“I’m important. I’m somebody… I’m the real deal.”
If that sounds like a rapper boast, you haven’t been to Pastor Jim Standridge‘s church in Skiatook, Oklahoma. That’s how he talks.
But when Standridge gets mad, he utters a whole lot more than expressions of comically inflated self-regard.
The YouTube video below is a five-minute snippet from a recent Standridge sermon. It’s painful and funny at the same time, so much so that even the local TV news team, no doubt more accustomed to pastoral excesses than yours truly, thought it worthy of a little hang-on-a-minute coverage.
Watch the footage: you’ll see the good reverend extensively badgering and bullying two church members as if they were naughty schoolboys rather than grown men.
And he still draws cries of “Amen” and “Jesus!”
First up is a church member with, apparently, a spotty attendance record:
“Where have you been, Mr. Underwood?… What makes you think I’d marry you? You’re one of the sorriest church members I have. You’re not worth 15 cents. And you want me to marry you to her?” [points at church member’s fiancée]
Then, temporarily realizing he’s there to promote godlike things like love and forgiveness, he urges “Mr. Underwood” to stand — “Stand up, big boy!” and offers him one of the most awkward hugs you’ll ever witness. “You can’t get this in any other church in town,” Standridge mutters as he walks away, and I reckon he’s right about that. (The church member’s written response is here.)
Next, the Oklahoma shepherd directs his wrath to the church’s video operator:
“We’re having trouble in the video room. There’s no one finer than young Cox back there. And he comes down here and spends hours in that thing… Brother Cox, you listening? Because Brother Cox, I can fix your attitude… And that video room ain’t gonna be a youth hangout… If you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, son, you don’t care about what I want to do right. [begins yelling] Because if you loved me, and you submitted to me, you’d know what my heart is and my message is, and you wouldn’t go about establishing your own kingdom in the video room.”
I’m not saying “young brother Cox” leaked the video, but if he did, that’s one little “kingdom” I’d happily pay homage to.
The church has lost members because of Standridge’s public ad hominem attacks (Underwood, for one, has left, saying he was “shocked and hurt”), but the man in the pulpit doesn’t care.
“I’m not here to grow the church, I’m here to grow people,” Standridge told the Fox 23 news channel.
It’s beyond me what kind of mindfucked milquetoast would keep coming back for this type of treatment, which resembles nothing so much as the typical behavior of a wife batterer, beating his spouse while telling her how much he loves her.
Maybe masochism is a big thing in Oklahoma?