dead preacher still preaches

dead preacher still preaches cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
“Dead Preacher Still Preaches” by nakedpastor David Hayward

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Isaiah 42: 3).

When I attended Bible College, one of the things I had to do in order to graduate was intern under a pastor of a pentecostal church for a summer. What an experience that was! I ended up in the deep south of Alabama in a pentecostal church that could be better described as a holiness pentecostal church. I experienced some pretty crazy things… things I thought were only in movies or Flannery O’Connor stories.

The pastor there was a screamer. I mean… he screamed at the top of his lungs for an hour perspiring, panting, pacing, pointing, and pontificating. It was exhausting for everyone.

And then there was that visiting evangelist who also screamed. But he had an organ player who would slam a chord or two on his Hammond to emphasize the evangelist’s message at just the right moments. That was exhausting AND entertaining.

The thing is… and this is human behavior… the people expected this and loved this. It was a sign that it was anointed. That it was from God. That it was real genuine gospel. That the Holy Spirit was “on it”. That you better get saved or you’re going to Hell.

And then we think of the stories of Jesus that reveal his preaching style as quite different.


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  • Carol


    Weep, weep for those
    Who do the work of the Lord
    With a high look,
    And a proud heart.
    Their voice is lifted up
    In the streets, and their cry is heard.
    The bruised reed they break
    By their great strength, and the smoking flax
    They trample.

    Weep not for the quenched
    (For their God will hear their cry
    And the Lord will come to save them)
    But weep, weep for the quenchers.

    For when the Day of the Lord
    Is come, and the vales sing
    And the hills clap their hands
    And the light shines

    Then their eyes shall be opened
    On a waste place,
    The smoke of flax bitter
    In their nostrils,
    Their feet pierced
    By broken reed-stems . . .
    Wood, hay and stubble,
    And no grass springing,
    And all the birds flown.

    Weep, weep for those
    Who have made a desert
    In the name of the Lord.

    ~Evangeline Paterson

  • So many of those holiness preachers are so un-Jesus-like that it blows one’s mind.

    Jesus loves sinners. Hangs out with them. That drives the holiness types nuts.

  • Thought you might like to know: even though I’ve been too lazy to update Google Reader to point to your new feed over here at Patheos, somehow it automagically updated itself. So I don’t have to miss a day of nakedpastor. 🙂

  • really susanna? ok… well, that’s a good thing I guess… thanks for letting me know.

  • oh i see… you used google reader before… yes i had another private mail service that wouldn’t automatically transfer… thanks though. that’s cool to know.

  • Wicked good cartoon, David. I love the poem.

  • Excellent. Not all the weirdoes are insincere. Not all must be bashed. Thanks for tempering your story with grace.

  • the other David Hayward

    So, did they also use snakes in their services?

  • i was never at one of those

  • Caryn LeMur

    lol… your story about the Holiness church reminded me of a time ago:

    Bonnie and I were visiting our friends in a hidden camp in the woods – most of these men were drug users or alcoholics… but beautiful people. They sat with us in chairs we brought, chatting with us, as I cooked a stir fry for the rice.

    It was Sunday. Into the clearing marched a church youth group towards us, with a pastor in lead. “May we sing you some songs?” They asked. I was in shock… our clothing was simple, the campers were simply clothed, and the church people were in suits, dresses, and slack. I turned to the men of the woods: “Gentlemen? … what do you say?” “Sure! Why not!?” the men replied.

    And so, we were etertained by some church songs, then given some church tracts, and then some bags of bread by the church minister… and then off they went. Bonnie and I continued to sit with the men and chat over lunch.

    Some churches really believe in a Jesus that ‘reaches across the great divide’ – and end up making us feel like the American Indians welcoming Pilgrims that wear strange clothing, speak a different language, and talk about ‘saving the savages’… whatever that means.

    Some people in churches believe in a Jesus that ‘lived among the Samaritans for two days’ – and make us feel like the Canadian Indians that welcomed French fur traders into their communities, homes, and families.

    I think we just need more fur traders….

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • great story caryn. i would have loved to be there.

  • Kris

    LMAO Dave!