Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mr. Salvation Pants, Leader of the BBs

If Bible college culture revolves around anything it is cliques. I'm telling you it's worse than high school and then some.

First, we have the Briefcase Bangers, or the BBs. No one knows where the briefcases came from, or why carry them everywhere, but it is a defining factor for this sect. Dressed in suits from my grandfather's closet, the goal of this group is to convince the church that the Bible is not relevant unless it is preached by someone wearing polyester. Though they are academics, they are also strong devotees to anything socially awkward including limp handkerchiefs and going without deodorant. They rock the Wal-Mart pre-packaged, short sleeve dress shirt and tie combo; this is their every day uniform. Most are preaching majors, but should that fall through, there's always Star Treck conventions to keep them entertained. These guys did Bible College by the book, honing in on obeying the rules with precision.

In stark contrast, there's the group I hung with, The Nonconformists. I owe surviving Bible College to this group. I remain now, as I was then, a delicate combination of Elaine Benes meets Mary Kathrine Gallagher. We were a motley concoction of sarcasm, caffeine, and scary clown antics. Always willing to push the envelope in a conservative setting, the Briefcase Bangers considered us obnoxious and untouchable.

Never, and I mean NEVER do these two groups interact. But during my senior year, our worlds collided every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7 am for Church Administration class.

This class would better be named "How To Marry, Bury & Baptize". The BBs ate it up. My group mocked it at every turn. While the BBs were writing beautiful eulogies about fictitious but Godly saints, we were writing eulogies for old, boring church history profs who somehow ended up dying while teaching.

Our Church Admin. prof decided that it would be a good idea for us to learn how to baptize people "the right way". So, in February, in the snow, at 7 am we all had to haul our bathig suit clad cookies to the school's indoor pool. Everyone in the class (about 40 people) was there except for the leader of the BBs, which was strange because he NEVER missed a class, so his absence was notable.

To start class the prof. gives us a demonstration of how to baptize (because we have never seen one before). Then, it happens. The head of the BBs rushes into the pool area...

He's wearing a full suit and tie. He's carrying his briefcase. And he's wearing...

HIS OWN PERSONAL SET OF WAIST HIGH WADERS. (No he didn't. Oh yes he did!)

He's out of breath because he didn't remember we weren't meeting in our normal classroom. So that means HE WALKED THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE CAMPUS AND MAIN BUILDING WEARING WAIST HIGH WADERS!!!!

I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head I laughed so hard, doubled over in hysterics....grabbing the person next to me so I wouldn't fall to the floor....WADERS!!!!!!!! His own PERSONAL WADERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

He had plastic/Mylar/rubberish salvation pants.

Don't bring all that mess up in here and then expect me to baptize somebody! Seriously, people.

By the time we all got in the pool the Nonconformists were over it. Mr. Salvation Pants had slaughtered the 2 ounces of reverence we brought with us to the pool that morning. When the prof gave us the "okay" to start baptizing each other it was sheer pandemonium. People were slamming each other under water, they'd spring up and fake speaking in tongues. There was splashing and cannon balls, and blood-curdling shrieks of "Hallelujah!" Some were scream-singing "Now I Belong To Jesus". Others were holding people under the water yelling, "Satan, COME OUT!" We were like Gremlins. Bad things happen when you put us in water.

The BBs literally huddled in a corner of the pool and did this strange gawking-twitching thing. Though I'm not certain I think I heard one of them cry for his mother.

If you think all the baptism shenanigans are irreverent, you are correct. But don't blame me or any of the other Nonconformists in the class. Blame the Briefcase Bangers, and their leader, Mr. Salvation Pants.

So....what kind of pants are you wearing today?????????

31 comments:

Miss Hannah said...

I'm wearing jeans that are two sizes smaller than the last pair of jeans I bought. That makes me happy. :)

We did not have a How to Marry, Bury, and Baptize course at my Bible college. I feel a little gypped. Also, I am slightly shocked. Your Bible college not only allowed, but REQUIRED boys and girls to be in the same pool at the same time? AND they allowed you to actually grab someone's arm without getting reps??? Unbelievable! You must have gone to one of those *gasp* "progressive" Bible colleges!

Kate said...

How the heck did you graduate?

Nick the Geek said...

While you are burning in hell I'll be prayer for you so that you might have a few seconds of eternity without agonizing pain. I'm nice like that.

Honestly though. I think I would have died from a ruptured spleen had I been there. You can bust a spleen from laughing to hard, or so I assume.

This is probably why my Bible College didn't do hands on baptism practice. We did have the BBs, though most didn't have briefcases. They did speak in their "preaching voice" for everyday communication. Imagine John Hagee asking for the salt in the voice reserved for drawing that last sinner to the altar and you will have a good idea of how his nephew sounded in the cafeteria. Did I mention I went to school with his nephew? Yep, pretty pathetic huh ... I meant awesome .. no I meant pathetic it was terrible.

Shaybplus3 said...

HAHAHhahahahHAHAHAhahahaha

Oh my goodness I think I just peed a little...hehehe

like gremlins hahahahaha
Awesomeness in a small box thank you...

bub said...

That whole scene at the pool should be in a movie somewhere. Too funny.

Joanna said...

Awesome!! Sounds like a fun place!!

After getting some horrible news earlier i really needed the laugh :)

Skerrib said...

Omigosh that is fantastic. How'd the prof respond?

I'm wearing athletic shorts. And ankle soxx. You can totally see my calves. Awesome.

eastern ky pastor said...

Great topics! I never ran into BB's, but I figure that the folks that thought they could debate away theological questions pondered for centuries and those that actually said, "I can preach better than Billy Grahamn any day of the week."

Never had a HMBB course, but that would have been a great thing. I've been fortunate to have people give me pointers, like standing at the head of the casket, while mourners file out. Who knew? And my brother-in-law came up and let me baptize him over a dozen times, while he gave me pointers. His advice has helped me baptize someone almost seven feet tall, then about the logistics of that in a baptistry - a few people who were built like tanks and even some children. Another pastor gave me excellent advice about having funeral sermons prepared in advance. In Eastern KY, folks often want preaching at every viewing. I ran out of funeral sermons my first funeral!

Kelli said...

Thanks for the laughs... they were much needed today.

elj377 said...

The BB's at our bible college I called Preacher boys...and there was nothing that I liked better than sitting with them and make them defend everything that they thought they knew...they hated that a girl was smarter, and more articulate than them! Thanks for the laugh and the mental picture of a suit and waders!

Andy not Stanley said...

Hilarious post. All of my pastors have used hip waders, under a nice white robe of course. That allows them to leave the pulpit, be in the baptistry, and be back in the pulpit in no time. If you don't know about the waders, though, you spend a lot of time wondering how he accomplished it without special effects.

Melina Hunt said...

i seriously appreciate you. i really do. my bible college uses the baptismal tub in the sanctuary...the one that looks like someone made a coffin 2 1/2 feet deeper and put steps into it. i also think it's a whirlpool. all the facilities people use it as "relax" time on their long saturday shifts...

and to make a link, it's this (but sub the parentheses for < and > )

(a href="http://yourlinkhere.whatever/")text(/a)

voila. hopefully, it works on blogger...

Nick the Geek said...

I should point out that I don't wear hip waders when baptizing. I schedule baptisms for after the service so I don't need special effects to keep my pants dry.

I do, however, wear swim trunks under my pants and change into my dive boots. They have the best grip on the floor of the baptistery which is surprisingly slick. Imagine trying to baptize someone only to end up getting baptized yourself because you feet slipped.

Lisa P said...

What I love is that Mr. Salvation Pants is wearing waders and yet FORGETS that you are meeting at the pool! If you aren't meeting at the pool, why are you wearing waders?

Sometimes I think suits from your grandpa's closet act as very efficient signal-jammers for common sense.

bludab said...

After we did the right Bible college thing and got married, our apartment was over a BBer's,who brought his wife and 6 kids to Bible college with him to live in a two bedroom unit with 40 Christian newlyweds surrounding it. We were almost all teenagers or very young twenties and we were partying with our friends and, um, being very married , you know, often. There was not a day (or sometimes a meal) that he didn't storm up from his apt., with his briefcase, to exhort us to be serious in our faith and calling, and remind us that his seriousness resulted in 15 hours a day studying the Word and how we were really interfering with that. I didn't understand how the shreiking of his youngest or the rabid pet gerbils of his oldest didn't break his concentration, but the muffled sounds of our TV (ok, it was pretty loud, but the alternative was worse) through the ceiling did. And I still don't know why he hauled the briefcase up all those stairs to chastise us!

daphne said...

even though my pants are stretchy and should be accomidating, I still look like a popped can of bisquits in them. Maybe I should get some rubber pants and sweat off a few pounds and get saved to boot. AMEN!

Anonymous said...

too awesome

Lauren said...

lisa p - my thoughts exactly!! Maybe Mr Salvation pants thought they were having baptism "dress rehearsals" in a regular classroom...?

My pants are pre-pre-baby pants, so I'm pretty excited about that. Technically, they're pants I bought when I was 18, 8 years and 2 kids ago. Woo-hoo! Toddler + newborn = no time to eat. :o/ I, by the way, am in ladies Bible study group C.

JennyM said...

I love that you even reference Elaine and Mary Katherine!!!!!
I think I knew Mr SP's cousin, Mr Buzzkill. BK knew how to take a fun, laid back college and turn it into purgatory. For Protestants.

One year, I helped all the girls remove all the boy's underwear from the laundry. Each room had one hour to do laundry per week. Over weeks and weeks we'd steal just one pair of underwear out of the dryer. We did it slowly so that none of the guys would actually notice until it was too late that each of them had only 2 or 3 pairs left. We eventually got the entire male student body down to ONE pair each. And then the night before school got out for Christmas vacation, we soaked all the pairs in the girl's bathroom sinks and hung them on ropes in the trees in our court yard. The dining room faced out to the courtyard and we all woke up to hundreds of pairs of men'sn underwear frozen SOLID , hanging from tree limbs like horrible Christmas decorations. Did I mention that every single guy went home with one pair of underwear, only to have to explain to Mommy what happened?

As for Mr PB and his waders, I would have paid ALOT of money to be anywhere near that pool!!!

Beth said...

Hi Stacy!

I wandered over here from SCL because your comments always crack me up.

I don't think I could possibly have kept a straight face if Mr. Salvation Pants showed up either. I's like to believe God was getting a good laugh too - I mean really, how sanctimonious can you be? And besides, a "baptism lesson" in a pool is just asking for lots of goofing around, I would think.

By the way, your Sunburn on Sunday post really hit home with me. The pain that people (especially other Christians) can inflict on each other, the masks, the anger, wanting to protect your kids from what you went through, etc. God's been leading me on a difficult journey of removing the mask (which I've been writing about on my blog).

I really like your blog and I think you and Jon's (SCL) sarcastic awesomeness is just the thing to remind us as believers that you should never take yourself, or life, too seriously.

Rock on!
Beth=:)

Lady Arbonne said...

i'm thinking that your 'university' credentials are bogus. where do schools like this exsist? your posts get weirder and weirder.

Stacy from Louisville said...

Lady Arbonne,
I'm sorry you are so jaded. You are also a BFF! How could you ever doubt me? Of course my credentials are bogus, they came from a Bible college.

Now gimmie a quarter. You know you can.

Jason Elkins said...

Stacy,

GOOD LORD. I am picturing you and your people during the pool episode... I actually laughed out loud as that scene plays out in my mind. (I just laughed again)... I can picture you holding people under the water screaming "SATAN COME OUT"

Cannon Balls for Jesus!!!!

Great post Stacy. It's good to read about Christians with a sense of humor!

Jason
TransparentChristianMagazine.Com

eastern ky pastor said...

okay I've already commented once on this post, but since Stacy hasn't had a chance to put something new up yet - no rush btw - I couldn't resist.

Once a church was having a baptism service in a river and a drunk happened to walk up. Much to everyone's surprise, the drunk actually walked into the water and right up to the pastor. The pastor could smell the liquor even before the drunk got close to him, but he figured why not and baptized the drunk on the spot. As he pulled the drunk up, the pastor asks, "Brother, have you found the Lord?" The drunk paused a second and said, "No sir, I sure haven't." The pastor plunges the drunk under a second time, but holds him under just a moment longer. "Brother have you found the Lord!" "No sir, I haven't." This time the pastor dunks him and holds the drunk under the water for a considerable time. The drunk starts to splash a bit and just before the drunk drowned, the pastor pulled him up. "Brother, have you found the Lord!" The drunk paused and wiped the water from his face and eyes. Then said, "Preacher, are you sure he fell in here? 'Cause I don't see him anywhere."

My all-time favorite baptism joke. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Dog snob said...

Shoot, that would have been worth the cost of tuition to see that...

Gabriele said...

I'm moving to Zambia (where it rains a LOT) and now I'm thinking about getting some of my own salvation pants ~ perhaps in bright, obnoxious pink with rhinestone accents?

Hillarious post! Keep 'em coming!

Stacy from Louisville said...

Gabriele,
Since I am not sure why you are moving to Zambia I can't adequately advise you on fashion dos and don'ts. But lack of information has never stopped me from handing out my 2 cents so here you go. To make the pink salvation pants work I would suggest paring them with a form fitting black turtleneck and a silver rope choker necklace. Top it all off with lots of eyeliner and a black beret and voila! Sex in the City meets Salvation Pants in Zambia. It's like I always say, if you don't look good, Jesus don't look good.

0-~,
Stacy

O'Shunta said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

this was the first thing i've read on your blog.

and now i think i'm in love with you.

bignateym said...

I am crying, I use my flyfishing waders I bought at the bargin cave at cabella's but only at church
It's a good dry place to store them

Tricia said...

OH MY WORD...laughed so hard!! This was an awesome post. I would have to say that I am DEFINITELY part of your group...even more now then back in college. WOW, this was the best

Tricia
Tobyhanna, PA

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