Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Southern Baptist Convention, James MacDonald, Spiritual Authority, and the "Kiddie Porn" Threat

James McDonald/Facebook
In 2014,  I wrote a lengthy article about the extreme authoritarianism of James MacDonald, an unchecked power that is based on MacDonald's unbiblical theology that he has been invested by God with "spiritual authority" over people.

Toward the end of the article, I posted a PDF paper on what the Scripture teaches about Christian authority. Anyone who assumes "spiritual authority" over people, the kind of authority that James MacDonald believes in, is actually assuming a Fraudulent Authority acting completely contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the New Testament.

I have long pointed out that the problem in the Southern Baptist Convention is a prevalent view that pastors possess some kind of mystical "spiritual authority" over people.

I wrote in 2014 that MacDonald's belief in his "spiritual authority" over others led to serious damage in ministry and relationships in his church, the Harvest Bible Church.

One year after I wrote that article,  James MacDonald petitioned Harvest Bible Church for membership into the Southern Baptist Convention (Read about it here).

Since 2012, James MacDonald has been invited by leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention to speak at least 4 times at the Southern Baptist Convention's Pastor's Conference.


Yesterday, February 12, 2019, the elders of Harvest Bible Church fired Pastor (dare we use that title?) James MacDonald after a radio show host aired several vulgar and inflammatory audio clips made by James MacDonald (read the Harvest elders statement here).

You can read what Southern Baptist pastor James MacDonald said, or you can listen to the disgusting audio by clicking on Mancow's radio broadcast entitled "Elections, R. Kelly, and Church Scandals, Oh My!)). Below, courtesy of one of my heroes, Julie Roys, are the relevant points of the radio broadcast.
1:08:25 – James MacDonald discussed his desire to put "kiddie porn" on Harold Smith’s computer. (Harold Smith is President and CEO of Christianity Today). 
1:09:03 – James MacDonald speaks of “frickin’ Julie Roys "riding around on a tricycle with a midget on her shoulders," a statement designed to show how Roys is certifiably crazy. (Julie Roys deserves a medal for her tireless efforts to confront and correct the abusive behavior of James McDonald). 
1:09:20 – James MacDonald makes a slanderous reference to Mark Galli (Christianity Today) and Julie Roys having an affair, and vulgar reference to Ed Stetzer (Ex. Director of Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College). 
1:19:12 –  James MacDonald makes an additional vulgar reference to Harold Smith
1:20:25 – James MacDonald makes up a fabricated story (according to Julie, its fabricated, and I believe her) that Julie Roys is approaching the houses of people who were victims in an official investigation into McDonald's alleged misconduct.
1:21:45 –  James MacDonald calls Mark Galli by another vulgar name.
1:29:30 – There is a classic megalomaniac statement by MacDonald about Christianity Today (this statement alone is worth listening to the audio).
The root problem in the Southern Baptist Convention is a proliferation of pastors, church leaders, and denominational leaders who believe in their inherent spiritual authority. Males have a false belief that they have power over females, and pastors falsely believe they have divine "spiritual authority"  over church members because of their "ordination."

Abuse of any kind, whether it is sexual, physical, emotional, or mental, begins when the powerful intentional cross boundaries of the powerless for personal gratification and gain.

The problem in the Southern Baptist Convention is the problem of power.

It's called Fraudulent Authority.

In the coming weeks, I examine how "ordination" in the Southern Baptist Convention is built on false premises, sustained by wrong assumptions, and leads to the abuse we are seeing in SBC churches.

James MacDonald is a prime example of the problem we face as Southern Baptists.

And those who stood and applauded his entrance into the SBC are complicit in perpetuating the problem of fraudulent authority and the abuse of power in the Southern Baptist Convention.


Rex Ray said...



James McDonald makes Patterson look like an angel.

Instugator said...


I'll just echo Rex Ray said. Wow.

I'm going to add you to my prayer list; this is a pretty steep hill you have chosen to take.

Take it you will, I am confident.

God bless you and Emmanuel Baptist

- Stew Greathouse

RB Kuter said...

Well, and so it goes. This coincides with your previous post just before this one. The problem is simply allowing Satan to ride rampant among us. The pride, cronyism, neglect to act with disciplinary measure upon those who prey upon the vulnerable all are the fruit of a spirit, and it ain't God's Holy Spirit.

When we consider whether there is anything practical that can be done, it seems to me to all come down upon who The President of the Convention chooses on the Committee on Committees and other posts which is assigned to him to fill. To many Trustee Boards are corrupt and enamored with celebrity personalities they chose to fill executive positions and given platforms of influence.

Your previous post brought to mind those incidents in which I am personally aware of misdeeds that went un-addressed, victims who were never given the acknowledgment of the seriousness of offenses against them, abuses of power and an air of arrogance and pride that break one's heart to see among Christian leaders.

One could become cynical and give up or leave, but God is still at work in this Convention structure and it is worth fighting for. Also, if Satan is wreaking this much havoc among our leadership, we must be a threat to his kingdom.

Julie Anne said...

MacDonald is pure evil. To even think of using child porn in any way is despicable. But to threaten to harm someone, put them in potential criminal harm is so, so evil.

Your post is spot on, Wade. Thank you! Especially this:

The root problem in the Southern Baptist Convention is a proliferation of pastors, church leaders, and denominational leaders who believe in their inherent spiritual authority. Males have a false belief that they have power over females, and pastors falsely believe they have divine "spiritual authority" over church members because of their "ordination."

The devaluing of women in the SBC is clearly a root issue. If you value women, you won't be harming them sexually. Also, if women were in leadership positions, I don't think we'd have as many sexual abuses in the church. At least I don't think so. I know what a mama bear I am with my children!

Rex Ray said...


I have laughed at many comments said on your blog, but never so much as this: “I need or want the Presidency of the SBC like a mouse wants to play with a cat. :)”

I believe Saul had the same feelings about not wanting to be King of Israel in (1 Samuel 10:22 NLT) “…Saul son of Kish was chosen…But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”

I believe your desire is for the SBC to change for the good. So why not follow what Paul Pressler figured out?

RB Kuter’s comment (Wed Feb 13, 10:23:00 PM 2019) tells what it is: “The President of the Convention chooses on the Committee on Committees and other posts which is assigned to him to fill.”
I remember Criswell saying if he’d known what Pressler figured out, he could have changed the SBC when he was President.
So, old friend, I know it’d be a ‘hard row to hoe’, but I wish you’d pray about it.

Celeste said...

There was the recent segment on Jim and Tammy Bakker on 20/20. Their downfall is old news but it parallels the path of McDonald: people are successful pastors but through the power of TV/radio create empires that become focused on bringing in the money rather than truly ministering to people. That empire building is the downfall. I pray for the "sheep."
As a woman who has worked in a male dominated field, I have grown to value the differences between men and women, but I also agree with Julie Anne that the lack of women in leadership positions contributes to abuses in ways that men often can not see. I think our society is going on an odd spin. Men and women are NOT equal because of our inherent physical/physiological differences. We never will be "equal", but in the same line of thought, men are not equal. Men are all different with unique abilities and gifts. I believe that I am loved, valued and cherished by God just as much as the man standing next to me. My voice and opinion should be as important as the man standing next to me. As a woman, I am tired of the "battle". I am tired of having a different status. If we follow Jesus: '1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul & mind, and 2. Love they neighbor as thyself' a lot of the rest of this becomes a human construct subject to human error, pride, and faults.

Sallie Borrink said...

When I saw this news last night and read the posts and comments over on Julie Roys' blog, I immediately thought of this video.

I'm pretty sure that is MacDonald sitting there. And look at who else is there in that smug group of "pastors." It's a Who's Who of celebrity pastors who have had major moral failings, abusive church practices, etc. But they make it very clear that no one has the authority or right to correct their doctrine unless they have an "approved" position in the church.

People have been calling these guys out for years, but no one really listened. Women bloggers have been calling them out for years, but you can be sure that women bloggers are even lower in their eyes than male bloggers living with their moms.

Then it is compounded by the fact that some (or even many) of the people who are pointing out the failings of these kinds of leaders then themselves embrace every manner of sin and compromise in other areas.

I do think more women in leadership has the potential to help, but don't fool yourself. Women can be just as susceptible to moral failings and abusive practices as men. They just go about it differently.

Sallie Borrink said...

Julie Anne said:

"MacDonald is pure evil. To even think of using child porn in any way is despicable. But to threaten to harm someone, put them in potential criminal harm is so, so evil."

This was the big one that jumped out at me and I said so over on Julie's blog. This is other level disturbing. What kind of person even thinks of this? If he can think this, imagine what he has actually done to people behind the scenes in the course of his "ministry."

Christiane said...

Hello out there REX RAY,

I smiled also when I read this:

""I have laughed at many comments said on your blog, but never so much as this:
"“I need or want the Presidency of the SBC like a mouse wants to play with a cat. :)”
I believe Saul had the same feelings about not wanting to be King of Israel in (1 Samuel 10:22 NLT) “…Saul son of Kish was chosen…But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”"

Rex, you have a great sense of humor, and so does Wade.
But when you think about it,
in Wade's statement is also one of the biggest reasons he is, without the burden of a title, still a moral leader in the SBC. And he has been for years and years, in spite of the cost to himself. His CONSCIENCE-led stand for people who were being persecuted is not something new, and if that is not 'leadership' in the best sense of the Word (no pun intended), then I do not know what is.

Sometimes real 'leadership' wears the disguise of a servant, especially when personal cost is the result, and Wade passed this test long ago. He may never carry the title of 'President' of the SBC, but he is most certainly worthy of being admitted into the hall of fame of the men (and women!), who from time to time have been 'the Moral Conscience' of the SBC, yes. And we know which is more important.

RB Kuter said...

This evil invasion of the SBC permeates to its roots, which is our individual churches. Some of those I have known who have been publicly exposed for their repetitive immoral acts continue to be called as pastors of SBC churches.

There is no excuse for churches who call those who should have been rendered totally unqualified due to their immoral character and behavior patterns and facilitate their continued presence among their church members. Certainly, those churches who call them to fill pastoral positions are at fault. Surely their search committees or some individual deacons could have done a basic internet "google" on the pastoral candidate's name. If they did they would find media coverage of past violations. It is difficult to believe that someone did not discover the sordid past of their pastoral candidate. But they still call them and keep them in ministry where they are allowed to continue to possess this "pastoral authority" over vulnerable church members and seekers who naively wander into their snare.

But not only are those individual churches that call those unscrupulous predators at fault and responsible. What about the Baptist Church Associations where those churches are active members? Where is the Director of Missions of those Associations? Surely, out of simple curiosity, do a simple search to see who is this new pastor coming into their midst! What about the Baptist State Conventions? The awareness of at least some leaders must be present which means they are choosing to neglect taking action to maintain some sort of integrity to the minister leadership.

Such neglect for holding these types of predators accountable goes all the way to the top and, again I say, those Boards of Trustees over all of our institutions should be held accountable and impeached for their participation in all of these types of failures and the resulting corruptness that we have.

Maybe when we get an SBC President who acknowledges the corrupt decay at the heart of matters we will see some revival. But we have NEVER had a President who took action to clean up those situations which must raise a stench to heaven.

So far, all of our SBC Presidents follow the pattern of our national government which is "do not rock the boat of the current establishment/system/power players. Apparently we will see no real change until an "outsider", who does not function as being among those in the "system", arrives on the scene with the fortitude to face all the opposition of the "established politicians" and function purely on the basis of what he knows to be right and consistent with how our Lord Jesus Christ expects His Bride to be.

Given the makeup of our Convention's system, it is highly unlikely that we will ever see a ground-swelling movement among the masses of Southern Baptists that result in such an "outside crusader" having a chance at the Office of President of the SBC. We have our own "swamp", and it will take an act of God to put someone in the position to pull the plug.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

You said, “This evil invasion of the SBC permeates to its roots, which is our individual churches.”

Today’s front page newspaper’s headlines: Youth minister pleads guilty to sex assault. He faces 12 years in prison and is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He is 52 years old. Authorities compiled hundreds of text messages and porn pictures and videos. When the girl’s father died, he tried to assume a father figure role. The 16 year-old-victim told the police she was telling on him because she feared he might prey on others. At the trial she confronted him: “You broke me down everyday for four years!” Their sex acts were in a vehicle or at church.

RB Kuter said...

That is so sad, Rex Ray. It is sad when it occurs in the secular world but particularly heinous when it happens in the church; a place that people consider to be a safe haven. The church that had this minister was probably negligent in not taking proper steps to screen all of its workers. Perhaps it did not recognize or act upon some comments or indicators that should have raised red flags and steps were not taken to investigate prior to the violations taking place.

It's a tragedy that our SBC institutions are not intensely active in policing the integrity of those enlisted to occupy positions of authority and leadership. It not only relates to sex crimes but also the basic spirit in which things are done. How is it that leaders of institutions are chosen by Boards of Trustees based upon their celebrity or inside connection with power players rather than their qualifications? How is it that we have had self-serving narcissistic, egocentric leaders of institutions kept in positions for decades resulting in the decline in the effectiveness of those institutions achieving their potential in Kingdom work?

I believe our sense of caution in situations that involve being critical of fellow Christians is key. I know I hesitate to comment about these things on social media and other forums because of my fear of being judgmental or not having all of the inside details that might explain why some situations are not addressed. There is a risk of our offending our Lord if we speak out in ways that might be deemed "negative" or as "attacking" those striving to serve Christ. We rightly believe that we should support our leaders and acknowledge that they are fallible humans who assume roles of responsibility for the sake of serving God.

We love the institutions and do not want to do anything that harms them so we remain silent and keep our concerns hidden. We know that Satan uses negative criticism of Christian leaders to cause discord and division among us. So many constituents and even Board members of institutions remain silent and abuses continue.

At some point, we have to stand up and speak out, if for nothing else, because of our conviction of the position that "If not me, who? If not now, when?" I know Wade relates to this. He is about the only one I have seen to actively pursue correction in the system. Did his courage in doing so result in any correction or improvement? Yes, I believe it did. If for nothing else, it raised awareness of abuses and those involved recognized that they had been called out and light had been cast upon their methods. He may not be on the IMB Board any longer, but he continues to be recognized as one who directs attention to abuses and corruption in our Christian institutions. As a result, other of us are embolden to also speak out instead of being complacent. We do the best we can.

Paul said...

Great Post, Wade!

Just one thing to fix:

"It's called Fraudulent Authority."

The link for Fraudulent Authority seems broken.

Scott Shaver said...

RB. With all due respect "SBC" institutions can't even "police" themselves. See Mohler and Akin's apology yesterday for providing cover to SGM. Russell Moore and JD Greear have yet to apologize for same.

The vast majority of free and autonomous SBC affiliated congregataton,their pastors and leaders have been working for years to tighten fence loops and improve background checks in the effort to combat and curtail the frequency of these horrible incidents.

Furthermore, SBC denominational leaders like Mohler, Akin, Moore, Greear, Dever, James Merritt et al thumbed their noses at the 2013 resolution by Peter Lumpkins (adopted by the SBC) on guarding against relationship with organizations and individuals convicted or engaged in covering up sexual predation.

What did they choose to do instead. The continued to promote and provide cover for Mahaney and SGM,while berating and joking about Southern Baptist begging them to cover their denominatinal backsides.

None of the aforementioned should be allowed to continue as paid SBC spokespersons or institutional leaders. They have forfeited every shred of credibility for doing so.

Finally, after they are cornered by secular media for their glaring hypocrisy and arrogance, the attack our historic free church tradition and autonomy as the "weak link"?

Seems to me the denomination and not our churches and pastors on the ground and in the trenches are the current greatest threat to credibility.

The greatest threat to our collective credibility is solely at the "denominational" level.

Throw the bums out as they did with Patterson now that they've been exposed as frauds.

Scott Shaver said...

Malcom Yarnell,Bart Barber and the echo chamber at SBC Voices can sacrifice their autonomy and free church status if they like (and if their congregants will allow), but thousands upon thousands of us other Baptists out here will never consider that option...SBC expulsion over such an issue will be worn like a badge of honor.

Scott Shaver said...

The problem with the shoddy and inconsistent facts within the Houston Chronicle "expose" is that it poisons public perception of those working the hardest to prevent sexual predation within the church, while looking to those most guilty of sluffing the issue off (denominational "leaders" and institutional talking heads) as the authoritative voices of solution and change.

God never promised to inhabit these parachurch structures,and the fact that they are out there blowing aimlessly now on the winds of political correctness and culture is evidence of that fact.

Scott Shaver said...

Russel Moore doesn't even like Southern Baptists nor any other "evangelical" who voted for Trump. At one point he said publicly he is no longer referring to himself as an evangelical because "evangelicals have sold their souls".

He's still taking that fat paycheck from Southern Baptists though. What up with that?

Anonymous said...

"Trump's vitriolic — and often racist and sexist — language about immigrants, women, the disabled, and others ought to concern anyone who believes that all persons, not just the 'winners' of the moment, are created in God's image."
-Russel Moore

RB Kuter said...

Scott, can't argue your point about the corrupt culture on the Convention level. You are correct also about many churches attempting to protect their members from those predators who would sneak into prey upon the vulnerable. I know my church works hard to do that. Still, there remain those churches who are complacent or naive and do not take precautions. But in general terms, I would agree with you that they do try.

I agree that our SBC Convention, its institutions and especially its Boards of Trustees (who are charged with protecting the integrity of those leader-officers of SBC institutions) have a culture of corruption, cronyism and loss of Christ-focus. But I still hold our SBC autonomous churches as being a party to the continuance of the Convention mess. I see it as being similar to the disrepair of our nation's government. The politicians are the players whose behavior is deplorable, but the people vote in these scoundrels.

Our churches should become educated as to Convention politics and refuse to accept the status quo. They send messengers to the Annual Conventions. They submit Resolutions. They influence the priorities of those "politician"-Convention power players. We have seen this with the eventual removal of Paige Patterson.

There are conversations within our churches about SBC Convention politics, but we avoid talking about it. I believe that is because we have a fear of being obstacles to something that God may be about doing. We do not want to be perceived as being negative, gossips, back-biters or complainers.

James McDonald was exposed for being unscrupulous. How did that happen? How was our IMB Trustee Board not held accountable for putting an incompetent, inexperienced celebrity in the top position of the International Mission Board TWICE, without being held accountable and exposed? What is the basis for having those celebrities we see placed in the position of SBC President? Who decides? Why do the Messengers not speak out on these things? We could go on and on about the poor judgment and lack of accountability of our Convention leadership but who is acting as accountability sources for them and the Boards?

I am not sure what is the solution given the structure of things. It is so entrenched in "politics" and a self-perpetuating system. Perhaps we might see a move toward a remedy if we did have a President who acknowledge the problems and creatively sought to make changes in the manner in which things are done. But as mentioned previously, it is really hard to get one who is outside the political system injected into a position of influence. At this point, seems the system is like a runaway train.

Scott Shaver said...

Again, with all due respect RB, our free autonomous churches are THE ONES who should be doing "the educating" on these issues. THEY are on the front line.

RB have you ever pastored or served as a congregational officer/leader within the continental United States?

Free, autonomous churches are the most experienced, have the closest relationships with law enforcement and their respective local legal communities than any talking head in Nashville, a seminary classroom or president's office, or the press and congressional lobby rooms of DC, Washington and New York.

They are not politicians or paid parachurch leaders. They are God's worker bees on the front lines of Christ's Kindom on earth.

And once they sacrifice their autonomy to a parachurch structure, they might as well go through confirmation and unite with the RCC or a similar structure.


Scott Shaver said...

The onus of the James McDonald debacle, and all other isolated examples, rest squarely upon the shoulders of their respective INDIVIDUAL churches. Was James McDonald "Southern Baptist"? A right seedy and subjective straw man argument you propose.

If we are to go down that road, let's just compare pure statistics of horrid incidents across two decades amongst parachurch denominational structures and see which one comes out at the end with the lowest percentage of "offense".

Additionally, as compared to Southern Baptist "leaders", I dont see the RCC blaming church flocks and congregations for their problems in this area.

Scott Shaver said...

RB, an SBC president is both clueless and powerless as to what happens or unfolds in ANY church save his or her own.

We have a sitting SBC president who not only ignored an official 2013 collectively adopted resolution to be on guard about questionable relationships with those who cover up sexual predation scandals while publicly posting pictures of himself with a man and an organization representing one of the biggest sexual abuse cases (complete with convictions) in SBC history!

Same man aforementioned wrote the forward to a book authored by the currently sitting head of the Southern Baptist "Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission" who also arrogantly thumbed his nose at the 2013 voted and approved collective SBC resolution.

May be hard for you to figure out or understand...but seems CRYSTAL clear to myself and a multitude of other free Baptists who choose VOLUNTARILY to affiliate and FINANCIALLY support the Southern Baptist "Convention".

RB Kuter said...

Scott, I detect an air of fundamentalism. It diminishes the credibility of your input.

This sort of naivete and failure to see flaws in the life of all churches as well as the collective body as they strive to serve God together is why we fail to address our weaknesses. One never acts to correct a problem when in denial as to its existence.

By the way, not that you deserve an answer as to my qualifications to speak to such matters, given your audacity in seeking it, but yes, I have served as a pastor, worked in Baptist Associations, for State Conventions, NAMB, as well as serving abroad.

Scott Shaver said...

"Fundamentalist". I certainly don't have a track record of being a fundamentalist RB. But you know very little about me.

You can blame local free autonomous churches all you like in this sordid scenario. I maintain that the local church is where the lion's share of work has been done and continues to be ongoing with regard to this issue.

Additionally, I maintain that denominational leaders who do not practice the high bars they demand from churches (especially when in the media spotlight) does a disservice to the reputation of Christian churches of every stripe. Who is supposed to be serving who? The denomination its participating churches or do local churches exit merely as the coffers and footstools (scapegoats occasionally) of the parachurch appartus known as the denomination?

Regardless of whether or not in your frustration you feel I "deserve an answer", my point and conviction as a Baptist in the free church tradition gravitates exclusively to the primacy of the local church.

Wail and bemoan the inadequacies of the local church all you like or until the world looks level...but that will not change the fact that the local church is the ONLY "institution" on earth for which Christ died.

Let me know if you come up with a system,this side of the veil, that will completely remove the presence and persistence of human sin in all its sordid worldly manifestations.

Whether the system be legal,denominational or technological.

Anonymous said...

"Fundamentalist". I certainly don't have a track record of being a fundamentalist

I do think Ben Cole and Wade Burleson owe Patterson an apology
Tue Feb 12, 02:10:00 PM 2019

Scott Shaver said...

Have Burleson or Cole mentioned Mahaney,Mohler,Moore,SGM?

Rex Ray said...


You say you’re not a fundamentalist, but Patterson is known to lie. Are you him?

RB Kuter said...

What IS a "fundamentalist"?
Scott defines the term in a very limited way of being relative to SBC politics instead of the more accurate definition of being someone:
- whose self-perception is that they are infallible,
- so dogmatic as to consider their concepts and opinions to be without challenge,
- so close-minded so as to reject any opinion or position contrary to their own.

This dysfunctional mode of processing things:
- isolates them from others who would be willing to negotiate terms in order to serve together by seeking common ground that does not compromise their most basic commitments and principles.
- They become quite hostile toward those with opposing views and
- their tunnel vision makes it unlikely that they will ever progress toward being more than they are today.

We "know" people:
- according to their expressed opinions and positions
- making it unnecessary to ever have met them in person or
- without having interacted with them in person,
- or having known their life history.

Scott Shaver said...

He RB.

Respectfully, where in any of my posts do you see the "definition" of a "Fundamentalist"?

Looks like you are the one defining the term to me.

"Dysfunctional" in my opinion, is the inabilty, with regard to public discourse (social media in this case) is to stay on subject.

Subject is sexual predation and authoritarian abuse in the SBC.

At what point did you decide to jump off the train? 😂😂

Scott Shaver said...

Further correction RB.

I am not infallible, nor have I ever claimed to be.

I am convicted and OPINIONATED.

As obviously are YOU and every Tom, Dick, Harry, Christianne, Rex and Wade who engage in these forums.

Your assumptions are killing you at the moment brother.

Scott Shaver said...

Must have genuinely struck a nerve somewhere. My apologies.

Scott Shaver said...

After all, apologies in today's SBC are sufficient to cover all sins, oversights and assorted offenses....right?

Cheryl Schatz said...

Thank you Wade for addressing this issue! There have been so many wounded sheep because of pastors who are controlling and unloving. It is wonderful to see strong men stand up for the sheep and especially for women.

Rex Ray said...


I’m addressing this story to you because if anyone responds I know it will be you.

At the time, my father, Dave, was in his 70’s and pastor of a small church in Alaska. A young couple had never seen a church wedding, but the girl wanted to be married in a church. They had never met Dave, but she called and asked if he would marry them.

I’ll name the girl “BRIDE”, the groom “BEARD” because a long beard made him look old, and BRIDE’s father “CLEAN” because his shaven face made him look young.

Mother was there which made a total of five at the wedding. Three stood before Dave, but he made BEARD change places with CLEAN.

“Do you have a ring?” When BEARD said yes, Dave was startled and told him to give it to CLEAN for BRIDE’s finger. He didn’t notice which man said “I do.”

Dave was really confused to see BRIDE leaving arm and arm with BEARD. Mother told him he’d married the wrong man, but God had married the right one.

Christiane said...


I LOVE this story.

It takes more than one reading, but the first reading must be the kind of confusion your father felt at the scene of the wedding. It's kind of like that joke
'Who's On First' until you go back for a second reading and get "who's who" straightened out and then it all falls into place.

Well, maybe it did take me a third reading, just to make sure. :)

Rex Ray said...


I don’t know how many marriages my father, Dave, has performed, but he’s had some strange ones. Once, when the groom was to say, “I do”, he said, “I reckon”. Dave didn’t like that response. He would talk some more and asked him two more times but got the same answer.

Then there was the time when Dave said marriages should be happy and not so solemn. “Does anyone know why Adam named a hog a hog? (long silence) “He saw him eating.” Years later, the groom said he’d forgotten a lot what was said but he’d never forget the hog joke.

I’ll try the Alaskan wedding again.

At the time, my father, Dave, was in his late 70’s, hard of hearing, and pastor of a small church in Alaska. A young couple had never seen a church wedding, but the girl wanted to be married in a church. They, (bride, groom, and father of the bride) picked Dave’s church at random and asked if he’d perform the wedding. He assumed (wrongly) the younger looking man was the groom.

I’ll name the girl “BRIDE”, the groom “BEARD” because a long beard made him look old, and BRIDE’s father “CLEAN” because his shaven face made him look young.

Mother was there which made a total of five at the wedding. BEARD stood next to BRIDE but Dave had him change places with CLEAN.

“Do you have a ring?” When BEARD said yes, Dave was startled and told him to give it to CLEAN for BRIDE’s finger. He didn’t hear which man said “I do.”

Dave was really confused to see BRIDE leaving arm and arm with BEARD. Mother told him he’d married the wrong man, but God had married the right one.

I hope you don’t have to read that three more times. :)

Christiane said...


I got the hog joke in one read.
As for rest, I'm not going to comment (smile). It DID help to emphasis that your father couldn't hear. I keep wondering what the wedding party thought when your father gave his directions!

It's a great family story.

I have a story also that involves two uncles, Uncle Fred (French-Canadian) and Uncle Charlie (Polish-American) and a terrible wedding joke

. . . it happened at a large family gathering one summer in Aldenville at my Auntie Lorraine's house, where the first course was corn on the cob, buttered and salted (so good).

After eating, we were told to place the empty cobs around the edge of the backyard 'to draw the flies', which we did. But as soon as Lorraine said 'to draw the flies', that opened a chance for uncle Fred to tell his terrible Polish wedding joke about 'how they keep the flies off the bride' at Polish weddings.

That did it.

It was then that Uncle Charlie, a stalwart tee-shirt wearing, life-long member of the 'Loyal Sons of Poland', stood up and attempted to chase Uncle Fred around the yard, but Charlie was over-weight and tripped on the corn cobs . . . and Fred looked around for a tree to climb 'cause Charlie was too fat to climb trees . . .
This battle was just another skirmish in the 'Uncle's War' that kept the family laughing for many years.

Rex Ray said...


I think I’d understand more if I knew how they kept the flies off the bride at Polish weddings. :)

“to draw the flies” reminds me of my mother paying a nickel to my young son for every fly he killed. The payments stopped when she found him leaving a door open.

Would like to have seen that ‘Uncle chase’. :)

RB Kuter said...

Using corn cobs to draw flies reminds me of a Thai lady who helped us when we lived in Bangkok. She found a cobra behind the house one day (we had tons of them) but didn't kill it so it slithered away.

The next day when we came home there were pieces of lime that she had cut and put outside around the perimeter of the entire house. We asked her what it was for and she said she had been told that cobras would not cross areas where there were "lime". We had never heard that before or after but wondered if some other westerner had mentioned using "lime", as in the lime powder, as a means to deter snakes from crossing over.

Never were sure. But we didn't ever see that snake again! Must work?

Rex Ray said...

R B Ruter,

Talking about snakes reminds me how a cottonmouth water moccasin got so angry at my brother and me that it charged us. We were about 12 and wading in a creek. We could see parts of the snake in brush on the other side. The creek had lots of rocks. We started throwing rocks and hit it sometimes. After about ten minutes, the snake came across the water in a flash before we could move. It stopped about five feet from us and flashed his forked tongue. I picked up a dead tree limb and did him in.

The most frightening snake episode happened like this. Left work with a back pain so bad I went to a chiropractor. Afterwards, he told me to take a hot bath. I got our newspaper and laid it by the bathtub. It took a long time to ease myself into the tub. I kept adding hot water until I was red. Opened up the newspaper and started reading. Felt something on my chest. As I looked down, this snake came to within three inches from my nose with his forked tongue. I AROSE feeling no pain. (A small grass snake was in the newspaper.)

RB Kuter said...

WOW! Love dem' snake stories, RR. Here's another cobra story from Thailand. Hope I have not told you this one before.

We killed a large cobra in our yard. Actually, I must give credit to our golden retriever who was a better snake killer than a mongoose. She would break their back shaking them, then bark at a high pitch level until I cam to finish it off. She must have done ten or more cobras like that in our yard.

After finishing this cobra off (it was about 3-4 feet long), I knew my Thai Buddhist neighbors were watching and they didn't like my disrespecting snakes by killing them, so I wound the dead snake up and put it in an empty pizza box we had lying around and threw it in the garbage can in front of the house.

I went to bed and the next morning remembered that the old lady would come around before the garbage truck to look through trash cans for recyclables. I rushed downstairs to get the pizza box before the old lady came and got a surprise when she opened it.

The box was gone! I often wondered if she may have taken it away and opened it somewhere else and had a heart attack when she opened it! For whatever reason, I never did see that lady looking in garbage cans in our community again.

Rex Ray said...


So the lady stopped looking in garbage cans.

I wonder if someone stopped steeling pretty boxes from cars after they took a box with a ribbon from Judy’s car at a parking lot when they found a cat on the way to be buried. :)

RB Kuter said...

HA! I cannot imagine! Sounds like something that would happen to me if I tried stealing the first time. Who knows, you may have stopped someone from continuing a life of crime!

Would not want to try your remedy for back pain either. I cannot stand snakes of ANY kind!

Rex Ray said...


Adrenalin can also give strength. My cousin became exhausted trying to lift a tractor off my father that had broken his pelvis. Told him, “I’ve got to get a jack.” When he let go, my father screamed, but crawled away when the tractor was lifted.

Once a ladder fell and left me on brackets I’d made for our church’s basketball goals. With a bad knee I didn’t want to drop. I rigged an electric cord to climb down but found I wasn’t as strong as I used to be. I wedge my foot in a loop to rest. Then I couldn’t get it out. Getting weaker by the second, I realized when I fell my foot would remain five foot from the floor. Adrenalin allowed me to get my foot out and I dropped like a rock on my feet.

Then there’s anger adrenalin as reported by police in today’s paper: A couple argued if their dogs were to stay in or out of the house. She poured ketchup on his bed. He grabbed it and poured it down her back. She threw his TV on the floor. He gets a knife and says he is slashing her tires but only throws rocks.

Rex Ray said...


When people are angry, they don’t use good sense.

Get over it people; Hillary lost.

Tom said...


People must be getting bored with this blog because of the off topic stories.

All power to them then

Rex Ray said...


You nailed it. :)