"What does this babbler want to say?" - Acts 17:18
"What does this babbler want to say?" - Acts 17:18
BABBLERS PRESS - Fire fighters responded to a disturbing call Sunday past about a certain man at Grace Community Church who was reportedly said to be on fire for God.
"I have to be honest we're not really equipped to deal with these types of fires, you know.......the invisible ones" said the local fire chief while clearing his throat. "When we arrived we could see that the man was either in some type of pain or ecstasy, we couldn't tell which, but there was no visible fire that we could see. But we doused him just to be on the safe side."
The call to the fire department came from a man who was a first time visiter to the church. "I saw the pastor pray with somebody and then the man started jumping around and waving his arms in the air and people started screaming, 'he's on fire, he's on fire," he explained. "That's when I whipped out my cell phone and called the fire department, even though I couldn't actually see the fire they were referring too."
In response to the entire ordeal the pastor of the church has started a new discipleship class called, "Spiritual fire versus physical fire; when to rejoice and when to call 911."
BABBLERS PRESS - A family vacationing from another part of the country decided to attend the Sunday morning service at the local community church, but just five minutes into the service they decided to quietly slip out the back.
"We were quite sure that a funeral was about to take place," explained the mother. "Everybody was so quiet and somber. People barely spoke to each other. The atmosphere was dark and heavy. Even the children looked depressed. We actually couldn't wait to get out of there:"
The Pastor explained to BP that there was no funeral at all, the visiting family had simply walked in on their regular Sunday morning service.
"My apologies to the family," he said. "I guess you could say we're not a church that really gets excited about............anything at all. We tend to keep things highly organized and traditional. Some people like it ,some don't, you can't please everybody."
Meanwhile, the Pastor did say they are gradually introducing more modern and lively elements into their services. "For instance, just recently during my four minute homily I spoke an entire sentence that wasn't pre-planned, and we're also working on a whole new line of written prayers for various occasions that can be used spontaneously," he concluded.
BABBLERS PRESS - A Pastor who has struggled with stress and burn-out in the ministry probably regrets a recent public confession in which he admitted that he'd rather spend an evening fishing by a pond then to sit through another long, dry church service.
So horrendous was the pastor's admission that God Himself changed his own prophetic sequence by making the pastor the first resident of the lake of fire.
A heavenly spokesman said God's original plan was for the beast and the false prophet to be the first two people to experience the second death. But, he said, the pastor's admission was such a grievous sin that God changed His mind.
"To enjoy anything, I mean anything, more than a pre-planned church service in which you get to hear things you've already heard a thousand times is probably the worst sin out there," said the heavenly messenger. "And for a man of the cloth to admit to such a sin is just unthinkable."
The heavenly messenger admitted that long hours of sitting on pews and hard chairs can wreak havoc on a man's back, neck and shoulders, and can even "fray the nerves after awhile." But he said such suffering is minuscule compared to what the pastor is experiencing now and it's a suffering which he "totally deserves."
BABBLERS PRESS - Beaming with pride outside his church this past Sunday one local pastor couldn't stop bragging about his recent topical sermon on the subject of humility.
"I've been preaching for many years," said the pastor. "And I've heard numerous messages on humility, but nothing quite like what I was able to deliver here this morning, by the grace of God, of course."
The pastor considers himself to be a humble man at heart. In fact, sources say he considers himself to be more humble than any other pastor. "When it comes to humility, and just about every other virtue, he considers himself to be number one," said one long standing church member who wished to remain anonymous.
"It's not a competition where you keep score," said the pastor. "I mean, would that really be fair to other, weaker, pastors?" Meanwhile, the humble pastor said he's currently working to revamp the church's promotional materials to include more pictures of himself.
BABBLERS PRESS - One local pastor who felt sure God had called him to preach the gospel is now wondering if he should have been a plumber instead.
"I'm good with pipes, I could go back to that," said the pastor who worked primarily as a toilet installer before entering the pastoral ministry. "But when I tried to make a career out of it I just didn't have any peace. I felt God calling me to do courses in preparation for ministry."
Up until last week everything was going well for the Pastor but then a church member, who is also a retired minister, offered some "helpful advice" on how the pastor could fine tune his preaching skills. "We love our pastor, we love to shower him with blessings," said the member, who now wishes she had kept her mouth shut. "But we just felt he could improve in certain areas."
"I was devastated, I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, like all my dreams just went down the drain," said the pastor, who looked flushed just talking about it. "I really thought I was called to this. But then someone suggests I'm not perfect and......well, it's just a little too much for me right now."
The pastor was too emotional to continue the interview but as of press time the church board were working hard trying to convince the pastor to rescind his resignation letter.
BABBLERS PRESS - Inspired by Jesus' cleansing of the temple as recorded in the gospels a visiting speaker burst into the foyer area of his host church this past Sunday and began turning over tables and virtually destroying coffee percolators and book displays.
"God's church should be a house of prayer for all people but you have made it into a Starbucks," cried the speaker.
Several people got hit by flying bagels and donuts, according to witnesses on the scene. A few people nearly got scawled by hot water as the coffee makers were hurled across the floor. The pastor said he was stunned by what he saw.
"I really thought our speaker had lost his mind," said the pastor. "We were only trying to reach out to people who don't normally come to church, you know, trying to provide an atmosphere where people could relax and get to know one another in the hopes of forming authentic relationships. And now, I mean, just look at this mess."
The pastor said thankfully nobody was seriously hurt but the ushers have been "quite busy" cleaning up the foyer area. Meanwhile, the speaker in question is undergoing a psychiatric assessment at a local hospital.
BABBLERS PRESS - Inspired by a fiery sermon delivered by a visiting evangelist on the dangers of being too comfortable in church one local pastor and church board decided to remove their padded pews in favour of a more "rugged option."
"We were going to purchase new ergonomic seats that would have been good for people with bad backs,' explained the pastor. "But after brother Fred's message, we quickly changed our minds."
The pastor said they even consider hard plastic chairs to be "a little too soft" so they've decided to install what amounts to wooden benches with no back support whatsoever. He said they considered covering the benches with pointy tacks but were afraid such a move would be considered extreme by those "who refuse to think outside the box."
"We sometimes have long conferences that last many days," said the pastor. "We don't want to send the wrong message and cause people to think church is a place where they can relax and enjoy God."
As for those who suffer from back and shoulder problems, the Pastor suggested that such people might consider exercising a little more faith for healing. "We're not about to cater to those whose faith is weak," he concluded.
BABBLERS PRESS - A new study has confirmed what many church members have suspected all along.
People don't leave church because their immoral lifestyle makes them uncomfortable sitting in an atmosphere of worship and teaching. They don't leave church because of unbelief or because somebody offended them. They leave church because the bulletins often contain glaring mistakes and they just can't handle such sloppy work, even if it's done by sincere members or sometimes even by the Pastors themselves (especially in smaller churches that are short on both paid staff and volunteers).
The informal study was conducted by a group of disgruntled members of a church with an average attendance of 15 who got "sick and tired of their pastor's continual disregard for bulletary excellence."
"Our pastor prints and publishes the bulletins each week because he's got a decent computer and a printer that actually works," said one of the members on the committee of two. "But every week there's a mistake. Last week he forgot someone's birthday. The week before that he published the wrong date for the ladies potluck. I mean, enough is enough."
The member lamented the fact that their church has gone from a vibrant assembly of 17 down to a struggling congregation of 15 in the space of one year. She said the declining numbers has nothing to do with the fact that two elderly members died during the year.
"You can't use death as an excuse," she said. "What's next? Are we going to blame it on our own lack of prayer or some other silly thing like that?"
BABBLERS PRESS - Despite various warnings from his legalistic Pastor concerning the dangers of skipping church one local parishioner took a chance and ended up paying a terrible price.
The man's wife said her husband had a perfect attendance record up until Sunday past and seemed to be a shoe-in to make heaven. "But he was really tired Sunday morning," she explained. "And he just decided he wanted to sleep in. So I got the kids ready and we went without him. When we got home everything was gone. My husband, our house, everything."
A local neighbour who witnessed the event said they've never seen anything like it. "A giant sink-hole just opened up and swallowed the entire house," said the neighbour. Other sources confirmed that the event occurred around the same time that the morning service was starting.
The man's wife said their pastor has been "comforting her" by reassuring her that her husband's death was a judgement from God and that he is now likely regretting his decision and will probably do so for all of eternity.
"I believe his death is an example to the rest of the flock concerning the dangers of church skipping," the pastor is reported to have said.
BABBLERS PRESS - In an attempt to be more relevant and attractive to just about every generation from baby boomers to generation Z some Pastors are turning to recreational drug use.
One pastor who wishes to remain nameless for fear of professional and legal repercussions says there's nothing wrong with using drugs socially as long as you don't get high. "I pretty much follow the same guidelines I use for social drinking," said the pastor. "I drink socially but I'm careful not to get drunk because I know this is forbidden in the bible."
The pastor admitted that he sometimes "gets a buzz on" from drinking alcohol but insists being "under the influence" or getting "tipsy" doesn't qualify as drunkenness. When it comes to smoking pot, he believes it's okay to feel the effects of the weed as long as you don't get completely wasted.
"It's like climbing a ladder," explained the pastor. "You can climb the ladder without hurting yourself as long as you stop climbing before you get too "high". The trick is knowing when to stop climbing. With drugs you just have to know when to stop smoking, or sniffing, or swallowing."
Legalistic pastors in Canada are especially excited about the Cannabis Act which could become law in July of 2018, If approved by parliament this act would make recreational drug use legal for persons over the age of 18. "I feel high already just thinking about this new law," said one Pharisaic minister. "I mean, if it's legal then it's okay right?"
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