind? Have a seat! Want a Coke while we're chatting? I see your Bible is open to Deuteronomy. I love Deuteronomy. One of the least appreciated books. Part of the Big Five." The result is that the Jehovans go "Man, we don't have time to listen to all this stuff" and flee the building.

Okay, back to The Great Commission. Consulting the original Greek, please note that the sentence in Mark 16:15 is in the "aorist" tense. We don't really have this tense in English, so that's why the King James translators wrote it down the way they did, in the imperative tense. But a better translation, for this more passive tense, would be "As ye go into all the world, preach the gospel into every creature."

Kinda changes the whole deal, doesn't it? As you move through your world, whatever that is, wherever that is, whoever comes into your path, reveal the gospel that lives inside you. Reveal Christ, not through words, but in your life.

And this is starting to make sense to me.

"But, Joe Bob, Paul had all these evangelistic campaigns. He saved 3000 people at a time, 5000 people at a time."

Not really. A bunch of Jews went to Jerusalem for the Year of Jubilee so that they could claim their property, and Paul was invited to speak at their synagogues. He didn't ask em to come there. He didn't say, "You better show up for my speech or else you're gonna regret it later." When he went to Asia Minor and Greece, he was just one of many who went to the synagogue to speak. He didn't ever try to sell God.

But everything about revivals and football-stadium crusades and TV evangelism is basically about selling God. Why is it that everyone who is not a Christian can instantly see what's wrong with selling God, but most Christians never can? Jews say, "I have nothing against people practicing their religion, as long as they don't try to convert me." Atheists say, "I have nothing against religion, as long as they keep it to themselves." The British say, "Americans have this need to manipulate people as to their private religious beliefs."

In other words, nobody likes this. Everybody hates it. And yet, time after time, year after year, in a thousand different situations, the religious children of hell go out into the world, beating innocent people over the head with the Bible, Fuller-Brushing for God.

Does God need idiots like this to do whatever He has in mind?

Please.

Why don't we just go back to the first century, when the way of evangelism was the way of the Three Rebuffs.

First of all, you never advertised. You never painted signs. You never hustled the gospel.

And if a guy showed up, saying "I wanna be a member of your church," you would answer him saying, "You're a fool. Don't you know that all you get from joining us is persecution and heartache and misunderstanding and the loss of things you once treasured?" And if he continued to say he wanted to join, you were instructed to tell him, "You go away and think about it. You don't understand enough to join now."

If he came back a second time, still wanting to join, you'd answer him saying, "You're still a total fool. Don't you know that joining us means you'll be hated of all men? People will say you're possessed by demons? People will say you're crazy?" And if he persisted, you were to tell him, "Go away and search the scriptures for yourself. You don't understand what this is."

And if he came back a third time, still wanting to join, you'd say, "You're such a fool. Don't you know that in this place they will kill you and think they're doing God a holy service?" And if he still wanted to join, at that point--and only at that point--you would let him in.

Try this. It works. And it really trims down that mailing list.

The Exegete has spoken.


Comments(80)

BJ | 07:05 am on 5/14/2008

A great post. I've seen my share of high powered, hired guns brought in to generate some altar traffic.

Anonymous | 09:20 am on 5/14/2008

I get your point, I think, but I'm wondering about the susbstance-to-entertainment ratio of the article. I did get saved at a Billy Graham crusade many moons ago, so I know for certain that the Holy Spirit does His excellent work at those sportless events even for a preacher guy who thinks differently from myself about when a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit (imagine that , the HS is flexible!).

I noticed you didn't mention the David Wilkerson (beat the gang bangers over the head with the Bible until they are converted) method , a la Nick Cruise which makes me wonder are you considering all things and as fexible as the HS?

I think the one line in this whole thing that made me cringe the most was this one "In other words, nobody likes this."
Conjuring up the antithesis of that sort of makes me shutter. (um "seeker friendly"?)
And this: "You go away and think about it. You don't understand enough to join now." Just intellectualizing it seems like cowboy rodeo evangelism minus any regards to the HS or just crazy talk unless this was for satire sake? Which makes me wonder about the entertaintment value being the bigger part of the ratio for this article. ?

Come Holy Spirit, we need thee.... in the midst of an ocean of entertainment/information.

Sonman | 03:26 pm on 11/13/2009

May the HS (does he like being called by his initials?) help thee LIGHTEN UP! Sheesh!

Bob Barnes | 09:25 am on 5/14/2008

Well said. As it happens, I am a pastor of a smallish independent congregation. We believe that Jesus' example of servanthood should be our "marching orders." My slogan is "Lord, let me preach the Gospel, and if I have to, use words."
No arm wrestling or threats can "help" someone convert. Once joining with us, you may expect solid Biblical teaching. Having no burden of buying a building, we are able to devote a high percentage of the income God provides through His people to benevolence, missions, and other Christian organizations. There, I used the dreaded "m" word. Oh well, we can't be perfect on this side -- but we try to allow Jesus' teaching to permeate our lives.
Peace,
Bob

Anonymous | 08:37 am on 5/15/2008

"My slogan is "Lord, let me preach the Gospel, and if I have to, use words." "

Um hey bob, shouldn't you give credit for that quote to St. Francis of Assisi? After all you don't want to be an Al Gore and take credit for something that's not truly yours do you? You may have have meant you adopted it but to say "i like the slogan" instead would have been better. And, If you didn't know it was his before, now you do, and can give credit where credit is due.

SRebbe | 10:00 am on 5/14/2008

this must be what confused the hell out of those Mormons on my porch after I chatted with them and then gave them water on a hot summer's morn (and no, not that spiritual water being shilled...

puts ChurchMarketingSucks in a whole new context.

TheDonQuixotic | 11:25 am on 5/14/2008

So are you telling us that we aren't supposed to evangelize, or tell people about what we believe? Selling God is wrong, but sharing your beliefs is not.

SRebbe | 11:49 am on 5/14/2008

share, yes. market, no.

product placement. we are a consumer culture, right?

portraying Jesus like some sort of snake oil and get-out-of-hell-free card: "say these simple words, follow these simple steps, and voila! you now have a new fuh-rend in Jee-uhzuz and a manshun beeyound the blue complete with granite countertops and a sub-zero fridge!" I'm pretty sure that's what the whole point Billy Bob's making. slap a fishy on your mini van, make sure you drive under the speed limit and pray for those [literally] cursing you, and yeee are sanctifahhhd. all about the outside. good, clean, moral living. and washing your heart yourself with whatever filter has been passed your way.

look around and count how many ways being xtian is now "cool." or we are trying to be cool. wearing the right clothes, appearing at the right places, listening to the right music... even drinking the right water. or withdrawing from the 'evil' world. ;)

this was never the point of a counter-cultural movement.

SRebbe | 11:53 am on 5/14/2008

Excuse me... should be "Joe Bob." I live wayyyyy too far out in the [relative] rural area and yes, I have met a few Billy Bobs

JoshH | 05:22 am on 5/15/2008

Pointing out those very points resulted in a few people in a witnessing group in my old hometown warning some of the neophytes in the group to stay away from me; I've also gotten similar treatment from my stepmother for seeing things just the way you point out. The idea of actually doing a scholarly exegesis (as opposed to reading and having the meaning wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am "revealed through prayer") was something that HAD to be the result of an other-worldly opponent to them.

Reinaldo "MallProphet" Medina | 11:56 am on 5/14/2008

Right on!!! I agree with you. It was liberating to know I did not have to go door to door selling Jesus. That what God wanted me to do was to be a Christian (in all, for all) everywhere and in every situation. Loved the exegesis...

SRebbe | 04:30 pm on 5/14/2008

you could always stand on street corners with a bullhorn

Process Deist | 12:08 pm on 5/14/2008

Why stop with verse 15.
Let's take in the next three verses. It's all the same bit of advice.
I want to see TV News reports of Football Stadiums filled with guys handling rattlesnakes and taking hits of cyanide and then Baptizing and Healing each other.
If your going to Talk the Talk....
Every Evangelist needs a tub of water, a barrell full of snakes, a pocket full of poison and the zeal to use it all.

Anonymous | 11:16 pm on 8/31/2008

....TOUCHE...

budda | 12:27 pm on 5/14/2008

Yep, many is the time I wished an evangelist (for whatever) would gulp some cyanide and go roll around in a snake pit. If they live, I will listen to the spiel. If they don't, well, chalk one up for Darwin.

At-one-ment | 12:48 pm on 5/14/2008

Mormon show stopper: "If I convert, when do I get my pair of free underwear?"
Hi Pete!

SRebbe | 12:00 pm on 5/23/2008

not the prettiest things I've ever seen.

Prophet Lopi | 02:04 pm on 5/14/2008

I am always reminded that Our Father used a jackass to re direct the despised and duplisitist. So that means to me (just a simple boy from the coal fields of Western PA,we have been in the news of late),that HE can use anybody or anything to draw you to him. But what do I know. The Elite Wordsmiths of the Wittenburg Door know what doors can be used and the ones that are Verboten.

Andy | 03:15 pm on 5/14/2008

I take Joe Bob's main point, which is that big-crusade, televangelist, sell-the-Gospel evangelism has next to nothing to do with the Great Commission, and little if anything to do with evangelism as the earliest Christians knew it. Okay--point taken, point well-made.

The point would be a little better-made were it not for a few errors: I'm not sure what tense the verb in Mark 16:15 is in (my Greek is really, really rusty, and I don't have my Greek NT handy at the moment), but the way Joe Bob parsed it, that's not the aorist tense. The aorist tense has to do with an action that happened in the past in a point in time, not an ongoing action. The tense that means an ongoing action is the present tense. Also, Joe Bob leaves out Pentecost (Acts 2), which doesn't appear to me, at least at first reading, to have anything to do with Peter or anyone else having been invited to speak/teach at a synagogue; it looks there like he and the rest just started preachin', and a whole lot of folks said "yes". Also, yea, some atheists may say, I suppose, "I have nothing against religion, as long as they keep it to themselves," but the majority of athiests, especially the "new atheists" (Harris, Dawkins, et al) say that they have a great deal against religion, and say that not only must religious people keep it to themselves, but that our world would be much better off if there were no religion at all, of any kind.

That all said, I do, again, take and agree with Joe Bob's main point. Too many Western Christians have bought too much into the marketing mentality in evangelism. Now, do I believe the Holy Spirit can and does reach and save people, in the most new Testament sense of those words, through that kind of thing? Yup! "The wind blows where it will...."

Paul in Maine | 03:17 pm on 5/14/2008

For just 3 Easy Payments of $100.00,(plus handling) you too have your very own Jesus. But Wait! Because we LOVE you, we'll throw in the one-of-a-kind Virgin Mary. But that's not all. For a limited time only, we'll throw in Judas and two disciples.

If you act now, and mention our special convention promo code of "Baptist Chickage", we'll throw in our Resurection Special Cross and Boulder package.

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SRebbe | 04:28 pm on 5/14/2008

that's three easy LOVE GIFTS, not payments.
or seed money.
gross people, not net.

donations welcome.

Tom N. | 03:57 pm on 5/14/2008

Andy's right: it's not aorist. It's a participial phrase: "as you are going..." And Billy Bob's right (may God have mercy on us all).

Andy | 04:48 pm on 5/14/2008

Thanks, Tom N. I should have said that Joe Bob had the "right church, wrong pew". His point about the meaning of the passage was correct, he just had the wrong terms for the grammar.

I need to add, which really strengthens Joe Bob's point, that at Pentecost, it was the listeners who asked Peter, "What should we do." Something very instructive in that.

I also am reminded of what I've heard about Tony Campolo, how at "Jesus festivals" where he has preached, he invited people to stand if they wanted to commit their lives to following and serving Christ. He would then snap out something like, "Sit down--there are too many of you! This is serious stuff; it will demand your whole life!" As much as I respect Billy Graham, I can't picture him telling the crowd at the altar, "All of you go back to your seats--there are too many of you coming forward."

David Learn | 04:25 pm on 5/14/2008

Thank you.

Anonymous | 04:32 pm on 5/14/2008

Maybe this should be retitled "The Great Omission"; "As ye...."

budda | 06:33 pm on 5/14/2008

We make fun and thats a good thing, it's funny. Looking into the eyes of a person (usually younger rather than older) who is absolutely, unpersuadabley convinced you are going to hell and it is up to them to get you saved is a scary, scary thing. (don't argue the semantics of "get you saved" -you know what I mean) At places like YWAM, YFC, Teen Mania, etc... they use this logic to manufacture street evangelists:

1) No one is "saved" without hearing and then believing in evangelical, white, republican Jesus. Ever. If you have not heard of Jesus or have had him misrepresented and don't believe in Him correctly, you go to hell. Always.
2) God has decreed that the only way for the heathens to hear is for us to tell them. That is it. No other way.
3) Some actually say it, all imply it: If you disobey God and don't tell everyone possible the good news, you are responsible for their eventual fate. Your fault they didn't hear, didn't believe, didn't get saved. Went to hell. All your fault.

That kind of thinking and world view will screw a kid up for a few years. I am not saying these org.s are bad or that they have no redeeming features, but I have wondered for years if the good (disaster relief, physical and medical aid, etc) that they do balances out the harm.

Process Deist | 07:02 pm on 5/14/2008

Budda: A good post. Very true.
It is impossible to discuss broad theological views with the zealots you describe. They do not allow themselves to think about anything outside of a frame work that gives them a feeling of security.
They firmly believe that if they do not follow the three part outline, (ABC) they will spend eternity withering in torment at the bottom of the ocean, with a millstone tied around their neck.
They do not serve a loving God. They only strive to be a slave to a vindictive, wrath filled, bully, who they mistakenly tremble before.
I only pray that they will come to know that God dwells within them and that they dwell within God for eternity. And eternity does not begin with a baptizing or a death.

budda | 07:10 pm on 5/14/2008

Amen. Fear is an amazing motivator.

SRebbe | 10:16 am on 5/15/2008

this is one thing I hope to change with my 'missions trip' to Nicaragua in July... yeah, I'm going to help out a very poor, war torn country, but also to hopefully change some mindsets of some kids... that they are continuing their missions work. it doesn't start when they leave the USA, it doesn't stop when they leave a foreign country. you learn to adjust to the culture you live in, and that includes the one you are from, that you live in every day. you live your faith before, during, and after wherever you go.

G-d doesn't just work in Mexico.

that calvinist doug | 01:12 pm on 5/15/2008

"G-d doesn't just work in Mexico."

Dang true. He found the wages much better across the border in Arizona. He's undocumented, but hey...

SRebbe | 04:22 pm on 5/15/2008

besides, California was too dangerous an entrance

budda | 10:56 pm on 5/15/2008

I am glad you are going to Nicaragua. It is a wonderful country and the people are amazing. I learned a lot there and made some good friends. I am sure you will have a great and meaningful time and the team is fortunate to have you with them.

Anonymous | 11:27 pm on 8/31/2008

...the AMERICAN JESUS ..how true

CowboyKate | 07:09 pm on 5/14/2008

And then there was the time that an impossibly earnest-looking young woman accosted me in a ladies' restroom and asked if she could pray for me. "Sure," I replied, and proceeded to turn off the sink faucet, wipe my hands, and leave.

budda | 07:15 pm on 5/14/2008

Nice.

Siarlys Jenkins | 08:40 pm on 5/14/2008

Last time a young man with slicked back blonde hair and piercing blue eyes (all right, he also had a congenital melanin deficiency, comes from ancestors who suffered more from lack of Vitamin D than from sunstroke) offered my a gospel tract, I replied "Thank you, I prefer to read the original for myself." Utterly confused, he asked me in all sincerity, "What's the original?"

SRebbe | 10:17 am on 5/15/2008

oh, I have GOT to use that one!

Andy | 10:39 am on 5/15/2008

A little like the story Becky Pippert (author of a pretty good book on personal evangelism, "Out of the Saltshaker") told, about how she was accosted by a young man in an airport terminal who started rattling off the "plan of salvation", the "4 Laws" or some such. After he talked for a bit, she told him, "It's okay, you don't have to finish, I know how the rest goes; I'm already a Christian." He answered, "Don't interrupt me; I haven't gotten to my fourth point yet."

The Dudester | 08:35 am on 5/15/2008

Excellent point Joe Bob! If we would treat evangelists like the early church did, actually loved our neighbors as we do our self, reached out to those as Jesus strongly suggested, then our words would be formed by our actions. Imagine christians actually acting as if they loved themselves and others ... penal systems would change, environment would be cleaned up, health care for all, mentoring programs, diversity values.

Vic | 12:05 pm on 5/15/2008

I'm reminded of what Pastor Ken said once to our congregation - that someone walking up to him in a parking lot and asking him if he is saved - couldn't possibly really know him or care about him on that level or have the time to really listen to his whole life story, and that we "insert religion here" don't typically go door to door, we instead live our lives 'showing' others what a Christian is, thus revealing to them what it's about and drawing them in to seek the love that creates this in our lives. (or something like that).

Good going' Pastor Ken!

budda | 12:53 pm on 5/15/2008

It is easy to quote the good St. Francis and say that we should evangelize by example. From what I hear, read and see, the world is not all that impressed with what we show with a few exceptions. If your lifestyle is typical evangelical (no one like that here of course) there aint much about your life that is attractive to me or the rest of the world.

I criticize the evangelicals, and rightly so, but why would a typical heathen even want to be an non-evangelical like me? Does your faith really, in all honesty make you that much different/better than your neighbor?

In situations where once in my YWAM days I would have felt compelled to say something, now I look at the person and think that they are better off not having all this conflict and existential angst in their lives. Let them make their own peace with God, have faith however they see fit. If they are hungry for it, there is no shortage of opportunity to explore any brand of faith you can think up in the west and much of the rest of the world.

I wrote a lot more but it got kinda nasty and vitriolic so I erased it..

that calvinist doug | 01:10 pm on 5/15/2008

I waited a while to weigh in on this because I wanted to see what the general response was. It's a good thing I waited, because honestly, have you people ever met Jesus in a personal way? Let me share this little diagram with you...

Okay, I get it. The type of "evangelism" most of the comments refer to gets me too. I've never felt proud to be a Christian when around it. On the other hand, let's not be guilty of the same sin in mirror image by assuming we never should use words to share our faith. There is a time and a place for it, and most of us can probably feel the spirit leading us when that time comes.

Which brings me back to this diagram...

SRebbe | 02:36 pm on 5/20/2008

does the diagram involve a bridge?

that calvinist doug | 02:54 pm on 5/20/2008

Yes! With big, scary flames underneath. I'm glad somebody got it. I was feeling all alone out here...

SRebbe | 03:47 pm on 5/21/2008

I have this tendency for showing up fashionably late to the party at times.

maybe you could add some jagged rocks and tormented, naked (but tastefully clothed-with-strategically-placed-rags) souls for that special, medieval effect.

Anonymous | 01:12 pm on 5/15/2008

I John 3:17-18: "...through deed and truth instead of word and tongue...."

David Williams | 02:21 pm on 5/15/2008

I mean, yeah, we all know what a bunch of irritating wankers prostheletizers are. Church marketeers and tract-zombies don't cut it. Ain't no basilea there.

But that guy, you know, that guy who wants to join but gets the rebuff-a-trois? So...what's he joining? And...why does he want to join? And...how did he hear about it?

Details, details. If this things gonna be an effective guide, we need the second part, Joe Bob.

budda | 07:25 pm on 5/15/2008

I supose the comments are supposed to be the second part. Unless he finds a cause celeb to convince us of like the Rev. Write.

ReneeJoan | 03:23 pm on 5/15/2008

Dear Joe Bobb:

Wonderful commentary, as always. However, instead of getting all tied up in knots over [Greek] words, if you want to know what Jesus had in mind when it comes to evangelizing the world, just look at how Jesus himself did it: He did stuff for people. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable. He took the time to talk to folks, even if they were just low-down, no-account ferriners and wimmin. He didn't talk about himself all that much, and said that his cousin John (yeah, that desert crackpot) was the finest man that ever walked the face of this earth. He gave people hope, reminded them that God loved them and cared about them in the midst of their sufferings. He pushed people to a higher level. If someone was a sinner, he told them the clean up their act. If someone's act was already pretty clean, he told them to give all they had to the poor and come be an active disciple.

Evangelism isn't a "search and destroy" mission -- see how many targets you can "hit" in a day. Personal evangelism means developing a relationship with people. It means actually TOUCHING that leper in the streets, instead of just telling him, "Jesus loves you." I means doing something tangible for someone in need, even if it means just sitting down with them and listening to their story. It means being there for someone who has really screwed up and reassuring them they CAN turn their lives around and give it another go. It's taking time, giving a piece of yourself, not a tract.

If you're doing your job right, after you're gone, the person should be saying, "Boy, if God is anything like that guy, then God is Someone I want to know better." That's basically what Jesus said to Phillip, anyway.

ReneeJoan (that's right, of Arc)

Anselm in ya ass | 08:23 pm on 5/15/2008

At first I was like "huh?" But now I'm like "ohhhhh."

I totally get it. The apostles didn't, like, preach the gospel. They just let it happen... sooooo cool.

This is truly stunning exegesis. My only problem is this: I've read the New Testament. It's a trifling objection, I know, but still it causes me some trouble. I'll give it some more thought and get back to you.

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