Better Than The Funnies

The comics have become so violent that I have taken to finding my amusement elsewhere in the Sunday paper. My latest choice is the “religion section,” which, in our metropolitan newspaper, is chock-full of holy hilarity. Any educated pagan who reads the church ads on Saturday evening must wonder whether the churches differ at all from the theaters. I have often wondered myself.

At any rate, to get the full comical impact of the church pages, you must read them in a systematic manner. Over the years, I have developed a sure-fire technique, which I now unselfishly share with you.

1. Read the names of the churches first. We have come a long way from “The Church of Ephesus” or “The Church in Sardis.” In fact, we have even come a long way from “First Baptist Church” or “Wilson Memorial Church.” Today we have religious assemblies known as “The Original Apostolic Church #2,” or “Fragrant Fellowship Church,” or “The Seventh Seal Spiritual Assembly.” From time to time, you will discover some favorite names missing from the ads. Alas, the rent came due, or the shepherd ran off to greener pastures and the sheep were scattered. I am still watching in our newspaper for the return of “Glorious Tidings of Eternal Truth Tabernacle” and “The Church of Signs, Wonders, and Holy Afflatus.” If you find them in your paper, please let me know.

2. Read the sermon titles. Most of the titles will be painfully and academically dull, like “Controlling Your Anger—#34 in a series on the Sermon on the Mount,” and “Should We Use Fermented Wine at the Lord’s Supper?” (That one was #12 in a series on “Vital Church Problems of Today.”) But do not give up! Hidden in the ads are some priceless sermon titles that make all your searching worthwhile. ...

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