08 March, 2008

Enjie Sname

Bartels, KY-- It was to have been a regular evening sermon and routine song service at Old Roads Baptist Church where Eugene Hargner served as pastor. But no sooner had Pastor Hargner sat up in his living room recliner when he received a phone call around 4 pm on that Sunday afternoon from Head Deacon Mason Witchel telling him not to come to the evening service.

Head Deacon Mason Witchel informed Pastor Hargner that his tenure as pastor had been terminated, effectively immediately. Former Pastor Hargner told TBNN, "He told me 'You can get your 2 week's severance in the church office on Monday morning. There is no need to come to church this evening.' That's how I found out!"

Hagner said he chuckled at first, sure that this was some kind of joke. He and the deacon's often had fun with each other, joking around. But, Witchel apparently made it clear that this was not a laughing matter.

When Hargner picked up his check on Monday morning, a severance letter was attached. The letter was the very first indication of the reason for his dismissal. Apparently, he had failed to say, "In Jesus' Name" at the end of his closing prayer on Sunday morning.

Former Pasot Hargner immediately requested a copy of the service to verify the accusation. He listened closely to the final prayer. He realized what had happened. It was a very short prayer that went: "As we just come before you Father in the only way we know how, in the name of our Lord Jesus, we just ask that you bless and guide us until we meet again. Amen."

It was true. There was no "In Jesus' name" given at the end of the prayer.

Former Pastor Hargner spent the rest of the day trying to explain that "In Jesus' name" isn't required at the end of the prayer. He told Deacon Witchel on numerous occasions that, if he would only listen to the entire prayer, it would become clear that the prayer was asked in the name of the Lord.

But each time Hargner asked, Deacon Witchel had only one question, "Did you or did you not say simply 'Amen' at the end of the prayer?"

TBNN representatives visited Old Roads on March 2nd with digital recorders to investigate prayer endings. We took the recordings back to the TBNN studios equipped with a very sensitive sound analysis system. We also had to put our best ears to the test to determine how the prayers ended.

We noticed that most prayers ended abruptly and quickly. But almost every time, prior to the very end, there was a short pause as if the prayor had ended. But then a quick burst of several slurred syllables. Under further review using slow-notion phonography, to the best of our knowledge, the 5 prayers that day ended with:

(1) enjieSName
(2) jeesNAME
(3) YUHnemwuhPRUH
(4) enyuhnemwe pruh
(5) jeesnemPRAY

With precision measurement, the length of the endings were meausured within a small range of from 0.08 seconds to a maximum of 0.34 seconds.

We brought the tapes to Deacon Witchel on Pastor Hargner's behalf to show that absolutely no one said "In Jesus' name" at the end of a single prayer on the morning of the 2nd. Deacon Witchel was surprisingly willing to talk. "All of those endings were perfectly acceptable. It's not the actual words you use, but the heart that matters. Each of those prayors obviously had it in his heart to properly close the prayer."


Pastor Erik DiVietro said...

You guys are so twisted. Thanks for the laugh.

Stefan said...

Wow. I, uh, just want to say it's, uh, just brilliant! I just, uh, hope that you, uh, will just keep on, uh, churning out your stuff for, uh, many years to come.

Jerry Boyce said...

hahahahahaha- funny stuff

Scott Furrow said...

Hmmmm... Based on your picture for this post, it seems to me that someone at TBNN is busy at 9pm on Thursday nights. Perhaps Tom or Brother Slawson would like to one day report on the spiritual significance of The Numbers and what verses they refer to in the Authorized Version. And, please explain the theological implications of a tropical island guarded by an evil smoke monster (Cerberus) from Hades. This will help me in my sermon preparation. :)

Love your blog!

Team Tominthebox News Network said...


For a while I couldn't figure out the significance, but around eight o'clock last night it hit me. I looked at the picture for fifteen or sixteen minutes. My wife even looked at it two or three times to see if she could figure it out. Finally, it hit me. It's about being careful not to fall into superstition. For too many people are superstitious about prayer.

-Tom =)

Brother Slawson said...

Yes...I wanted a picture where the theme was "the proper order". As I did some Internet searches, somehow I ended up at a "Lost" article on wikipedia.

Here it's on at 8, but with DVR, we can make choir practice and still watch it.

I have to admit that it's interesting to me. The CS Lewis references have caught my attention recently. There is definitely a Narnia parallel or two.

Potential sermon illustrations:
1. Hurley and "spiritual warfare": Even if no one else stands with you, you can still take an old van and save the day.

2. Jack and "love your enemies": When you have been imprisioned, don't let this stop you from removing your captor's spine tumors.

3. Charlie and "you're never too small": Even Hobbits can be heros.

mhgood said...

Wow, it's almost as bad as those people who say God's name every other word: Lord, we just want you to, Lord, come down, and, Lord, take our burdens Lord . . ."

Now, Tom, who talks, Tom, like that, Tom? Tom, usually the person, Tom, that you're talking to, Tom, knows his own name, Tom. I guess, Tom, that the Lord, Tom, has a short attention span, Tom, huh, Tom?