14 June, 2008

The "Ox in the Ditch" Loophole

TBNN: We are here this morning with Mr. Bartholomew Tucker of Cutter Crossing, Tennessee. Mr. Tucker, we are pleased you were able to join us today in the TBNN studios.

Mr. Tucker: It’s truly a right special pleasure to be hyer. When we droved in this mornin’, ya know, the funniest thing happened. They have this little building with this big man a sellin’ big ole thick hotcakes with a hole cut right smack out of the middle of them things. So we stopped and had some of those funny hotcakes.

TBNN: um… yes…

Mr. Tucker: Well, I right reckon them thar hotcakes were better ‘an any I’d had ‘fore.

TBNN: um… I see, you had four.

Mr. Tucker: Naw, I had ‘bout eight of ‘em.

TBNN: um… Mr. Tucker, do you remember why you are here today?

Mr. Tucker: Yep, you wanted me to tell you about Ole Blue, my ox.

TBNN: ‘at’s rite… um… you are correct. Tell us how Old Blue came to live in the large ditch next to your home back in Cutter Crossing.

Mr. Tucker: Well, it all happened ‘bout 18 year ago, I reckon. I was on my way to church when I looked up and Ole Blue was stuck out thar in the ditch. Well, ya know the scripture whare the Lawd said we don’t have to go to church when our ox gets stuck in the ditch?

TBNN: um… yes… there is a mention of an ox in Luke 14:5

Mr. Tucker: I’ll take yore word on it. But anywhoed, I knewed there was that scripture where I don’t have to go to church iffin my ox is stuck in the ditch. So I didn’t go. I spent the day a tryin’ to get Ole Blue out of the ditch.

TBNN: And did you succeed.

Mr. Tucker: My great grandpappy was part of the succession from da Union. So, I guess you could say I succeeded too.

TBNN: um… yes… how did things turn out with Old Blue?

Mr. Tucker: Well, I worked right near through all of that mornin’s church service trying to get Ole Blue unstuck. But he was stuck for shore. I took off the rest of the afternoon and went hunting down in Shady Grove, Alabamy all that week, and a fishin’ on Saturdee. When I come back and got up on Sunday morn, that Ole Blue wasza still stuck in the ditch, but he WUZ able to walk around some, soze I gave him some hay.

TBNN: So, Old Blue was in the ditch all week.

Mr. Tucker: Yep, that’s how it started. I spent that second Sunday putting up a temporary shelter so Ole Blue could get some shade. The temporary shelter didn’t protect Ole Blue completely, so we tore down his ole barn and built a fine sturdy barn right ‘round Ole Blue right thar in that ditch. It took a month o’ Sundays to get that right nice new barn built. But we were faithful each Sunday to do the work. Our whole family clan had to help. I figured iffin Ole Blue belonged to the family, then my whole family could claim that Luke verse you were a talkin’ ‘bout.

TBNN: Now, Mr. Tucker, I believe the verse refers to the ox being stuck in the ditch, not living in the ditch.

Mr. Tucker: We all like to make up our own interpretins, now, don’t we?

TBNN: um..

Mr. Tucker: Besides, the family actually came together and a started havin’ fun around Ole Blue every Sunday. We even started a calling it Family Ox Day. We prepared everything on Saturdee evenin’ so as to have a good Family Ox Day the next day when we woked up. Ole Blue became a permanent part of our family’s life. We’d have picnics and set up all kind a family fun doings around Ole Blue. It was such a good thing for the whole family, how could we destroy that by taking our ox out of the ditch?

TBNN: um…

Mr. Tucker: Anywho… moving forward, all my younguns is growed up now. But Family Ox Day hasn’t stopped cuz all 5 of my kids have established fine homes with an ox of thar own right thar in a ditch next to thar houses. We all thank the Lawd for our family oxen. Many people can’t afford thar own ox in a ditch. We’ve been blessed.

TBNN: Well, thar… um there you have it folks! Looks like the Tucker family has found quite a loophole with their oxen.


fresnel said...

So then, ditching church really is scriptural...? Or...

Wait a sec. Maybe I'll just have a go at looking it up. Hmmm, where is that ol' Bible anyway?

[later] Okay. Index, index, somewhere near the front... Silly pages are all stuck together! Hmm hmm hmm. Got it! Luke Luke Luke... Hmm. Not in the Old Testament; try the New one.

Well there it is! There really is a Luke. How 'bout that? Page 44.

......What? Page 44 is Exodus Chapter 5! What kind of crazy...!

...Index says...Oh, how 'bout that? They start numbering all over again in the New Testament. What kind of crazy system does that?

Okay, the other page 44. Luke Chapter 1... Chapter 14...Got it!
"And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?"

Huh? There's no ditch here. And you're 'sposed to get him out right away. This doesn't say nothing about ditches or staying home from church. Huh...?

Uhh...Maybe I should get my ox put away and go to church after all. How 'bout that?

AspiringTheologian said...

The succeed part was hilarious.

Jonathan said...

Positively brilliant - I think I've pastored this guy before...


Jim Pemberton said...

Legalism is convenient when you want to justify slight deviances.

This actually sounds a lot like some of the silly practices that have resulted from strict adherence to the Talmud. for example, one can't walk too far from the house on the Sabbath so a string may be hung around the whole block and called a house.

Here's one from the bible Belt: Some churches don't allow dancing... so some have "interpretive movement" instead.

I love "Mr. Tucker's" last comment about not everyone being able to afford an ox in a ditch and that they have been blessed. This is comparable to any distraction we deem acceptable to prevent us from participating in ministry or worship with our local church.