This is the one hundred and ninth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a clip of Duffy Strode, the Boy Preacher on the Oprah Winfrey Show. This video is from 1988. Duffy, 10, was suspended from school for refusing to stop preaching to his classmates. Today, Ryan Duffy Strode is married with children of his own. His children have not followed in their father’s preacher boy footsteps. Based on a quick perusal of Duffy’s social media accounts, he no longer walks in the Fundamentalist footsteps of his father.
Please be aware that the following videos are heartbreaking. They are hard to watch, perfect examples of child abuse in Jesus’ name.
This is the one hundred and eighth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is the movie A Thief in the Night, produced by Russell S. Doughten. Released in 1972, A Thief in the Night was used by thousands of Fundamentalist churches as a tool to scare and evangelize the lost. According to Wikipedia, over 300 million people have viewed A Thief in the Night. I saw this movie when it was first released, seeing it several more times in the 1970s and 1980s.
It’s been 40 years since the release of a film that wrecked havoc on the sleep of millions of souls in America and around the world, a film that combined religious themes with the chills of a horror film. No, not The Exorcist. But a year before that: Long before millions of readers were getting worried about being left behind, scores of viewers fretted about the ramifications of A Thief in the Night.
The film told the story of a young woman, Patty Myers (played by Patty Dunning), who wakes one morning to find that her husband has suddenly vanished, along with millions of other people throughout the world. The film brings to life the dispensational view of Matthew 24:36-44—one will be taken and one will be left—assuming the Rapture of believers takes place before seven years of tribulation … coming without warning, like a thief in the … well, you know. Patty faces the nightmare of a one-world totalitarian government that will usher in the coming of the Anti-Christ.
At the time, it was a radical new way of making a Christian film. There had been Christian movies before, particularly from Billy Graham’s World Wide Pictures (usually about a troubled teen who considers smoking a cigarette before being converted at a Graham crusade). But Thief was different, using the conventions of science fiction and horror—everything from the “It’s Only a Dream … or is it?” device (from every other episode of The Twilight Zone), to the paranoid “Are They With Me or Against Me?” questions (replace the Pod People of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with the Mark of the Beast people), to the End Credits with a Twist (The End??? from The Blob becomes The End Is Near). (Not coincidentally, Thief’s executive producer, Russell Doughten Jr., worked on 1958’s The Blob.)
A Thief in the Night also introduced new audiences to the budding Christian rock music scene, featuring Larry Norman’s “I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” sung in the movie by The Fishmarket Combo. (Check out the groovy/spooky video of the song here; they’re also featured in the film’s trailer.)
The film’s budget was $60,000, a paltry sum compared to today’s indie films, rarely made for less than $1 million. Thom Rachford, one of the actors in Thief and now a vice president at Russ Doughten Films (RDF), said that to raise the money, the filmmakers prayed and asked people to invest $5,000 apiece.
A Thief in the Night has reportedly been seen by over 300 million people around the world. Pirated copies appeared in communist countries during the Cold War, and it since has turned up on YouTube. Upon its initial release, the production company developed a program to share the gospel with viewers; RDF records show six million people made decisions for Christ through their ministry.
(video removed from YouTube)
I Wish We Had All Been Ready by Larry Norman. This Norman tune was the theme song for A Thief in the Night.
This is the one hundred and seventh installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is the movie The Burning Hell, produced by Fundamentalist Baptist pastor Estus Pirkle and Ron Ormond. Released in 1974, The Burning Hell was used by thousands of Fundamentalist churches to “scare” sinners into getting saved. I first saw The Burning Hell in 1974. I saw it several more times in the late 1970s and 1980s. According to the Estus Pirkle Evangelistic Association website, The Burning Hell:
is a scriptural interpretation of what the Bible has to say about a literal hell. The film seeks to portray in graphic terms all of the horror of hell and how to escape its flames. Of central importance in the film is the incident involving the rich man and Lazarus. Millions of people have been saved in Spanish and English speaking countries through this film. The film is sixty minutes and in color. Preaching is by Estus W. Pirkle.
The movie is available on DVD for $29.95, plus $6 for shipping.
The majority of voting Evangelicals plan to cast their vote for Donald Trump come November. Their support of Trump is proof positive that Evangelicals have sold their souls to the Devil. James Dobson, arguably one of the patriarchs of Evangelicalism’s war against American culture, with a straight face, says that Donald Trump is a “baby” Christian. If Trump is a Christian, well Praise Jesus, Hallelujah, everyone, including atheists such as myself should have no problem making it to God’s Trump Hotel in the Sky®.
Even in my hardcore God is a Republican, Independent Fundamentalists Baptist days, I would never have supported a degenerate like Donald Trump. He is a twice-divorced, thrice-married misogynistic womanizer who shows all the signs of being a psychopath. Trump has a long memory, holding grudges for years. He has, so far, shown no capability to forgive or admit wrong, even when close supporters are telling him he needs to do so. Yet, despite all of this, Evangelicals plan to vote for Trump in November.
And that’s fine, but quit trying to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Donald Trump is not a Christian. If anything, he is indifferent towards religion or an atheist. But, a Christian? Please, stop it Evangelicals, you are embarrassing yourselves.
Supposedly, Evangelicals believe that beliefs matter. Why, then, are Evangelicals ignoring Trump’s theological beliefs? Let me conclude this brief post with a video clip of Trump answering a question at the Family Leadership Summit about asking the Christian God for forgiveness. Less than a minute long, this video should end all discussion about whether Donald Trump is a follower of Jesus.
Drive by our home and do a WiFi scan and you will find that our Service Set Identifiers (SSID) reflect that we believe two things:
There is no God
If there is a God, Bruce Almighty is his name
Today, I found out that one of my neighbors is use their WiFi SSID to “witness” to me That’s right, I can’t even escape Evangelicals in the comfort and safety of my home. I actually find their witnessing attempt to be quite funny and innovative. Here’s a screen shot of a WiFi scan I did earlier today:
What’s next? John 3:16? Perhaps I should change my SSID to jesusisdead, christianitysucks,666, satanrulz, or ilovesin.