Wake Forrest, Id - The members of South Woods Baptist Church are deeply worried over the future of their church these days. Some members have already left the church while others are on the verge. The problem has gotten so bad that the church is close to splitting right down the middle.
The trouble all centers around two small electronic devices, the popular Apple iPod and Microsoft's competition device known as the "Zune." The problems began almost a year ago when the church's Assistant Pastor, Trey Waters, was preaching during the vacation of Senior Pastor Albert Weissen. Waters reportedly used his Zune to make an illustration during the sermon and while doing so he called it "the greatest little electronic device he'd ever seen." This apparently upset a number of people in the congregation who were devout iPod users.
"He had no business saying that," said Erica Pinkerton, a member of the church. "The iPod was out long before Bill Gates and his crew decided to jump in with that flimsily Zune thing. And what kind of stupid name is 'Zune' anyway?"
Upon returning from his vacation word got around to Weissen, a devout iPod user, about what Waters had said. Weissen immediately confronted Waters about the issue informing him that he had offended a number of members in the congregation over his comments and needed to retract them. Waters refused stating that he could "not take back the truth." This apparently did not sit well with Weissen, and so during his first sermon back Weissen decided to do an illustration of his own. The title of Weissen's sermon was "Be not deceived!" during which he held up his iPod and proceeded to show how one could be easily deceived by a "counterfeit" product that claims to be as good but really is "a piece of flashy trash."
While Weissen seemed content with his sermon afterwards it too produced some unexpected consequences. As it turns out a number of people in the congregation had taken Waters' advice and purchased a Zune during the week. Having been pleased with their purchases they too were "deeply offended" by the illustration. As a result the church is now divided almost 50-50 between iPod users who want to follow Weissen and Zune users who want to follow Waters.
"We've got ourselves in quite a mess now," said deacon Martin Thompson, one of the few members who hasn't take any side in the controversy. "We've got to get something worked out here before our church is totally ripped apart."
Upon the completion of this story TBNN has also learned that a small faction of Sony MP3 player users have begun following the youth pastor which brings yet another complicated dimension to the story.