Pensacola, Fl - It's Sunday morning at Bible Believers Baptist Church in Pensacola, and the congregation has gathered for Sunday School. Recently the class started a new video series on the book of Mark taught by one of their favorite preachers, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman. David Peidt, the Sunday School director settles the class, opens the time in prayer, and then pulls out the VHS tape that contains Dr. Ruckman's message. "You know, some folks don't even believe in using VHS tapes anymore" he comments to the crowd. A soft series of agreeing responses follows, and the group settles in for the message.
Bible Believers Baptist Church is not alone. Recently a number of independent fundamentalist churches have begun to go on the offensive against what they feel are "threats to the distribution of Biblical truths through the medium of VHS tape." One of the leaders of the movement is pastor Mike Paulmon of Wichita Bible Church.
"We are staunchly VHS only at our church" stated Paulmon. "For fifteen years the VHS tape was used to mass distribute preaching throughout the world. Then they started coming out with all of these new forms of media, DVD and now all of these digital forms like AVI files and MPEGs. These are nothing but a trick from Satan to confuse and deceive people."
Paulmon went on to further explain how the use of other forms of media causes confusion.
"You take for instance this VHS tape" he said. "It's just perfect. All I do is pop it in my VCR and record whatever I want. Or if I need to I just set up a VHS camcorder and record something. I can then take that very same tape and pop it into any VCR around the world and it's good to go. Now, all of this DVD business, not every DVD player can play every DVD. Some of them won't work. Besides, to be able to record a DVD you've got to have a special recorder, and a special player. Now the DVD is bad enough, but you take all of these electronic files that you got to have a computer to play them on, like the AVI, MPEG, WMV and VID, it's nothing but confusion. You send someone a file and you've got to have the right program or else it won't play."
Giving further fuel to their cause, some notable figures in the fundamentalist world have joined their cause. One in particular, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman himself, recently spoke out in favor of using only the VHS.
"The VHS is perfect in every way," stated Ruckman. "There's no need to improve upon that which is perfect already. Those who are putting out all of these new deforms of media are all part of the Californian Cult, lusting only after money."
Ruckman went on to further state that he intends to write a book on the subject, due to be released at the end of the week.