Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Bigalow Brothers and The Pastor

Two days ago I watched the biggest fight I have seen since Verdale Scruggs and Mazelene Weddingskif went at it with axe handles and razors over who was going to marry Sweet Eddie Ludbar. The event went as follows:

I was working on my second cup of high test in Local Cafe and reading the Washington Post. I was planning to drink one more cup and go down to the hardware store and buy Mazelene and Sweet Eddie a wedding gift. I thought a new axe handle might be good since Mazelene had broken her old one over Verdale Scruggs' head in the fight to win the hand of Sweet Eddie.

The screen door flies open and in walks my second blessing, tongues talking plumber friend and with him, to my surprise, was Young Plumber that my denomination had sent to the foreign field to build new facilities for an "unfacilitated" people group. SBTTPF said: (SBTTPF is short for second blessing tongues talking plumber friend) "Villa we want to see you for a minute if you have time." "Sure, I can spare some time. I have nothing to do but go to the hardware store and buy Mazelene an axe handle." "That's what I got her, too" said SBTTPF. "Well, I am going to get her one anyway. She will probably need it if Sweet Eddie tries to sneak off." I said. "What are you doing back in the states, YP?" (YP is short for Young Plumber) YP told me he had been sent home by his Regional Director because he had gone to a very remote place to help a plumber from another denomination to build a new water facility. "That's what we want to talk to you about, Villa," said SBTTPF. "Me and YP are thinking about going back over there and putting in them new water facilities ourselves." "We were wondering if you and some of your friends would help finance the venture?" I looked at YP and then back at SBTTPF and said: "Sit down boys and let's talk about it."

As we were talking, in walked the pastor of Tobacco Barn Road Baptist Church. He did not have on his usual preacher attire. He had on a new "shark skin" suit, ox blood colored, alligator shoes with a matching belt. He had gold cuff links. There was tie pin of pure gold in the middle of his tie shaped like a Bible with the letters KJV stamped right in the middle of it. The suit was black and the tie was red. To top this off he was carrying an oxblood brief case that another alligator had given his life for. He walked up to the counter and aske Merle to give him a Latte. Merle growled back at him saying; "I have told you for eight years that we only sell high test and Sanka if you prefer decaf. If you want that other mess you will have to go down to Local College where them hippies and west coast imported teachers get theirs." "Ok, Ok, Merle." "Give me a decaf. and that can of Carnation Milk in the cooler and I will make my own as usual:" stated the pastor as he settled down at the table next to our booth. I noticed the pastor eyeing my outfit again as he usually did when our paths happened to cross. I had on my baseball cap that said "Free Wade" and my t-shirt that said "Vote Art Rogers for Mayor of Blog Town." On my fishing vest I have a great big button that says "Marty's Soup Kitchen Feeds Best. " He was really staring hard at the book I had on the table. It was entitled: "Ill Gotten Gain" By Benjamin Cole and Dorcas Hawker and edited by Kevin Bussey.

Just about the time I was going to comment on the pastor's new suit in walked the Bigalow brothers. We were all shocked because both of them had on Navy blazers and their orange ties with an emblem of a tobacco leaf in the middle. Under the leaf is written Bigalow Tobacco Farm, Smoking to Please. Roscoe and Rufus Bigalow owned the largest tobacco farm in Blog county. They were also life-time appointed deacons in Tobacco Barn Road Baptist Church. Rufus was smoking a big cigar. Merle slapped the counter and pointed to the sign on the wall which stated in large print: NO SMOKIN IN HERE, YOU MORON. Rufus pinched off the ash and put the butt in his shirt pocket.

Roscoe was looking at the pastor with pity and asked in his sweetest voice; "Preacher, did your Aunt Vessie Glen finally die?" The pastor stood up and said; "No, of course not. You know Art Rogers or Marty Duren would have put that in the obituaries of both their papers since I am the pastor of Tobacco Barn Road Baptist Church."

Rufus was the most prominent and intelligent of the Bigalow brothers so he quickly chimed in with another question much more to the point. "Then why do you have on that shiny new suit and stuff on Monday morning?" The pastor responded by saying: "If you two fine deacons had been to church in the last two months you would know why and where I am going this morning." "Preacher, you know we have to get our "backer" in from the field. That what pays you to preach for us in the first place."

At this point, I noticed the pastor's jaw tighten up just a little bit. Rufus posed his question again; "So what's the deal preacher?" The pastor responded by saying; " Last month the church voted to decrease our CP giving by 3% so that I can give 1% of the money to be put on the "Distinguished Visitors Panel" at the Big Big Theological Seminary (BBTS). The other 2% will be given to their new building program as a token of our appreciation. That new building will even have a Latte machine in it." That last statement caused Merle to mumble under his breath something about "hippie freaks." I was unable to hear the rest.

At this point Rufus said: " I got some questions. First, did you buy that suit and stuff out of that money?" "And was you planning on talking to ME about spending our money this way?"

The pastor responded by: "No, Rufus, I did not plan to talk to you. It was a church decision and you were not there and you are not the whole church." The pastor followed up with his own question: "Where are you two going with your blue blazers and orange ties? You only wear that to the annual Tobacco Fair every year and that is several months away."

Rufus looked a little uneasy. He said; "We are going to give $500,000.00 to the Really Big Theological Seminary (RBTS) for their new building program. A guy from there visited with us and said that we would both be put on a trustee board of some kind if we gave such a generous gift. We can even have our pick of which board. We are gonna be voted in at the June meeting in San Francisco. I ain't never been there before and I am going along with Roscoe. We are taking the whole family and staying in the Head Quarters Hotel. They already have our rooms reserved".

The Pastor spoke quietly now. He asked; "Is that $500,000.00 the surplus money from your tobacco crop that you have already promised to the Kiki Cherry state mission offering, The Annie Armstrong Home Missions Offering and the Lottie Moon Foreign Missions Offering?" "You also said that you were going to give part of it to extend the children's Sunday School wing of the educational building for Dorcas Hawker's children's division." "Is that the money you are giving to RBTS, Rufus?"

"I reckon it is , preacher, I reckon it is," said Rufus. "You are nothing but a vain, self-serving man Rufus Bigalow," stated the pastor. " That's the fox calling the weasel a chicken thief," responded Rufus.

"Preacher, you still didn't answer what I asked you a minute ago. Did you buy that suit out of the 3% of redirected CP money?"

"No!" answered the pastor. " I traded two of my prized bird dog puppies to Rudy Bell at the Men's Store for everything that I have on. I am an honorable man and would never cheat or go back on my word like you have."

At this point Roscoe, who was a big muscled guy but lacking in brains got into the picture.

He got right in the pastor's face and shouted, "You promised to sell them two puppies to me so I could give them to my boy Ronnie Duke, for his birthday present." "What kind of man of God are you?" "This is going to break my Ronnie Duke's heart."

"BBTS needs that money for the future. I need to make a good impression as I represent Tobacco Barn Road Baptist Church in giving it to them. You can find Ronnie Duke another Bird dog, Roscoe." said the pastor.

Rufus got back into the fray. "You are giving BBTS over $34,000.00 a year if you do this. I just now figgered it up while y'all was talking about them stupid puppies."

Roscoe looked at Rufus and back at the pastor. "Rufus, them puppies ain't stupid and preacher, you promised them to Ronnie Duke and I am going to take that suit and stuff off and away from you right now and take it back to Rudy Bell to get them puppies back for my youngun."

With that said, Roscoe reached a big hand the size of a Virginia ham out to grab the pastor.

Roscoe had forgotten one paragraph in the pastor's resume. Before the pastor became a Christian, he had been a repo man for Quick Rickey's Car Lot, a bar bouncer at Slim Mickey's Saloon and Steakhouse and a skip-chaser (bounty hunter for the poorly educated) for Arlon's Bail Bonds and Laundry Mat.

Before Rosco could grab the pastor, he hit him in the sternum, jack-slapped him on both ears and snap kicked him under the chin. Roscoe fell across the booth between me, SBTTPF and YP. He was praying that the Lord would let him live to see Ronnie Duke grow up and questioning the Lord as to why He had let their church call a demonic for a pastor. Finally, he started uttering something that I thought may be tongues. SBTTPF assured YP and me that it was not. It was just moaning due to pain.

Rufus looked at the pastor and said: "I am gonna get Ronnie Duke's Little League bat out of the truck and beat you to death, preacher. You have probably done killed my little brother and ruined my trip to RBTS.

The pastor just stood and waited calmly in the middle of the floor. Roscoe continued to pray about a demon invading his life and church. He finally slid into the floor and continued to pray and moan.

Rufus came running back into Local Cafe. He had a Little League bat raised over his left shoulder. Without warning, Merle jumped over the counter and hit Rufus square in the face with a 14 inch round iron frying pan. Rufus looked strange and tried to get the cigar from his shirt pocket and put it in his mouth. He did not make it. Merle hit him again and pointed to the sign on the wall that stated: NO SMOKIN IN HERE, YOU MORON.

Rufus fell in the floor, he was knocked out cold as a "tater."

Strange, the things we forget about about the people we see every day. You see: Merle had served long ago with the Navy Seal Team 6.

Merle said; "I ain't gonna have nobody beatin up no preacher in my place with no bat, no time."

With that he grinned at the pastor and said, "I think I will put a little Latte machine in here in your honor, preacher."

The pastor said; "You know, I think, maybe, the church should rethink that 3%. Our missionaries need it and our preacher boys need it more than I need to be on the DVP of the BBTS or than the BBTS needs a new building."

"Good for you, pastor, good for you." I said.

Roscoe was beginning to come to. The pastor said, "I will give you the other two bird dog puppies for Ronnie Duke. They are the best ones anyway, Roscoe. Help me and Merle get Rufus into the truck so you and me can take him to Dr. Holiday's office to be checked out."

I looked at SBTTPF and then at YP and said." I will help you guys if necessary, but let's drink one more cup of high test and then go over to my cousin Wade's place and see if we can get YP re-instated. I really believe Cousin Wade is going to be able to help with that even more so, real soon.

Villa Rica

20 Comments:

Blogger Dorcas said...

Villa -

Funny ... would you mind e-mailing me the translation of your parable? Thanks!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Wes Kenney said...

I'd like to see that, as well. Might be helpful.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear V.R.,

Are these characters based on your relatives, or just former church members? :)

Love in Christ,

Jeff

7:44 PM  
Blogger Villa Rica said...

Brother Jeff,

I have only two brothers remaining of my family. You may have read on Brother Art's post that my brother Pancho Villa is serving five to ten years in a Utah prison for putting Gideon Bibles in Marriott Hotels in Salt Lake City during the 2000 SBC that was held there. My brother Lefty is planning to break him out and wants me to help. I will not be doing so for I left that life after my Mother, Father, and three older sisters died down in Angola prison doing life without parole for stealing John Deere tractors and selling them in Mexico.

That was in 1969. I got saved and have not been in the life since.

Now there is just me and my bandit brothers: Pancho and Lefty. They are well known in some circles. Willie Nelson wrote a song about them. I, on the other hand, am not known at all which is a good thing.

Brother Wes,

The pastor of TBRBC represents real pastors in the fact that he got his church to cut the CP by 3% in order to endear himself with the denominational Power Network. I know of this happening not one, but several times.

This robs our mission and educational efforts greatly for the money that is given in this manner is usually "ear marked" for pet projects of the administrator of the institution to which it was given.

The Bigalow brothers represent a great number of wealthy laymen that are courted by the promise of honor and position in return for giving large donations for the same type of "pet projects" as mentioned above.

At this point, I am going to be harsh with real intent.( I have never been so before on a blog.)

Anyone that denies that this activity is a common practice is a liar. I can easily name 50 or more men that have been courted to give to "pet projects" by Institutional Fund Raisers.

In many of these cases it can be proven that CP giving was reduced and that an individual's giving to the local church was not as much as it had been before the stated wealthy member was courted to give to the institution.

Another hurtful thing to the local church is that the wealthy layman begins to idolize the institutional administrator that courted him and compare him to his home church pastor. In numerous situations this has hurt the pastor's ministry and in some cases caused him to loose his church due to a constant conflict with the wealthy idol worshipper.

I have seen brothers hurt in this manner and I will not stand down from my statement made above.

Anyone that says this does not happen is a liar.

My post, naturally, was fictional, but it represents a sad truth that plays out all too often in the life of our denomination.

May Our Lord bless you beloved guys (Wes and Jeff) and may you never experience such a thing in all the days of your ministry.

Villa Rica

9:21 PM  
Blogger Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear VR,

I do not deny that such things happen. But if I did, it would not be a lie.

If you went on vacation to see Ben and Dorcas in Arlington, but I didn't know about it, and I said, "Villa Rica doesn't travel anymore," that would not be a lie.

If someone I didn't even know told me, "Villa Rica is in Arlington, Texas" and I didn't believe him, and I still said, "Villa Rica only stays home these days" that would still not be a lie.

If, however, someone appeared at my door, identified himself, told me, "I saw Villa Rica at Starbucks in Arlington, Texas with Dr. Ben Cole and Miss Dorcas Hawker at 10:00 a.m. on April 26th, and Pastor Joe was with me and he saw them, too," and I still said, "Villa Rica is tired of traveling and only stays home with his garden and his dog" then I suppose you could call me a liar.

That's the position I'm in, Brother V.R. I appreciate the tone you have taken on the blogs, and I believe you are a sincere person I can trust. BUT, I do not know who you are, nor do I really know you well. Dr. Mr. Patterson and Dr. Mrs. Patterson, however, I have seen and heard with my own eyes, and have appreciated everything I know about them so far. I am ready to believe that any person in the world is capable of un-Christian shenanigans, but before I believe it of Dr. and Dr. P, I'm going to need verifiable names, dates, places, dollar amounts, etc. Until I see those, I'm going to have to keep giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

6:46 AM  
Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

VR,

That was a hoot! How much did I make for being an editor? Was that paid by Lifeway, the CP or the big donors?

7:17 AM  
Blogger Villa Rica said...

Brother Jeff,

I was not speaking of those that make statements from ignorance. I was speaking of those that know these things happen and still deny it. I was telling you ahead of time that they are liars and I will not stand down from that.

I do not need you to define lying or liars for me. I have far more experience with lying and liars of the common and prominent type than you do.

You are right to say you do not know me. Yet, you constantly refer to the Pattersons. You may have an acquantiance with them. I know them very well along with many, many others. I did not alude to a singular person in that post. Do not put words in my mouth. In that you are being judgemental beyond that which would be proper.

I do have all of the data of which you spoke. I will never share it in this arena. No one has ever refuted the things of which I speak. You and others have ask for support data. My stock answer has always been and will be to do the research yourself and you will prove me truthful. I think you have done this a few times and it has helped you.

Let me make it clear. I am on no vendetta against any one person or persons. I am just telling the truth about that which I have witnessed over the last forty years. Some of it is good, some bad. In some cases I have spoken of my own sin and in other instances I have called upon others to repent of their sin.

You seem like a guy seeking to serve Jesus. My prayer for you is that you do well as a believer, a husband and Father and a minister of the gospel. I write to warn of pitfalls that I ,along with others, have fallen into in the past.

You young guys should learn from our history and not repeat it.

Villa Rica

8:02 AM  
Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

VR,

I got your back! :)

8:25 AM  
Blogger Villa Rica said...

Brother Kevin B,

I am sorry but LifeWay did not publish this book. Due to the fact that Sister Dorcas has been serving as in house attorney for Sword of the Lord Publications for the last three years therefore they got to publish the book.

Do not worry about Sister Dorcas though, all of her earnings from the book went to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Thus far Dr. Cole has earnings of $61,434.21. Your earnings will be 3.7% of his net profit.

Please don't let the secret out about Sister Dorcas serving as an attorney for Sword of the Lord Publications. I think she is negotiating to make it one of the publishing arms of the SBC as was Holman.

Villa Rica

8:58 AM  
Blogger Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother V.R.,

No, I don't have a personal acquaintance with Dr. and Dr. Patterson. He came as President near the end of my time at SWBTS, and my few experiences with them are just from that time.

You did not mention anyone by name, and I am sorry that I put words in your mouth. Dr. P and Dr. P have come up in these kinds of discussions, and so I referenced them.

I definitely take you as an authority on the kind of un-Christian stuff that goes on in SBC leadership, but that I have not yet seen for myself. I'm grateful for the warnings that you are issuing.

What do you mean by "nobody has ever refuted . . ."? What have you said that could be refuted? I'm not being beligerant, I promise---just trying to understand. If you said, "Dr. Blank from Blank Seminary persuaded Mr. Soandso from FBC Somewhere to give $100,000 to Blank Seminary instead of to the CP through his local church in 1998," that could be confirmed or refuted. But when you say, "Some administrators led some rich church members to give some money to some project sometime," how can I research that and either confirm or refute it?

As I step into the troubled waters of the SBC organization, I want to understand what's what. I want to be part of driving power-hungry, self-serving people out of positions of leadership, and installing servant leaders in their places, so that our cooperative work, especially International Missions, can be done well to the glory of Jesus. But I feel like I've still just scratched the surface in understanding who's who.

I hear what you're saying about doing the research myself. Devoting more time than I already am to this stuff sounds impossible, but I'll try.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

9:50 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

VR,

You are masterful story teller. I enjoyed reading your insight into the past, present and soon to be future.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Dorcas said...

Villa - I had convinced Dr. Cole that there was no profit on the book. I had a month world cruise planned right after the convention. Now he is calling wanting his money. Thanks a lot. ;)

1:18 PM  
Blogger Villa Rica said...

Brother Jeff,

I am sorry. I did not properly qualify my statement.

When I stated that no one had come forward to refute my statements my reference was to the whole body of my posts even up unto this time.

My reference to you guys that ask me for data is just that. All of you have been gracious toward me especially in light of some of the things I say so "matter of factly" as being the truth.

I do not want you to take my word without doing your own research. It was at this point I failed so poorly many years ago when I was following my Idols blindly without prayer, checking Scripture, checking ethics or any other intelligent thing that I should have been doing. I came near to shipwrecking my own life and ministry by being stupid (I love to use Paul's word-stupid).

My goal is to let you guys know my journey without bing bitter or venomous. That is why I do it in the nature of a "spinning yarn", country boy parable.

You are the hope of the future of the SBC of which my generation has been messing up in the last few years by trying to hold on and not allowing God to bring needed change in our methodology of reaching the world.

For my part I want you to know I am sorry for what we have done and I am going to do what little I can to clean up our mess and give you room to follow the Lord in changing the SBC into what He wants it to be if He still wants it after what has happened to it in our hands.

Villa Rica

1:26 PM  
Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

VR,

You are a breath of fresh air in blog land!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Nate Goodwin said...

Villa,

Thank you for the laugh. It makes me wonder how many other "V.R.s" are out there that have seen errors and now want to see change in the SBC. I have it on fairly good authority that there are others, but I am wondering if you know of others like yourself.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Villa Rica said...

Sister Andrea,

Thank you much. Yet, I am not the best story teller in our family.

My brother Lefty is much better than me. He used to tell me stories about Mom, Dad and my three sisters that were in Angola prison on the way home after we had been to visit them. He told me that they were employees of Disney World. They were behind a chain link fence and wore stripped clothes because they were scientist working with Zebras to teach them to talk for the Disney movies such as Dr. Dolittle.

I thought my folks were really important. I did not realize that Lefty was trying to spare me from knowing they were in prison for stealing John Deere tractors.

Then, one day I was at the SBC and they voted to boycot Disney because homosexuals worked there. I questioned Lefty and Pancho, also. I knew my parents were hetrosexual because they had all of us.

Lefty and Pancho explained to me that some of our leaders thought it would be best to boycot Disney. This would cause the homosexuals and the Disney administration to understand how much we really loved them and how serious we were about sharing Jesus with the right kind of people. The idea seemed to be that if we boycoted them they would, naturally, become the right kind of people so we could then, in turn, share Jesus with them.

I have always wondered about that. It seems to me that if we really loved those folks we would have trained some missionaries to live in Orlando and go to Disney World every day and get to know the homosexuals and the administration. In doing so they would have been able to share Jesus with them in a real way.

We would have been very missional and not so Pharisaical in our approach to their sin if we had just given that "cup of cold water" type of outreach rather than what we did.

I know, I know. Where would we have gotten the missionaries to do such a thing? Glad you ask. WE COULD HAVE ENLISTED ALL THOSE THAT WERE TURNED DOWN AT THE IMB FOR HAVING A PRAYER LANGUAGE.

I bet they were the type of honest, open hearted people that would have trusted God enough to think their presence, love and sharing of Jesus would have made a difference.

Instead we treated those hopeful missionary candidates just like we treated the Disney folks, Pharisaical rather than missional.

Sad conclusion---everybody lost on that one. SBC---Disney---missionary candidates----

Villa Rica

2:54 PM  
Blogger Villa Rica said...

Brother Nateg,

There are many of us within the Convention framwork and without that were active in the Resurrgence that now realize that some things need to be righted.

You guys are not alone.

Villa Rica

2:59 PM  
Blogger Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother V.R.,

I'm following Dorcas' connecting of the dots on the committe nominations, as I suppose you are.

How do you offer a substitute nominee? If you do, do you get to say why?

Love in Christ,

Jeff

12:16 AM  
Blogger Cate Hanchez said...

Senor Rica. I love you. You have no idea how encouraging it is to me to hear you speak the way you do about righting past wrongs in the SBC. The YLs encourage me too. I have watched with grief and horror for years at the SBC's distancing itself from more and more groups of people instead of reaching out to them in love. I have prayed for leaders that would stand up to say "enough is enough". And now, here you all are! Thanks to all of you. (PS: Loved the parable, too.)

2:40 PM  
Blogger Kiki Cherry said...

Villa Rica,

That was too funny. I emerged from my anti-blog world sabbatical and discovered this. All the good stuff seems to happen when I'm not around.

I'll take one of those t-shirts. And throw in a "Free Wade" button, too.

3:37 PM  

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